Valleys of Bhutan
17-Day Easy-Medium Grade Trip
See 'How fit do I have to be?' here: https://www.rareairtravel.com.au/travellers#faq
- Explore the colour and vibrancy of a tshechu, or festival, before exploring the intriguing valleys of western and central Bhutan on foot on our most extensive walking tour.
- We take you on some superb day walks that show you the unique culture of this fascinating Himalayan kingdom.
- Travel to beautiful Bumthang, which translates literally as 'beautiful field', before returning west via the little visited, picturesque Haa Valley.
Can't make these dates? Click here for other upcoming trips: https://www.rareairtravel.com.au/departures
Thimphu is one of the world's smallest capital cities but has seen rapid growth in the last few years. It has no traffic lights, just a white-gloved policeman to conduct traffic. Thankfully traffic jams are rare and the main centre is still small and easily negotiated. The city sits in the Thimphu Valley, fringed by forests and mountains, which means good walking trails are easy to find.
The beautiful dzong at Punakha sits at the confluence of two great rivers and is reached by a wooden cantilevered bridge. This elegant building displays the very best of Bhutanese architecture, embellished with intricately carved, painted and gilded woodwork. The dzong is the site for the coronation of all of Bhutan's kings and it is the winter residence of the central monk body.
Phobjikha Valley Walk
The walk around the Phobjikha Valley begins at the Black Necked Crane Information Centre, the hub for all things to do with these endangered birds that fly here from Tibet every winter. From the centre we head down the road and then across the valley before the trail rises to a beautiful pine forest that leads to the village and finally Gangtey Monastery.
National Memorial Chorten
Built in 1974 in memory of the third king, Jigme Dorji Wangchuk, this Tibetan style chorten is always busy with Thimphu locals on their circumambulation of the main building to accrue good luck. You'll see most of them clutching prayer beads as they circle the chorten in a clockwise direction and some doing prostrations.
The Tiger's Nest
Hike to one of the world's most beautiful Buddhist monasteries, built on a sheer cliff at the head of the Paro Valley. It's a strenuous yet gorgeous walk through pine and rhododendron forest. You will be rewarded with panoramic views of this incredible temple, located at 3,100 metres in altitude.
Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Choeten
This beautiful temple in Punakha is reached by hiking one of Bhutan's most scenic trails. The path curves upward through the rice paddies, with the views becoming more spectacular as you gain height. Once you reach the top of the hill you can reward yourself with even better views from the temple's rooftop.
Haa Valley and the Chele La
Drive up Bhutan's highest road to the Chele La, a high pass located at 3,810 metres above sea level. From here continue on to visit Haa, located in a picturesque valley seen by very few tourists.
The location of Trongsa Dzong makes for one of the most dramatic sites in Bhutan. Perched on a steep cliff overlooking the Mangde Chu river that courses along the bottom of the gorge, the dzong sprawls along the ridge with multi-level courtyards and temples.