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8 days to explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Kathmandu Valley and experience rural mountain life in Nepal with a stunning short trek.

Departure: Kathmandu
Duration: 8 Days
Best Season: October to March
Trek Grade: Gentle

Explore the ancient sites of the Kathmandu Valley and take a stunning trek into the Annapurna foothills with unforgettable views of Mt Dhaulagiri, Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and the holy and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhare as it is locally known.

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 01: Your arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Patan
Day 03: Overland to Pokhara
Day 04: Suikhet Phedi trek to Dhampus
Day 05: Dhampus trek to Landrung
Day 06: Landrung to Ghandrung
Day 07:  Ghandrung to Nayapul to Pokhara
Day 08: Depart Kathmandu

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Your arrival in Kathmandu
Upon your arrival at Kathmandu airport we will greet you and transfer you to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we can organise some exploring in the afternoon to introduce you to this amazing place and its unique ancient-modern mix.

Exploring the old city, you’ll wander through narrow streets and alleyways, discovering hidden temples and meeting the locals. Exotic produce and a bewildering mix of people are everywhere; you're likely to see Ghurkhas, Tibetan women in their striped aprons, traders from India, and sadhus - Hindu holy men - perhaps on pilgrimage to one of the many temples and shrines of the valley.

Day 02: Sightseeing in Kathmandu and Patan
This morning you have the option of taking an early morning mountain flight before breakfast – this flight is a truly spectacular 1 hour flight along the Himalayan Range to unforgettable Mount Everest and back!

After breakfast at your hotel we will explore the must see sites of Kathmandu and its surroundings. We will have a morning sightseeing tour of Kathmandu Durbar Square (old royal palace complex) and the holy Buddhist stupa of Swayambunath, also called the Monkey Temple. After lunch we will explore the ancient city of Patan and visit the Tibetan Handicraft Centre.

Kathmandu
Kathmandu Durbar (palace) Square and its array of temples are overlooked by the Hanuman Dhoka Palace, the ancient palace of the Nepalese Royalty. Also known as Kantipur, this is one of the three ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley, the others being in Patan and Bhaktapur. Inside the Durbar Square complex we will visit the residence and temple of the Living Goddess; we will also see the Kasthamandap, the impressive resting place from which the name ‘Kathmandu’ is said to have come and which is said to be made from the timber of a single tree.

Swayambhunath
Located in a hilltop above Kathmandu, this Buddhist Stupa is said to be 2000 years old and is one of Nepal’s most important Buddhist sanctuaries. The oldest inscription discovered dates back to the 5th century and refers to the founding of a monastery.

The Stupa which forms the main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. Painted on the four sided base of the spire are the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha. The whole hill is a mosaic of small Chaityas (memorials) and temples and it is one of the only places that you can see the Stupa, Pagoda and Shikar style of temple. It is a sacred Buddhist place of worship, but it is also holy to Hindus and you can also find Hindu shrines here – a fine illustration of the religious tolerance found in Nepal.

Patan
The cities in the Kathmandu Valley are made up of 3 ancient cities and Patan is located across the Bagmati River to the south of Kathmandu city. Patan is also known as Lalitpur, the city of fine arts. According to legend the founding of Patan dates back to Pre-Christian times. As opposed to the Malla cities of Kathmandu and Bhaktapur that were mainly influenced by the Hindu religion, Patan was for many years a major Buddhist city. It is believed that it was founded in the third century B.C. by the famous Buddhist emperor, Ashoka, who visited the town while on a pilgrimage from Northern India and built four stupas that enclosed the centre of the old town. This would make it the oldest continuing Buddhist town in the world.

We will visit the Patan Durbar Square and see the Krishna Temple built by King Siddhi Narsingh Malla, Hiranya Varna Mabavihar and the Mahadouddha Temple.

This is followed by a trip to the Tibetan Refugee Camp and Handicraft Centre, where you can see the hand weaving of Tibetan carpets and mounding of metal statues.

Day 03: Overland to Pokhara
After breakfast this morning we leave the Kathmandu Valley behind and travel overland to Pokhara, a stunning lakeside town with incredible mountain views, 200km west of Kathmandu. On our way, we drive along the banks of the Trisuli River, past stunning traditional villages, terraced fields and if the weather is good we will have some fantastic picturesque views to the Himalayan Range.
We stop to enjoy lunch at Bandipur, a small town perched on a hillside with outstanding views to Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, Manaslu and the Annapurna massif. After arriving in Pokhara we will check in to our hotel and then head out to explore the lakeside and then relax over dinner.

Pokhara
The rare combination of snow-clad peaks and snow fed lakes and rivers has helped to make the valley of Pokhara (210kms/131 miles from Kathmandu) one of the most picturesque natural attractions in Nepal. It is virtually in the centre of Nepal and, while it is only 800m above sea level, it has stunning close up views of the Himalayan Range, in particular the famous Annapurna massif.

There are really two towns here today; one is the busy section, with hotels and restaurants down by the lake that most tourists find themselves in, and the other consists of the noisy back streets of the fast diminishing old town. Here you will find the old bazaar, with traditional buildings built by Newari artisans who migrated westwards from Kathmandu three hundred years ago.

Day 04: Suikhet Phedi trek to Dhampus
After breakfast our trek guide will meet us at the hotel and we will drive about half an hour to Suikhet Phedi where we will start our trek. From here, the trail ascends steeply, first through forest, then through gorgeous terraced paddy fields and again through forest to the village of Dhampus. We will stay the night here in our tents, camping out in the mountains of Nepal!  From our camp we can see views of snowy Mountains of Machhapuchhare (the holy, unclimbed Mt Fishtail), Annapurna South, Lamjung Himal, and Annapurna III if weather permits. Phedi (1130) to Dhampus (1650m) approximately 3 hours walking time.

Day 05: Dhampus trek to Landrung
After breakfast, the trail goes up to Pothana Village and onwards up to Deurali through Rhododendron and orchid forest. From on top of the ridge at Deurali we have magnificent views of the mountains, including Mt Dhaulagiri, the highest mountain in this region. We enjoy the views while having a well earned rest and then we descend through forest to the small village of Tolka, a small Gurung village very rich in culture and very beautiful.  We proceed on to Beri Kharka and from here, the trail descends through scattered forests and villages to reach Landrung. Landrung is a large Gurung village situated above the Modi River where we will stay the night in a local tea house. Lunch will be served en-route. Dhampus (1650m) to Landrung (1646m) approximately 5-6 hours walking time.

Day 06: Landrung to Ghandrung
After breakfast, our trail goes steeply down towards the Modi River for about an hour. We then head uphill again with a steep ascent for two to three hours sustained by the beautiful views of the Himalayas, terraced fields and scattered villages. Lunch will be served en-route and we continue on to reach Ghandrung where we will stay tonight in a tea house.

Ghandrung is a picturesque town of slate-roofed houses surrounded by terraced fields and is the biggest Gurung settlement in western Nepal. The Gurung people are one of Nepal’s most famous ethnic groups, known for their distinctive dialect, culture, costume, and life style. Ghandruk is also home to many soldiers from the famous Ghurkha regiments. From here we can have stunning views of Annapurna South, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, Annapurna III and Fishtail/Machhapuchhare.

If time and energy permit, we can visit ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) head office, local museum and explore this charming village. Landrung (1646m) to Ghandrung (1951m) approximately 4-5 hours walking time.

Day 07: Ghandrung to Nayapul to Pokhara
After breakfast we descend along gentle paved trails through forest and terraced fields to Kimchi (1638m). We then follow the ridge downhill to Kehone Danda and on to Kliu, after which we cross a suspension bridge over the Sadhu Khola (river), finally reaching the Modi Khola at Seuli Bazaar (1140m).

Following flatter trails along the Modi Khola we walk through lovely forests and terraces to Birethanti and on to Nayapul on the Pokhara-Baglung highway. From here we relax as we drive about 1 hour to Pokhara. Ghandrung (1951m) to Nayapul (1070m); drive to  Pokhara (800m) approximately 6 hours walking time.

In the afternoon we will take a stunning flight along the Himalayan Range back to Kathmandu. After checking into our hotel and enjoying the delights of hotels again after our trek we will sample a typical Nepali dinner and see the traditional dance at a local restaurant.

Day 08: Depart Kathmandu
After breakfast at your hotel, you are free until it is time for us to transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.

 

 

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