Back on the map, this epic tour of Nepal encompasses heritage, culture, nature and wildlife. Taking us from the bustle of Kathmandu, to UNESCO’s Chitwan National Park and the spectacular Himalayan views in Rupakot, we witness how Nepal is as diverse as it is unique!
Visiting the capital of Nepal is on the bucket list of many solo travellers. Standing at an elevation of approximately 1,400 meters (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal, the city of Kathmandu is surrounded by four major mountains – Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun and Chandragiri.
A magnificent group tour for the solo travelling adventurers amongst us – and one that’ll stay with you long after you touch down.
After checking-in to our hotel, we get to know our fellow travellers whilst enjoying a welcome drink and typical Nepalese dinner with a cultural show at a local restaurant.
We spend the day exploring the highlights of Nepal’s capital – Kathmandu. In the morning, we visit the city’s number one attraction – the Durbar Square and Kumari Temple where you can marvel at monuments from the 12th Century. We also visit the most ancient and enigmatic of the Valley’s holy shrines – the golden-spired stupa of Swayambhunath, found on top of a wooded hillock. After lunch at a local restaurant, we visit Patan City – an area renowned for its artisans and superb handicrafts. The Patan Durbar Square has been acclaimed as one of the finest urban streetscapes in the world. Most of the monuments seen today were built between the 16th-18th Centuries.
After enjoying the morning at our leisure, we visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath in the afternoon. Pashupatinath is Nepal’s most sacred Hindu shrine and one of the subcontinent’s great Shiva sites. The temple’s origins are obscure, an inscription dates from 477, but a shrine may have stood here for 1000 years before that. Boudhanath is one of Nepal’s most distinctive monuments and one of the most important Buddhist sites in Nepal. With a diameter of over 100 meters, it’s amongst the largest in the world. There are a number of legends accounting for the Stupa’s construction, but it is generally believed to date back to the 5th Century.
After breakfast, we fly to Pokhara (approx 30 mins) and then transfer to Rupakot (approx 1 hour).
Enjoy a free day in Rupakot. You are welcome to take time out to relax in the beautiful surroundings or take advantage of the resort’s facilities, including complimentary hiking to explore the local area.
Pokhara is a place of remarkable natural beauty, and today we head to the Peace Pagoda – a Buddhist stupa. This monument inspires peace and was designed to provide a focus for people of all races and creeds, in a bid to help unite them in their search for world peace. We will also visit the Shiva Damaru Temple and the Shiva Statue Pumdikot – Nepal’s Tallest Lord Shiva Statue in Pokhara. This is located in the southern part of Pokhara, standing at an elevation of 1500 meters above sea level, so expect spectacular views!
Today, we enjoy the magnificent view of the Annapurna Range Mountains, along with Manaslu Himal. Mountains such as Mt Machhapuchre, Mt Dhaulagiri, Mt Annapurna, Mt Himchuli, Mt Mardi, and more can be enjoyed from the Pumdikot Shiva Temple premises on a clear day.
We spend the morning visiting the International Mountain Museum, offering a view of the three 8000+ metre peaks of the area. The museum focus is geared towards those who travel to Nepal for mountaineering. On display are many different mountain cultures and their ways of life, world mountain systems, ecology, as well as an exhibition of the world mountaineering history. We then visit the Gurkha Museum which provides a rich history of the soldiers that joined the British Army in 1815. Displays also include uniforms they wore, items they used and medals they won. Details of the Gurkha Victoria Cross winners, the highest bravery medal awarded by the British Empire with their citations can also be viewed.
In the afternoon, you can explore independently or choose from a variety of optional excursions such as paragliding, light aircraft flights and zip-lining.
Today we head to Chitwan National Park (approx. 4 – 5 hours drive). This is one of Asia’s richest and most spectacular National Parks. Situated 75 air miles southwest of Kathmandu, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the world’s remaining jungles. Here, you will discover a lost world of towering trees and twisting vines, pre-historic rhinos and lumbering elephants, crocodiles, pythons and deer, brilliantly coloured birds and if you are fortunate – the magnificent Royal Bengal Tiger.
Today, we spend another incredible day immersing ourselves in the jungle, with a full day of activities on the agenda. These include canoe rides, walks and a visit to the local ‘Tharu’ tribal community.
After breakfast we drive back to Kathmandu (approx 6 – 7 hrs) and head to Bhaktapur. The rest of our day is at leisure once we arrive in Bhaktapur.
After breakfast, we have a tour of Bhaktapur Dunbar Square- a medieval living city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You cannot help but be overcome by a feeling of inner harmony in this place. Such is the art and architecture and the special layout here. The Palace of 55 Windows, built during the period of King Bhupatindra Malla in 1754, inspires admiration, with the National Art Gallery also housed inside. The palace entrance – the Golden Gate, known as Sunko Dhoka in Nepali, is a masterpiece in repousse art. In front of the palace building is a medley of temples of various designs. Amongst the three Durbar Squares in the Valley, the Durbar Square in Bhaktapur is the one that is best preserved.
We end this final day with a farewell dinner at the rooftop restaurant at our hotel.
After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our return flight.
The transfer time between Kathmandu Airport and the hotel is approximately 25 minutes, depending on traffic.
During the day when sightseeing, we recommend casual, lightweight cotton clothing. During spring and autumn the night temperatures in the mountains often dip below freezing, making warm gear essential. You will find that smart casual wear is acceptable, even in the best hotels during the evening. We would recommend a lightweight raincoat and an umbrella or hat for protection against rain or sun. Comfortable shoes are a “must” for sightseeing. From time to time, your guide will advise you about observing local customs. On certain occasions it will be necessary to wear clothing covering one’s shoulders and knees.
There is often confusion on the question of gratuities, since it frequently depends on the type of holiday, location and, of course, your attitude towards tipping, as to what is normally expected. In order to give you a rough idea, we have given appropriate guidance below.
We suggest a group collection at the beginning of your holiday to cover drivers, guides, porters and hotel staff (including restaurant, kitchen and reception staff) of approximately £65 (or the equivalent amount in local currency). Your Tour Leader will collect this on your behalf and distribute it accordingly, thus relieving you of the burden of who, when and how much to tip. The tipping of bar staff and housekeeping will be left to your individual discretion (a small amount left in your room on departure should cover this and would be much appreciated). As is customary, ‘the hat’ will be passed around for the driver and guide on all optional excursions. For any meals that are not included in your itinerary, or taxi fares, your Tour Leader can advise of an appropriate% toadd on.
The Government of Nepal has recently removed the requirement for travellers to complete an Online International Travel Arrival Form. When flying to Nepal from or through the UK, you will however need to present certain documentation on arrival:
Upon entry to Nepal, a tourist visa is required: $30 (cash) for 15 days (US dollars recommended but sterling or euros accepted).
It is best to apply for the visa pre-arrival online: Online Services https://nepaliport.immigration.gov.np/online.
NB, link may be slow! We suggest you print a copy to of the visa to present on arrival.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
Currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee.
“I’m sure you will enjoy it, I have been on three solos holidays to date and the people I’ve met have been great.”
“I’ve been travelling with Solos for nearly 20 years, on and off. The reason is for exactly what you want – you meet like minded people… and have loads of fun!”
“I’ve been on loads of trips with Solos over the years and can honestly say you will not regret booking your 1st one!”
“The feeling you have once you go away on your own is worth all the nerves before! I was so very anxious the first time but now having done it 4 times, I love it!”