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Bhutan with A&KVisit Bhutan and you'll find a country unlike anywhere else on earth. It has the only capital city without traffic lights, measures gross national happiness to help policy making - returning clients tell us it's very high - and boasts archery as a national sport, with traditional matches lasting several days, and ridiculing your opponents a legal tactic.
While embracing tourism over the last decade or so, notably for trekking along magnificent valleys offering memorable Himalayan views, it remains an exclusive non-budget destination - and now has Aman and Como Hotels. But to get the most from this unique country, with its monasteries and incredibly hospitable people, you still need an experienced, well-connected operator.
A&K's large team of highly qualified staff have provided premium travel across the region for over quarter of a century. With longstanding partners in Bhutan, the best senior guides including cultural and conservation experts, and personal tour consultant who know the country inside out, we offer seamless travel connections and remarkable experiences off the mainstream travel radar.
Enjoy an Abercrombie & Kent luxury Bhutan holiday in 2014 or 2015 and you'll take the road - or mountain track - less travelled. Bumthang, birthplace of the country's Buddhism, is its spiritual heartland and home to Jambey Lhakhan, one of 108 monasteries built in the 7th century. You'll walk through apple orchards and rice fields and taste locally made cheese, honey and beer.
To the west in the Haa Valley, which only recently opened to visitors, you'll find dramatic scenery enhanced by the Black and White Temples; just as you'll find Paro Valley's forests of blue pine made even more beautiful by the precariously perched Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan's most photographed landmark.
Equally spectacular is the glorious widescreen sweep of glacial Phobjika Valley, a hotspot for hikers, mountain bikers and rare black necked cranes who migrate from the Tibetan Plateau, and are said to circle Gangtey Monastery three times on arrival and departure.
If outdoor adventure is a passion, you'll also love the Punakha Valley with rafting on the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. With glorious views of the Himalayas, its 17th century Palace of Great Happiness really couldn't be in a better location.
Bhutan's an extraordinary landscape and culture, one that, as A&K will reveal, remains untarnished by the 21st century.
Best time to be there
Bhutan offers warm days and cool nights all year round. October and November are arguably the best months, when the monsoon has passed and the skies are clear for mountain photography. The spring months of March, April and May are best for the flora, but it can be stormy as the monsoon builds up for July-September.
Paro - Flights available on Druk Air from Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Bangkok and Kathmandu
3 hours from Delhi
GMT +6 hours
Required for UK passport holders
Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area
Dawa in Bhutan was a very decent, honourable, kind and funny man - excellent. Rekha in Delhi was the most gentle, knowledgable and couteous lady - excellent.
- IG, West Midlands