The Bhutanese Epic 2019 $7,865/£6,170*
Follow the winding road through staggeringly beautiful Himalayan scenery, across the length of Bhutan, from the Tigers Nest monastery in the West to distant Trashigang Dzong in the East. Here join monks and pilgrims for the annual festival within the walls of the monastery. The route climbs over misty mountain passes and plunges into tropical valleys, its twists and turns never ceasing to surprise. Visits to magestic dzongs, village homes, craft workshops and archery grounds allow you to get up close and fully immersed into Bhutan's rich culture.
Chillies drying on rooftops, water turning prayer wheels, women weaving beside their elaborate farmhouses - Paro is a microcosm of the journey ahead. Stopping off at the present and then the past capital, Punakha, the route weaves over passes and up to the picturesque village of Gangtey overlooking Phobjikha valley. Hot stone baths, Swiss cheese and beautifully ploughed fields welcome one to the fertile valley of Bumthang. Wander the cobbled paths of the compact village of Ura before heading along the seldom travelled roads that cling to the mountains as one travels east. Arrive in Mongar as for their annual Tsechu. Monkeys, masked clowns and tropical plants await you in the remote town of Trashigang. There are abundant walking opportunities including through the fields to the fertility temple and up through lichen covered conifers to the iconic Tigers Nest monastery perched high above Paro valley.