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Duration: 17 days, 16 nights

Coverage: Western, Central and Eastern Bhutan

Best time to Travel - All year round

This tour takes you from one end of the country to the other offering you an extensive journey along the road less traveled. Although the long overhaul drive may sound daunting, the road trip is more than a scenic drive that takes you across mountains over high passes, through valleys and villages to the very heart of Bhutan and beyond. It’s a journey complete on its own.

Day 1: Arrive at Paro by Druk Air. Your guide will take you to your hotel. After lunch, take a walk in the town and visit the nearby Paro Rinpung Dzong and the National Museum of Bhutan.

Night halt: Paro

Day 2: After breakfast, visit the lovely Kyichhu Lhakhang (built 659 A D). Visit the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (built 1647, a fortress that saw many a battles being fought between the Drukpas and the Tibetan invaders from the north). On a clear day, you will enjoy the view of Mount Jhomolhari (7,314m) in the distance. After lunch drive to Thimphu. Visit some of the notable landmarks of the city - The Memorial Chorten (Stupa), The Textile Museum. In the evening take a stroll in the town.

Night halt: Thimphu

Day 3: Continue your visits to some of the landmarks of the city – Folk Heritage Museum, Institute of Traditional Medicine, National Library, National Institute of Zorig Chusum, Tashichhodzong, the Handicrafts Emporium and the Zilukha Nunnery. In the afternoon take a short drive to see the Tango and Cheri Monasteries.

Night halt: Thimphu

Day 4: Early start to Punakha, with a stop over at Dochhu La (3,050m). On a bright day, you will enjoy the spectacular view of the Himalayan range in the horizon. We then descend into the warm valley of Punakha. Take a walk in the paddy fields to visit Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to Drukpa Kunley – the Divine Madman. Visit the magnificent 17th Century Punakha Dzong. Take a short drive to view the Khasum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten perched neatly on the hilltop overlooking the Punakha valley.

Night halt: Wangdue Phodrang

Day 5: Drive to Trongsa and as you approach the town, enjoy the view of the magnificent and charming Trongsa Dzong that sits dramatically on a low- raising ridge. Pop into Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower and now a museum. After lunch, continue the journey to Bumthang.

Night halt: Bumthang

Day 6: The eye pleasing Bumthang valley houses some of the most revered monasteries in the country. Visit the Jakar Dzong, the seventh century built Jambay Lhakhang, the Kurjey Lhakhang and the Chakhar Lhakhang, also known as the ‘Iron Castle’. In the afternoon, continue the tour and visit another two important monasteries in the valley – the Tamshing Lhakhang and the Kenchosum Lhakhang. Evening explore the town and the local shops.

Night halt: Bumthang

Day 7: Drive to Mongar and en route visit the Membartsho (The Burning Lake) and the picturesque Ura village. Your journey takes you over one of the highest passes in the country, the Thrumshingla pass (3,800m) with a panoramic view of the mountains of the East. Stroll in the town.

Night halt: Mongar

Day 8: Drive to Trashigang through the temperate forests of the East. Explore the Trashigang Dzong that sits in the heart of the town. Stroll in the town in the evening.

Night halt: Trashigang

Day 9: A day visit to the quaint little Trashi Yangtse town, famous for its high quality wooden bowls. Along the journey, visit Gompo Kora, the most revered monastery in the east.

Night halt: Trashigang

Day 10: Drive back to Mongar with a detour to Dramitse Goemba. The famed Dramitse Nga Cham (Mask Dance), proclaimed as a masterpiece of oral intangible cultural heritage of humanity by UNESCO in 2007 originated here following a vision of a descendent of Terton Pemalingpa, the treasure revealer.

Night halt: Mongar

Day 11: Leave for Bumthang. In the afternoon visit Bumthang’s very own Swiss Farm where you can enjoy Swiss inspired local produce.

Night halt: Bumthang

Day 12: Start early to drive back to visit the charming Phobjikha valley. It will be a leisurely drive with plenty of stops along the way. The bowl-shaped glacial valley is arguably the most beautiful valley in Bhutan and the winter home to the migrating black-necked cranes.

Night halt: Gangtey/Phobjikha

Day 13: In the morning, visit the Gangtey Monastery and the surrounding village. Visit the Royal Society for Protection of Nature to know more about the cranes. You might catch sight of the rare and endangered black-necked cranes if visiting early spring or late autumn. Later in the afternoon, drive back to Wangdue Phodrang.

Night halt: Wangdue Phodrang

Day 14: After breakfast, you will start for Paro, 130 km away. Continue to Paro. En route, take an easy walk through the paddy fields to visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley – the Divine Madman.Continue to Paro.

Night halt: Paro

Day 15: After breakfast, you will start for Paro, 130 km away. Continue to Paro. En route, take an easy walk through the paddy fields to visit the famous Chimi Lhakhang, dedicated to Lama Drukpa Kuenley – the Divine Madman.Continue to Paro.

Night halt: Paro

Day 16: Today, you will trek up the mountain to view the enchanting Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) that clings dramatically on a huge rock cliff, 900m above the valley. The 2-3 hours hike (each way) takes you through pine forests with spectacular view of the valley below. In the evening, visit a traditional farmhouse.

Night halt: Paro

Day 17: Your guide will see you off at the Paro International Airport

*Now with the domestic flight operating from Bumthang and Yongphula (Trashigang) to Paro, you could choose to fly one way, which will cut down on the road travel and allow for a more leisurely travel. Please let us know if you would like a detailed itinerary with the flight option.