castles-in-the-cloud

Castles in the Air is our bestselling cultural tour.

“ Castles in the Air, Experiences and Journeys in Unknown Bhutan, by John Claude White, C.I.E., Late Political Officer of Sikkim, Bhutan and of such part of Tibet as fell within the sphere of British influence ” is the name of an article that appeared in The National Geographic Magazine, in 1914.

John Claude White wrote “on nearing the fort, a bevy of girls met us below the almost perpendicular approach and sang us into the fort (Trongsa Dzong).”

In this tour we will try to trace his journey, from his point of entry in Paro to Bumthang, the then political center of the first king of Bhutan.

ITINERARY

Day 01 | Arrival in Paro – Thimphu (1.2 Hr)
Day 02 | Thimphu Sightseeing
Day 03 | Thimphu – Punakha (2.5 Hrs)
Day 04 | Punakha – Trongsa (4.5 Hrs)
Day 05 | Trongsa – Jakar (3 Hrs)
Day 06 | Jakar Sightseeing
Day 07 | Jakar Sightseeing
Day 08 | Jakar – Phobjikha (6.5 Hrs)
Day 09 | Phobjikha – Paro (5.5 Hrs)
Day 10 | Paro Sightseeing
Day 11 | Departure

* Itinerary can be customized as per your requirement/duration
* Itinerary is subject to flight and hotel availability

BOOK THE ITINERARY

maps

Off Season

High Season

3 pax & Above 1 pax 2 pax 3 pax & Above
USD $ 2080 USD $ 2980 USD $ 2880 USD $ 2580

Day 01 | Arrival in Paro – Thimphu (1 Hr)

Flight to Paro has spectacular views of the Everest, Kanchen Junga and other Himalayan peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drakey in Bhutan are awesome. On arrival in Paro our guide will receive you and transfer to Thimphu by car/bus. One can wander on your own to stroll Thimphu streets or relax in your hotel.
Overnight: Thimphu | Altitude: 2300m

Day 02 | Thimphu Sightseeing

Morning visit the weekend market (Thursday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday), Handmade paper Mill, School of Arts and crafts where students learn 13 different arts used predominantly in Bhutan, Lunch in town. Drive pass by Memorial Chorten (temple) built in memory of the late 3rd King. Visit Changangkha Lhakhang, the oldest temple in the valley, Enclosure where national animal, Takin are kept and Zilukha Nunnery.
Overnight: Thimphu

Day 03 | Thimphu – Punakha (2 ½ Hrs)

Drive through Dochula pass, the second highest road pass in your trip at 3010m. When the weather permits one can enjoy a spectacular view of the highest mountains of Bhutan at a sight that stretches almost 180 degrees. After a short tea break continue to sub tropical Punakha. Afternoon visit the Souvenir Making Center and the Punakha Dzong (fortress) which houses the most elaborated temple in the country.
Overnight: Punakha | Altitude: 1350m

Day 04 | Punakha – Trongsa (4 ½ Hrs)

Check out of the hotel and visit Chimi Lhakhang on foot, the temple of fertility associated with religious art of phallus. En route, stop in Wangdi. Stroll in Wangdi town and view the Wangdi Dzong (Fortress) which happens to be the only fortress with the original roof. Continue to Trongsa over Pelela Pass at 3300m which forms the part of Black Mountain Range that divides the country into east and west. Evening relax at your hotel.
Overnight: Trongsa | Altitude: 2200m

Day 05 | Trongsa – Jakar (3 Hrs)

Morning visit Trongsa town and visit the majestic Trongsa Dzong (Fortress), the home of the royals and the watch tower which houses a museum now. Drive pass by the second highest road pass in your trip at 3425m (Yotong La). En route stop over the weaving place, beside the road where “Yatha” (wool weaving) is done which the Valley of Bumthang is famous for, rest of the time relax at your hotel.
Overnight: Jakar | Altitude: 2650m

Day 06 | Jakar Sightseeing

Make an excursion drive to the village of Ura. En-route visit the burning lake. The drive will pass over the Shertang La pass at 3573m. On clear weather Bhutan’s highest mountain Gangkar Puensum (7540m) can be seen dominating the northern valley. Visit the Ura village and return.
Overnight: Jakar

Day 07 | Jakar Sightseeing

Visit Jampay Lakhang, the one of the first 2 Buddhist temples built in the country. This is the home of the naked dance that is still performing annually. Visit Kurjey Temple, the site where royals are cremated, one can either walk cross the suspension bridge and visit the village of Parar and Tamshing or drive there. End your day with a walk passing by the Swiss farm. Evening stroll in Jakar town and try some local pancake and noodles.
Overnight: Jakar

Day 08 | Jakar – Phobjikha (6 ½ Hrs)

Retrace and enjoy the drive back to the valley of Black-necked crane. Black-necked crane is one of the rare specials of the birds in the world, which migrates from Tibetan plateau to Bhutan in winters. On arrival at Gangtey visit Gangtey Gompa, the largest and the only monastery of the Nyingmapa sect in western Bhutan. Evening relax in your hotel.
Overnight: Phobjikha | Altitude: 2900m

Day 09 | Phobjikha – Paro (5 ½ Hrs)

Check out from the hotel, take an easy valley hike to the Gompa which take about 2 hrs and called Phobjikha Natural Trail, further drive back to Paro. If time permits, in Paro visit the National Museum, the first of its kind which has a collection from natural history to religious paintings. Visit 17 century Paro Dzong (Fortress) on foot and continue walking through the oldest wooden bridge still in use. Evening stroll old Paro town and peep into some local handicrafts stores. One can also venture to try local restaurant for dinner
Overnight: Paro | Altitude: 2200m

Day 10 | Paro Sightseeing

Morning hike to Tiger’s Nest, the most revered temple in the country that literally hangs on a granite cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. Taktsang or the tiger’s nest temple is the most revered temple to the Buddhist. This magical temple clings to a vertical granite cliff 800m above the valley. Legend has it that in the 8th century, Guru Rimpochey, a tantric master flew here on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave around which the temple is built. Afternoon on your way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, one from the 2 oldest Buddhist temples in the country, historic Drukgyal Dzong (Fortress) and Evening at leisure
Overnight: Paro

Day 11 | Departure

Transfer to airport for your departure flight. Our tour staff will bid you farewell at the airport.

PARO

Accentuating the natural beauty are the many elegant, traditional-style houses that dot the valley and surrounding hills. Paro town has been growing rapidly in recent years and there are plenty of restaurants, bakeries and cafes to choose from. One of the distinctive features of Paro town is that …
MORE »


THIMPHU

Thimphu is the most modern city in Bhutan with an abundance of restaurants, internet cafes, nightclubs and shopping centers, however it still retains its’ cultural identity and values amidst the signs of modernization.Thimphu is one of the few towns in Bhutan that have been equipped with ATM…
MORE »


PUNAKHA

On October 13, 2011, the wedding of the King of Bhutan, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, and his fiancé, Jetsun Pema, was held at the Punakha Dzong. Punakha valley has a pleasant climate with warm winters and hot summers. It is located at an average elevation of 1200 meters above sea level. Owin…
MORE »


WANGDUE PHODRANG

Festivals One of the most notable sites in the district is Phobjikha Valley. This valley is the habitat of rare and endangered Black Necked Cranes that roost there during their annual migrations. The residents of the valley have garnered much acclaim for their conservation efforts to preserve th…
MORE »


BUMTHANG

Bumthang Dzongkhag consists of four main valleys Ura, Chumey, Tang and Choekhor. Choekhor is the largest of the four mountain valleys and is widely considered as ‘Bumthang Valley’. The valleys are broad and gentle carved by the ancient glaciers. The wide and scenic valleys draws a…
MORE »


TRONGSA

 

 

 

 

 

This town is situated on a steep ridge and offers spectacular views of the deep valleys surrounding it. The various hotels, guesthouses and restaurants all offer stunning views from their balconies. Trongsa Dzong is easily visible from anywhere in the town and is always an impressive sight as it i…
MORE »