Luxury Small Group Journeys - Bhutan & Nepal: Heart of the Himalaya

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Bhutan, India, Nepal

Best time to go: February to April, September to November

13 Nights | from £5,765pp

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Holiday type: Group departure

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Luxury Small Group Journeys - Bhutan & Nepal: Heart of the Himalaya

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover Bhutan’s cultural and spiritual heritage against a picture-book Himalayan landscape in a heady meditative atmosphere filled with incense and mantras
  • Hike up to the spectacular and sacred Tiger’s Nest Monastery located on the edge of a cliff 3,000 feet above the valley floor
  • Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Bhutanese farming community during a visit to a traditional farmhouse
  • In Nepal, travel by rickshaw to the heart of old town Kathmandu in Durbar Square and Teleju Temple
  • Witness a debate among monks at the Kopan Nunnery, an age-old tradition
  • Take an elephant safari to track wildlife in Nepal’s Chitwan National Park where you are likely to see
  • Asian rhino and, if you are extremely lucky, tiger.
  • Enjoy a lesson in Nepalese cuisine during a Chef ’s Table event at the home of a local resident.

DAY 1: Arrive In Delhi, India
A member of the A&K team will meet you on arrival and drive you to your airport hotel.
JW Marriott Aerocity

DAY 2: Paro, Bhutan/Thimphu
Fly into Paro where on arrival you will receive a traditional welcome, known as a tashi khadda. You’ll be driven to Thimphu to visit the National Memorial Chorten, a mystical holy temple filled with altars and statues symbolising world peace and prosperity where many Bhutanese focus their prayers, before going on to see Tashichhodzong Fortress, a 13th-century Buddhist monastery. There is a welcome dinner in the evening.
Taj Tashi | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 3: Thimphu
Visit the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into rural Bhutanese life a century ago, with its vivid displays of fabrics and clothing and demonstrations of traditional weaving techniques, and view the rare literary manuscripts at the National Library, a fine example of traditional architecture in the cultural centre of Thimphu.
Taj Tashi | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

DAY 4: Punakha
Drive through the imposing Himalaya, passing along Dochula Pass at 10,500 feet, strewn with colourful prayer flags and Buddist shrines, en route to Punakhawhere you’ll stop to take in the elaborately decorated Punakha Dzong located at the conflulence of two rivers. Continue on to see Chimi Lhakhang, the revered Buddhist monastery also known as the Temple of the Divine Madman. Return to Thimphu for dinner.
Taj Tashi | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 5: Paro
Set off west this morning to Paro, stopping en route in Chuzom to see the delicate religious thangka (scroll) paintings made of cotton or silk applique and the precious relics at the National Museum. Visit Rinpung Dzong (translated as Fortress on a Heap of Jewels), an impressive monastery set on the the mountain river, then visit a traditional farmhouse to learn about Bhutanese farmers’ way of life.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 6: Paro
The highlight today is a challenging hike to the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, spending the day with the monks where the great tantric mystic Guru Rinpoche is believed to have flown on the back of the tiger to bring the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan. Afterwards visit the ruins of Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s most sacred shrines. There will be time to explore Paro, with its traditional architecture and richly decorated buildings.
Zhiwa Ling Hotel | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 7: Kathmandu, Nepal
Take a flight to Kathmandu. Having checked in to your hotel, take a rickshaw to the famous Durbar Square where you’ll see the gilded-roofed Teleju Temple and the House of the Living Goddess (Kumari). There is plenty of time to stroll through the labyrinthine streets of the old city and bazaar before heading to the ancient religious complex of Swayambhunath, the oldest shrine in the world where the mystical ‘third eye’ famously symbolises infinite wisdom.
Dwarika’s Hotel Kathmandu | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAY 8: Kathmandu
Drive to Kirtipur to visit the temple of Adinath, the Chilamcho Stupa and the temple of Bagh Bhairav. You’ll have the opportunity to attend a Nepalese cooking class in a nearby home before visiting Patan, the Golden Temple and Krishna Mandir. Stop at Patan Museum on the way back to explore Nepal’s history. Visit Kopan Nunnery for Spirited Nun Debate, before returning to the hotel for your evening meal.
Dwarika’s Hotel Kathmandu | MEALS: Breakfast and Lunch

DAYS 9–10: Chitwan National Park
Fly to Bharatpur and set off on safari in  the Chitwan National Park, when you may see rhinoceros, deer, wild boars and monkeys – and if you are very lucky, perhaps even the elusive royal Bengal tiger. In the evening there is a fascinating briefing from a resident naturalist. Start the next day with an early morning walk through the forest with naturalist guides, followed by an oxcart journey through the village. In the afternoon, canoe down the Rapti River and watch the sun set while enjoying a sundowner along its banks.
Barahi Jungle Lodge | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAYS 11–12: Kathmandu
Fly back to Kathmandu and enjoy a lecture by a mountaineer who has summited Mount Everest. The following day visit Boudhanath, site of the world’s largest Buddhist shrine, and on to Pashupatinath where you’ll meet a local artisan, stopping at Bhaktapur on the way back, an important place of pilgrimage and meditation. In the evening, visit the Kopan Nunnery, where you’ll witness a spirited debate among the nuns, before a farewell dinner at the hotel.
Dwarika’s Hotel Kathmandu | MEALS: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

DAYS 13–14: Depart Kathmandhu / Dehli
You’ll be driven to the airport for your onward flight to Delhi, where you’ll have use of a dayroom, available until early morning on Day 14 until you depart.
JW Marriott Aerocity | MEALS: Breakfast

NOTE: This programme operates at altitudes as high as 7,500 feet; some guests may find some activity strenuous.

Back to Bhutan


Accommodation

Departure Dates & Pricing

Departure Dates Per Person from
9th Feb £5,765Book now
5th, 19th Mar, 7th, 14th Apr, 1st, 8th, 15th Sep, 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Oct, 5th, 12th, 19th Nov £6,419Book now
   
   
   
   
   

 

The above prices include all accommodation, guiding and meals as specified. Subject to availability. Excludes international flights. Single Supplement on request
This journey contains active elements.
Lhasa Post Tour Extension. 4 days from £1,615. Available on the 7, 14 Apr; 1, 8, 15 Sep; 6, 13 and 20 Oct departures.

 


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Abercrombie & Kent
A&K Offices

Our office in New Delhi is managed by a local team of experienced and passionate travel professionals with an intimate knowledge of India, enabling them to provide clients with great insight into this fascinating destination, and ensuring a seamless experience every step of the A&K journey. With their long standing personal connections and networks they're also there to help you uncover local secrets and experiences, and to open doors to people and places normally beyond the reach of the ordinary traveller.


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Useful info

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.

Fly to

Paro - Flights available on Druk Air from Delhi, Kolkata, Bagdogra, Guwahati, Bangkok and Kathmandu

flying time

3 hours from Delhi

time difference

GMT +6 hours

Visas

Required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area


Best time to be there

From October to March the weather is refreshingly cool with minimal rainfall in most places. India's main festivals also take place during this time, such as the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, the Republic Day of India and Holi, the festival of colours.

Fly to

Delhi/Chennai/Mumbai/Bangalore

flying time

8 hours 20 minutes non-stop

time difference

GMT +5 1/2 hours

Visas

Required for UK passport holders

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area


Best time to be there

The climate varies in Nepal from cool summers and severe winters in the north to subtropical summers and mild winters in the south. October and November are the best time to visit. The monsoon occurs between June and September.

Fly to

Kathmandu

Flying time

1 hour 45 minutes from Delhi

Time difference

GMT +5 3/4 hours

Visas

Required for UK passport holders and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months.

Health Requirements

Yellow fever certificate if arriving from an endemic area


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