A magical and mysterious royal kingdom, Bhutan – the 'Land of the Thunder Dragon' – is landlocked by the massif of the striking Himalayas. Long sheltered from the influences of the modern world, visitors have only been permitted to visit this enchanting country since 1974, one of the last remaining strongholds for the tantric Mahayana Buddhism.
The lush-green terrain, snow-capped mountains and forests filled with birds cover no fewer than 72 per cent of the country – an idyllic backdrop for discovering Bhutan’s traditional culture, heritage and spirituality. Embark on a multi-sensory discovery as you experience Bhutan’s iconic vibrant textures and patterns, the distinctive national dress, beautiful flora and fauna – including 46 varieties of rhododendrons, Snow Leopards, Red Pandas and Black Bears – stunning architectural craftsmanship, scenic national parks and ornate temples.
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery
For a true experience of spiritual Bhutan – the last Himalayan Kingdom in which Buddhist traditions have lasted for centuries – take an unforgettable trip to the jewel in the country’s crown: Taktshang Goemba, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Perched incredibly on the side of a cliff, 900m above the floor of Paro Valley, the goemba is truly breathtaking, housing four intricately designed temples that still function as a working monastery today. After an utterly worthwhile uphill hike, join an expert guide as you discover the stunning site’s sacred caves, striking carvings and traditional chapels.
Beguiling Bhutan is dotted with numerous striking dzongs – fort monasteries that were historically built in places of strategic military importance, housing many of the region’s significant relics and texts. Now vibrant hubs of religious and cultural activity – as well as important regional administration centres – Bhutan’s iconic forts are well worth exploring. The second to be built in Bhutan, in 1637, and one of the country’s most beautiful, Punakha Dzong is the winter residence of the central body of monks. The majestic Trashi Chho Dzong sits seamlessly in the stunning valley, whilst Paro Dzong boasts some of Bhutan’s most marvellous architecture.
Nestled between powerful China and India, the remote Kingdom of Bhutan stands in the striking 7000-metre-high Himalayan Mountains, boasting utterly flawless scenery. Offering one of the last truly pristine locations in the entire Himalaya, environmental protection is of utmost importance; by law, at least 60% of the country must remain forested for all future generations. Take a once-in-a-lifetime guided excursion as you explore the beautiful country’s dramatic glacial river valleys and majestic, snow-capped mountain peaks that rise up out of lush forests, enjoying truly breathtaking views and encountering fascinating wildlife.
Thanks to its variety of climatic conditions and countless national parks, Bhutan – despite its small size – is home to a remarkable abundance of flora and fauna, making it among the most biologically diverse regions in the world. One of the most important wildlife preserves in the country, the Phobijika glacial valley – bordering Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park on the western slopes of the Black Mountains – houses a spectacularly large flock of Black-necked Cranes in the winter, as well as Mutjacs, wild boars, Himalayan Black Bears, leopards, Sambar Deer, Serows and Red Foxes.
Weather conditions can be unpredictable. Autumn/winter is from September to mid/March with warm, dry days (overnight temperatures can drop to 0°C). Spring is from March to June and summer from June to September.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Bhutan.
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to Delhi with onward flights to Paro with Druk Air (overnight stays may be required). Flights with Emirates (via Dubai) are also available.
From London Heathrow to Paro: 12 hours 20 minutes (excludes touchdown time in Delhi).
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Visas are required prior to arrival; a charge of approximately £12 will apply. A visa application and liability forms will be issued from your hotel in Bhutan. Once the forms have been completed and returned, a visa number will be provided, approximately two weeks before your departure date. On arrival in Paro, please ensure that you have USD$20 an
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.