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Bhutan: The Dragon Kingdom

Group Tour | General Interest 12 Days & 9 Nights Lead-in price: £3395

The remote Kingdom of Bhutan, with its fascinating cultural heritage and beautiful mountain scenery, was off limits to tourists until 1974. Today, the country continues to preserve its age-old traditions, as revealed in this tour, which travels through western Bhutan visiting the forts, monasteries and markets of the ‘Dragon Kingdom’.

The Cox & Kings signature experiences

  • Witness Bhutan’s colourful festivals
  • Bhutanese cooking class
  • Explore Kathmandu’s medieval centre
  • Meet with local monks
  • Dinner with a local family
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Discovery Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Kathmandu via Istanbul

Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Kathmandu, via Istanbul, with Turkish Airlines. (N)

Day 2: Kathmandu

Arrive in Kathmandu in the early afternoon and transfer to the Hotel Himalaya (or similar) for 2 nights. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens and offers 180-degree panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan range. (N)

Day 3: Kathmandu

Take a full morning tour of Kathmandu, a characterful and historic city renowned for its master craftsmen and Newari architecture. Explore the heart of the old town, Durbar Square, a cluster of ancient temples, palaces, courtyards and streets that date back to the 12th and 18th centuries. In the afternoon, discover Kathmandu’s cultural diversity with visits to Pashupatinath Stupa, one of the holiest Hindu stupas in Nepal and Boudhnath, one of the largest Buddhist centres for Nepal’s considerable Tibetan population. (B)

Day 4: Fly to Paro - Thimphu

Enjoy spectacular views of the beautiful Paro Valley as you land in Bhutan on the morning flight from Kathmandu. Drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s enigmatic capital city, which maintains a strong medieval feel in its architectural style. This afternoon take a short orientation tour to familiarise yourself with the city. Your tour includes a visit to the imposing Tashichho Dzong. Stay 2 nights at the Hotel Kisa (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 5: Thimphu

This morning explore Thimphu in greater depth with visits to the National Memorial Chorten, Simply Bhutan, Buddha Point and the Textile Museum. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure before meeting a local family for an authentic Bhutanese dinner. (B, L, D)

Day 6: Punakha

Your scenic drive to Punakha today passes through mountain forests and the stunning Dochula Pass, which offers 360 degree sweeping views of the Himalayas and of the verdant valley’s below. This afternoon get a first-hand experience of typical village life in Bhutan with a visit to a traditional farmhouse. In Punakha, stay 2 nights at the Meri Puensum (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 7: Punakha

This morning explore Punakha, a charming town set against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains and pine-clad hills. Perhaps the highlight of the tour will be a visit to the Punakha Dzong, a 17th-century fortress and arguably the most beautiful dzong in the country. This afternoon visit the Nalanda Buddhist Institute to meet with the Buddhist monks. (B, L, D)

Day 8: Paro

Return to Paro and stay 2 nights at the Village Lodge (or similar). Afternoon visit to Ta Dzong, now the national museum, for further insight into Bhutanese culture. Later, get to grips with Bhutanese cuisine with an interactive cooking class. Bhutanese cuisine is largely inspired by Chinese, Indian and Tibetan influences and dishes are usually lavishly spiced with chillies. (B, L, D)

Day 9: Paro

Today visit one of the Himalaya’s most incredible sites, the Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest), a monastery miraculously perched on a rocky ledge. The return walk takes about 5 hours but the effort is well rewarded. This afternoon visit the Rinpung Dzong before trying your hand at Bhutan’s national sport – archery. (B, L, D)

Day 10: Fly to Kathmandu

Morning flight to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at the Hotel Himalaya (or similar). Farewell dinner at Brick Cafe. (B, D)

Day 11: Fly to London via Istanbul

Day at lesiure with late check-out of hotel. This evening fly from Kathmandu to London, via Istanbul, with Turkish Airlines. (B)

Day 12: Arrive London

Early morning arrival in London. (N)

Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Important information:

Tour variations Due to changes to seasonal schedules and opening times, there are minor itinerary variations for certain festival departure dates. Please check with your Cox & Kings travel consultant for details.

Discovery tour Hotel standards in Bhutan range from first class in Paro (available at a supplement on private travel only) to reasonably comfortable in western Bhutan. The tour involves some long drives.

Private & tailor-made travel This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits you, for which guideline prices are shown. Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or enquire online.

Discovery group tour accommodation

  • Hotel Himalaya
    Hotel Himalaya

    The Hotel Himalaya is a three-star tourist hotel. It is located along the northern bank of Lhasa River, only ten minutes walk from the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Street - the business commercial centre in Lhasa and was opened in 1999. The hotel's 133 guest rooms are equipped with cable satellite television, direct dial telephone, writing desk, air-conditioning and bathroom. Guest services include a beauty salon, laundry and valet, currency exchange, in-room safe, shopping arcade, restaurants, coffee shop and a lounge.

  • Hotel Kisa
    Hotel Kisa

    Conveniently located with easy access to interesting sights, shops and markets, Hotel Kisa blends traditional Bhutanese architecture with contemporary style. All 35 rooms and suites are spacious, tastefully furnished, feature wooden floors and marble bathrooms. Facilities include a multi-cuisine restaurant and a lounge bar.

  • Hotel Zangtho Pelri
    Hotel Zangtho Pelri

    Accommodation in Bhutan is simple and clean, but cannot be compared to the standard of hotels in Europe. The Hotel Zangtho Pelri is situated high on a hillside approximately 5 km outside Punakha. There are 45 en suite rooms and the restaurant serves Bhutanese, Chinese and Indian cuisine.

  • The Village Lodge, Paro
    The Village Lodge, Paro

    Inspired by the typical lifestyle and rich Bhutanese culture, The Village Lodge presents true Bhutanese essence. Located only a few minutes' drive from Paro airport and set on the fertile farmland in the middle of vibrant Paro valley and encircled by richly forested hills, the lodge offers traditional experience and good accommodation in a peaceful Himalayan environment. The lodge has 9 suite rooms elegantly decorated in Bhutanese architecture, equipped with an underground heating system and comfortable bathrooms. The restaurant serves local, continental and Asian delicacies. NUTS Bar offers the selection of international and Bhutanese beverages. Guests are welcome to venture into the kitchen to learn the art of Bhutanese cooking or simply watch the chef prepare Chili Cheese Ema datshi, the fiery Bhutanese delicacy.

Discovery group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Special Offer(£) Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
17 Feb 2022 - 28 Feb 2022 £2,995 £0 £395 Reserve
19 Mar 2022 - 30 Mar 2022 £3,195 £0 £395 Reserve
13 Sep 2022 - 24 Sep 2022 £3,195 £0 £395 Reserve
2 Nov 2022 - 13 Nov 2022 £2,995 £0 £395 Yes Reserve

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures This departure is guaranteed to run.

Terms & Conditions: Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the FCDO or entry restrictions relating to Covid preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.


Destinations on this tour

  • Kathmandu

    The capital of the ancient mountain kingdom of Nepal, Kathmandu has the air of a medieva...

    Read more >
  • Thimphu

    Thimphu is the Bhutanese capital, and the centre of government, religion and commerce....

    Read more >
  • Punakha

    Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955 and is still the winter seat of the J...

    Read more >
  • Paro

    The beautiful Paro valley encompasses a rich culture, scenic beauty and hundreds of myth...

    Read more >
  • Kathmandu

    The capital of the ancient mountain kingdom of Nepal, Kathmandu has the air of a medieva...

    Read more >
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