Luxtripper Travel Editor
I cannot wait to pack my bags and jet off straight to Bhutan!
Welcome to Bhutan. With only one international airport in the whole of the country, you'll begin your cultural journey in Paro, a beautiful valley town surrounded by striking mountains and crystalline rivers. Dotted with traditional-style Bhutanese houses, Paro is the perfect place to begin your adventure and get an authentic flavour of Bhutan.
Paro is home to Paro Taktsang, known most famously as 'The Tiger's Nest', a monastery perched tentatively on a cliff edge and one of the country's most religious sites. The most famous icon of Bhutan, you can hike up the mountains to The Tiger's Nest, passing brightly-coloured prayer flags floating in the breeze, cascading waterfalls and religious caves.
To experience true natural beauty in Bhutan, you should visit Chelela Pass, the highest motorable point at 3,810 meters above sea level in Bhutan, driving through blue pine and rhododendron forests. Once there, you can walk to a traditional nunnery nestled in the mountainside before enjoying a picnic among the pine trees whilst feasting your eyes on the unrivalled Himalayan scenery.
Bhutan is a destination that will soothe your soul and ease your mind, so why not experience ultimate tranquility in your accommodation whilst in Paro? COMO Uma Paro is a luxurious resort nestled in the lush hills on the outskirts of Paro, spanning 38 acres and with unrivalled views looking across Paro Valley. Whilst staying in a traditional villa overlooking the forest at the resort, you'll be able to try authentic Bhutanese dishes, feel rejuvenated in one of the Bhutanese hot-stone bathhouses and experience exclusive hiking adventures in the Himalayas.
The capital of Bhutan, Thimphu is a city of cultural tradition and modernity, the home of the Bhutanese royal family and a centre of religion. With nightclubs, restaurants and traditional dzongs, Thimphu offers a modern side to Bhutan whilst also hosting many of the country's prominent religious festivals.
Where to begin? Overlooking Thimphu is Buddha Dordenma, a 51.1 meter golden statue of Shakyamuni Buddha - one of the largest in Asia! Offering unobstructed views across Thimphu, this is the place to take in the magnificent scenery of the Thimphu Valley whilst appreciating the significance of Buddha in Bhutanese culture.
Whilst in Thimphu, you can have the rare opportunity to visit Gagyel Lhundrup Weaving Centre, a privately-owned weaving center that regularly produces ceremonial textiles for the Bhutanese royal family. A key trade within Bhutan, you can marvel at the intricacy of the woven patterns and colour combinations, before purchasing your own hand-woven textiles at Thimphu's Handicraft's Emporium on your Bhutan holiday!
Where to stay in Thimphu? The Taj Tashi Bhutan is a 5 star luxury hotel, offering guests true opulence fused with Bhutanese tradition. Located in the heart of Thimphu, the hotel is within easy reach of the city's top attractions, such as the Tashichho Dzong or the weekend market, and provides guests with tantalising homemade Bhutanese dishes. In your mountain-facing room adorned with a marble bathroom, you can wake up to crisp mountain air before enjoying holistic rituals at the hotel's wellness-focused Jiva Spa.
A historical centre cradled by sweeping mountains, Punakha was the capital of Bhutan between 1637 to 1907 and is home to the second oldest and second largest dzong in the country. With two rivers running through the valley, Punakha is like something out of a fairytale, a place of pure beauty and serenity.
Punakha is most famed for its Dzong, which impressively played host to the wedding of the King of Bhutan in 2011. In a spectacular location at the confluence of Punakha's two major rivers, Punakha Dzong is both a religious and administrative centre, open to visitors during the Punakha Festival in the early spring and summer months.
To explore the magnificent scenery surrounding Punakha on your Bhutan holiday, you can visit the quaint village of Talo set on a ridge above the Punakha Valley. Passing verdant rice fields and wooded hills on a drive into the mountains, you'll soon be 2,800 metres above sea level with views completely out of this world! Whilst in Talo, you can visit Talo Monastery and Nalanda University, a traditional Buddhist monastic school, to discover Bhutan's prominent religious and spiritual side.
It doesn't get much better than this. Amankora Punakha is a tranquil sanctuary along the crystalline Mo Chhu River, an exclusive retreat with marvellous views across the mountains. With buildings reflecting the traditional Bhutanese style, this luxury lodge blends authentic design with modern aesthetics, its lodges featuring both warming wood burning stoves and stylish window seats. Staying at the Amankora Punakha, you can taste locally-grown Bhutanese produce in the restaurant, unwind with Himalayan spa therapies in the spa and swim in extraordinary mountainous surroundings at the pool!
The best time to visit Bhutan is in spring between the months of March and May, when the verdant valleys are alive with an abundance of beautiful flowers and the trees are in bloom. However, if you're looking for dazzlingly clear skies, you must visit between October to December; although the weather will be noticeably chillier, the clear skies make this perfect for trekking in the mountains.
If you think that Bhutan should be your next adventure, contact one of our Luxury Travel Specialists today to organise your next luxury holiday...