Fabled kingdoms of The Himalaya

Monks, Paro

Fabled kingdoms of The Himalaya

Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu

Fabled kingdoms of The Himalaya

Drukgyel Dzong, Paro

Fabled kingdoms of The Himalaya

Thimphu Tsechu

Fabled Kingdoms of The Himalaya

For 11 days

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Itinerary Overview

Day 1

ARRIVE KATHMANDU

Arrive Kathmandu (alt 1,355m) today, where accommodation is held from 12 noon. Afternoon tour of Bhadgaon, one of the four ancient capitals in the valley, with the atmosphere of a living museum. Attend a folkloric show this evening, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 2

KATHMANDU

Full day tour of Kathmandu, beginning this morning with a visit to the hilltop Buddhist stupa at Swayambhunath, and Nepal’s most sacred Hindu temple at Pashupatinath, along the Bagmati River. In the afternoon, visit medieval Patan, the “City of Art”, before ending the day strolling through Kathmandu Durbar Square, always memorable despite the all too brief glimpse of the Living Goddess.

Day 3

KATHMANDU/ POKHARA

Fly to Pokhara (or drive, 200 km/6 hours), dramatically situated in the shadow of the Himalaya with the magnificent Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu ranges as the backdrop.

Day 4

POKHARA

Spend the day at Pokhara (alt 827m), breathing in the mountain panorama and visiting interesting local Sites. A half or full day walk, with picnic lunch, will gladly be arranged on request.

Day 5

POKHARA/ KATHMANDU

Fly or drive to Kathmandu, with the remainder of the day at leisure.

Day 6

KATHMANDU/ PARO/ THIMPHU

Fly to Paro (note:flights operate 3-4 times weekly on this route) and drive to Thimphu (54 km/1.5 hours, alt 2,400m). The first views of the mountains which are terraced rice fields are compelling. Balance of the day at leisure to acclimatise before beginning your explorations of this medieval mountain kingdom.

Day 7

THIMPHU

A full day tour of the old and new (2003) capitals of Bhutan. Standing alongside one another, the dzongs, monasteries, institutional buildings and markets are emblematic of the old and the ongoing Thimphu Structural Plan that epitomises the new while preserving the spirit and traditions of Bhutan.

Day 8

THIMPHU/ PUNAKHA/ WANGDUE PHODRANG/ THIMPHU

Day excursion to Punakha and Wangdue Phodrang (154 km roundtrip/3.5 hours drive each way), crossing the Dochu La Pass (alt 3,088m) before descending into the Punakha river valley (alt 1,300m). Visit the Punakha Dzong, the Wangdiphodrang Dzong and a rural settlement before returning to Thimphu.

Day 9

THIMPHU/ PARO

After breakfast, drive to Paro (alt 2,200,). In the afternoon, visit the excellent Ta Dzong National Museum and the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang monastery, oldest in the land and the harbinger of Buddhism.

Day 10

PARO

Morning viewing of the awesome Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest monastery, with an option to walk up to its breathtakingly precipitous location – an unforgettable accomplishment. Afternoon at leisure.

Day 11

DEPART PARO

Depart for your onward destination aboard a Druk Air flight.