Four of Bhutan’s most spectacular and heritage-infused valleys await: Thimphu, Gangtey, Punakha and Paro. On this circular 9-night Bhutan itinerary including four Amankora Lodges, one in each valley, a private guide offers insight into the local history, culture and nature. All Amankora expeditions can be adjusted to suit preferences, both before arrival and on the ground
Explore forested mountains dotted with monasteries and temples en route to Thimphu. A gentle walk through the city with afternoon visits to museums and chortens offers a window into the ancient culture, before a night at Amankora Thimphu.
Thimphu Valley - Home to the seat of Bhutan's royal government and a monastic astrology academy. An invigorating walk crosses one of the country’s oldest cantilever bridges to Cheri Goemba, where the kingdom of Bhutan’s first community of monks was based.
Ascend 3,000-metre mountain passes with Himalayan views before reaching Amankora Gangtey in the Phobjikha Valley. Stroll through Gangtey Village, lost in time, and visit the striking Gangtey Goemba at the head of the valley before taking a Tsa-Tsa making class where you will be creating miniature terra cotta stupas.
Glimpse the majestic, endangered black-necked crane in their breeding grounds in season. The valley’s varied terrain can be explored on foot or mountain bike, and a personal blessing may be arranged when the Gangtey Tulku is in residence. Experience the Bhutanese national sport of archery when you make your way back to the lodge.
A brief journey to the Punakha Valley meanders along the river Dang, taking in bamboo and oak forests. Visit Talo Village, home to the temple of the Queen Mother’s protective deity, and take an afternoon hike to an ancient monastery near Amankora Punakha.
Hike alongside the river Mo, through tiered riced paddies to a Chorten built by the Queen Mother. Picnic on the banks of the River Puna, near the winter homes of the royal family, before visiting the majestic Punakha dzong and the 15th-century Chimi fertility temple.
Wind through the Wang and Paro valleys to Amankora Paro, surrounded by pines. Explore nearby ruins as well as some of the valley’s oldest and holiest religious monuments, followed by an evening prayer flag printing demonstration, lecture or an astrology reading session.
Discover artefacts dating back to 4000 BCE at the National Museum Visits to Kyichu and Dumtse temples offer cultural discovery, while a gentle walk past Drukgyal Dzong leads along the River Paro through forests and tiered fields.
Hike to Tiger's Nest - one of Bhutan's most revered ancient sites. Experience astonishing views from the monastery, perched on a cliff 900 metres above the valley floor. Depart from Paro airport the next morning.