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Panoramic Nepal (13 Nihgts/14 Days)
(Places Covered: Kathmandu - Patan - Bhaktapur - Chitwan - Pokhara - Tirkhedhungga - Ghorepani - Poon Hill - Ghandruk - Pokhara - Kathmandu)
 
Day 01 : Arrival in Kathmandu
On arrival at Kathmandu Airport you'll be greeted by your driver and whisked away to your authentic Nepalese accommodation. Just outside the centre of Kathmandu, you can savour the peace and quiet of this quaint Kathmandu hotel with its large courtyard gardens and spacious rooms decorated in Nepalese traditional style. The owner has an artistic streak, as you'll be able to tell from the regular theatre performances, the portraits on the walls of the old wing, the Ayurvedic massage centre and the decorative detail all around. From the roof terrace, there's a fantastic view across the rooftops of Kathmandu. You'll sleep in a spacious and comfortable room in the new wing.
When you've freshened up and recovered from your flight, your Nepal holiday will really begin and you can take a stroll around the area to soak up the atmosphere, perhaps find a good spot to eat. Definitely check out one of the many rooftop restaurants Thamel has to offer.
Day 02 : Kathmandu tours around the city
KathmanduIt's the second day of your Nepal holiday and today you'll have plenty of time today to explore Kathmandu with your guide. Your sightseeing tour will take you to Durbar Square, Pashupatinath, Bouddhanath and Swayambunath. Durbar Square is the ideal starting point from which to explore this ancient city. You'll find quite a few fascinating temples here. Take a seat on the steps of one of the many temples and just watch the locals going about their daily activities. You will also visit the temple complexes Swayambunath and Pashupatinath (comparable to Varanasi in India; it's the most holy Hindu pilgrimage site in Nepal and the place for Nepali Hindus to be cremated).

The Bouddhanath temple, a Tibetan buddhist monument, is one of the highlights of today's tour. It's one of the largest stupas in the world. The architecture is beautiful, but you may feel all templed-out at the end of the day. You'll definitely have a better idea of the significant role religion and old tradition have in Nepalese daily life.
Day 03 : Kathmandu - Patan - Bhaktapur – Kathmandu
On day three of your Nepal holiday, you'll visit the Kathmandu Valley with a driver and a guide. The drive to Bhaktapur will take about 1 hour. The city is one large open-air museum, especially since large portions of town are pedestrian areas. Throughout the town you'll find plenty of medieval buildings with beautiful wood carvings. This town is perfect for a stroll past shops and stands. The town square has lost some of its splendour as time has gone by, especially since most of it was destroyed during an earthquake in 1934. Even so, the square is still nothing less than impressive and when you see it you'll probably understand why significant portions of Bertolucci's 'Little Buddha' were filmed here. At the end of the morning you'll visit Patan. Here, you'll have the opportunity to have a bite to eat and you'll see many ancient squares where rice is laid out to dry, pots are being made by hand and children run around playing with paper kites. Old crafts and traditions are still going strong in Kathmandu valley.
Day 04 : Kathmandu to Chitwan National Park
On the fourth day of your Nepal holiday, a private driver will take you on a 5-hour drive to Chitwan National Park. After a short briefing there's time to freshen up in your bungalow and grab some lunch in the riverside restaurant. In the afternoon you'll have your first elephant safari, an exciting part of the Nepal highlights tour. You'll share the basket on the elephant's back with a maximum of 3 other travellers. Perched high on the back of these giant beasts you'll be safely out of reach of all that lurks in the tall grass. If you're lucky you'll spot your first rhino as well as deer, kingfishers and other creatures, although there's a another chance of seeing them on foot on your walking safari tomorrow morning. If a rhino does come into view your elephant may sound the alarm with an almighty growl, just to show the rhino who's boss...
Day 05 : Chitwan National Park
Chitwan is at its most beautiful at dawn. The early morning golden light sweeps across the plains, giving it an other-worldly atmosphere. The river is even more magical. Working elephants stride through the water, small boats glide downstream and rhinos graze in the grass. On day five of your Nepal holiday, you'll hop into a wooden canoe with your guide for a tour of the Rapti River, where crocodiles sunbathe on the shores. After about 30 minutes you'll go on a guided walk through the jungle. You'll hike along narrow paths through the forests and plains where the high grass seems almost impenetrable. It's a little scary knowing that this grass could be hiding rhinos, leopards and tigers, but don't worry, your experienced guide knows exactly what he's doing. Although the rhinos seem harmless enough, they shouldn't be underestimated. Their poor eyesight often causes them to storm defensively into any unfamiliar noise or smell, so always follow your guide's instructions very closely indeed.
Day 06 : Chitwan - Pokhara
ChitwanIt's the sixth day of your Nepal holiday and this morning there will be either a jungle walk or a crocodile canoe safari (this will depend both on the weather and what you did yesterday). In the afternoon, you'll begin the drive to Pokhara. Along the way you’ll see just how quickly the landscape changes as you leave the sub-tropical lowlands and travel to the Annapurna region of Nepal. After a while you’ll see the Annapurna Mountains on the horizon. This mountain range consists of peaks ranging from around 5000m plus to above 8000 meters, including the most striking landmark, Machapucchre; better known as Fishtail Mountain. You can see for yourself why! In Pokhara you’ll stay in a comfortable hotel near the centre, within walking distance of Phewa Lake. Here you’ll find everything from small bistros to large restaurants, from local cuisine to some of the best Western food. In the evening, why not take a stroll by the lake to walk off your evening meal?
Day 07 : Pokhara
Day seven of your Nepal holiday is free for you to do as you please. If you’re planning to head out on a trek after this module, you’ll probably want a nice lie-in and a day dedicated to taking it easy. You could also walk down the main street you’ll see a multitude of shops and stalls when you can stock-up on some creature comforts and perhaps some portable snacks for trekking. If you’re not much of a trekker, Pokhara has plenty to keep you busy; waterfalls, caves and Tibetan villages are all situated in the hills nearby and the city is also home to a choice of interesting museums. Fancy more of a thrill on your Nepal travels? Try a paragliding session from Sarangkot viewpoint. From here you’ll have a glorious view of the Himalayan peaks.
Day 08 : Pokhara - Tirkhedhunga
After breakfast your driver will pick you up for the two-hour drive to Birethanti, the next destination on your Nepal holiday. On the way, you will be able to see the high peaks of the Himalayas looming in the distance as the road winds its way up to the starting point of this short Nepal trek. Packed with your camera, warm sweater and some water you'll head off, accompanied by your guide and local porters. The villagers wave goodbye as you slowly begin your ascent. The path leads through a thick bamboo forest to lush green fields where animals quietly graze. There's plenty of opportunity to stop off for some pictures or a drink on the way. After about 4 hours you arrive in Tirkhedhunga, a small village with a couple of shops, a wobbly hanging bridge across the river and waving children that follow you full of curiosity. You'll be sleeping in a basic lodge. There's running cold water, but don't expect en suite facilities or a hot shower...
Day 09 : Tirkhedhunga - Ghorepani
After a hearty breakfast it's time to pack your things and head off on the trek. The first stretch is fairly easy as you walk downhill into the valley. As you cross the river Burungdi Khola make sure to stop and admire this spectacular mountain river. The freezing cold meltwater flows down from high up on the mountain. Then it's the most strenuous part of your short Nepal trek. Heading up some stony steps you slowly make your way to 2000m. At the end of this strenuous climb you'll be rewarded with an amazing view of the snow-capped mountains rising up above the surrounding hills; a real highlight of your Nepal holiday. The last part of the trek is pretty level and leads through a colourful and aromatic rhododendron forest. On arrival in Ghorepani put your feet up, have a drink and relax. As you look around you'll see the colourful sight of the prayer flags fluttering in the wind against the many temples and snowy mountain peaks in the background.
Day 10 & 11 : Ghorepani - Tadapani - Ghandruk
It's an early start today, so as not to miss the highlight of this trip; the sunrise at Poon Hill. After breakfast, you'll continue your Nepal holiday as you start the one-hour climb to the top at 3190m. Once you reach the top, sit yourself down in a comfortable spot and watch as the sun slowly colours the white peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri a deep orange. It's enough to give you goose bumps... When the sun's up, the trek continues to Tadapani, where you'll stay overnight. You'll meet a lot of local villagers on the way carrying all kinds of interesting paraphernalia. Everything is lugged up the mountain from sacks of rice to live chickens in big baskets, even entire beds. The local men all wear simple flip-flops but they're still a lot faster than us tourists in our hiking boots. On the way, you'll pass through green fields where you can see farmers working the land. At the end of the afternoon you reach a small Gurung village where you will spend the night in a basic lodge.
Day 12 : Ghandruk - Pokhara
GhandrukIn the morning, you will leave for the last part of the sunrise trek to Nayapul, about two hours - downhill all the way. When you arrive, you'll find your transportation waiting for you for the two-hour drive to Pokhara. This friendly town is the trekking hub for the Annapurna region. Most of the hotels are situated around the lake and this is also where you'll find plenty of bustling bars and restaurants. You'll stay in a comfortable lakeside hotel a perfect place to relax after your trek. A little extra comfort won't go amiss and you'll deserve it after the action of the past few days of your Nepal holiday. On a clear day, you can see the snow-capped mountain peaks in the distance, you can rent a boat and go out on the lake or visit the golden Varahi temple.
Day 13 : Pokhara - Kathmandu
It's day thirteen of your Nepal holiday and this morning you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast by the lake before you make your own way from your hotel to the local airport. You'll fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu in a small plane, so you'll be guaranteed a window seat. You'll have an amazing view of the snow-capped Annapurna mountains on one side of the plane, and if you're lucky you'll catch a glimpse of Mount Everest on the other. On arrival in Kathmandu you will be greeted by our local agent and transferred to your hotel. You'll be pretty familiar with the city by now so it won't be hard to find your way to that great little restaurant you discovered during the first days of your Nepal holiday. In the afternoon you can visit another temple or pick up some souvenirs for home at the local markets.
Day 14 : Kathmandu - End of Nepal holiday
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and today your Nepal holiday must draw to a close. We'll arrange your transfer to the airport where you'll catch your flight back to the UK. If this Nepal holiday sounds like the trip for you, just click the quote request form link below and select it. Send us the form and we'll send you a detailed, no-obligation Nepal Travel Plan quote.
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