Nepal, Bhutan and India
Himalayan Odyssey Tour

Himalayan Odyssey Tour – a 21 day tailormade tour from £4995 per person based on 2 people travelling sharing a room.

Discover the land of the thunder dragon, Bhutan, where gross national happiness is considered more important than gross national product. The country stretches from subtropical valleys and plains to snowcapped mountain ranges.

This landscape makes it the perfect place to trek through the majestic valleys or steep mountains to visit ancient architecture and Buddhist temples.

Our 13 day private tour takes in the highlights of this rarely visited country including Bumthang Valley, with its apple orchards, dairy farms, potato patches, and rice and buckwheat fields and the world famous Tiger’s Nest – also known as Taktsang, it is said to be the most spiritual place in Bhutan.


Tucked away in a remote corner of the Himalayas, Bhutan is a nation unlike any other, a tranquil idyll where people still wear national dress and gross national happiness is more important that gross national product.

Once closed to the outside world, Bhutan now allows a limited number of travellers to experience its charms.

Our tour to this beautiful nation allows a glimpse of some of its most spectacular sights, from the amazing Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery in its dramatic cliff face location to the imposing Punakha Dzong, an incredible fortress with a turbulent past. We travel through spectacular Himalayan scenery and have the opportunity to visit traditional Buddhist temples. As this is a tailor-made tour to Bhutan, we can adjust the exact holiday to your liking.

This trip offers you a marvellous insight into the scenery and way of life of this remote mountain kingdom.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel.  The rest of the day will be at leisure. Overnight Kantipur Temple House.  No meals or guided activities today although they can be arranged if your flight arrives in the morning.

Kathmandu has four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and today we tour the city visiting them all. The remarkable Durbar Square encompasses palaces of the ancient kings who ruled over what was the Kathmandu Kingdom. Next, we see the temple of Pashupatinath, one of the most sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus all over the world, followed by Swayambhunath, also called the Monkey Temple for reasons which will become apparent. Finally, at the immense stupa of Bouddhanath we visit one of the city’s holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites, a focus for 50 Tibetan gompas (monasteries) in its shadow. Overnight Kantipur Temple House (B)

(Approximate overall driving time today is 5 – 6 hours)

After breakfast we drive to Chitwan National Park, some 175km from Kathmandu. Descending along a winding road flanking the Trishuli River, we arrive and check-in at the accommodation. There’s a short briefing regarding activities on offer before we take a walk along the banks of the Rapti or Narayani River to enjoy sunset in the sub-tropical jungles of Chitwan. Dinner is accompanied by a brief cultural program showcasing tribal dances unique to the Chitwan region. Overnight Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge – Safari Tent (BLD)

Start early for our first incursion in the park on a jungle safari to witness wildlife in its natural habitat. After breakfast, we visit the elephant stables and enjoy bathing the elephants. This afternoon drive through the park looking for wildlife followed by a canoe ride down the Rapti/ Narayani River. Whilst canoeing, look out for Gharial and Mugger crocodiles along with fresh water dolphins, otters and varieties of water birds. If you do not wish to canoe there are options for a birding walk or general nature walk. Overnight Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge – Safari Tent (BLD)


(Approximate overall driving time today is five to six hours)

This morning after breakfast we depart for Pokhara. En route we travel through a landscape of rolling hills, small settlements and terraced farms. On arrival in Pokhara, if conditions are clear, we will be rewarded by magnificent views of the Himalayas including Dhaulagiri (8,167m), Manaslu (8,156m), and Machhapuchhre (6,993m), the five peaks of Annapurna and others. Later, after time to relax, we explore the atmospheric streets of Pokhara and enjoy one of the most beautiful cities of Nepal. Overnight Mount Kailash Resort (B)

(Approximate trekking time: three to four hours)

Early this morning we depart for Sarangkot, a hill town in the north-west region of Pokhara overlooking the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges to the north and Pokhara and Phewa Lake to the south. The trek starts from the village of Naudanda and ends in Sarangkot and is one of the region’s most rewarding day hikes. After the hike we stop at a teahouse in Sarangkot and enjoy amazing mountain views as the sun sets against the backdrop of the Himalayas. Overnight in Sarangkot (B)

Please Note: The walk to Sarangkot is graded as easy – 200 metres of ascent approx. with no steep climbing involved

(Approximate overall driving time today is 6 hours)

After some time at leisure this morning in Pokhara, we return to Kathmandu ready for the next leg of this Himalayan Odyssey tomorrow. Overnight at Hotel Kantipur Temple House (B)

Transfer to airport for the flight to Bhutan. The flight is truly spectacular in good weather, with quite astonishing views right from take of. Mt Everest and the full glory of the Himalayan range should be visible for those sitting by the window on the left hand side of the plane. On arrival in Paro, your guide will meet you and take you on a short one-hour drive along the Paro and Thimphu river valleys to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital, at 2320 metres.  You can stop on the way to take in the magnificent Tamchhog Lhakhang, the hereditary place of worship for Bhutan’s iron bridge builder. Take a late afternoon walk around town and soak in the atmosphere of this magical capital with its busy shops and bazaars and photogenic citizens in national dress. If your stay coincides with a weekend, you will be able to visit the vibrant market and also perhaps observe the local people engaging in archery matches which is the national sport. Overnight Namgay Heritage Hotel (LD)

This morning visit the revered Memorial Chorten and the huge statue of Buddha Dordenma, which commands a tremendous view of the Thimphu valley.  The huge 3-storey throne holds several chapels and the body itself filled with 125,000 smaller statues of Buddha.  On the way back, visit Changangkha temple, perched on the hilltop overlooking the town.  Devotees flock throughout the day to turn the prayer wheels.  The temple also contains beautiful wall paintings and hundreds of religious scriptures written in gold.  Thereafter, you can visit the Takin Reserve showcasing the unique national animal. There a variety of museums that can be visited in the afternoon and you can discuss the options with your guide or alternatively just enjoy some time at leisure in Thimphu. Overnight Namgay Heritage Hotel (BLD)

(Approx. overall driving time today is 3 hours)

After breakfast we depart Thimphu and climb up to the Dochu La pass situated at an elevation of 3050 metres, where we will stop for a hot drink and if conditions are clear enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Eastern Himalaya ranges. It is also possible to take a nice hike from the pass if you decide to leave early from Thimphu and conditions are good. Then descend through cool forest and notice the change of climate and vegetation as we approach low-lying Punakha at 1250 metres. On arrival, take a pleasant walk for an hour or so across the terraced fields of Sopsokha village to Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) built in the 15th century by the ‘Divine Madman’ (Lama Drukpa Kuenley). Overnight Hotel Lobesa (BLD)

After breakfast visit Chorten Ningpo, dating from the 17th century. The Chorten is a little-known spot with a magnificent statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha) and images of the great lamas of the Drukpa lineage. This magical spot was once a dense forest inhabited by evil spirits. The magnificent great oak tree outside the monastery is said to have grown out of the blazing log that the ‘Divine Madman’ threw (the tree’s bark is still black from where it was burnt). In 2005 the monastery began to house orphans from the nearby village, and founding a small Buddhist educational institution where the children can study traditional Buddhist scriptures and texts as well as Western subjects. Then you can take a hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten via the village of Yebisa.  The walk starts from the suspension bridge below Khamsum Yuelley Namgyel Chorten.  Hike at a gentle pace for around 10 minutes from the bridge through the paddy rice fields of Yebisa village. Then continue the hike for around 40 to 50 minutes up to the temple.  The walk is still fairly gentle but there are some steeper parts.  From the top you will see a beautiful view of the valley and surrounding villages.  The temple is 30 metres tall and is dedicated to the fifth King.  After visiting the temple descend for around 30 minutes until you reach the suspension bridge where you will be picked up by the vehicle. We will then visit the impressive Punakha Dzong, “Palace of Great Happiness”; built in 1637, and strategically situated at the confluence of two rivers, the Po Chu and the Mo Chu. Close to the Dzong there is a spectacular suspension footbridge that crosses the Po Chu and it is well worth taking the short detour to cross it for the thrill and the excellent views of the river.  Overnight Hotel Lobesa (BLD)

(Approx, overall driving time today is 6 hours) 

This morning enjoy a leisurely scenic rafting trip on the Mo Chu River. No prior experience is necessary and all safety equipment is provided. In between the rapids, imbibe the beautiful surrounds and for keen birders it is worth looking for species such as the Pied Kingfisher and White Bellied Herons. After the rafting, return to freshen up at the hotel and this afternoon continue the journey to Paro. Overnight Gangtey Palace Hotel (BLD)

This morning visit the impressive Paro Rinpung Dzong, one of the finest examples of Bhutanese architecture.  Also visit the National Museum housed in the Ta Dzong (watch tower) which was built on top of the hill above Rinpung Dzong to defend Rinpung Dzong and the Paro valley during times of war, in an unusual circular construction resembling a conch shell. The Ta Dzong was badly damaged by an earthquake in September 2011, but has now been renovated and you can see a magnificent collection of Bhutanese artefacts – costumes, religious paintings, arms, textiles and a fascinating collection of Bhutan stamps.  Near to the museum you may also be able to see a demonstration of traditional wood turning skills by local artisans who make traditional wooden bowls and cups – and you can try your hand as well if you wish. Nearby you can also visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple of historical significance and one of the most sacred shrines in Bhutan. Again if your visit coincides with a weekend you may also wish to spend some time observing a local archery match. Overnight Gangtey Palace Hotel (BLD)


Today represents one of the highlights of the tour, with a day walk to the ‘Tiger’s Nest’, the sacred Taktshang monastery which clings to the rock face 900 metres above the valley floor. Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown to the site riding on a tigress.  He subsequently meditated here for three months.  It is one of Bhutan’s most holy sites and draws pilgrims not only from Bhutan but also from neighbouring Buddhist countries.  You can have lunch at the Taktshang cafeteria from where you get a spectacular view of the monastery. We encourage travellers to take their time on the trek and soak up the magnificence of the environment and the magic of the monastery. On your return from the hike, the rest of the day will be at leisure.  Overnight Gangtey Palace Hotel. (BLD)

The ascent to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery is steep in parts and you should be sure that your level of fitness will allow you to make the hike. However there is no climbing involved, so is suitable for anyone who is used to trekking up and downhill. It is possible to rent a stick at the start of the hike but we recommend that travellers take their own walking poles. Expect the entire hike with stops including at the cafeteria to last 6 hours. Speak to our team for personal experience account of the hike.

(Approx. overall driving time today is 5 hours)

After a leisurely breakfast this morning, drive south for about 5 hours from Paro to the warmer climes of the southern district of Phuntsholing, close to the border with India. Overnight Hotel Druk (BLD)

(Approx. overall driving time today is 5 hours)

Today our Bhutanese guide will leave you at the border and wish you Tashi Delek (goodbye and good luck). Your Indian driver will meet you at the border and then drive approximately 5 hours to Darjeeling. On arrival the rest of the day will be at leisure with no guided activities. You can go for a short walk to the Mall or Chowrasta to get a feel the daily buzz of local life. This is an important social gathering place in Darjeeling where travellers and locals come to, meet, shop and dine. Overnight Villa Everest (BD)

After breakfast, meet your local guide at the hotel in advance of your sightseeing in Darjeeling. Darjeeling is one of the oldest hill stations in India, and has plenty of options for sightseeing. We plan to visit Ghoom Monastery, Mahakal temple, Tibetan Refugee Centre, the Himalayan Mountain Institute and Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. Note that depending on timings and opening hours some visits may be scheduled tomorrow. Overnight Villa Everest (BD)

This morning, meet your local guide at your hotel and start the day with an exciting ride on the iconic toy train from Darjeeling to Ghoom – the highest station in India. The heritage toy train is more than 125 years old and operates by steam locomotive, snaking its way through spectacular scenery to Ghoom. It makes a round at the picturesque Batasia Loop. Kanchenjunga (8586 metres) the third highest mountain in the world is the constant backdrop during the journey. At Ghoom you are taken to the station museum for a short visit. Then sit back and enjoy the views once more as you return to Darjeeling. Afterwards experience a fascinating tea tasting session and explore the tea estate and the factory along with the locals with one of the process executives to brief you about the process. Lunch will be included at the estate today. Return to the hotel and any remaining time today will be at leisure. Overnight Villa Everest (BLD)

Day 19: Darjeeling – Mirik – Overnight train to Kolkata

Check out of your hotel and drive approximately 2 hours to Mirik (driver only), a quiet town between Siliguri and Darjeeling. It is known for its secluded charm, Tea Gardens, Samendu Lake, Orange orchards and Cardamom plantation.  Your driver will drop you off at the station where you will board the overnight train to Kolkata. Overnight on-board the train in a 2 or 4 berth cabin. AC First Class Category. (B)

Arrive early this morning in Kolkata and transfer to your hotel where early check in will be arranged and the rest of the day will be at leisure to reflect on your journey. Overnight Ivy House (B)

Transfer to the airport for your onward transfer to the airport (B)

Dates & Price.

We offer the Himalayan Odyssey tour for tailormade departures only. Prices start from £4995 per person, based on two people travelling sharing a room. Please contact us for further details.

Tour Notes

From London, flights into Kathmandu and back from Calcutta start from around £600 per person subject to availability.

Airport transfers both on arrival in Kathmandu and on departure from Calcutta are included, as are transfers on arrival in Paro (Bhutan).

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Himalayan Odyssey Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Private transport except on safari in Chitwan and overnight train in India
  • All accommodation
  • Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
  • Services of English speaking local guides (see guiding section of dossier)
  • Mineral water in the vehicles
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary
  • Bhutan Entry Visa
  • Internal flight from Kathmandu to Paro (Bhutan)

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights into Kathmandu and back from Kolkata
  • Travel Insurance
  • Drinks – alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Tips (discretionary)
  • Visa for Nepal or India if applicable

Highlights were the Black-necked crane festival and the Tiger’s Nest walk. Having culture and history explained was fascinating. I would like to emphasise the added-value that the tour guide gave by her knowledge and helpfulness.


Keith Hiscock, UK