This country should be on everyone’s list of “must see” destinations. Nepal’s culture and gentle approach to visitors is a stand-alone reason to visit and is immediately striking and impressive. A holiday here is especially productive when visited on a truly individual itinerary.
It has a terrific variety of superb, active and engaging things to do whilst also being visually utterly dramatic and spiritually superb with the whole brought together under the umbrella of a culture that is utterly friendly and welcoming to the visitor.
Combine this with a selection of small, personally run lodges and eclectic hotels that exceed expectations and Nepal becomes irresistible.
Where should I go?
Kathmandu, the capital, is fabulous in itself with, even now after the major earthquake, so many treasures and sights at almost every turn. One could easily spend several days exploring the different districts of Kathmandu, seeing temples, collecting treasures and absorbing the culture.
Outside Kathmandu the options are almost endless. Activities can be split into the country’s three distinctly separate regions, The Terai, the Middle Hills and the Himalaya itself.
In the Terai, the low-lying fertile lands, one can try to spot the elusive tiger in Chitwan or Bardia, take an elephant safari or do some excellent birding.
The Middle Hills include Pokhara and Gorka, where some of the best trekking and hiking trails on the planet can be found. The adventurous can go parasailing (alongside raptors!) here, or try out rafting or kayaking on world-class rafting rivers. Or why not go cycling, birding, boating on beautiful lakes, ballooning, canyoning, or take a cookery course?
The Himalaya allow one to trek very much off the beaten track on a tailored itinerary to suit the individual, with some of the best guides in Nepal. Here the scenery is stunning, the small villages totally absorbing, and the spiritual ambiance is wonderful. The regions of Annapurna and Everest are ruggedly stunning and can be trekked on foot or visited by helicopter.
Often overlooked, though, and one of our absolute favourite regions of Nepal, is the starkly remote and beautiful high desert of Mustang, where riding, trekking and meditation join hands to create an other-worldly, uniquely rewarding, experience.
Finally, if you’d like a place to relax after a trek, a climb or a tiger safari, simple relaxation is catered for at a small but significant number of absolutely first class and very individual properties that cater for the wellbeing of the mind, body and spirit.