With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, mountainous Nepal is a wealth of centuries-old stupas and temples. Bhutan, with the happiest citizens on earth, is an oasis of tranquillity. On this trip you will enjoy VIP treatment at a traditional mask dance and cultural show, explore the bustling streets of Thamel by rickshaw and flex your culinary skills preparing some Bhutanese delicacies.
Kathmandu: Ride by rickshaw through the bustling streets of the Thamel district.
Kathmandu: During sightseeing with your Travelling Concierge see Durbar Square and the ancient Royal Palace complex.
Thimphu: Enjoy a visit to the bustling weekend local market and taste some of the local delicacies.
Kathmandu: Visit the holy shrine of Swayambhunath and enjoy the beautiful architecture.
Kathmandu: Gaze at the marvel of Patan's temple of Teleju and the Statue of Yogendra Malla.
Kathmandu: Visit a Tibetan Handicraft Centre and see how they make their local crafts.
Fly to Paro: Experience the top of the world as you fly through the Himalayas to reach Paro.
Kathmandu: Enjoy a relaxing short flight to Thimphu.
Thimphu: Enjoy an evening orientation through the city centre with your Travelling Concierge.
Thimphu: Visit the National Memorial Chorten, dedicated to world peace, along with Tasichho Dzong, known as the fortress of the glorious religion. You will also visit the bustling market, an opportunity to mix with the locals.
Thimphu: Sightseeing with a Local Expert includes the National Library and the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum. At the School for the Arts, Zorig Chusum, you'll see students learning the 13 traditional arts of Bhutan.
Punakha: Visit the winter residence of the monk body that is also the capital of Bhutan - Punakha Dzong.
Punakha: Walk to Chimi Lhakhang temple and admire the magnificent views over the Losesa Valley.
Dochula Pass: Participate in a prayer flag hoisting ceremony, an integral part of Bhutanese landscape, at Dochula pass. It is believed that when prayer flags flutter, they carry a blessing to everyone around.
Ta Dzong: Visit Bhutan's National Museum to see the impressive collection of art and relics.
Paro: Visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in the Kingdomand Drugyel Dzong, built to commemorate the 1646 victory over the Tibetan invaders.
Paro: Join a gentle hike to Taktshang Monastery known as the Tiger's Nest. The hike is a round-trip of about five hours, so it's a good idea to bring comfortable clothing and appropriate footwear.
Fly to Kathmandu: Fly through the Himalayas once again to return to Kathmandu.
Kathmandu: See the holiest of Hindu shrines, Pashupatinath Temple.
Kathmandu: Visit Nepal's most important Buddhist site, Bodhnath. It is also the ancient capital of Bhadgaon.
Kathmandu: Meet a local pottery craftsman who will explain the traditions and processes of their works, before guiding you as you try for yourself.
On arrival at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, you will be greeted and transferred to your hotel. At 17:00, visit the bustling Thamel neighbourhood, and explore the streets on a rickshaw. Gather with your fellow travellers and enjoy a delicious Welcome Dinner at Le Sherpa Restaurant.(Dinner with Wine)
The beating heart of Kathmandu is Durbar Square and the ancient Royal Palace complex, laced with myriad temples, courtyards, statues and home to the Living Goddess. Visit the holy shrine of Swayambhunath then head on to Patan's temple of Teleju and the Statue of Yogendra Malla, before enjoying lunch. This evening, journey to Boudhanath stupa where you will meet with the monks for a private puja ceremony (blessing ceremony). A stupa is a hemispherical-like structure that is used as a place for meditation. During this sacred experience, hear traditional chanting, drumming and tales of the monks lives inside the temple. Visiting a monastery and seeking blessing from the Buddha is a very sacred moment and an experience to cherish. Later head back to your traditional hotel, an agreeable nod to the cultural splendour of the valley, with its décor and furniture all influenced by the local area.(Breakfast / Lunch)
Kathmandu, Paro and Thimphu.
Transfer to the airport for your flight over the Himalayas. You are welcomed on arrival in Paro and transferred to Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan, the last great Himalayan kingdom. In the evening, join your Travelling Concierge for a walk through the centre of town to experience your first taste of Bhutan life up-close.(Breakfast)
Head to Thimphu, the centre of government, religion and commerce for this small mountain kingdom. Home to civil servants and the monk body, Thimphu is an eclectic mix of tradition and modernity. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, a monument to world peace, and Tashichho Dzong, the 'fortress of the glorious religion'. Later, visit the bustling weekend market, full of photo opportunities and the chance to mingle with locals. In the evening, you will join a local family to share a home-cooked meal.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Sightseeing continues with a visit to the National Library to see a vast collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts and the Textile and Folk Heritage Museum. You'll also visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum - the School for the Arts - to see students learning the 13 traditional arts of Bhutan. Travel on to Punakha Dzong, the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still the winter residence of the monk body. This afternoon is at leisure, why not enjoy the spa facilities at the Boutique Resort?(Breakfast)
In the morning, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, a sacred destination for Buddhists. The temple was built in the 15th century by Lama Drukpa Kunley, who travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet using outrageous antics to provoke people to discard their preconceptions. The views from the temple are spectacular and are worth the walk! The afternoon is at leisure.(Breakfast)
Punakha to Paro.
In the morning, head to Paro and explore Ta Dzong, built to defend Rinpung Dzong during the 17th century. It now serves as Bhutan's National Museum. Later, walk down a hillside trail to see Rinpung Dzong, ‘fortress of the heap of jewels' and visit Kyichu Lakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines in the kingdom. Tonight, dine in a fantastic local restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Paro and Tiger’s Nest Hike.
Embark on a hike to the Taktshang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. The monastery clings to a cliff face 3,120 metres above sea level, however the elevation of the walk is done at a gentle pace over approximately 500 metres from start to finish, with plenty of time to rest and take in the experience.(Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner with Wine)
After an early morning flight to Kathmandu, spend the day exploring in this fantastic capital city. See one of the holiest Hindu shrines, Pashupatinath Temple, on the banks of the Bagmati. Visit Boudhanath, a colossal stupa, and Nepal’s most important Buddhist site. Continue on to visit the ancient capital of Bhadgaon. Learn about the traditional pottery-making process and try your hand at a pottery making class, with a local craftsman. In the evening, toast your newfound friends at a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be transferred to the Tribhuvan International Airport for your onward flights.(Breakfast)