Holidays to Bhutan
Mountain peaks and mystical monasteries
Bhutan can be found sitting peacefully between India, Nepal, and Tibet. It’s a Buddhist Himalayan kingdom that places real importance on happiness and spirituality – something that’s obvious in its traditional customs and celebrations. Each of the nation's 20 districts hosts its own annual festival filled with pageantry, dancing and the rhythmic clash of cymbals and beating drums. The autumn festival in Thimphu, and the spring festival in Paro are especially exciting, with traditional ceremonies, costumes, and mask-wearing monks.
Head on holiday to Bhutan and you’ll open what was once held secret from the outside world. You’ll learn more about Buddhism, happiness and dzongs as well as taking guided tours of Thimphu, Paro, and the peaceful rural region of Punakha. You can also combine a holiday in Bhutan with time in incredible India, where unforgettable adventures include the Taj Mahal and the heavenly mountain foothills of the Himalayas.
As soon as you touch down in Thimphu, you’ll realise this is no ordinary capital. Firstly, there are no traffic lights. The locals decided they were too formal. Secondly, alongside the temples, heritage museums and Himalayan parks and gardens, there’s Tashichho Dzong. This imposing monastery sits on the banks of the Wang Chu River as the seat of the Bhutanese government. It’s a must-see while in Thimphu and shows off a mix of ancient and modern Asian architecture.
Many of the monasteries (dzongs) you’ll find in Bhutan are heavily fortified. Not only do they serve as centres for Buddhist teachings and community events, but they’re also strongholds against invasion. Punakha Dzong is the second oldest and largest in the country, and one of Bhutan’s most spectacular landmarks. In fact, the whole of the Punakha area is breath-taking, with rice fields and farming villages sitting either side of a river valley. It’s the perfect place to soak up the Himalayan scenery and learn more about the peaceful rural life on the banks of the Mo Chhu River.
Situated within a forested river valley in the west of Bhutan, Paro’s international airport provides an entry point for curious travellers. The city itself is an ideal setting to learn more about the country’s cultural heritage and the importance placed on Buddhist festivals, such as the Paro Tshechu that’s held every year as part of spring celebrations. Also, no trip to Paro is complete without lacing up your hiking boots and making your way through the pine and rhododendron forests to Taktsang Monastery aka: the Tiger’s Nest. The views alone are worth the five-hour climb to the top or you can jump in a car and be driven up to 4,200 metres if you’d prefer to save your legs for a guided tour of Bhutan’s National Museum.
The flight time from the UK to Bhutan is just under 10 hours.
In general, the south of Bhutan tends to be more tropical, and the east of the country is often a lot warmer than the west. The further north you travel, into the Himalayas, the colder it’s going to get.
Bhutan is six hours ahead of GMT.
Dzongkha – similar to Tibetan – is the official language of Bhutan. English is practically the second language of Bhutan and is spoken by the majority of guides and accommodation owners.
With the widest choice of holidays and travel experiences than ever before, you can now personalise your trip so you are in complete control. All this is backed up by the high-standards and service you’d expect from Saga.
70 years’ experience
Experienced travellers have been enjoying great value Saga holidays for over 70 years.
Peace of mind
You’re in safe hands with Saga. We’re an ABTA member and your holiday is ATOL protected.
We’re constantly monitoring prices and negotiating the best deals with our travel partners.