making meaningful connections
Villages And Valleys of Bhutan.
12 Nights, 5 Days In Village
Enjoy a warm welcome in the valley village of Ura, walk with your own guide through fertile fields, deep gorges and forested hills.
Explore the Paro valley, home to many of Bhutan’s oldest temples and monasteries. Enjoy a warm welcome in the valley village of Ura, walk with your own guide through fertile fields, deep gorges and forested hills. Get to know the local way of life and discover the ancient traditions of this fascinating land.
Gross National Happieness
Bhutan prides itself on a sustainable tourism approach based around the philosophy of Gross National Happiness. There is therefore a minimum daily charge for foreign visitors of US$250 per day in order to maintain tourism standards. This can make it seem an expensive destination – but your holiday price is inclusive of the daily tourism levy and it is a privilge worth paying for to experience the wonders of this Himalayan land.
Itinerary | Day by Day
We look after you from the moment of your arrival at Paro airport. Your holiday includes transfers, your own guide, accommodation in the cities and village guesthouses and with all meals provided in the villages. We have devised each of our holidays to provide a good balance between activity and relaxation; please feel free to tailor your holiday to your exact requirements.
DAY 1 | Welcome at Paro
Spend a day exploring the historic town of Paro, set at 2,200m, with splendid views across the fertile valley. Visit the hilltop fort, Rinpung Dzong and its watchtower on the ridge above. Meet your guide to discuss the days ahead.
With a second night in Paro, take a day excursion on foot to the renowned Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. Perched on the cliff edge, it is believed that Guru Rinpoche, founding father of the Bhutanese form of Mahayana Buddhism, arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery. The walk takes 2-3 hours, with use of horses if required. Explore the temples scattered beyond the main monastery and look out for rare Himalayan pheasants.
An internal flight takes you from Paro to Bumthang. Visit the historic Kuje temple, a key Buddhist landmark, and the ancient Jambay temple and Wangdicholing Palace. Overnight in Bumthang (2,650m).
Day 4 | Into the Ura Valley
From Bumthang, you are transferred by road into the Ura Valley and the village of Ura (2-3 hours). En-route, visit Mebar Tsho the sacred burning lake. Visit Shingner village and stop at Shathang La Pass for a view across the Ura valley towards Mt. Gangkar Phunsum. From here, choose to continue the journey to Ura on foot (1.5 hours) or continue by car. Overnight community guesthouse.
Day 5 - Day 8
Enjoy four more days with the community of Ura. Enjoy day walks through the valley and surrounding hills, visit local farms growing wheat and barley, meet yak-herds and discover forests carpeted with mushrooms. Enjoy local dishes freshly cooked by your hosts at the community guesthouse. Visit the local weavers, discover local monasteries, and enjoy local folk music. We highly recommend you enjoy the hot stone bath, locally known as Ura Grakchu, which has long been used by the local people to occasionally take a deep bath and comfort/relaxation therapy.
Day 9 | Across the valleys
From Ura, your journey by road descends to the Chhume valley, home of Bhutan’s famous Yatra weaving. After visiting the weavers, continue to the Trongsa Dzong museum and watchtower and explore the nearby villages. After lunch you proceed to Gangtey over Pele-la pass (3,300m), the traditional boundary between east and west Bhutan. Continue to the hidden Phobjika Valley, visiting the striking Gangtey Goemba, sitting at the head of the valley. Overnight farmhouse accommodation in Gangtey village.
The valley of Phobjikha is well known as the winter home of black necked cranes. Visit the crane centre in the morning (October – February only) before journeying by road to visit the impressive ancient fortress, Punakha Dzong (2.5 hours). After lunch drive to Chimi Lhakhang, an important pilgrimage site standing on a round hillock. Overnight at a delightful Punakha homestay.
From Punakha, drive towards Thimphu, stopping briefly at Dochu la pass (3,088m) which offers glimpses of the eastern Himalayan ranges. Afternoon exploring the small city of Thimphu, Bhutan’s picturesque and captivating capital. Overnight Thimphu hotel.
Enjoy a second day and night visiting the sights of Thimphu.
Day 13 | Homeward Journey
Monasteries and temples
Your holiday starts in the wonderful Paro valley with views across paddy fields of red rice towards resplendent Mount Chomolhari, whose glacial waters plunge through deep gorges to form the Pa Chu (Paro River). Discover the astonishing white-walled Tiger’s Nest monastery, set high on a cliff-edge.
Authentic village life
Travel east to Bumthang, via the sacred burning lake, to reach the heart of Bhutan. Discover forts and palaces, before reaching the valley village of Ura, where a small road leads to a cluster of stone houses with wooden shingle roofs and tiny temples. Stay in a community-run guesthouse, enjoy day walks and soak up the local tales and traditions in this timeless village.
Across the Valleys
Villages And Valleys of Bhutan12 Night
All meals at Khali Estate and in the villages
B&B in Delhi Guest house
Guide and Porter services
HOLIDAY PRICES per person