DAY 1 - Transfer to Bhaktapur. Afternoon at leisure. Evening (5pm) Tour Briefing.
(O/N Bhadgaon Guest House)
Welcome to Nepal and welcome to the ancient city of Bhaktapur. There’s no better way to appreciate Nepali character and culture than by starting your exploration is this ancient city.
DAY 2 – Bhaktapur - Changu Narayan-Bhaktapur
A comprehensive day tour includes the architectural highlights of UNESCO World Heritage listed Bhaktapur and the temple of Changu Narayan. Although the population sprawl of the Kathmandu Valley has almost engulfed both sites into the one mega-metropolis that is Kathmandu, there are still glimpses of rural life to be had as we travel from one site to the other. And depending on the prevailing season, often one ends up in the midst of a frantic street festival or three. (B)
DAY 3 – Bhaktapur – Nuwakot
(O/N The Famous Farm)
Our drive out of the Kathmandu Valley means a 600m climb to the Valley Rim. Once beyond the confines of the Valley the ‘other’ Nepal opens up to us. Rural scenes enchant as our route winds north into the central Himalayan region of the Langtang Himal.
Near the upper Trisuli River, high off the main road to Langtang, Nuwakot is a truly superb fortified town of palaces and temples of historic significance. Above Nuwakot one finds the inspirationally restored Famous Farm with its wonderful location and river-valley views. The farm is a cluster of three buildings which together provide the sheer delight of just a little more than typically luxurious Nepali country living. From here there are short walks in the glorious, tranquil neighbourhood and fresh organic produce is ‘le plat du jour’. (B,D)
DAY 4 – Nuwakot
A full day at leisure to enjoy the pastoral setting of The Famous Farm. Once installed, some choose not to move, whilst others take to the pathways and trails through the nearby forest to explore this quiet corner of the upper Trisuli region. Tourists are still a rarity in these parts so except some locals to be surprised at and delighted by your presence. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 – Nuwakot – The Trisuli Centre (O/N Tented Beach Camp)
Morning departure, following the Trisuli River down-stream toward the lowlands and into the middle hills to the Trisuli Centre and ‘Big Fig’. The Trisuli, Nepal’ most popular rafting river, has bouncy waves, hefty holes and tricky chutes. An optional afternoon rafting trip will tempt many. For those who prefer to spend their afternoon relaxing around our Tented Beach Camp, there are the Garden of Streams and Big Fig, a huge spreading Banyan tree with spreading aerial roots, to visit. There’s a crossing of a typically long Nepali trail bridge which links both shores of the Trisuli and acts as a carriageway for both goods and pedestrians. (B,L,D)
DAY 6 – Trisuli Centre – Pokhara
(O/N Mountain Villa Hotel)
To Pokhara, a popular lakeside tourist hub with an array of cafés, restaurants and souvenir shops. Free time to explore. Phewa Lake offers the chance of serene canoe trips, whilst a climb up to the nearby ‘peace monument’ will test the limbs and lungs. (B)
DAY 7 – Pokhara
A full day with which to be as active or inactive as one likes. Optional treks to view the nearby Annapurna range can be organised as well as a chance to paraglide from the heights of nearby Sarangkot, or simply stroll along the lakeside and take in your fill of this relaxed tourist centre. (B)
DAY 8 – Pokhara – Bandipur
(O/N The Old Inn)
And so from Pokhara to Bandipur. The choice is yours: those who wish can finish the journey in the traditional, time-honoured fashion by trekking from the roadside village of Bimal Nagar to Lungili and thence to Bandipur. Alternatively, our transportation takes you to the gates of Bandipur, with its eagle’s nest location, its provincial architecture, its interesting walks and a warm welcome at The Old Inn. (B,D)
DAY 9 – Bandipur
Rise early for sunrise over the snow-capped Annapurna peaks, then enjoy a morning walking tour of Bandipur, followed by free time. Hike to Thani Mai temple at the top of Gurunche Hill or down to Siddha Gufa, one of the largest caves in Nepal, or simply enjoy the lane ways and village paths of this enchanting small town. Find a quiet place to sit in the central, traffic-free bazaar, sip tea, nibble snacks or play giant chess at the Ke Garne Café, and be a part of village life as children, watched by parents, race each other and play in the village square near sunset. (B,D)
DAY 10 – Bandipur – Chitwan National Park
(O/N Royal Park Hotel)
It’s time to go ‘on safari’. Chitwan National Park lies at the foot of the Himalaya on the plain known as The Terai. The Park is 900 kms of virgin forest, grasslands and lakelands, on Nepal’s border with India. This is the home of the Bengal Tiger (only rarely seen), the rare Asian Rhino and ferocious sloth bear, a number of species of deer, the mugger and rare gharial crocodiles, a myriad of birds and other wildlife. After arrival, visit a local Tharu village, offering a fascinating insight into traditional lowlands Nepali life. (B,D)
DAY 11 – Chitwan National Park
An elephant-backed foray into the Park provides an opportunity to study the rhino at very close quarters. The Sal Forest through which one passes is a quiet wonderland, full of birds, monkeys, deer and other species. In the afternoon a canoe river trip offers the chance to spot crocodiles and birdlife up close, and this is followed by a visit to an elephant breeding centre/nursery. (B,L,D)
DAY 12 – Chitwan National Park-Kathmandu
(O/N Kathmandu Guest House)
Journeying once more from the plain of The Terai, following river courses, and then on into the Himalayan foothills, it’s then upwards, upwards and still upwards to finally reach the Valley Rim and descent into the city of Kathmandu. (B)
DAY 13 - Kathmandu Optional early morning Everest Mountain Flight.
It’s time to explore the amazing ‘mix’ that is Kathmandu; a morning walking tour of Durbar Square and the labyrinth of backstreets and alleys leading from one bazaar to another. And the ‘Great Stupa’ at Boudhanath, the place of pilgrimage or Tibetans and Nepal Buddhists is splendid in the late afternoon light. (B)
DAY 14 – Kathmandu
A full free day to explore the shops in search of that last minute bargain or souvenir. Or perhaps rise early and climb the commanding hill to Swayambhunath to visit the ‘monkey temple’, or take a taxi to the holy site of Hindu’s Lord Pashupati, or the splendid city of Patan with its world-renowned museum, before a farewell dinner. (B,D)
DAY 15 – Depart Kathmandu
Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)
(Meal Codes: B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Important: Although this is not a ‘walking ’itinerary, some physical fitness and mobility is necessary. Most sightseeing is conducted on foot, and at times we will be walking on uneven ground and climbing stairs.