Highlights of Nepal    *alt*

13 days, from £1549
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Experience Nepali culture, fascinating history, mountain scenery and wildlife

From historic Kathmandu and Bhaktapur to the incredible mountain scenery of the Annapurnas, we get the chance to discover the variety of cultures, landscapes and religions that make Nepal so special. This trip gives us the opportunity to see all facets of this astonishing country: the narrow streets and temples of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, the lakeside city of Pokhara at the foot of the Annapurnas and the wildlife of Chitwan, an ideal introduction to the delights of Nepal.

- 7 nights hotels/guesthouses, 2 nights comfortable jungle lodge, 1 night teahouse and 1 night mountain resort, all en suite
- 3 daywalks (low altitude throughout)
- Group normally 4-16, plus leader. Min. age 16yrs
- Travel by private bus, boat, and two internal flights

- Culture
- Cultural Wonders
- Natural Wonders

- Magnificent views of the Annapurnas, including sacred 'Fishtail' Mountain
- Gentle day walks through picturesque villages in the Annapurna foothills
- Take a boat across Pokhara's Phewa Lake and walk to the World Peace Pagoda
- Mediaeval Bhaktapur, one of the ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley
- Search for rhinoceros and crocodiles on a jeep safari and dugout canoe ride in Chitwan

Activity grade: Leisurely / Moderate

- 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners included
- All accommodation
- All transport and listed activities
- Tour leader throughout
- Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
- Arrival and departure transfers


 Day 1 Depart London.

The overnight group flights depart London this evening. **

 Day 2 Arrive Kathmandu.

The group flights usually arrive into Kathmandu in the late afternoon. Those who have booked a transfer through Exodus will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel. Those who have made their own travel arrangements may join us at the hotel throughout the afternoon. This evening there will be a full trip briefing - please check the notice board in the reception area by the Exodus desk for details of where and when this will be held. *Hotel Royal Singi* (or similar)* *

 Day 3 Drive to lakeside town of Pokhara, gateway to the Annapurna Range.

We leave Kathmandu early this morning and drive to Pokhara - traffic leaving Kathmandu can prolong the journey but once out of Kathmandu city, the journey usually takes around 6 hours depending on the road and traffic conditions. In the afternoon your leader will take you for an orientation walk along the shore of Phewa Lake. Pokhara is a pretty lakeside resort at the foot of the Annapurna range. *Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia* (or similar)* *

 Day 4 Free day in Pokhara; optional excursion to Sarankot for sunrise.

We have the whole day to explore Pokhara. There is plenty to do and see in and around Pokhara. You might like to take a taxi up to the viewpoint at Sarankot for a magnificent sunrise views over the whole Annapurna range. For the energetic you can ask the hotel for a packed breakfast and then walk back down to the lakeside from Sarankot (approx. 3 hour walk). In Pokhara you can hire a bike and cycle along the lake shore. The Mountain Museum has interesting displays and for those interested, there is also a Gurkha Museum. You can hire a boat and go boating on the lake and there are some pretty walks around Begnas Lake (another lake a short distance outside of Pokhara). Your leader will brief you on all the options available and help you organise transport. If the group want to do different acitvities today your leader will accompany the largest group. There are also plenty of shops along the lakeside and lots of nice garden restaurants for lunches and dinners. Your leader will also recommend restaurants and will accompany you to dinner. *Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia *(or similar)

 Day 5 Drive to Khare; trek through forest to Australian Camp (1880m); afternoon bird watching walk.

This morning we drive out of Pokhara to Khare (1.5hrs), from where we walk through lush forests to Australian Camp. The walk takes us gradually uphill for about 2.5hrs. Australian Camp was originally a clearing in the forest with great mountain views where trekking groups used to camp. There are now several lodges in the clearing but the views are still as beautiful. On a clear day we get magnificent views of Annapurna South, Huinchuli, Machhapuchhare and Lamjung Himal. We should be at our basic but comfortable lodge by lunchtime and we can spend the afternoon either admiring the view or your leader will take you on a bird watching walk. This day will give us a taste of trekking in Nepal. The rooms at the lodge are basic but have attached bathrooms, and there is a decent choice of food. *Australian Camp - teahouse* (or similar)* *

 Day 6 Walk through beautiful terraces to Dhampus with magnificent views of Macchapuchhare and the Annapurnas; return to Pokhara.

On a clear morning it is well worth getting up early for the spectacular sunrise. After a leisurely breakfast we head to the neatly laid out terraces of Dhampus. It will take approximately 1.5hrs walking. This village is set on a ridge with magnificent views of the Annapurnas and Machhapuchhare, the 'Fishtail' mountain can be seen as it sits in the middle of the range and has a very distinctive shape. Considered holy this mountain cannot be climbed by anyone. From Dhampus we descend on a stone staircase trail to Dhampus Phedi where we meet the road and our bus. We drive back to Pokhara and the rest of the day is free. *Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia* (or similar) * *

 Day 7 Boat across Lake Phewa; short walk to Raniban visiting the World Peace Pagoda en route.

We pack up this morning. The bus will take our luggage (and anyone not wanting to walk) to the Raniban Retreat, which overlooks the lake and the mountains. We will take a short boat trip across the lake (approx half an hour). We then have quite a steep climb up to the Japanese Peace Pagoda, set on a hill overlooking the lake. From here it s a short walk to the Raniban Retreat, where we stay tonight. This peaceful guest house looks out across the lake and with the Annapurnas as a backdrop it makes for a perfect setting to enjoy the sunset and sunrise from the veranda. After lunch there is the option of an afternoon walk further up the ridge. There are an amazing number of birds in the forests around you may want to visit a local village house. *Raniban Retreat* (or similar)* *

 Day 8 Short flight to Bharatpur and transfer to Chitwan National Park; afternoon jungle activity.

We take a mid-morning flight to Bharatpur and transfer (approx. 50mins) to our jungle lodge in Chitwan, where we spend the next two nights. As we fly from Pokhara we get our last views of the whole Annapurna range. We will reach our lodge in Chitwan around lunchtime and in the afternoon we meet our naturalist and start our jungle activities - activities may be offered in a different order however usually today's activity will be an ox-cart ride around Tharu Village where we witness a traditional Tharu dance. The lodge has a small complex of two-roomed huts with attached bathrooms and a separate communal dining/bar area. *Maruni Sanctuary Lodge/Green Mansions **Jungle Resort *(or similar)

 Day 9 Jeep safaris, dugout canoe rides and birdwatching walks around the Chitwan area.

The order of the programme of activities may change but will generally include an early morning birdwatching walk before breakfast. Before lunch there will be another activity, normally a trip along the Rapti River in a dugout canoe looking for crocodile and again observing the many birds. Then before dinner we set out on a jeep safari. If we are lucky we may encounter the Indian one-horned rhinoceros or some of the several species of deer found here. The safari lodge has knowledgeable and helpful staff, who accompany us on all the excursions. *Maruni Sanctuary Lodge/Green Mansions Jungle Resort* (or similar)

 Day 10 Fly to Kathmandu; drive to Mediaeval Bhaktapur.

Rise early for a pre-breakfast birdwatching walk. We leave Chitwan after breakfast and catch a morning flight back to Kathmandu, for where we transfer by road to Bhaktapur. In the afternoon we'll have an orientation walk around this Mediaeval town. *Badgoan Guest House, Bhaktapur* (or similar)* *

 Day 11 Visit Bhaktapur Durbar Square; return to Kathmandu.

We spend this morning exploring this wonderful heritage town. Bhaktapur is the most mediaeval of the three cities in the Kathmandu Valley. It is quieter than Kathmandu and its temples although there was much destruction from the 2015 earthquake of the surrounding areas, the city centre survived fairly well. There are two Durbar (main) Squares with ancient pagoda style temples. The surrounding narrow streets and potters square are also worth exploring. We have lunch in a restaurant in the centre and late afternoon we drive back to Kathmandu. *Hotel Royal Singi *(or similar)

 Day 12 Free to explore Kathmandu; optional scenic Everest flight.

The day is free for sightseeing and exploring the temples around Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. We have a number of organised sightseeing tours and activities that can be booked from the hotel in Kathmandu, including an optional Everest sightseeing flight - please see the Optional Excursions section below for further details. *Hotel Royal Singi* (or similar)

 Day 13 Fly to London.

For those not travelling on the group flights, the trip ends after breakfast. Those flying with the group will transfer to the airport for the flight back to London, which arrives in the evening of the same day **

Dates and Prices

Sun 22-Sep-2019£2,599Flight inclusive adult
Mon 23-Sep-2019£1,619Land only
Sun 13-Oct-2019£2,599Flight inclusive adult
Mon 14-Oct-2019£1,619Land only

Tour Map