And along the way you’ll witness cremations at the famous burning ghats of Pashupatinath, see Buddhist stupas and visit the medieval Newar town of Bhaktapur. Your trek begins in Pokhara and takes in the astounding scenery surrounding Ghandruk, Majhgaun and Dhampus before culminating in rafting along the Seti River and safaris into the Chitwan National Park. The last step of your adventure is another chance to experience Nepal’s chaotic capital.
London – Delhi
Fly out of Heathrow in the evening on your overnight flight to Delhi.
You arrive at Delhi in the morning to meet your connecting flight to Kathmandu, where you’ll be met and taken to your hotel to relax. The following morning your adventure begins in earnest as you visit Pashupatinath and a Hindu temple dedicated to Pashupati, the manifestation of Shiva. You’ll be able to peer at the large gold Nandi statue in the temple’s forecourt through the huge entrance doors. You can also watch cremations in Pashupatinath‘s famous burning ghats. Then it’s time to continue on to the nearby Boudhanath Stupa, regarded as the centre of Nepal’s Tibetan community, before heading east to the medieval Newar town of Bhaktapur – the third largest in the Kathmandu Valley and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Stay: Two nights in a heritage room at the Dwarikas Hotel.
Kathmandu – Pokhara
A 30 minute flight takes you to Pokhara, situated on the banks of a scenic lake. You’ll meet your trekking team and drive over to Lumle where your trek starts. Your first walk takes you up to Chandrakot Village, before dropping down to cross the Modi Khola via the Lamaket Suspension Bridge. A gentle walk of about three hours will bring you to your first stop-over, close to the pretty village of Birethanti.
Stay: One night in a twin room at Sanctuary Lodge.
Today you’ll be taking an altitude gain of over 300 feet, but the track is good and the scenery absolutely breath-taking; especially Annapurna Himal. After a day being astonished by the beauty of nature along the Modi Khola trail north to Kimche you’ll finally arrive at the famous Gurung village of Ghandruk. Here you’re in Ghurka country, with the Annapurna Conservation Area Project at its hub. You can wander around the village and watch local women weave traditional Nepalese rugs. Or you can take on a challenging hike of over three hours and 8600 feet to Tadapani. It’s a steep trek but takes you through a rhododendron forest and rewards you with fabulous sweeping views of the Annapurnas.
Stay: Two nights in a twin room at Himalaya Lodge.
From Himalaya Lodge your trek will take you along a route used by locals carrying produce and great bundles of firewood, and mountaineers setting off for their Annapurna base camp. A two hour descent past farms and Gurkha settlements brings you to Shauli Bazaar and the Modi River with its cable bridge. After a riverside picnic you start to climb again, to reach Majgaun and your resting place for the night.
Stay: One night in a twin room at Gurung Lodge.
On today’s trek you’ll walk through sub-tropical forests and Gurung villages like Patlekhet on your way from Birethanti to Dhampus on the eastern flanks of the Modi Khola Valley. Then a lengthy climb through a rhododendron forest is rewarded by fantastic views from the crest of the ridge. But save some of your camera’s memory; you’ll now descend to a ridge close to the village of Dhampus, offering sweeping, panoramic views of Annapurna, Machapuchare and the Manaslu Himal. You’ll be staying in Dhampus so be sure not to miss the splendid sunrise shots and views over the Phedi and Mardi Valleys. You’ll also be able to take nature walks through forests of bamboo, conifer and rhododendron and along steep hillside terraces.
Stay: One night at Basanta Lodge.
Your final trek is downhill to Phedi where your expedition vehicle will be waiting to drive you back to Pokhara. Here you can explore the lake, sample some wonderful local restaurants, browse around a variety of shops and soak up views of a landscape that rises from 827 metres to over 8000 metres in just 30 km.
Stay: One night in a deluxe room at Fishtail Lodge.
Pokhara – Seti River
Now it’s time to give your legs a rest. You’ll be driven to Damauli for a two-day raft safari along the Seti River towards Royal Chitwan National Park. Keep a sharp lookout for a variety of interesting indigenous birds.
Stay: One night at Seti River Camp.
Chitwan National Park
Rafting through small rapids and beautiful countryside finally brings you to Amaltarighat where you’ll meet your drivers for a trip through typical Tharu villages to Chitwan National Park, a journey of approximately three hours. You’ll be staying in a lodge that recreates the traditional style of Tharu longhouses, built using local materials, and your days will be filled by interacting with the lodge’s elephants, bird watching, jungle walks and taking boat safaris on the Narayani River.
Stay: Two nights at Tiger Tops Tharu Lodge.
Chitwan – Kathmandu
The following morning you can take a final jungle walk before catching your flight from Bharatpur Airport back to Kathmandu. This is your chance to take a sightseeing tour of Patan – founded in 250 AD and famous for its art, metalwork and architecture including Durbar Square, the Royal Baths, Mahaboudha, Krishna Mandir and the Golden Temple. On Durbar Square you’ll find the new Patan Museum – a beautifully restored Malla palatial residence that houses metalwork sculptures from Hindu and Buddhist deities of special significance to the spiritualism, cultural heritage and contemporary life of Nepal.
Stay: One night in a heritage room at the Dwarikas Hotel.
Kathmandu – Delhi – London
You’ll fly out of Kathmandu early in the morning to meet your connecting flight in Delhi. You’ll arrive back in London in the evening.