Nepal brings some very vivid images to mind, most of which are mountain views. And this tour is full of incredible mountain views of some of the highest snowcapped peaks in the world.
But there is more than just mountains. There are great waterfalls, ancient temples; monasteries filled with incense and wonderful mountain lakes. There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley before moving on to Pokhara. You will pass through narrow canyons and gorges as raging mountain rivers accompany you along the way.
There are great views of the mountains all through the trip. When we arrive at Pokhara, we will be staying next to the beautiful blue waters of Phewa Lake in the shadow of the incredible Annapurna Mountains. Pokhara is an incredible city of beauty that leaves every traveler wanting to return.
You can see Annapurna I (the 10th highest mountain in the world), Machhapuchhre (Fishtail Mountain) that looks like a fish upended, and many other snowcapped mountain peaks. Sunrise over the Annapurna Mountains is especially enjoyable and a great way to start off the day.
The Kathmandu Pokhara Standard Tour is probably our most popular trip. It combines six nights, seven days of sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley as well as in Pokhara. There are breathtaking views as well as an opportunity to see and experience the local culture and history. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expeditionis pleased to be able to offer this exciting tour of the two most popular areas of Nepal.
DAY 1 – Arrival in Kathmandu, transfer to hotel
DAY 2 – Full Day of Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley
DAY 3 – Sightseeing in Patan and Bhaktapur
DAY 4 – Drive to Pokhara, see Devi's Falls and Shiva Cave
DAY 5 – Full Day sightseeing with Sarangkot Sunrise
DAY 6 – Drive to Kathmandu
DAY 7 – Departure
DAY 1 – Arrival: Arrive in Kathmandu where you will be met by your representative of Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition. You will be taken to your hotel where you can relax before your evening meal. There will be an orientation session in the evening. If time allows, we will take a trip to Swayambhu, one of the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu Valley which offers an incredible view of the Valley as well as the oldest religious site in the city.
DAY 2 – Sightseeing in Kathmandu Valley: We are off to see three to four of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites today. We begin with Kathmandu's Durbar Square, the place of where the medieval kings ruled for centuries. There are almost 60 different temples here, some even with erotic carvings from the Kama Sutra. Then it is off to Boudhanath to see Nepal's largest stupa (3rd largest in the world.) This is the center of Tibetan Buddhism and Tibetan refugees in Nepal. Besides this impressively large stupa, there are around 50 monasteries in the area. Nearby is Pashupatinath, the most holy Hindu shrine in Nepal, and a pilgrimage site for Hindus from around the world. If we were unable to visit Swayambhu (a/k/a Monkey Temple), we will journey to this holy place as well. This is one of the oldest holy sites in the Kathmandu Valley, dating back over 2000 years. We will spend the night in our Three Star Hotel in Kathmandu.
DAY 3 – Sightseeing of Patan and Bhaktapur: We move outside of Kathmandu and to the cities of Patan and Bhaktapur. Both of these places were once their own kingdom, and you will see palaces and temples as these are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Patan is known as the city of art; Bhaktapur the city of Devotees. Both are incredible places to enjoy as we will spend the day touring these important places in the Kathmandu Valley. In the evening, we return to our Three Star Hotel.
DAY 4 – Drive to Pokhara, Sightseeing: We leave early morning on a first-class, luxury bus to the fabled lakeside city of Pokhara. The journey is around six hours, as the bus crests the pass of the Kathmandu Valley, then drops down into canyons and gorges to follow fast flowing mountain rivers as the journey continues on toward Pokhara. There are plenty of views of the mountains from various vantage points. Pokhara will offer great views of the mighty Annapurna Mountains which are so close to the city that they dwarf everything before it. Pokhara is the region of many mountain lakes; the biggest is Phewa Lake. Today we will visit Devi's Falls, an impressive waterfall that rushes into a narrow gorge before disappearing into an underground river. We will visit Gufa Cave (also known as Shiva Gufa) and begin some of our initial sightseeing in Pokhara. We will check into our Three Star Hotel and then enjoy an evening at Lakeside which is a fun place to visit in Pokhara.
DAY 5 – Sightseeing and Sunrise over the Mountains: We are up early as we make our way to the top of Sarangkot Hill for a fantastic sunrise over the Annapurna Mountains. We come before dawn to watch from the view tower the sun rise over the mountains. Breakfast follows, and there is time to walk along Phewa Lake, the second largest lake in Nepal. We will take a boat ride on the lake, and from there walk to the top of the World Peace Pagoda for a magnificent view of the city, the lake and the mountains as they reflect in its beautiful blue waters. During the day, we will visit Seti Gorge, Bindhabasini Temple, and the pet god of Pokhara along with many other cultural and natural landscapes. We will overnight at our hotel in Pokhara.
DAY 6 – Return to Kathmandu: We sadly have to leave Pokhara in the morning, returning by luxury bus to Kathmandu. Once we return to the city, we will enjoy some free time before our evening farewell dinner with a cultural show. We will stay at a Three Star Hotel for the night.
Day 7 – Departure: All good things must come to an end, and this short trip is no exception. Your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition will escort you by private vehicle to the airport to see you off to your next destination. Before leaving, why not discuss a return trip to Nepal to explore other parts of this great nation. Your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition can put together all kinds of vacation packages for your next holiday.
While traveling with Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition, your all around safety and satisfaction is of our paramount concern. Please note that the Trip Leader has the authority to cancel or amend any part of this itinerary if it is necessary due to any safety concerns. We leave no stone unturned to keep the itinerary mentioned above, but as this adventure does include traveling in the Himalayas, we can’t guarantee that it will not be necessary to make changes if conditions so warrant. Some of these factors include extreme weather conditions, unexpected natural disaster, health conditions of any of our group members, etc, can all be contributing factors necessitating changes. Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition’s Trip Leader will try to ensure that the trip runs as per plan, but we kindly request that you be flexible if need be.
All accommodations for the Kathmandu to Pokhara Standard Tour are on a twin sharing basis with inclusive trip costs. The Three Star Hotels have been checked out personally by our staff and they offer a high degree of hygiene as well as high standard of service. If you are a solo traveler, we will share a room with someone else of the same sex of our group. If you would prefer a single room that is a possibility by paying an additional fee. However, please understand that with some of the remote places; a single room might not be possible, depending upon location and tour. Be sure to talk to your representative at Swiss Nepal Family Trekking & Expedition about the single room option.
During the tour, we can enjoy typical Nepali food as well as some different ethnic cuisine. Some places may even offer some international foods (Tibetan, Continental, Italian, Indian, etc.) ranging from pizza to finger chips (French Fries). Many places will offer a variety of soft and hard drinks and snacks. We will have lunch on the trail, ranging from a picnic lunch to local accommodations, depending upon the tour area. A farewell dinner with cultural show and breakfast will be served when in Pokhara and Kathmandu.