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India & Bhutan - a trip that you will surely remember for a long time. Image: Marko Roth Productions.
Here in Darjeeling you will experience India at its best.
Of course, a ride on the Toy Train to the most famous monastery of Darjeeling is not to be missed.
Don't forget to pack your camera: There is a lot to see in India as well as in Bhutan.
In Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, you will spend two eventful days.
In Thimphu, you will go exploring. Visit the National Memorial Chorten, which attracts devotees from all over Bhutan. Image: Marko Roth Productions.
108 chortens against a gorgeous backdrop of the Himalayas await you at the Dochula Pass.
The fertile Punakha Valley will completely captivate you. Image: Marko Roth Productions.
Marvel at Punakha Dzong, one of the best preserved monastic fortresses in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Image: Marko Roth Productions.
What would a trip to Bhutan be without a climb to the world-famous Tiger's Nest? Image: Marko Roth Productions.
Colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind - let this very special ambience take effect on you! Image: Marko Roth Productions.
At an altitude of 3,120 m, the world-famous Tiger's Nest is enthroned on the cliffs. Image: Marko Roth Productions.
The modern boutique hotel, The Sonnet, convinces with 64 stylish rooms.
In Darjeeling, stay at The Elgin Hotel, which was once the summer residence of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar.
The tastefully decorated rooms are equipped with all luxurious amenities.
The Elgin Silver Oaks in Kalimpong is surrounded by a beautiful garden and promises magnificent views of the Himalayas.
After an eventful day, you can simply unwind in your comfortable room.
Rooms at The Elgin Nor-Khills are designed to provide an inviting stay.
At Hotel Osel, you will be spoiled with a fascinating view of the surroundings.
Magical Bhutan & fascinating Sikkim in Northeast India
Hike to the world-famous Tiger's Nest
Ride on the narrow gauge railroad "Toy Train" in Darjeeling
Dinner with a Bhutanese family
Including domestic flight, English-speaking guide & full board in Bhutan
On this India-Bhutan combo, you will travel from Calcutta to Darjeeling, to Sikkim, and reach the hidden kingdom of Bhutan via Phuentsholing. Passing picturesque tea plantations, majestic Himalayan giants and fertile valleys, the focus is always on Bhutanese culture. Look forward to beautiful monastery fortresses in Thimphu, Punakha and Paro - the world-famous Tiger's Nest, perched high on a cliff, is included in the itinerary, of course..
We recommend a trip to Sikkim and Bhutan from March to May and between October and November. Before and after monsoon season, the landscape is breahtaking. In spring, nature is in bloom, and during fall the air is clear. You can also expect magnificent views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks.
Welcome to India. You will arrive at Kolkata International Airport and will be greeted by a representative of our partner agency immediately after landing and transferred to your first accommodation, the modern The Sonnet.
This charming boutique hotel is located in the heart of the city and is ideally situated for exploring all the city has to offer. Although India's fourth largest city is somewhat hectic, the city does have its charms. Known as the cultural center of India, here you will experience one of the most fascinating cities in the world.
But first, arrive at your hotel in peace. Here you can recover from the long journey and relax with a delicious cocktail by the outdoor pool. Great encounters await you over the next few days. You will experience how diverse India is and dive into the mysterious kingdom of Bhutan.
Calcutta Airport - Calcutta Hotel: approx. 30 minutes / 12 km
1 night with breakfast in Calcutta, India
Were you able to have a good rest yesterday? Today we invite you to start the day with an interesting sightseeing tour. Your first destination is the white marble Victoria Memorial, built in honor of British Queen Victoria in 1921. Apart from a gallery, the impressive building also houses a museum where you will find over 30,000 exhibits of the British reign. Afterwards, you will visit the Kalighat Temple, dedicated to the goddess of anger, but also of motherly protection, Kali, as well as the impressive Jain Temple. Built in 1867, this temple is located in a well-kept garden and is decorated with numerous mirrors, mosaics and colors.
With great photos in hand, your English-speaking guide will take you on to Fort William, named after the King of England and Scotland, William III. However, since the fort still serves as the military headquarters of the Eastern Command these days, only certain areas are open to the public.
Spend the rest of the day as you wish. Perhaps you've seen something you'd like to take a closer look at? Take the opportunity to explore the lively city on your own.
1 night with breakfast in Kolkata, India
Today is time to pack your bags again. Enjoy the rich breakfast at your hotel before you will be transferred to the international airport of Calcutta and take your domestic flight to Bagdogra. The flight takes about 60 minutes and promises great views of the massive mountains, if weather conditions are favorable. Once on site, your guide will welcome you and drive you to your destination, Darjeeling.
Darjeeling is quite different from Calcutta. Situated at an altitude of 2,123 meters along a steep mountainside, the air here is clear, the climate glorious, and the view of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains simply stunning. The town also enjoys worldwide fame for its high-quality tea of the same name. Be sure to try it!
You'll check into your elegant hotel, once the summer residence of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, for the next two nights, and wind down for the day.
Calcutta - Bagdogra flight: approx. 1 hour
Bagdogra - Darjeeling drive: approx. 2 hours 30 minutes / 70 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Darjeeling, India
This morning is all about the famous Tiger Hill. Late risers should definitely set their alarm clocks, because before breakfast you will drive to the popular viewing platform to enjoy the sunrise over the spectacular Himalayan mountains. Also, make sure to dress appropriately as it can get very cold up here. Let your eyes wander over the third largest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga, and take some great photos. On very sunny days, you can even marvel at the snow-covered, small-looking Mount Everest on the horizon - very impressive.
Afterwards, you will drive back to your hotel. Have a short rest and fortify yourself with arich breakfast before you take the Toy Train, a narrow-gauge railroad, to the most famous monastery of Darjeeling. The train runs at just 10 km/h and the journey to the monastery takes about 45 minutes. Also known as Ghoom Monastery, a beautiful meditation hall with a fascinating Buddha figure awaits you here. Stroll through the well-preserved monastery and marvel at the ancient texts written on birch bark.
1 night stay in Darjeeling, India
Today your itinerary will take you further to Kalimpong, a quiet place at an altitude of 1,250 meters in the Eastern Himalayas. The journey alone will inspire you. You will drive along pristine landscapes and let your eyes wander over the picturesque scenery. In Kalimpong, you will check into your hotel. Would you have thought that this town was under the rule of the Kingdom of Bhutan for about a century? This is exactly why there is a Bhutanese monastery here, the Zang Dhok Palri Phodong Monastery, where traditional ceremonies are still held today.
In the afternoon, we invite you to join an interesting city tour. You will learn that Kalimpong is famous for its market gardens as well as exotic flowers, and visit the Forest Museum, Deolo Hill, Hanuman Temple and Dr. Graham's Homes School. Other sights of interest include the Durbin Monastery, the Mangal Dham Hindu Temple, and a cactus nursery. Since the greenhouses are easily accessible, you can take pictures of the beautiful cactus blossoms at your leisure.
Perhaps a little fatigued, but buzzing with excitement over today’s discoveries, you will return to your hotel and end the evening with a refreshing drink.
Darjeeling - Kalimpong: approx. 2 hours / 50 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Kalimpong, India
Your destination today is Gangtok, the capital and most economically relevant city of the Indian state of Sikkim. Situated on a ridge at an altitude of 1,640 m, the picturesque city offers an impressive panorama of the majestic mountains and the third highest mountain on earth, Mount Kanchenjunga. It is especially beautiful to behold in the early morning hours.
After freshening up in your room, we will whisk you away to the Enchery Monastery. This monastery is located in a dense forest and is known as one of the most important monasteries of Sikkim. Numerous different images and artifacts of deities can be found here. Over 90 monks live make the monastery their home. Besides, the three gods, Buddha, Loki Sharia and Guru Padmasambhava, are worshipped here.
Kalimpong - Gangtok: about 2 hours 30 minutes / 77 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Gangtok, India
Strengthen yourself with the rich breakfast before you plunge into the lively streets of the city. Today we have planned an exciting sightseeing tour of the city center for you. First, you will visit the Namgyal Insitute of Tibetology, an interesting museum that is also known as a center that teaches Buddhist philosophy. What makes it special? Here you will find the largest collection of Tibetan works that exist in the world outside Tibet. Masks, Buddhist scriptures, statues, tapestries and over 200 Buddhist icons await you. Afterwards, you will continue to the Do-Drul Chorten. This is the largest stupa in Sikkim, built in 1945 and surrounded by two huge Guru Rinpoche statues.
Of course a visit to the famous Rumtek Monastery is not to be missed. Built in 1960, this colorful monastery is one of the holiest Buddhist monasteries in the country. Decorated with colorful murals and fine wood carvings, here you can marvel at some of the most important and sacred Tibetan Buddhist scriptures and religious objects. The view of snow-capped Mount Kanchenjunga is sure to remain in your memory for a long time.
In the evening, you will return to your comfortable hotel.
1 night with breakfast in Gangtok, India
Today you will leave Gangtok and reach the mysterious kingdom of Bhutan via the border town of Phuentsholing. A warm welcome! Bhutan is a country that not too many people know about so far. But maybe you have heard something about the "Gross National Happiness"? The "right to happiness" is even anchored in the constitution of this small kingdom and is also evident in the mentality of its inhabitants - who are poor, but still very happy.
You will meet your English-speaking guide at your hotel and end the evening with a traditional dinner in peace.
Gangtok - Phuentsholing: approx. 6 hours / 224 km
1 night stay with breakfast in Phuentsholing, Bhutan
If you got curious about what else the small kingdom of Bhutan has to offer, get ready for today: after today’s breakfast at the hotel, you will pack your bags and leave for the Bhutanese capital, Thimphu.
The drive itself is peppered with great sights. Your first destination is the Kharbandi Gompa Monastery, located at 400 meters above sea level in a tropical plant garden and offering great views of Phuentsholing. You will then cover about 2,000 meters in altitude to Thimphu. You will pass majestic mountain ranges and drive past small villages, such as Chukha and Chimakothi. You will make a next stop just before Thimphu, at the Simtokha Dzong fortress, which was once built to drive the devil out of the region. It is also considered the oldest preserved dzong and has housed a school of religion since 1961.
Once in Thimphu, check into your hotel for the next two nights.
Phuentsholing - Thimphu trip: about 4 hours 30 minutes / 167 km.
1 night with breakfast in Thimphu, Bhutan
Small and cozy - that's how the Bhutanese capital of Thimphu presents itself. Because without train stations and traffic lights, things are even more tranquil here than in many other big cities. A policeman regulates the traffic and the house facades look like something out of a picture book. And what better way to get to know a city than with an individually arranged sightseeing tour? Consult with your private guide - they will be happy to take you to fascinating places.
We would like to introduce you to some of the sights of the city.
National Memorial Chorten: Also known as Thimphu Chorten, this chorten was built in 1974 in memory of the third king Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Devotees from all over Bhutan come here to walk around the prayer wheels or the stupa, which is decorated with golden spires and bells. Tantric images and paintings inside provide a glimpse into Buddhist philosophy.
Changangkha Lhakang: This Buddhist temple was built in the 12th century by Lama Phajo Drigom and attracts visitors with a magnificent view of the Thimphu Valley.
Drubthob Monastery: This monastery is located above Thimphu Dzong and is famous for the Zilukha nuns.
National Institute for Zorig Chusum: Also known as Arts & Craft School or Painting School. Here, the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan are taught in a six-year-long course.
National Library: In addition to thousands of manuscripts and historical texts dating back to the 8th century, this library also houses modern books and prints for prayer flags.
Tashichho Dzong: The famous Thimphu Dzong, as the Tashichho Dzong is also called, houses the seat of government, the king's throne room, and some of the country's shrines.
Centenary Farmers Market: On weekends, Thimphu hosts the largest weekly market in the country. In addition to cheese, fresh vegetables and fruits, traditional handicrafts and household goods are offered here.
1 night with breakfast included in Thimphu, Bhutan
Today you will start with an eventful drive to Punakha. For about an hour you will follow the winding road until you reach the Dochula Pass at an altitude of 3,100 meters. And this place is really an experience in itself. Adorned with numerous colorful prayer flags and 108 chortens, you will enjoy fascinating views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks here, if weather conditions allow it. You will be thrilled! Make a short stop and then head back downhill to the fertile and always mild Punakha Valley.
And one thing is for sure. In the former capital of the Kingdom of Bhutan, there is a lot to see. Your first destination is the famous Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 and located at the confluence of two rivers. Fascinating in its splendor and beauty, this dzong is one of the best preserved monastic fortresses of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
Afterwards, you will fortify yourself with a traditional lunch and take a 30-minute-long hike to the Chimi Lhakang temple. Situated on a hill, nowadays numerous young women and couples still come here to pray for fertility.
During the afternoon, check in to your hotel in Punakha.
Thimphu - Punakha trip: approx. 2 hours / 75 km
1 night with full board in Punakha, Bhutan
After a traditional breakfast at your hotel, you will continue your journey to Paro. On the way, you will pass Yabesa village and go on a hike of about one to two hours (depending on your fitness condition) to the Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten. Equipped with hiking boots, you will already start. You will first cross a suspension bridge and pass lush green rice fields before the path leads slightly uphill through the forest. At the top, a picturesque and peaceful place awaits you: The Khamsum Yulley Namgyal Chorten was built by Queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuk. It is especially known for its paintings, but the spectacular views of the Punakha Valley also speak for themselves: snow-capped mountains, clear rivers and green fields - this untouched landscape will completely captivate you. Tip: The view of the picturesque valley is especially beautiful from the top platform.
Back in your transfer vehicle, you will continue your journey - Paro is the last stop on your round trip. But before you check into your hotel, we have planned a visit to the oldest dzong in the country for you. Semthoka Dzong is located about 6 km south of Thimphu and was built in 1627. Nowadays, it houses the Institute of Linguistics and Cultural Studies.
Punakha - Paro trip: about 3 hours / 117 km
1 night with full board Paro, Bhutan
The highlight of any Bhutan trip is the ascent to the world-famous Tiger's Nest. The Buddhist monastery is located just outside of Paro and perched on the cliffs at an altitude of 3,120 meters, about 700 meters above the impressive Paro Valley. Wondering where the name comes from? According to legend, the founder of Buddhism, Guru Rinpoche, flew here on the back of a tiger. He then meditated in one of the caves for three whole months and converted the surrounding Paro Valley to Buddhism.
After breakfast, you will reach the starting point of the hike by car, as Tiger's nest can only be reached on foot or on horseback (for a fee). And every step is worth it! Already during the climb, you will be rewarded with fascinating views of the fertile Paro valley and the monastery. A postcard-worthy landscape. You will travel uphill through the forest and after about 1.5 hours, reach the first viewing platform, where there is also a cafeteria. Colorful prayer flags flutter in the wind - a very special ambience. Have a light lunch and take in the magnificent panorama of the world-famous Tiger's Nest. Enjoy the view and take some last photos before heading back downhill to the forest parking lot. Here your transfer vehicle will be waiting to take you further to the Kyichu Lhakang Temple. You will visit one of the most important temples in Bhutan, dating back to the 7th century, with a particularly opulent interior.
To crown your trip, we have come up with something very special for you in the evening. Instead of eating at the hotel, you will enjoy a homemade, traditional dinner with a typical Bhutanese family - bon appétit!
Full board accommodation in Paro, Bhutan
After two impressive weeks through India and the Kingdom of Bhutan, today the last day of your trip has begun. After breakfast, your private guide will take you to Paro airport for your flight home. We hope you had a wonderful vacation.
We are also happy to offer you a stay extension in Paro or in another region. Extensions of stay in Nepal, India or Thailand are also no problem for us. Just contact us and tell us your wishes - we will be happy to put together your dream trip.
The Sonnet****, Kolkata, India.
Located in the heart of the city, this modern boutique hotel offers the ideal base from which to explore the sights of Kolkata. All 64 rooms feature a modern design and include a high-speed Internet connection, an LCD TV, a safe and a desk. In addition, you'll also find a fruit basket, small bottles of water, newspapers, and toiletries in your room. The all-day dining restaurant Aura serves international dishes, and at Unwine you can end the day with a glass of wine or exotic cocktail. You'll also enjoy an open-air Jacuzzi, pool, and state-of-the-art gym.
The Elgin Hotel****, Darjeeling, India.
In Darjeeling, stay in a more than 150-year-old house that was once the summer residence of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar. The mansion is colonial in style and features old photos on the walls and plush cozy furniture. You'll experience pure authenticity and feel transported back to a bygone era.
The 25 rooms overlook the lovely garden or the city and have a TV, safe, telephone, minibar, and coffee and tea facilities. The private bathroom with shower ensures a good start to the day. Internet is also available free of charge. Hospitality is a priority at The Elgin. Indulge in delicious European and Asian dishes at The Orchid Dining Room and enjoy cool drinks and light snacks at The Gazebo at the Garden. The on-site spa area beckons with soothing massages.
The Elgin Silver Oaks, Kalimpong, India
Built in 1930, this luxurious boutique hotel is located in Kalimpong and surrounded by manicured gardens. The 25 rooms are quiet, elegant, and spacious, promising great views of the Himalayan Mountains and the Teesta River. Amenities include a minibar, satellite TV, telephone, and coffee and tea facilities. A wide selection of European and Asian dishes can be enjoyed at The Silver Dining Room, and The Gazebo at the Garden tempts guests with light snacks and cool drinks. You can end the day with a delicious drink at the Tea Lounge & Oak Bar. This accommodation is perfect for exploring the city's attractions. Dr. Graham's Homes school is only about four miles from your hotel.
The Elgin Nor-Khill****, Gangtok, India.
Nor-Khill translates as the house of jewels - and the hotel definitely delivers on that front. It is located in the heart of the city, surrounded by majestic mountains, deep valleys and colorful flowers. Sumptuously but comfortably furnished, you will feel right at home here. You will stay in one of the 25 rooms, which offer magnificent views of the mountains and valleys. You'll also enjoy the benefits of a spacious library, game room, and Elgin Spa. The in-house restaurant, The Shangri-La Dining Room, tempts you with traditional dishes and you can order cool drinks at the Dragon Bar.
Hotel Bhutan Ga Me Ga***, Phuentsholing, Bhutan
Your first night in Bhutan will be spent at the Hotel Bhutan Ga Me Ga. The hotel has 37 rooms equipped with all amenities. Look forward to a spacious bathroom with separate bathtub and shower, a TV, and coffee and tea facilities. The heated indoor pool invites you to relax. Enjoy great views of the surrounding area from the Thongley rooftop terrace and visit the in-house restaurant, The Cypress, which will treat you to a wide selection of local, Indian, Chinese and continental delicacies. The in-house bar, The Bhutan Mist, offers beer, wine and delicious cocktails.
Hotel Osel***, Thimphu, Bhutan.
This hotel is very centrally located, close to the main road but away from the noise. Each of the 35 rooms has modern furnishings and lovely views of the seated Buddha Dordenma or Tashichho Dzong. Amenities include a minibar, private bathroom, heating, hairdryer, and coffee and tea facilities. You will also find complimentary water, a safe, and free internet connection in your room. In the hotel's restaurant with an adjacent terrace, you will be served delicacies of international and local cuisine with great views of the mountains.
Zhingkham Resort***, Punakha, Bhutan
The Zhingkham Resort lures guests in not only with a spectacular view of the Punakha valley but also with tastefully furnished rooms. The private bathroom and the private balcony invite you to feel good. Other hotel facilities include the Palang Bar and the Zaru Restaurant. Here, enjoy international and local dishes freshly prepared for you from local produce. At the Keith-Nyam Spa, you can unwind your soul: Forget your everyday stress and bring your body and mind into harmony with a meditation lesson or yoga.
Rema Resort***, Paro, Bhutan
Surrounded by lush green fields and picturesque fruit trees, Rema Resort awaits you in traditional Bhutanese style. All 16 rooms offer a minibar and are equipped with a private bathroom and coffee and tea facilities. An absolute bonus is the delightful view of the picturesque Paro Valley. In addition to a bar, a gift store and a spa area, you'll also find a restaurant at Rema Resort that serves Bhutanese, Indian, Chinese and continental dishes. You can reach the city center after about 2 km and the airport is 20 minutes away from your hotel.
Duration of the trip: 14 days / 13 nights
7 nights in the above accommodations or similar:
Domestic flight from Kolkata to Bagdogra
Traditional welcome drink
Daily water during the trips and sightseeing
Transfers in an air conditioned car
Entrance fees as per program
Ride on the Toy Train in Darjeeling
Taxes and fees
The from price is valid in the travel period 01.09.20 - 14.09.20 & 25.11.20 - 30.11.20
6 nights in the above mentioned accommodations or similar:
Continuous support by a local, English-speaking driver-guide with sightseeing and trekking by arrangement
Entrance fees and all necessary permits for the entrances to the dzongs, monasteries and monuments
Tourism Development Fund
The starting price is valid in the travel period 01.09.20 - 14.09.20 & 25.11.20 - 30.11.20