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An Introduction to Bhutan

11 days from £5,180 for 2024 per person

This is a perfect introductory itinerary for those who want to explore Bhutan's unique Mahayana Buddhist culture and stunning landscape of high mountain peaks, densely forested slopes and alluvial glacial plains. Each valley visited is different with its own regional cultural traditions and topography, whilst the lodges along the way are practical and occasionally charming. Highlights include a stay in Gangtey (Phobjikha Valley) to see rare Black Neck Cranes, the spectacular Dzong of Punakha and the unlikely and incredible Tiger’s Nest Monastery of Paro.

Thimphu, home to Bhutan's young King, is the starting point of this journey and one can see modern influence merge with traditional culture in this small capital city. Striking eastwards, the modern world quickly gives way to progressively more rural and traditional scenes where village life has remained largely unchanged. Crossing into the marshy Phobjikha Valley, where electricity is still considered a novelty, we have the chance of spotting the seasonal (October - March) population of Black Neck Cranes that over-winter from neighbouring Tibet. The settlement of Punakha, cradled in a low lying steamy valley, is one of the nation's rice bowls and home to the incredible Punakha Dzong, idyllically located at the confluence of two rivers. 

Finish off in the Paro and Haa valleys, taking in local culture and magnificent scenery including the fabled Tiger's Nest (Taktsang) monastery. If you have a taste for hot food don't miss Bhutan’s national dish of ema datse, which simply consists of fiery whole chillies with cheese sauce; a guaranteed 'warmer-upper'!

This holiday is purely a suggested itinerary: it can be booked as it is, or alternatively used as a starting point for creating your own perfect tailor-made trip to Bhutan. If you'd like to see similar itineraries, take a look at our active holiday collection.

Itinerary details

11 days from £5,180 for 2024 per person

Paro Bhutan 4 Paro Bhutan 4
Amankora Thimphu, Thimphu, Bhutan (17).jpg Amankora Thimphu, Thimphu, Bhutan (17).jpg
Zhiwa Ling Ascent, Thimphu, Bhutan (10).jpg Zhiwa Ling Ascent, Thimphu, Bhutan (10).jpg
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Dewachen Hotel, Gangtey, Bhutan (8).jpg Dewachen Hotel, Gangtey, Bhutan (8).jpg
Gangtey Bhutan 7 Gangtey Bhutan 7
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Gangtey Bhutan 5 Gangtey Bhutan 5
Dhensa Punakha Bhutan 17 Dhensa Punakha Bhutan 17
Amankora, Punakha, Bhutan (5).jpg Amankora, Punakha, Bhutan (5).jpg
Amankora, Punakha, Bhutan (6).jpg Amankora, Punakha, Bhutan (6).jpg
Paro Bhutan Paro Bhutan
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Travelling is like flirting with life. It's like saying, 'I would stay and love you, but I have to go; this is my station.
Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

Client Testimonials

Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India

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