Nepal, and the great Himalayas, has eight of the world’s highest mountains including Mount Everest. Landlocked between the arid Tibetan plateau and the hot fertile plains of India this is a land of yaks, monasteries, temples, wild animals and, of course, snow peaks and Sherpas. Nowhere on earth invokes such magic. Nepal is culturally diverse with a variety of ethnic groups and for many visitors it is the warmth, hospitality and sense of humour of the Nepalese people that draw them back for repeat visits to this wonderful country.
Nepal is renowned for explorers and mountaineers who come to conquer high peaks, whilst trekkers come for the stunning scenic trails but if you wish to enjoy this beautiful country at a slower pace try strolling through the ancient lanes and squares of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur; or join Buddhist pilgrims on a ‘kora’ around stupas scattered all around the valleys; try venturing into the national parks to hunt for tigers on elephant back or get your adrenaline flowing with white-water rafting, mountain biking or zip-lining. There is plenty to do.
The choice of accommodation is wider than ever. Besides the classic tea-house, you have the option of homestays, camping, and a range of hotels that now include luxury lodges complete with wellness retreats. From Pokhara to Chitwan National Park you can relax and feel secure in the arms of the mighty Himalayas whilst you experience the trip of a life time.
Treks in Nepal follow long established trails between villages and ancient trading routes over stunning Himalayan passes. Nepal has the best mountain walks in the world and are suitable for any age group or experience. You can explore in different styles ranging from a fully supported camping trek to staying in a locally owned teahouse or one of the comfort lodges of the Everest and Annapurna regions.
Cultural tours offer you a way to explore this country while staying in a hotel during every night of your itinerary. Whether the tour be an introduction to Nepal, or an in-depth journey to include Lumbini the birthplace of Lord Buddha, you can enjoy superb mountain panoramas without placing a foot onto a trail, unless you want to!
For a complete change from the mountains, why not head to the south of Nepal and visit Chitwan or Bardia National Parks. Rich in flora and fauna, including the Bengal tiger, single-horned Asiatic rhinoceros, wild elephants, leopards and the rare gangetic dolphin.
If you would like to see Mount Everest on your visit to Nepal and don’t want to walk there then consider taking the Everest mountain flight. The flight always takes off early in the morning to maximise your chances of getting clear views before cloud build up later in the day. Flanked by Lhotse and Nuptse, the highest peak in the world is often seen with the characteristic cloud of pure ice streaming from the summit.
Combine Nepal with Tibet and take a flight past Mount Everest on your way to Lhasa, one of the most unique cities in the world. Siting at an altitude of 3650 meters (12,170 feet), it is remote and little visited by Westerners. Home to the Dai Lama’s Palace, it also has many temples and monasteries central to Buddhism. This city has thousand years of history and is steeped in cultural and spiritual significance – well worth a four day extension to your trip.