Bhutan is good to visit any time of the year.  Each season offers different experiences.  Nice weather, various religious festival and events spread across the year and a plethora of exciting point of interest, makes Bhutan a year-round destination. We personally recommend the summer months of June – August and winter months of December – February. These months are considered off-season in Bhutan and it receives fewer visitors. Besides fewer tourist footfalls, offseason also implies discounted Tour, hotel and flights rates.  The summer month does receive occasional heavy showers and one may not be able to see the pristine Himalayan vistas, however, summer and winter have their own draws and attractions, which in summer it is an opportunity to see Bhutan in its best GREEN avatar. And the winter months offer the clearest blue skies with balmy days. The high season and low season in Bhutan does not necessarily imply the best time to Bhutan. It simply implies these months were promoted for certain festival and events. Therefore, more tourist visits Bhutan during high season. Unless one is travelling to Bhutan for a specific activity such as trek or Thimphu festival, one can visit Bhutan any time of the year. Bhutan is characterized by four distinct seasons (Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter) and the temperature in each season varies based on the altitudes.

Spring and Autumn are the best time and considered as high season for tourist to visit Bhutan for the following reason.

Spring (March-May) – High season

Is regarded as one of the most beautiful time of the year. The climate remains dry and pleasant and in late spring the famous rhododendrons bloom spectacularly, flooding the valleys with colour. The valleys come alive with flowers and vegetation in full bloom. The temperatures are mild, the skies are clear, no rainfall and a host of festivals across Bhutan marks spring. Nature lovers who are keen on local flora should consider visiting Bhutan end of April or in May. Flowers would be in full bloom then. This season is also an excellent time to trek in Bhutan. However these months are the busy tourist season, therefore one might expect some cramping at tourist attractions. It is also suggested that planning a tour during these months are undertaken in advance, so that preferred hotels are easy to book. Further spring is also cultivation season and you would see farmers around the country busier. You can’t help taking pictures in Bhutan especially with the lush green valley in spring.

Highlights of the High season (March-May)

  • Excellent weather condition for trekking
  • Popular festivals such as Paro Tshechu
  • Spring is also cultivation season and you would see farmers around the country busier.
  • Rhododendron blossoming peaks in March and April months.
  • High tourist tariff

Details of Events and activities carried out during Spring season (March-May)

March and April are among the most popular times to travel as temperatures are pleasant and the valleys are abundant in nature; especially as all the flowers start to bloom. By May, it brings humidity as well as a cloud over the mountains. However, fewer visitors and lower prices can make it a perfectly viable time to visit. The rhododendrons should also still be in bloom – ideal for photographers and nature lovers.

Events & Festivals occur in Spring

  • Attend Paro Tshechu Festival, 17th -21st March 2019
  • Rhododendron Festival in April.
  • Trekking in Bhutan March-April: Jomolhari trek and Drukpath trek can be done so beautifully.
  • Gomkora festival in March: Hundreds of Bhutanese travel to this chorten in eastern Bhutan to celebrate with rituals and to circumambulate the sacred stupa.
  • Ura Yakchoe Festival in May: This three-day festival is held in Ura and features processions and dances.

Autumn (September – November) High Season

Autumn/Fall season is another high and crowded season for Bhutan. Though Bhutan does not offer browning forest nor Maples, the mild weather in autumn makes it a perfect time to visit Bhutan. Clear blue skies and pristine Himalayan vistas, no rainfall and galore’s of festivals marks autumn. The season offers best opportunities for trekking, photography tours, and cycle tours. The annual Tour of the Dragon cycle tour takes place in September. The climate is temperate and very pleasant for outdoor activities. The annual Thimphu Festival is a huge draw in autumn. It is also harvesting season too, where you would see farmers around the country happily harvesting crops in their field.

Black-Necked Crane Festival – Stay with a local villager in the beautiful valley of Phobjika and witness the one-day Black-Necked Crane Festival in late-September. Thimphu tshechu also occurs about the same time as Wangdi tshechu and the chance to attend 2 festival on one trip is always very tempting but WATCH out for the crowd.

Highlights of the High season (March, April, May, September, October, November)

  • Excellent weather condition for trekking
  • Popular festivals such Thimphu Tshechu
  • Himalayan views are best in October.
  • Black-necked crane arrives in November.
  • Tour of the Dragon Cycle tour in September
  • Autumn is also the harvesting season
  • High tourist tariff

Details of Events and activities carried out during Autumn season (September – November)

September, October and November are ideal for hiking, seeing festivals (particularly the popular Thimphu Tshechu) and enjoying stunning views and pleasant temperatures. Expect it to be around 25°C in the sun, but there will be cooler temperatures in the evenings and at higher altitudes. The majority of travellers (around 80% of all international visitors) want to visit Bhutan in October, so plan well in advance to ensure you get your preferred accommodation and good value flights. Black-necked cranes migrate from the Tibetan Plateau to the protected Phobjikha Valley each year. They remain in the region from late October to early February. In Gangtey, a special festival is held every November to celebrate the arrival of the birds. Plan ahead if you want to be a part of it.

Events & Festivals occur in Autumn

  • Attend Thimphu Tshechu Festival, September, 19th to 21st, 2018
  • Attend Wangdue Tsechu in September: Three days of mask dancing is followed by the unfurling of a giant thangka. It overlaps with the Thimphu Tsechu.
  • Tamshing Choepa Festivals in October: are held at Tamshing Goemba and Thangbi Goempa after a three-day gap. Both festivals can fall in October.
  • Jampey Lhakhang Drup festival in October: This four-day Jakar-Tsechu commemorates the establishment of this 7th-century temple. It features a “naked fire dance” at midnight.
  • Trekking in Bhutan in September to November: Jomolhari trek and Drukpath trek can be done so beautifully.
  • Black-necked crane festival on 11 November (coinciding with Birth anniversary of His Majesty the Fourth King of Bhutan): These endangered birds migrate to spend each winter in the Phobjikha Valley. The festival celebrating their

arrival takes place in in the courtyard of Gangtey Gonpa to promote their conservation. There would be a lot of celebration to commemorate the fourth King.

  • Mongar Tsechu in December: This is a more local and intimate experience.

Summer- Monsoon (June – August)

Bhutan does not receive heavy rainfall, unlike the Indian subcontinent. Monsoon is marked with sporadic rainfall during late afternoons. The weather is pleasantly warm and the valleys are at its greenest. Although not the best time for some treks, one can engage in cultural tours, white water rafting and short hikes. The famous Mountain Echo’s literary festival and Haa summer festival takes place during Monsoon.

High lights of low Monsoon Season (June, July, August).

  • Sporadic rainfalls.
  • Not the best time to trek.
  • High elevation flowers are at their peak blooming season.
  • Low tourist tariff and less visitor in Bhutan
  • Matsutake Mushroom season.
  • Haa summer festival.

Details of Events and activities carried out during Summer season (June – August)

June to August (and sometimes into September) is monsoon season in Bhutan. Although showers can occur at night without spoiling daytime explorations, conditions aren’t ideal for trekking. Sightseeing is still possible – just be prepared with a raincoat! It’s also ideal for retreating to a spa. Views are best in the mornings following night-time downpours.

Events & Festivals occur in Summer

  • Attend the Haa Summer Festival in July: The festival is a lively and uplifting celebration of traditional living-culture, nomadic lifestyles, unique Bhutanese cuisine, traditional sports and religious performances.
  • Attend Nimalung Tsechu in July: Nimalung Goemba in Bumthang holds a three-day festival starting on the 8th day of the fifth lunar month.
  • Attend Kurjey Tsechu in July: This date marks the birthday of Guru Rinpoche whereby prayer ceremonies are held across Bhutan. Monks from Trongsa Monastery also perform religious dances for this festival held in Bumthang.
  • Mountain Echoes Literary festival in June

Winter season (December – February)

Witnesses’ snowfall in the upper Himalayas and to some extent on the lower valleys during late January and February. The days are balmy with lots of sun and crystal clear blue skies. Although a little chill during the night and early mornings, it’s pleasant to travel during daytime.  It an excellent time of the year for day hikes, cycling and photography. The popular Dochula Pass and Punakha festival takes place in winter.

Highlights of winter Low season (December, January, February).

  • The climate is little cold with balmy days with lots of sunshine.
  • Low tourist tariff and less visitor in the kingdom
  • Dochula and Punakha festival
  • Nomad festival in Bumthang.
  • Excellent opportunities for day hikes.

Details of Events and activities carried out during the winter season (December – February)

From December to February Bhutan is at its coldest; especially in the mountains, but clear skies reward those who brave the low temperatures. The valleys are warmer and sunny with clear views of the incredible Himalaya. Due to colder temperatures, visitor numbers will be lower.

Events & Festivals occur in Summer

Average Temperatures in Bhutan

It should be noted that average temperatures are recorded from valley floors. There can be considerable divergences from the recorded figures depending upon elevation.

Month Values.in.Celsius Paro Thimphu Punakha Trongsa Bumthang Mongar Trashigang
January Max

Min

9.4

-5.8

12.3

-2.6

17.0

4.3

13.0

-0.2

10.8

-5.1

15.5

8.2

20.4

10.5

February Max

Min

13.0

1.5

14.4

0.6

19.0

7.8

13.9

0.4

10.0

-1.4

15.9

8.3

21.7

11.5

March Max

Min

14.5

0.6

16.4

3.9

22.8

10.4

16.7

4.4

16.2

3.5

20.0

11.6

24.8

14.4

April Max

Min

17.6

4.6

20.0

7.1

26.2

12.9

20.1

6.6

18.7

3.9

22.8

14.0

28.3

17.0

May Max

Min

23.5

10.6

22.5

13.1

29.1

17.7

21

11.6

21.3

9.5

25.1

17.4

30

22.6

June Max

Min

25.4

14.1

24.4

15.2

29.2

20.1

22.2

13.6

22.5

13.5

26.1

19.5

30.7

22.6

July Max

Min

26.8

14.9

25.9

15.6

30.4

20.5

25.3

15.3

24.1

13.6

27.1

19.8

31.5

23.1

August Max

Min

25.3

14.7

25.0

15.8

29.1

20

23.8

15

23.0

13.7

25.4

19.6

30.2

22.7

September Max

Min

23.4

11.7

23.1

15

27.5

19.1

22.6

14.2

21.6

12.1

24.7

19.4

30.0

21.9

October Max

Min

18.7

7.4

21.9

10.4

26.1

14.7

21.8

11.7

19.5

5.9

22.7

15.8

29.1

17.7

November Max

Min

13.9

1.4

17.9

5.0

22.6

9.6

19.8

6.4

16.1

-0.5

19.9

11.2

26.1

13.6

December Max

Min

11.2

-1.7

14.5

-1.1

19.1

6.3

18.2

2.5

12.3

-2.3

17.7

9.5

23.0

11.6

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Thimphu, Bhutan

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