Exploring the Himalayas

Nepal has rich geography and is popular for mountaineering, containing some of the world’s highest and most challenging peaks. This journey will take you through the beautiful Himalayan countryside while staying in lavish lodges along the way.

The experience will evolve through the medieval cities of Bhaktapur, then through farmlands of the Pokhara and Modi River Valleys, passing through small hamlets, terraced rice fields, and forests with magnificent views of the Annapurnas. You’ll be guided through a few old historical villages along the way where unique souvenirs are offered by local merchants.

Exploring the Himalayas Itinerary

Upon arrival into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport you are personally met and transferred to your hotel. Tonight there is a welcome dinner and briefing. Overnight Dwarika’s Hotel (Dinner)

Today we do some sightseeing in Kathmandu and surrounds. We head to Swayambhunath stupa – part of the legends that explain the origins of the Kathmandu Valley. Swyambhunath, though a stupa of the Buddhist faith, was probably an animistic shrine long before the arrival of religion. Legend has it emerging from the waters of the lake that filled the valley upon the sacred lotus that contained the Essence of Being. After, we traverse the old streets of Basantapur in Durbar Square with our first stop at the temple of the Living Goddess. We wander the back streets stopping at different temples and shrines and the courtyard of the old royal palace. We make our way back to the hotel for lunch. In the early afternoon we head to Pashupatinath, the holiest of Hindu temples with its sadhus and cremation ceremonies. Before dinner we will pop over to see the biggest Buddhist structure in Nepal, the Baudhanath Stupa in its beautiful glory with the last rays of the sun hitting its graceful dome. We will witness the devotes circumambulate the stupa and monks chanting away their prayers as they go around the shrine spinning the numerous prayer wheels. The sky filled with the smell of burning incense and butter lamps. Dinner at a beautiful Nepalese restaurant.Overnight Dwarika’s Hotel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

In the morning we fly to Pokhara (3,300ft / 1,000m), we rendezvous with our team and transfer by road with guides & porters to our trek start point 1 hour away. Our walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. This route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey’s Sanctuary Lodge (3,750ft / 1,150m) is located. The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre, as it is locally known. A picnic lunch is provided with a late afternoon arrival at the Lodge. Trek: 3-4 hours. Overnight Ker & Downey Sanctuary Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast, we leave the lodge walking out through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon we begin to climb out of the valley & up towards the mountains. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail. Hot lunch is served on arrival at the lodge in the early afternoon. It is from Himalaya lodge (6,600ft / 2,012m) that there are magnificent close up views of the surrounding mountains. Trek: 5-6 hours. Overnight Ker & Downey Himalaya Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

We wake up this morning with tea and coffee served in the garden and watch the sunrise over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and the Fishtail. After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, our guide will take us on an exploration of this mountain village and the surrounding countryside. Ghandruk was once a major recruitment centre for the famous Gurkha soldiers. The women of Ghandruk maintain a local industry of weaving traditional Nepalese rugs.Overnight Ker & Downey Himalaya Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast, we leave the Himalaya lodge and trek to Ker & Downey’s Gurung Lodge at (4,620ft / 1,450m). We walk out through the village of Ghandruk. Buffaloes and goats graze in the surrounding fields and you may have to make way for the donkey and mule trains that convey goods to and from the Gurkha settlements. You may also meet some trekkers coming down from the Annapurna Sanctuary. We continue descending for about 2 or 3 hours until we reach Shauli Bazaar. From here, we follow the Modi River until reaching the Sanctuary Lodge. We will have lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge before we ascend again partly on well-paved steps and partly on switch-backs. We reachthe Gurung Lodge after about 2 hours. Trek time 5-6 hours. Overnight Ker & Downey Gurung Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

This morning we start out trekking through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. Our walk takes us through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. After about 3.5 hours, we arrive at the Basanta Lodge (5,000ft / 1,525m). From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus. Overnight Ker & Downey Basanta Lodge (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

After breakfast, we depart along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor. Trek time 1.5 hours. We then transfer by vehicle to Pokhara 30 mins away. We enjoy lunch at an outdoor restaurant and enjoy the views of Phewa Lake. You then have the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore this quaint town of shops, cafes, and Annapurna range backdrop. Overnight Temple Tree Resort & Spa (Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast we fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you head to Bhaktapur, the best preserved of the Medieval cities of the Valley, its foundations around the Dattatreya Temple in the 9th century make for a casual walk through a fairly well-preserved though very much lived-in city, via ancient temples, some outstanding, others hidden via the Taumadi Square and it’s great 5-storyed Nyatopola Temple to end in the Durbar Square with its monuments to the Malla Dynasty, responsible for the antiquity that surrounds. We can lunch at a nice restaurant off the Taumadi Square, watch the daily life flow around and below or head to your accommodation and arrive in time for late lunch. In the afternoon, you have chances to relax, enjoy yoga, meditation, or a local short excursion.Overnight Dwarika’s Resort Dulikhel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Full day at resort to experience yoga, meditation, spa, massage, local excursions or relaxation.Overnight Dwarika’s Resort Dulikhel (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Day 11 / DEPART
Today you have time for morning yoga & meditation and after breakfast you have opportunities for last minute shopping. You enjoy a dayroom and lunch at Dwarika’s Hotel and in the evening you are transferred to Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport for your International departures. (Breakfast, Lunch)

More info and downloadable itinerary: Exploring the Himalayas


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