Incredible landscapes, snow-capped peaks, pristine forests are the backdrop for a real journey into the past. More than 70% of Bhutan is covered by forests and a law was introduced in 2008 to preserve them for years to come.
The culture of Bhutan is of Buddhist origin; religion is experienced as a philosophical practice, present in every daily activity. The development of this small state is in fact based on the so-called “National Happiness Index”. The happiness of the inhabitants is therefore pursued and sustainable economic activities are encouraged.
This itinerary is the perfect combination for a cultural and natural adventure in this ancient kingdom.
You will have the opportunity to visit some remote areas that are not known yet by tourism. Starting from Paro, we will travel through the valleys of the central and western regions, to reach the rugged territories of the eastern regions, up to the Indian border. We will cross six of the highest passes and we will travel about 900 km. The trip can also be done in reverse.
The best period is spring, for the splendid rhododendron blooms, and autumn with the changing colors of nature. Winter is cold, but the clear days allow bird-watching; from June to August is the monsoon season in which the fields are of an intense green.
A trip to Bhutan requires a good spirit of adaptation for some long transfers on roads that are not always in good condition and some excursions that require walking to reach the most remote monasteries-dzong. Local guides speak English.
Departure from Italy to Kolkata with Emirates scheduled flight from Rome or Milan. Meals and overnight stay on board.
Arrival, handling of customs formalities and transfer to the hotel. Rooms available from 2:00 pm. Free lunch. In the afternoon orientation tour of the city. Capital of British India until 1912, the name of the city was officially changed to Kolkata in January 2001. Although the new name is phonetically closer to the Bengali pronunciation, many people and organizations still call the city the name of Calcutta. Its port on the Hoogly, a few kilometers from the Gulf of Bengal, determines its fortune and today Kolkata can be defined as the main center of trade in North India. We will visit the most significant places and monuments of the Indian metropolis; the Victoria Memorial, the temple dedicated to the Goddess Kali, which recalls a multitude of faithful, the Jain temples, the home of Mother Teresa and her tomb. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Calcutta airport for the flight to Bagdogra. Upon arrival meeting with the local assistant in Bhutan and transfer by land to Phuentsholing where we will collect our Royal Enfields for the great adventure on the roads of the Dragon kingdom. Hotel accommodation and free time to visit this small border town, rich in Indian, Bhutanese and Nepalese diversity and ethnic groups with its Zangtho Pelri temple and the City Bazaar. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Begin your adventure in the saddle towards the North, entering the Thimpu Hwy through the almost 180 km of curves that will take you to Paro, one of the most important cities in the Kingdom of Bhutan! Stop along the way to the Gompa Kharbandi monastery, located inside a tropical garden from the top of which you have a complete view of the plains and tea plantations of West Bengal. Arrival in Paro in the early afternoon and hotel accommodation. In the afternoon, first visit of the city at the Paro Dzong (1646), the administrative and religious center of the country where some important scenes of the film Little Buddha were filmed. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. The highlight of the day will be the spectacular Takstang Monastery, also known as the Tiger Nest. The monastery was built in the 14th century around the cave where Guru Rinpoche, arrived on the back of a tiger, meditated for 3 months in the 8th century DC; it is certainly the most famous place in Bhutan, suspended on the rocks overlooking the valley. To facilitate the climb (about 3 hours in all) it is possible to rent a horse or a mule, with which you reach a first refuge from which you can enjoy a wonderful view. From here continue for an hour and a half on foot through a magnificent forest and visit the monastery. Light lunch at the local café. Return to Paro in the afternoon. Time available. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure on motorcycle to Thimpu, the capital of Bhutan first passing through the Haa Valley and the Chele La Pass (3988 m), located about 40 km west of Paro. Going down from the pass to the west you reach the small village of Haa for the lunch stop, which gives its name to the homonymous and remote valley, mostly unknown to tourists and travelers, discovered and inhabited primarily by the Tibetan populations, and which divides the Bhutan from the Indian region of Sikkim. Return via Chele La Pass to continue to Thimpu. Upon arrival accommodation in the hotel and time available to begin the visit at the Dzong Tashico, the summer headquarters of the Government and of the religious Authorities: an imposing building in the structure, it also has valuable decorations to embellish it. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning dedicated to the exploration of the Thimpu valley discovering the many aspects of Bhutanese culture including the large Buddha statue, the Kuensel Phodrang. You will continue to the National Memorial Chorten in the city center, built in honor of the Third King of Bhutan Jigme Dorji Wangchuck: many citizens come to pray and pay homage in an incessant procession.
Departure for Punakha, km 71, about 3 hours of travel. The route winds through the cultivated fields of Yusipang before climbing up to the Dochu-Là pass, located at 3140 meters from where (weather permitting) you can enjoy a beautiful view of the eastern Himalayas. Photographic stop before resuming the journey, crossing rhododendron and magnolias forests. Possibility to make other stops in the small villages of the valley. Once in Lobesa you will continue on foot to Chime Lakhang, a 15th century monastery dedicated to the Holy Drukpa Kuenley, better known as Divine Madman. Arrival in Punakha for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit on motorcycles Punakha Dzong, among the most impressive and important dzong in the country: idyllically located between two rivers, the Pho Chu (male entity) and the Mo Chu (female entity), was built in 1637 and until 1955 is was the seat of the National Government. This Dzong was also called Druk Pungthank Deochen Phodrang, or the Palace of Great Happiness. Return back to the hotel. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. You continue on motorcycles to Wangdue where you will visit the Wangdiphodrang Dzong whose first construction dates back to 1638. On 24th June 2012, most of the Dzong was destroyed in a fire and reconstruction work is still ongoing. You will continue the journey and after about an hour you will reach the Pele-la Pass (3350 m) which together with the Lawala pass, is the gateway to Phobjikha, a glacial valley where the Gantey Gompa stands majestically. This valley is particularly known as the Gru Nigricolis come here in winter; between November and March there is the opportunity to observe flocks of 200-300 specimens which come from Tibet, crossing the skies. Hotel accommodation. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. The road today leads us through Trongsa; you arrive up to the Phele pass (3350 m) nestled in the Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park and we begin the descent into the valley populated by yaks. Stop for lunch in a small local hotel. On the way to our destination today you can admire Chorten Chendebji whose structure is the same as the famous Swayambunath stupa in Kathmandu. In Trongsa you will have the opportunity to visit the Dzong of Trongsa, perhaps the most imposing building in the whole of Bhutan. This Dzong in particular has always played an important role in the political history of the country. You then visit the Ta Dzong, now a museum where you will have the opportunity to understand that "mixture" of tradition and modernity, peculiar to these places, admiring the numerous finds that include jewelry, ancient books, votive objects, precious fabrics. You will continue to the Bumthang valley, crossing the Yotung pass (3597 m). The region called Bumthang includes four valleys - Choekhor (or Jakar) Tang, Ura, Chhumey and Bumthang - where the most important and sacred monasteries of the country are erected. Stop in the village of Zuney, in the Chhumey valley, to visit a textile manufacturing factory. At the end transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day in motion dedicated to the discovery of the valley; the Guru Rimpoche and his descendants have made this territory the building site of over 40 temples. Visit of the Tamshing Monastery (Thamghing Lundrup Choeling), dedicated to one of the most revered saints of the local Buddhist pantheon, Pema Lingpa, the one who started the construction of the monastery in 1501. The heart of the monastery is the statue of Guru Rimpoche. At the end cross the Chamkar river to visit Kurjey Castle; legend has it that inside the temple there is the imprint of the body of Guru Rimpoche who meditated here for a long time. The morning continues with the visits to the Zangdopleri Monastery and Jambay Lhakang Castle built in the 7th century by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gompo. Lunch at a local farm to taste typical products of the valley. Afternoon dedicated to the visit of the Jakar Dzong, the administrative and monastic center of the region. Before returning to the hotel, you will walk along the main street of the village of Jakar. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. In the early morning departure for the harsh eastern lands until reaching Mongar (Km. 193 - about 7 hours of travel). After crossing the village of Ura you will climb up to the Thrumshingla pass (4000 meters); just before reaching the top you will stop to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in the Thrumsingla National Park where you will admire all the variety of rhododendrons that grow in Bhutan, considered the "living testimony of how it is possible to live in harmony with nature and how it can contribute to its preservation". The road then descends towards Sengor, dotted with waterfalls up to 659m, the altitude where the Kurchi River flows, surrounded by pine forests and cultivated fields. Arrival in Mongar, famous for the manufacture of the brocade fabrics with which the wonderful female "kushuthara" dresses are made. Accommodation in the rooms. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today's journey covers approximately 91 km (about 3 hours) and crosses the Kori-La pass (2450 m); the first part of the journey winds through a dense forest, then we descend to fields planted with banana trees to reach the territories of the Zigzag Yedi, the local population that has settled here relatively recently. Continue to the fork of the Gamri river where the Dametsi rises founded by Chroten Zangmo, the most sacred in the eastern region of Bhutan. Visit of the monastery and meeting with the monks. Picnic lunch. Continuation of the journey to Tashigang. Overnight stay at Hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. The last day on our Royal Enfields will be spended in the land of the Dragon Kingdom up to Samdrupjongkhar (180 km / about 8 hours of travel). The road climbs up to Kanglung where the only University of Bhutan is located; from here you will cross the Yongpula Pass in about an hour to reach Kaling and visit the textile center, founded by the Association of Women of Bhutan, for the conservation and development of the tradition of hand weaving. After the pass, the road descends almost abruptly and from a scenario of mountain forests you pass to a real tropical jungle with lush vegetation. Stop for picnic lunch on the way. In the late afternoon you reach our destination Samdrupjongkhar, considered the gateway to Bhutan from India. Hotel accommodation. Dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Guwahati airport (in India) and flight to Calcutta. Arrival in Calcutta and subsequent transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay.
Breakfast at the hotel. In due time transfer to the airport for the flight to Rome or Milan operated by Emirates. Arrival in Italy in the evening.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|10 March 2018||€ 5,230||€ 570|
Complete table of individual participation fees, starting from:
|Price per person||In double room|
|Quote Motorcycle rider||€ 5,230.00|
|Suppl. single||€ 570.00|
|Airport taxes subject to change||€ 420.00|
|Visa entry to India||€ 90.00|
|Subscription fee||€ 65.00|
PROPOSED HOTELS (or similar)
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Optional supplementary cancellation insurance
|From price||At a price||Amount|
|€ 0.00||€ 1,000.00||€ 30.00|
|€ 1,000.00||€ 2,000.00||€ 45.00|
|€ 2,000.00||€ 3,000.00||€ 70.00|
|€ 3,000.00||€ 4,000.00||€ 95.00|
|€ 4,000.00||€ 5,000.00||€ 115.00|
|€ 5,000.00||€ 6,000.00||€ 140.00|
|€ 6,000.00||€ 8,000.00||€ 185.00|
|€ 8,000.00||€ 10,000.00||€ 225.00|
|€ 10,000.00||€ 12,000.00||€ 265.00|
|€ 12,000.00||€ 14,000.00||€ 305.00|
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