One of the most mountainous countries in the world, Nepal lies between the glorious Himalayas and the Indian plains, and is a melting pot of different cultures and terrains. Home to a spectacular array of natural beauty, from its soaring snow-clad peaks to the balmy jungles of the Chitwan National Park, this small Himalayan kingdom enraptures visitors with its diversity and the warmth of it welcoming people.

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The Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley was originally a group of city-states that together ruled the other villages of the three historical kingdoms of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur. The valley, enclosed by the towering ice-laden giants of the Himalayas, is home to several ancient temples, shrines and palaces along with other significant monuments, of which many are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Present day Kathmandu is a fascinating mixture of its traditional heritage and culture coupled with its freshly discovered modern outlook. The city is a labyrinth of narrow lanes and streets, ancient wooden temples and gorgeous royal palaces, where ancient customs and traditions still hold sway. As one walks through the city, you can hear the chanting of prayers to the accompaniment of cymbals and see rituals being conducted, in stark contrast to the modern structures that are now coming up and the latest in technology, a fascinating view of an ancient kingdom in transition.

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Bardiya National Park

Bardiya National Park

Bardiya National Park is Nepal’s single largest stretch of pristine forested wilderness. A three hour drive from Nepalganj airfield brings you to the park, situated in western Nepal, in the Terai region. Once the private hunting ground of the Kings of Nepal, Bardiya spans an astounding 1200 square kilometres of grassland and Sal forest, and is where you’re most likely to spot a tiger in Nepal. Other species at Bardiya National Park, in addition to the tiger, include other big cats like the leopard, elephants, various species of deer like the Sambar and barking deer, langurs, the rhesus monkey, mongoose, nilgais (blue bulls), and wild dogs. The rare Asian one-horned rhino was also re-introduced at the park in 1986. For bird lovers, Bardiya is a treasure trove come to life, with over 300 different species calling the park home. These include sarus cranes, storks, herons, geese, ducks, parakeets and the Bengal florican.

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Pokhara

Pokhara

The idyllic town of Pokhara is located in the heart of Nepal, around the lakeshore of Phewa Tal, the largest of three lakes in the area. Encircled by the ice-capped peaks of the Annapurna range, the town was once a fiefdom of the Kingdom of Kaski and the ruins of its ancient buildings, fortresses and other monuments still dot the low rambling mountains around. Further back are the spectacular leviathans, the snow laden mountains of the Himalayas, the highest in the world; Dhaulagiri, the Annapurna massif and the glorious, soaring Machhaupuchhare, also called the “Fishtail”. These scenic surroundings and a gentle salubrious climate make Pokhara an extremely relaxing getaway to simply kick back and take it easy, stroll through the town, take a boat out onto the lake or go for walks in the surrounding hills. For the more adventurous, Pokhara offers a wide assortment of treks, as it serves almost as a base camp for trekkers heading into the Annapurna region of Nepal, a paradise of meadows, verdant hills and high peaks.

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The Annapurna region

The Annapurna region

A great number of visitors that come to Nepal come for the trekking. Hemmed in on the north by the soaring, contiguous, snow-covered Himalayas, Nepal is literally the land of a thousand treks! Treks and trails of varying intensity are available here, for the novice to the expert climber, passing through tiny mountain villages that have hardly changed over the centuries to climbing up the highest mountain passes. The Annapurna region is the primary trekking area of Nepal, offering a variety of terrain and a chance to interact with trekkers of different nationalities and cultures. Especially enjoyable are the low-altitude treks from Pokhara to the Annapurna Conservation Area, a quiet piece of meadow land with exquisite scenic views of lush vales and craggy mountain peaks. These lighter excursions are usually for 3 to 5 nights and provide an unforgettable taste of Nepal, revealing the country’s diversity and its gloriously pristine countryside, simple villages and superb views of the spectacular mountains all around.

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Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park

Chitwan National Park was created when the Chitwan valley, a hunting ground for the elite of Nepal, was turned into a wildlife reserve to preserve the natural habitat and the rapidly dwindling numbers of the tiger and rhinoceros, along with other wildlife. The park is today a UNESCO World Heritage site and covers over 900 sq. kilometres, made up mostly of Sal forests and rolling grassland that is sanctuary to a vast number of species. Chitwan houses an amazing number of the Asian one-horned rhino, along with leopards, wild boar, gaur and the rhesus monkey. There are also more than 450 avian species at Chitwan and elephants are a common sight, with marsh crocodiles, rare gharials and Gangetic dolphins finding home in the rivers that run through it.

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Trek to Changu Narayan Temple

Trek to Changu Narayan Temple

From Nagarkot in the Kathmandu Valley, an extremely popular guided walk of about 4 hours will take you to the temple of Changu Narayan. The temple was originally built by King Hari Datta Varma in 323 AD and is said to be the oldest in the valley. Located at the end of a ridge running into the valley, the temple provides breathtaking views of Sankhu village and Bhaktapur and was rebuilt in the 18th century in the pagoda style, which is how it stands to this day. Popular for its bas-relief carvings and inscriptions around the temple courtyard, Changu Narayan temple is one of seven structures in Kathmandu Valley which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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Champagne Breakfast in the Himalaya with an Everest Summiteer

Champagne Breakfast in the Himalaya with an Everest Summiteer

Take off in a private helicopter with an Everest summiteer for a marvellous flight over the Khumbu valley and lofty peaks that surround it. The helicopter flies over the Amadbalan, Everest base camp, the Cho La pass, the imposing Thyangboche Monastery and the holy Lake Gokyo. After landing at Kongde a sumptuous champagne breakfast will be served, with mesmerising vistas of some of the region’s tallest peaks, including the incredible Mount Everest as a backdrop. Over breakfast, the Everest summiteer will share with guests his insights into the culture of the region, the lifestyle of the sherpas, and his experiences of the mountains. After a hearty breakfast, it is time to board the return flight to Kathmandu. The experience is subject to local weather conditions on the day of the flight and includes refuelling stops at Lukla

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