The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
The Himalayas are some of Mother Natures' finest work, rising like fangs from the earth below. Nepal is a wonderful feast of mountain walking, cultural delights, and incredible views.
Culture & Natural History
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 42300
Easy countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day. You are unlikely to walk more than 6 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to 300m. Some days of this holiday will be dedicated solely to sightseeing (or include an element of sightseeing). To enhance your experience, a knowledgeable local guide will accompany your small group for part (or the majority) of the holiday.
Nepal is a small country. By area it is about half the size of the UK. Yet in that small area it packs as much splendour and variety in as any country in the world. From the highest mountain range and 8 of the 10 highest peaks to lowland jungle plains, covering a huge array of climatic and ecological zones, it is astonishing what can be seen of the natural world in Nepal. And then there is the cultural dimension. This is country where cultural and religious tradition are enmeshed in everyday life. The Nepalis are proud of there traditions and will be delighted to educate visitors in local ways. Our Himalayan Vistas holiday allows anyone to get a flavour of everything the country has to offer.
We fly into Kathmandu and drive up to Bhaktapur, the quiet and relaxing former capital city. Astonishing restoration following on from 2015 earthquake has almost returned the city to its former glories. We spend a day walking around the city and another in the hills above for hopefully our first views of the Himalayas.
Next we head down to the lowlands and Chitwan National Park. Home to rhino, leopard, crocs and a huge array of bird life it a superb place to see wildlife, whether from a jeep, on foot or from a canoe.
We continue to the village of Bandipur where the Annapurna range comes into view. From our hotel it is a very short walk to the best viewpoint in the village. Make sure you are there at dawn to enjoy the best views. This is impressive in itself but we assure you, the views will only improve. We will walk to the surrounding countryside, hopefully enjoying mountain views to the north along the way. Because there is so little light pollution in Nepal the view of the night sky is often magnificent.
We continue to Pokhara for a day of guided sightseeing, walking, a relaxed boat trip across Fewa lake and enjoying a momo making class in a local Tibetan Camp. Along the way back towards Kathmandu, we will stop at Kurintar, beautifully situated above the Trisuli River. Our time in Kathmandu will be spent sightseeing with a local guide, discovering the various pockets which make this one of the most fascinating cities in Asia. Unsurprisingly, this is a great place to shop from camping gear, fleece jackets, Tibetan hats or books; everything can be found and haggled over.
As the trip comes to an end, we enjoy a final dinner in Thamel, the centre of tourist Kathmandu and full of life before boarding the plane with a bag full of experiences and memories. The world certainly is more beautiful on foot!
Please note in 2020 the holiday includes a trekking portion and is graded 6/Ss. Please the individual itinerary for exact details
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We depart the UK on an overnight flight to Kathmandu.
On arrival in Kathmandu we transfer about 1 hr to Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu valley. Bhaktapur is one of the three cities that dominate the Kathmandu Valley. However, unlike Kathmandu, Bhaktapur preserves a peaceful air quite unlike its larger neighbour. It is lovely place to explore on foot with everything being easily accessible. After some time to freshen up in the hotel we can walk out to see the sites. We will visit Bhaktapur's Durbar Square with our Nepali guide. The square is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is regarded as the centre of traditional Nepali culture and customs. It is an ideal place to experience the unique arts of wood carving and pottery. Look out for Nyatapola Temple, the statue of King Bhupatindra Malla, the Peacock Window and the Golden Gate. We will have an included restaurant lunch in Bhaktapur.
Today we start the walking in earnest. After breakfast we drive to Nagarkot and have a quick look around the town. There is an Everest viewpoint in town, but it is rare for the climatic conditions to allow you to see the mountain from here. We will set out on our walk down to Nala and drive back to Bhaktapur. We should get back in time for you to have another look around the city if you would like to.
After breakfast we depart Bhaktapur and drive south west to reach Chitwan National Park, located on the Terai plains and away from the mountains. Today's drive is approximately 120 miles and can take between 5 - 6 hours depending on traffic. We will make plenty of stops along the way for photo stops and to stretch the legs. On arrival hopefully we will be welcomed by the owner of the lodge who has some great stories to tell about the history of the Lodge.
We have plenty of time in Chitwan National Park so the pace will be leisurely. We can look forward to some outstanding wildlife encounters. We will embark on a jeep safari which offers the finest (and safest) chance of observing rhino in the wild. Fear not, sightings are common. Leopard have been spotted on occasion and there are tigers in the park. It is common to come across tiger prints, but tourists very rarely see tigers. Wild boar, various species of antelope and crocodiles are commonly seen. You will also enjoy a canoe trip along the river which is the perfect way to observe Nepal's varied bird life. This has proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Today we'll continue our activities around the park. For a more cultural experience, we walk to a local ethnic Tharu village and gain insight into the way of life. Please remember that the climate is significantly warmer down here compared with the mountains, so the pace of activities will be slower.
After breakfast, we take a drive towards Bandipur which 60 miles to the north west of Chitwan and takes 3 hours to drive. Bandipur is a small mountain town and it is one of the best hill stations in Nepal. It is famous for its antique cultural atmosphere and unique geographical formations. On a clear day, views north towards the Annapurna range are nothing short of spectacular. Fortunately the best view of the mountains can be enjoyed from the far side of the football pitch in front of our hotel. We should have time for an introductory stroll around the village. The cobbled main street in the village is a lovely place for a drink as the sun goes down.
Today we explore Bandipur and visit some of the local attractions. We will take a leisurely hike to the less explored, delightful little Magar village of Kurikha. On the way there is plenty of opportunity to interact with the local villagers, witness age-old farming methods and bask in the glorious views of the Himalayas.
After breakfast we leave Bandipur and drive steeply down to join the road to Pokhara. The rive to Pokhara takes about 2½ hrs. so we should arrive in time for lunch. After checking in at hotel, we will head out to start our sightseeing programme with a visit to Bindabasini Temple and Old Market. We will also allow time to enjoy the facilities at our hotel. After dinner we will walk around the lake side area which is lively in the evening.
Pokhara is a pleasant lakeside city and is second-largest tourist hub in Nepal after Kathmandu. After breakfast we visit some of the touristic highlights surrounding the Pokhara Valley. First, Fewa Lake, we take a boat ride across the lake and hike an hour up to the World Peace Pagoda. After enjoying the view from here we will walk down to Raniban for lunch. Later we drive down to the Tibetan Refugee camp to immerse ourselves in the art of momo making and the best bit...tasting. Momos are a Tibetan delicacy available throughout Nepal, and are something akin to Italian ravioli (only bigger) and come with a huge variety of fillings, including vegetarian options. It would be a great shame to leave Nepal without tasting a variety of momos!
After breakfast in Pokhara, we make our way by vehicle towards Kurintar. The distance from Pokhara to Kurintar is 100 km and it takes 4-5 hours with stops along the way. Kurintar is a small village located on the sandy banks of the Trishul river and our hotel is wonderfully situated above the river. To reach the hotel we have to cross a long but, fortunately, sturdily built suspension bridge. Hotel staff will look after the luggage for us. After lunch, we will take time to explore a nearby ethnic Chepang village to learn something of local life.
After breakfast, we make our way back to Kathmandu. The distance from Kurintar to Kathmandu is 72 km and 4-5 hours drive. As with arrival in every big city, traffic can slow us down. We have some free time at the hotel before taking dinner out in a local restaurant. Our hotel is located close by Thamel, the tourist enclave, a lively place for an evening stroll.
Our day today is devoted to sightseeing in and around Kathmandu City. It is impossible to see everything in a day but we will include highlights such as Boudhanath and Pashupatinath temples and Kathmandu's Durbar Square.
We will have a farewell dinner in the Thamel area of Kathmandu. This the main tourist area and is full of friendly restaurants, souvenir shops, live music venues, bars, pubs and coffee shops.
We return to Kathmandu Airport for our day flight back to the U.K.
Departure dates for your selected tour
8th Oct 2021 - 21st Oct 2021 (13 Nights)
12th Nov 2021 - 25th Nov 2021 (13 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
A short walk from Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Hotel Bhadgaon offers comfortable accommodation with free Wi-Fi, restaurant, outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. All guest rooms come with air conditioning, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, kettle, bidet, hairdryer and desk. Continental and buffet breakfast options are available every morning.
The Sapana Lodge is beautifully situated close by Sapana village with views out across grassy plains. It is built in traditional style with chalet type accommodation in cottages around the grounds. There is plenty of outdoor seating areas. The restaurant overlooks the local river. Look out for kingfishers fishing from the footbridge. The rooms are beautifully appointed with individual murals on the walls, each room has a personal touch. Please read through the inspirational story owner Dhurba Giri on the hotel website. When you meet him ask about his elephants! It makes a good story.
The Durbar Himalaya is a lovely hotel recently built in traditional Nepali style with plenty of wood carving. Rooms are spacious and come with fridges, TV, air conditioning and ceiling fans. The viewpoint on the far side of the football pitch at the front of the hotel is a great place to watch the sun rise across the Himalaya.
The Barahi Hotel is situated in the Lakeside area of Pokhara. All rooms feature balconies and offer free Wi-Fi, cable TV, minibars, safe and tea & coffeemaking facilities. A breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant or outdoor terrace. Other amenities include a cafe and an outdoor pool with a poolside bar.
Nestled within nature's greenery, River Fun Beach Resort offers comfortable accommodation in cottage style rooms. It is located on the banks of the Trishuli River across from the main road. To reach the hotel we walk across a sturdy suspension bridge across the river. The hotel is a base for white water rafting on the Trishuli as well as our walking groups.
Experience Nepal's historic capital city from the elevated comfort of Fairfield by Marriott Kathmandu. Impeccably located in Thamel, Kathmandu's most vibrant and buzz-worthy area, the hotel offers everything travellers need for a relaxing stay. Free Wi-Fi is available through out. The coffee bar in the lobby serves an excellent cup of coffee.
This is a Grade 3 leisurely holiday which includes countryside walking with plenty of breaks, normally taking up the whole day, and is likely to include an element of sightseeing. You are unlikely to walk more than 8 miles and the cumulative ascents and descents will be gradual and range from minimal to up to about 300m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for snacks and drinks is £5-£10 per person per day. This is a full board tour so no need to account for lunches.
Currency in Nepal
It is probably most convenient to chnage money in the hotel on arrival in Kathmandu. The rates will not be the best but perhaps the convenience outweighs the cost. There is also a money-changing booth at the airport before immigration which offers reasonable rates. Money can also be changed on the first day's sightseeing.
Sterling cash is freely exchangeable, as are US dollars and euro. It is now becoming possible to change money whilst on the trek, please discuss with your RWH Travel leader. Change is in short supply in the mountains so bring rupees in small denomination notes from the cities. Many hotels accept credit cards, check locally. There are ATM machines in towns and cities.
Nepalese Rupees can only be purchased once in Nepal and the export of Nepalese currency is illegal. You should remember to keep all exchange receipts as if you have any rupees left over when you get to Kathmandu Airport, you can change back up to 15% of the total amount you have changed during the holiday.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday. A suggested amount given is £25 - £30 per person.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.
We fly from London Heathrow to Kathmandu and vice versa by Turkish Airlines with a stop en route at Istanbul. The transfer from the airport to our Kathmandu hotel is by road and takes approx. 30 mins.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Passport Information for Nepal
A passport is required plus a Nepalese entry visa for holders of British passports visiting Nepal. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival. Holders of non-British passports should check with the Nepalese Embassy or their nearest consulate regarding visa requirements. Visas are also obtainable from the Nepalese embassy in London before you travel. They can be obtained by post or personal visit. The cost of the visa at present is £25, payable in by postal order or bankers draft by post or by cash in person.
For details of obtaining visas in London please consult the Nepalese embassy website:
Entry visas can be issued at the airport on arrival in Nepal, however this option involves excessive waiting, delaying yourself and fellow party members. The visa issued is the same as the one you obtain in the UK. It can make passing through immigration at Kathmandu Airport stressful and time consuming if you do not have a visa. A passport size photograph and the correct amount of cash are required for the visa on arrival.
Two passport photos as well as a photocopy of your passport details page are required for your trekking permit. We recommend you bring four passport photos with you to Nepal. The price of your trekking permit is included in the holiday price and will be obtained on your behalf by our local agent.
All meals are provided throughout the holiday starting with dinner on Day 2 and ending with breakfast on Day 14. Vegetarians are easily catered for in hotels and tea huts. In hotels breakfasts will be buffet style with plenty of choice. Dinners are commonly buffet as well with choices of meat and vegetable dishes to suit every taste.
In the mountains the food has a lot in common with Tibetan cuisine whilst in the foothills Indian influence is stronger. The staple of Nepali food is is dahl bhaat, a lentil stew served with rice. It is typically served up on a plate with green veg, relish and a meat dish (if required) possibly goat or buffalo but never beef. You will be offered it everywhere in large quantities. Momos will also appear on menus as starters, again in various flavours. Coffee is becoming common in Nepal with flat whites and the like available to those who feel they can't do without. Foreign wines are available at western prices but the local beers are generally good and reasonably priced. Perhaps they taste at their best after hiking up a mountain.
Good quality waterproof walking shoes or trail shoes with a thick, moulded sole with a good tread and a low heel are likely to be all that is required for these holidays. If you are a frequent walker and are comfortable in good quality hiking sandals, these may be adequate for some walks. You can wear lightweight walking boots if you prefer.
General Kit List
The following items of kit should be considered essential:
Country Specific Kit
Wildlife and scenery viewing experiences are always improved with binoculars. For seeing a bird in the treetops or picking out some detail on the horizon they are invaluable. If you have a pair, please bring them with you on your holiday. On some holidays it will be appropriate to have them with you all the time. Sometimes you might prefer to avoid carrying the extra weight. Your tour leader will always be happy to advise which days it will be particularly useful to take them.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Free Water to Go Bottle
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles. We have included a bottle for everyone who books on this trip to avoid the use of single use plastic bottles. Normally these bottles will be handed out in Nepal. Please use this water bottle any time you drink un-bottled water in Nepal. This will go a long way to help avoiding any issues with sickness.
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Nepal
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Nepal. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Diphtheria and Typhoid immunisation is recommended. You might also like to consider immunisation against Cholera, Japanese Encephalitis and Hepatitis B. Dengue fever exists in Nepal; please take normal precautions against mosquito bites.
Holiday Specific Health Advice
You should be in a reasonably fit state of health for this holiday. The itinerary involves much travelling, early mornings and the walking will be up to Grade 6 standard. Travel days on the holiday can take a long time given Nepal's infrastructure. All journeys over 2 hours will include stops for refreshment.
Cities may at times experience periods of poor air quality. If you suffer from a respiratory condition you may wish to seek advice from your doctor prior to travel.
Altitude sickness can affect travellers whose itineraries take them above about 2,500m although some individuals can experience a milder form above about 1,900m.
Early symptoms include a headache, nausea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite and insomnia.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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