Sabbatical & Experiential Travel to Bhutan
Holidays & Sabbaticals to Bhutan – In a Nutshell
Bhutan is a land of pristine natural environments with soaring snow-capped mountains and verdant green valleys. Closed to the outside world until the 1960s, this is a fiercely independent country with a vibrant cultural identity in which 70% of the land is owned by women. Explore time-old Buddhist communities and Medieval monasteries such as the iconic Tiger’s Nest which is perched on a cliff face. Trek along ancient trading routes or bike through scenic countryside. You may even spot a rare black-necked crane. Melt in the warmth of the Bhutanese people.
How to Get to Bhutan
To get to Bhutan you’ll always need to travel via another Asian destination, either by air (through India, Nepal or Singapore) or overland as there are no direct flights from the UK. A visa is required for entry, and this must be pre-arranged beforehand.
When & Weather – Bhutan
The best times to visit are the shoulder seasons of March to May when the famous rhododendrons are in spectacular bloom; and September to November when there are many Buddhist festivals. June through to August is made up of monsoonal weather. Whilst December to February can be subject to snowfall in many areas, it can still be a beautiful time of year to visit with the mighty snow-capped mountains in full view.
Who will Bhutan Appeal To?
The stunning natural landscapes offer an enormous range of varied and unique experiences. In particular, it’s suited to:
- Keen photographers
- Spiritual souls
- Culture Lovers
- Solo travellers
- Luxury travellers
Accommodation is limited, due to strict controls and restricted development. You’ll find upscale boutique accommodation in the West and Central Bhutan. Elsewhere, stay in simple, heritage hotels and homestays with wonderful host-families.
Off The Beaten Path
- Drive to a local farmhouse for a demonstration of traditional archery & darts
- Enjoy a day trip to the remote Haa Valley, where you’ll find nature at its best; savour the incredible view of pristine alpine forest and majestic mountain peaks
- For something a little different, head to Gangtey where you can enjoy the simple but richly symbolic prayer flag hoisting ceremony near a local shedra or monastic school
- Forage for wild edible mushrooms in Bhutan’s forests (in season) and attend the annual Matsutake Mushroom Festival (in August), where you can taste some delicious mushroom soup
- Get active on the Mo Chu River where you can partake in some rafting
- Head to the Motithang Takin Preserve to see Bhutan’s native animal, the Takin; a goat-antelope mix
- For adrenalin junkies, hiking the arduous Snowman trek in northern Bhutan may hold a sighting of the elusive snow leopard
- For sightings of the endangered one-horned rhino, your best chance will be at Royal Manas National Park. Also, home to Bengal Tigers, as well as Asian elephants
- Himalayan black bears and Ganges dolphins
- From November through February, rare, black-necked cranes soar in droves to the Phobjikha Valley as they migrate from Tibet. During the end of October, they circle around the Gangteng Monastery on their return migration to Tibet
Bhutan Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Hike up to Tiger’s Nest for breath-taking views of the Paro valley
- Dance with monks at a colourful Bhutanese festival
- Visit Punakha Dzong so you can marvel at the distinctive fairy-tale architecture and design
- Browse Thimpu’s buzzy weekend market
- Cycling in the Bumthang Valley
- Indulge in some Himalayan tea with a local Bhutanese family
- Meet a Buddhist monk; a special and immersive experience where you can learn about their fascinating daily routines and Buddhist beliefs
Every tourist visitor to Bhutan (except for regional travellers from India & Bangladesh) makes an incredible contribution to all the Bhutanese people and their well-being! Permits are charged at a peak-season nightly rate of $250 (approximately £180) per person, which includes a 37 percent tax that goes towards improving infrastructure and strengthening the healthcare and the education systems.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Bhutan.
Consider visiting Bhutan in combination with Nepal or India for the ultimate culture and wildlife trip.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
This itinerary showcases slow travel through Bhutan covering highlights and off-the-beaten-path regions.
Mix luxurious forested hillside lodges with traditional monasteries, cultural exchanges and outdoor adventures.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget.
Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Bhutan.