The four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter are apparent in Bhutan, each with its own weather conditions. Bhutan is a land of festivals and these take place throughout the year, with a few highlights mentioned below.
April and May are a lovely time to visit Bhutan, with mainly clear skies and sunshine. Temperatures begin to warm up, wildflowers come into bloom and there is a feeling of life returning after the winter months. Conditions are pleasant for trekking and walking with good visibility and panoramic mountain views.
The months of June to August are the hottest and coincide with the annual monsoon with the south getting the most rain, heat and humidity, though rainfall occurs throughout the country. The valleys become lush and green and cloudy skies can be photogenic. Summer has a great many festivals including that at Haa with its well-known mask dance.
Bhutan’s autumn months, September to November, are a great time to visit. The monsoon rains have ended, temperatures are less hot and the bright, sunny days are ideal for walks and treks. The weather gets markedly cooler towards the end of autumn and snow beings to fall in the mountains and high passes. The lively black-necked crane festival occurs in the Phobjikha Valley, also known as Gangtey Valley, in mid-November and the three-day Thimpu Tshechu festival takes place in the capital.
December to March is a period of high snowfalls in the mountains and the high passes are usually closed. At lower altitudes days are crisp and dry. This is a popular time to visit western Bhutan for sightseeing, local village tours and walks with valleys often carpeted with light snow and fine views of snow-clad mountain peaks. Dochla Tsechu and Trashigang Teschu are among the winter festivals. The rare black-necked crane arrive from Tibet to overwinter in the Phobjikha Valley.
Bhutan's weather by region
The weather varies from region to region and although spring and autumn are good times for all areas, winter can be a good to visit, and summer, despite the heat and rain, should not be altogether ruled out.
This is the most easily accessed and most visited region, site of the international airport at Paro and of the capital, Thimpu. These towns and Punakha dzong can be visited all year although you may prefer to miss the wet summer months. Early winter is an ideal time to visit the scenic Phobjikha Valley with the added bonus of possibly sighting black-necked crane.
The best time to see the valleys of central Bhutan is in spring and autumn, when the weather is mild and the skies clear, perfect for outdoor pursuits. In spring flowers come into bloom and the autumn scenery is lush, benefitting from effects of monsoon rains. Winter is colder but dry with very cold nights. Summer with its rainfall and humidity is best avoided.
Much of eastern Bhutan is at a lower altitude than the western and central regions and has a slightly warmer climate as a consequence. Spring and autumn are the preferred times to visit when you can expect warm to hot days and only a little rain. Winter is colder but dry In summer temperatures can become uncomfortably hot and the onset of the monsoon can render conditions difficult.
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