When it comes to planning a trip to this beautiful country, when is the best time to visit and why?
Bhutan is the last great Kingdom of the Himalayas, a beautiful treasure trove of atmospheric monasteries and Buddhist art high in the misty mountains. It offers a fascinating blend of old traditions and modern innovation and a stunning landscape of snow-capped peaks and dense forests that will take your breath away. In fact, the mountains are so spectacular that Bhutan is referred to as the “Switzerland of Asia.”
This country is largely untouched by the outside world and notoriously difficult to visit. Visitors pay a fee of $250 USD per day, which keeps visitor numbers down and supports sustainable tourism. The fee is all inclusive and covers all transport, food, accommodation and the services of a local guide.
Visiting Bhutan means falling in love with the magic of its medieval architecture, spectacular traditional dance festivals, ancient religious rituals and stunning hiking trails. However, when is the best time of year to plan the ideal visit?
When Should You Travel to Bhutan?
Although Bhutan is located high in the mountains, it is not quite as cold as you might expect. In Southern Bhutan the weather is subtropical, ranging from 15 degrees Celsius in the winter and 30 degrees Celsius or more in the summer. The east of the country is generally the warmest area, but the higher in altitude you go, the cooler it is.
The mountain peaks of the Himalayas are covered in snow all year round and the temperatures up there fluctuate from freezing in winter to 10 degrees in summer.
One of the best times of the year to visit Bhutan is from October to December, as this is when the air is fresh and clear and the weather is bright and sunny. If you visit during October you will see the valleys turn a beautiful shade of gold as the rice farmers prepare to harvest their crops.
Also, if you want to see the rare black-necked cranes during your visit to Bhutan, it is best to visit between late October to mid-February. The autumn months are also when the largest number of festivals take place in Bhutan, which can add a lot of fascinating local colour to your visit.
It is also a good idea to visit during the spring, as this is when the rhododendrons will be blooming and the forests will be filled with colour. Also, if you are really lucky you might see the rare blue poppy.
From June to September is not an ideal time to visit the mountains, as the monsoon rains will be pouring down. However, if you don’t mind a little bit of rain during your visit, the summer months can be a good time to beat the crowds and get the cheapest possible prices.