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Spiritual Journey

Bhutan

A Luxury Bhutan Spiritual Retreat Experience

Introduction

The last remaining Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom in the world, Bhutan is infused with a deep-rooted spirituality. Ancient monasteries cling to mountaintops, museums and cultural sites are filled with ancient treasures, and the nation’s rich history brims with tales of saints and sages. A tailor-made expedition into the Land of the Thunder Dragon allows you to immerse yourself in the spirituality, heritage and pristine landscape of this kingdom in the clouds, with options for monastery visits, purification ceremonies, archery matches and blessings by Buddhist monks. Absolute luxury is assured with travel via private jet and chauffeured SUV, and accommodation provided by the most luxurious lodges across the Kingdom.

Highlights

  • Visit magnificent Punakha Dzong, the former capital of Bhutan
  • Discover the picturesque hidden valley of Gangtey
  • Tshewang Blessing by monks
  • Lighting of 108 butter lamps
  • Lecture on Gross National Happiness
  • Immersion into Bhutanese Buddhism and spirituality
  • Opportunity to see majestic black-necked cranes in the wilderness (October – March)
  • Hike to Tiger’s Nest, a 7th century monastery perched high on the cliffs
  • Private return jet flights to Bhutan, accompanied by a personal host and concierge
  • Accommodation in exclusive 5-star luxurious lodges spread across the kingdom

Best For

Immersion into the spirituality, culture and stunning landscape of the magical kingdom of Bhutan, known as The Land of The Thunder Dragon.

When to Visit

Bhutan is magnificent at any time of the year with each season offering its own beauty, magic, and charm. Spring and summer (March – August) bloom with the colors of mountain flora and emerald green rice terraces. Temperatures range between 20-30ºC (68-86 ºF), with sunny days and the potential for light rain later in the day and overnight. Autumn and winter months (September – February) reveal brilliant skies by day and stunning starscapes by night punctuated by the crispest, cleanest mountain air. Temperatures range between 7-20ºC (45-68 ºF) by day, dropping to around freezing at night in the winter months, so guests can explore the landscape at leisure before returning to roaring fires, hot cider and spiced milk tea.

8 days / 7 nights itinerary

  • Day 1

    OPTION 1: PARO ARRIVAL – THIMPHU TOUR

    Enjoy a dramatic arrival in Bhutan as your Flagship private jet descends into picturesque Paro Valley surrounded by towering mountain peaks. Your Flagship host will escort you through immigration and introduce your personal guide who will lead your journey across the Kingdom

  • Day 2

    THRISEL CEREMONY – THIMPHU – GANGTEY

    Start the day with a Thrisel ceremony – a cleansing ritual conducted by a monk using holy water to cleanse the mind, spirit and soul. The ceremony will include a blessing to ensure good weather and a safe journey across the kingdom, as you set out for a dramatic scenic drive over the 3,050-metre high mountain pass of Dochula and on to Gangtey.

  • Day 3

    OPTION 1: GANGTEY VALLEY EXPLORATION – FUMIGATION CEREMONY

    Start the day with a fumigation ceremony at the Lodge. This morning ritual occurs at households throughout the Kingdom, and involves burning special herbs in a fumigation stupa to appease the spirits and be blessed with good luck. Following breakfast, visit the Black-necked crane Visitors Centre.

    Option two: Rhododendron Forest Hike
    Walk upwards through an ancient forest filled with thousand-year-old rhododendron trees and on to a pass with magnificent views of the valley and the Gangtey Goemba Monastery. A gourmet picnic lunch allows you to soak up the breathtaking scenery before continuing down the sloping path towards idyllic Kumbu village.

  • Day 4

    GANGTEY – PUNAKHA – ARCHERY MATCH

    Continue through the highly forested Punakha Valley to your luxurious accommodation at Punakha. Spend the afternoon at leisure, or visit Punakha Dzong, the second oldest, second largest dzong in the country. Late in the afternoon, try your hands at an archery match. Archery is the national sport of Bhutan and an important expression of rich culture and heritage.

  • Day 5

    PUNAKHA VALLEY – TSHEWANG BLESSING

    Visit a local temple to participate in a Tshewang Blessing to promote long life and prosperity. Five to eight monks will recite prayers and mantras to Tshepamey (God of long life) with final blessings from a symbolic Dorje (Thunderbolt) and sacred scriptures touched to the head.

  • Day 6

    PUNAKHA – PARO – GROSS NATIONAL HAPPINESS LECTURE

    Passing back through the Punakha Valley, cross the Dochula Pass, then follow the dramatic Wang Chu River and Paro Chu River Valleys, before reaching the quaint town of Paro and your lodgings. Before dinner, learn all about Bhutan’s fascinating development policy of Gross National Happiness, first propagated by the Fourth King of Bhutan.

  • Day 7

    TIGER’S NEST HIKE – LIGHTING 108 BUTTER LAMPS

    Rise early for a memorable hike to visit one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the 7 th century Taktshang Goemba, commonly referred to as “Tiger’s Nest.” The four-hour return hike offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched dramatically on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor. Your final evening will be celebrated with a grand Bhutanese banquet accompanied by local dancers and performers showcasing traditional customs.

  • Day 8

    DEPARTURE DAY

    Breakfast at the resort, before departing for Paro International Airport where your private jet awaits. On arrival at your connecting airport your concierge and host will arrange day-use at the airport hotel, if required and assist you with the flight check-in and immigration process to ensure the smoothest of onward journeys.

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