Your day-by-day itinerary
Trekking to Dhulikel
Today, you’ll be collected from your hotel and transferred to the quiet village of Panauti, where your trek will begin. From here, you’ll continue on foot up to the holy Namobuddha, which means ‘Hail to the Buddha’. The bright white dome of the stupa is surrounded by rainbow prayer and pilgrims in coloured robes, all set against the distant peaks of the snow-capped HImalayas. This is the longest day of trekking, with some steep climbs and some more easy-going stretches too.
After a simple lunch, you’ll set off through the countryside to Dhulikel, passing through fields, small villages and forests. Dhulikel is a beautifully preserved Newari town made up of traditional stone houses reaching 4-5 storeys high. Traditionally, they’re home to large families with often as many as 50 relatives all living under one roof. You’ll stay in a small hotel on the outskirts of town with great views of the surrounding mountains. The views are particularly beautiful at sunrise.
Trekking to Nagarkot
Today, you’ll continue to the village of Nagarkot, the highest point in the Kathmandu Valley. It’s a scenic walk of about 5 hours, through green terraced fields and rolling hills. Nagarkot has great panoramic vista of the Himalayas, especially when the sun sinks beyond the horizon and the mountains glow in the evening light. This tremendous sunrise view from your hotel is well worth getting up for!
Trekking to Bhaktapur
Today you’ll head mostly downhill to Bhaktapur, passing green farmland and tiny villages. After about four hours, you’ll reach Bhaktapur. Here, you can put your feet up on one of the rooftop terraces that look out across Durbar Square before setting out to explore the town. Durbar Square is the heart of Bhaktapur, packed with find museums, temples and galleries selling traditional thankas (colourful paintings depicting the life of Buddha and other religious scenes).
In the centre of the square, you’ll find the Nyatapola Temple, one of the highest pagoda-style temples in Nepal. Throughout the town you’ll find medieval buildings with beautiful wood carvings and, as the town is largely pedestrianised, it feels like a huge open air museum. After peak hours, when most of the day-trippers are gone, Bhaktapur suddenly becomes hushed and a mystical atmosphere descends. Wandering through the narrow alleyways, you’ll pass local women spinning wool and and toymakers carving tiny wooden figurines. You’ll stay in a small cosy hotel right on Durbar Square.
Departure from Bhaktapur
After a quiet night in Bhaktapur, you can enjoy a lazy breakfast on the rooftop terrace of your guesthouse. Looking out over the square, you’ll see the locals passing by with wooden carts, selling flowers and chatting on the temple steps. After breakfast, your driver will take you back to Kathmandu.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: