With its dramatic landscapes that include everything from subtropical plains to steep mountains and valleys, Bhutan is a seriously dreamy destination when it comes to hiking holidays. And while the Bhutanese Himalayas may be home to the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, Gangkhar Puensum, there are a number of more accessible trails that criss-cross the stunning countryside and can be completed in a day. Read on for a roundup of some of the best hikes in Bhutan…
The Chele La Pass is a hair-raising hike which will take you across mountain ridges lined with colourful prayer flags above the breath-taking Paro Valley. Along the way, you will see the haunting Kungkarpo Sky Burial before ending at an ancient nunnery. At around eight-and-a-half miles, this is a tricky hike, but if your legs can handle it, it’s well worth it.
With 360-degree views of the Himalayas on a clear day, the Dochula Pass is one of Bhutan’s most picturesque paths with forests of rhododendron, juniper and hemlock lining the trail up to the incredible Lungshutse Temple. Despite only being around four miles long, this is a relatively difficult hike, so it is best for those looking for a little bit of a challenge.
While the scenery on this seven-mile hike is undoubtedly lovely, the main attraction is the canine company you’ll find along the way. Thari Goempa is famous for the adorable dogs that walk alongside hikers – the perfect motivation boost on this tricky trek. The trail also provides an impressive view of the Buddha Dordenma statue, one of the largest Buddha rupas in the world.
Gangtey Nature Trail
Bhutan’s hikes are generally pretty arduous, but if you’re not one for extreme trekking don’t fear: the Gangtey Nature Trail is perfect for those just looking for a wander among the wildlife. This two-hour hike through the Phobjikha Valley is gorgeous all year round but for maximum beauty, visit in the warmer months when the wildflowers are in bloom. Along the way, expect to see grazing animals and spectacular scenery as well as a handful of lovely rural villages.