Measure your adventure in happiness gained, clifftop monasteries seen and dance festivals experienced
Holidays to Bhutan
Discover the secretive kingdom of Bhutan and explore an unforgettable destination steeped in ancient traditions, spectacular mountain scenery and vibrant festivals. But nothing is more sacred than Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest. Built in the 1692 – at 3000m above sea level – it’s a place of pure tranquility. Guru Rinpoche may have flown here on a tigress’ back, but you’ll have to climb the many steps.
This tiny mountain kingdom in Asia is a land of great beauty, and you can’t have a holiday to Bhutan without taking part in one of the many celebrations that explode into life throughout the year, complete with dancing, music, elaborate costumes and rituals. Paro in March and Thimphu in October are perhaps the most well-known and worth planning a trip around. The atmosphere is electric, and you get a true sense of the vibrant culture of Bhutan as you immerse yourself in its famous festivals.
On our Bhutan tours you’ll be surrounded by awesome scenery – steep forested hills and misty mountains rising from fast-flowing rivers – and a fascinating culture. It’s part of the Himalaya, and the traditional way of life survives unchanged by the passage of time. The superb dzongs (fortresses) dotted in the valleys and on hilltops are full of priceless religious artifacts and many are still active monasteries. It may be one of the world’s poorest places, but the people here are some of the happiest. Gross National Happiness is a government policy infused into everyday life. Why not join us on one of our Bhutan tours this year?
Our Bhutan Tours
11 Daysfrom6 479 €
Guided Group (Excl. Flights)
Experience traditional Buddhist cultures of Bhutan
There’s at least one festival a month here, meaning that you’re more than likely to witness one on your Bhutan holiday. These are genuine cultural spectacles and provide a fascinating insight into local cultures and customs.
Paro: Held every spring, it’s one of the most colourful and important annual events in Paro Dzongkhag. People travel from neighbouring districts to participate in the festivities. Early in the morning on the last day of the celebration the monks display a huge embroidered artwork, the Guru Throngdel, inside the temple. It’s considered so sacred that simply seeing it can wash your sins away.
Thimphu: This is the largest of Bhutan’s festivals and takes place in the capital. Secure your place early in the day to capture striking photographs of masked dancers swirling around the courtyard of the Tashichho Dzong. The square becomes ablaze with colour as performers adorn the stage to conduct religious ritualistic dances to bless their onlookers and to honour Guru Rinpoche – who brought Buddhism to Bhutan in the eighth century.
Brimming with spiritual traditions, majestic mountain scenery and colourful festivals, Bhutan offers a wealth of unique adventures. High on the list of things to do in Bhutan is the Taktsang Monastery, also known as the Tiger’s Nest. This magnificent monastery clings to the cliffs that rise 3,000m above sea level and is a sacred Buddhist temple in the Himalayas. Each year, there are several vibrant festivals that take place throughout Bhutan, and if you want to learn about the culture and history of the country, they offer an exciting immersive experience. Other unmissable things to do include trekking through the Phobjika Valley and visiting the dzongs of Trongsa.
Which part of Bhutan is the most beautiful?
There are so many beautiful places to visit in Bhutan that it’s difficult to narrow them down to just one. Thimpu is both beguiling and beautiful with its Himalayan backdrop, the Memorial Chorten and Buddha Point, where a huge statue of Buddha overlooks the town. However, the Paro Valley is also considered by many as the most beautiful part of Bhutan owing to its lush, forested hills and paddy fields studded with old farmhouses and dzong. The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is another site that possesses a unique charm with its dizzying cliffside setting that looks out over the Paro Valley.
How many days are required to tour Bhutan?
No matter how long you spend in Bhutan, you’ll have an unforgettable experience. While you can visit for just several days and see some of the main sights, we recommend a minimum of 11 days if you want to really scratch beneath the surface of the scenery, culture and history of this incredible country. You could easily spend two weeks exploring the mountains, monasteries and dongs. Combining Bhutan tours with one of the festivals is a great way to really immerse yourself in the culture as well as visiting many of the attractions.
Which month is best for Bhutan tour?
When you travel to Bhutan will all depend on what you want to see and experience whilst you’re there. If you want to go trekking in the Himalayas, the best times to visit are in the spring and autumn when there is less rainfall, and the temperatures aren’t too hot for walking. If you want to experience one of the festivals on your trip, then the dates you travel will obviously need to coincide with those of the festival. Departures from Kathmandu are as follows for the Paro and Thimpu festivals. Paro Festival: 14th March 2024 Thimpu: 22nd September 2023
What are the best festivals in Bhutan?
Festivals in Bhutan, known as tshechu, are an important part of the country’s culture and offer a wonderful insight into local life in the Himalaya. Filled with music, dancing and extravagant costumes, these colourful celebrations illuminate the streets each year. There are several festivals in Bhutan, including Punakha Dromache and Tshechu, Gangtey Drubchen and Jambay Lakhang Drup. But the most significant and biggest of them all are Paro Tshechu and Thimpu Tshechu. In Paro, the festival runs over four days and starts out from the Dzong courtyard. On the ultimate day, the sacred Thanka painting is unveiled before dawn. Thimpu Tshechu is also held over four days on the 10th day of the 8th month in the Bhutanese lunar calendar.
Is the Druk Path trek difficult?
At Exodus we rate the Druk Path trek as moderate to challenging. Our tour includes five days of walking, reaching a maximum altitude of 4235m. While the trek isn’t technically difficult and the distances aren’t particularly challenging, managing the altitudes can be tough on the body so we ensure a slow pace. On the routes we follow, parts of the trails can be narrow and rocky, and rain can make them quite slippery in places. There are opportunities to rest and soak up the incredible views. If you’re unsure whether this trek is suitable for your level of fitness, please read our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide.
Which is better Paro or Thimpu?
Depending on what you want to experience, there are several factors you might want to take into consideration when choosing between Paro or Thimpu. While Paro is great for nature and history lovers and can be explored in several days, Thimpu takes you deeper into the Bhutanese culture and you’ll need longer to see everything. If you want to witness the magnificent Tiger’s Nest Monastery and the Dzong Fortress and explore natural landscapes, head to Paro. But if you want to enjoy the vibrant nightlife then Thimpu is your best option, although there are still plenty of temples and monasteries to discover here.