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18-day round trip in Nepal - 18 Days

Roundtrip Nepal - View on Phewa Lake and the Himalayas

Would you like to have the most complete trip possible in Nepal and enjoy all the beauty that the country has to offer? Then this 18-day roundtrip in Nepal is what you are looking for!

After you explored the royal cities of Kathmandu and Patan and visited their cultural Unesco sites, you continue towards Pokhara. But not without spending 2 nights in the lovely medieval town of Bandipur!

Phewa Lake in Pokhara is breathtakingly beautiful. And all the more so when the weather is clear, because then you will see the beautiful Himalayas! Besides some sightseeing, you embark on a small three-day hike at the feet of the Himalayas. Your porter carries most of your luggage and a guide shows you the way. Like this, you can enjoy the surroundings to the fullest. Afterwards you have an extra day to rest or enjoy in Pokhara.

Your tour then goes south, to the birthplace of Buddha. In Lumbini many pilgrims come together every year to worship Buddha. On the huge domain you find more than 30 Buddhist temples and numerous statues! You can also rent a bike and explore the domain by bike! Afterwards you go to Sauraha, near Chitwan National Park. You will spend 3 nights in a beautiful lodge, located next to the river and with their own elephants. A canoe trip and a nice jungle walk in search of wild animals are a great adventure. After the nature of Chitwan, the driver takes you to Pharping. Here you spend the night at the monastery grounds. Engage with the monks and follow one of their puja’s in the monastery!

Finally you end your journey in the medieval city of Bhaktapur, where the pots are drying in the sun. Be sure to taste it’s delicious local yogurt!

In short, this 18-day roundtrip in Nepal is a very diverse trip, which gives you a nice insight into what is to see in beautiful Nepal. Especially  if you don’t want to do a long trek but do want a taste of mountain life. For sure you have enough time to spend in the different interesting places of Nepal!

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Would you like to customize your Nepal trip?

Let yourself be inspired by this trip. You can adjust the trip to your individual preferences and wishes.

Day 1
Arrival in Kathmandu

Namaste and welcome to Nepal!

At the airport you will be welcomed by one of our staff members. He has a sign with our logo. After a warm welcome you will be brought by car to your accommodation.

Depending on your arrival time in Kathmandu, you will have free time to go out. Wander around in the small streets of the old town of Kathmandu, where you will give your senses a taste of what is going on. You’ll see small temples and stupa’s everywhere, you’ll smell spicy smells and you’ll hear bells ringing at the temples. Be sure to visit the Place Durbar Square with the house of the Kumari and the ancient temples.

You will also meet us today for a short meet & greet.

You stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 2
Day at leisure to visit the cultural highlights of Kathmandu

Today you have a day off to explore Kathmandu on your own. If you prefer to go out with a guide, please let us know!

Kathmandu is a vibrant city, where you will find a temple or altar around every corner. It is also a city with several beautiful world heritage sites.

Some spots are real jewels and not to be missed!

For example, on a green hill on the western side of Kathmandu you have the beautiful temple complex of Swayambunath. You climb to this Buddhist complex under the watchful eye of a colony of monkeys. This temple is therefore also called the ‘monkey temple’. Once upstairs you will enter a leafy park surrounded by stone statues of birds and other animals, the riding animals of the gods. You have a beautiful view over Kathmandu. At the foot of the hill are prayer wheels built, you can walk here until you reach the Amideva Buddha park. A Tibetan monastery, where there are 3 impressive statues gilded in gold.

Be sure to visit the largest stupa of all Nepal, located in Boudhanath. The huge white dome, with Buddha’s eyes on top, rests on the highest terrace. You can walk to the base of the stupa and, just like the monks and pilgrims, walk the ritual tour with the prayer wheels. There are prayer flags everywhere. Around the stupa lives the largest community of Tibetans in Kathmandu. Near the stupa there is always a lot to see: pilgrims stroll between the stalls with butter candles and souvenirs, while Tibetan music can be heard from the surrounding buildings.

And finally the Hindu complex of Pashupatinath. This is a vast complex at 5 km from Kathmandu. As a non-Hindu you are not allowed to enter the temple, but you can follow the ceremonies from the other side of the river. Here the bodies of the deceased Hindus are cremated. Here you also meet the Saddhu`s, holy men who have dedicated their lives to the Lord Shiva and have their home on this domain.

You will stay in a standard hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 3
Drive to Patan (ca. 20 min.)/ Free visit of the King City of Patan

Today you’re going to the royal city of Patan. Patan, formerly Lalitpur, is the second kingdom from the valley next to Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Especially in the evening it is a pleasant place to stay, that’s why you will stay here for one night!

Patan is one of the larger cities of Nepal and is located south of Kathmandu. Patan is mainly known for the old Durbar Square, the Patan Kumari, together with a large number of stone and metal workers.

Definitely worth a visit:

– The Patan Durbar Square: the royal square at the palace
– The Golden Temple: an old temple covered with gold, silver and bronze ornaments
– The Kumbheshwar Temple: an impressive five-storey pagoda temple.
Rudravarna Mahavihar / Uku Bahal: one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Nepal
– The Mahaboudha Temple: a stone temple with more than 1000 statues of Buddha.
– The Machchhendranath Temple: A temple to a rain god.
– The House of the Kumari: courtyard and the house of Patan’s Living Goddess, the Kumari.

In the small streets around Durbar Square you can also see the metalworkers and the stone cutters at work!

You will spend the night in an authentic guesthouse in Patan.

Day 4
Drive to Bandipur (ca. 5 hours) / Free visit of the charming city of Bandipur

Today you will travel out of the Kathmandu valley in the direction of Pokhara. Your first stop will be Bandipur, a charming Newari town considered to be a living museum of Newari culture. It is one of the cosiest Newari cities in Nepal.

The town is situated on a high ridge and the roads are covered with traditional stones. Take an interesting walk through the city and also go to one of the viewpoints, e.g. the Thani Mai temple which is located on top of the hill and is a nice combination of stunning views and cultural elements.

Finish your day in a quiet spot on the main street and enjoy the relaxed lifestyle, while enjoying a bite & drink during the sunset.

You will spend the night in a guesthouse in Bandipur.

Day 5
Free day in Bandipur

Bandipur is beautifully situated and an excellent starting point for a longer walk to nearby villages or holy places.

A nice half day walk brings you to the Siddha Gufa, the largest cave of Nepal. You enter the cave with torches and gradually descend into the successive chambers via various ladders and ropes.

Another half or full day hike (depends on how fast you hike) is a hike to Ramkot, a traditional Magar village that has one of the last remaining thatched houses in the region. At the end of the village there is a restaurant where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Himalayas: from the Dhaulagiri and the Annapurnas to Manaslu and the Langtang region. You can do this hike on your own or hire a local guide to walk with you.

You will spend the night in a guesthouse in Bandipur.

Day 6
Drive to Pokhara (ca. 2,5 hours) / Free time in Pokhara

You will arrive in Pokhara around noon, where there is a lot to see and do. Pokhara is after Kathmandu the most popular place of Nepal. The nice place is situated at the beautiful Phewa lake. The lake is surrounded by impressive mountains of the Annapurna mountain range, some of which are among the highest peaks in the world.

Take a nice walk along the shore of the river and watch the locals who fish in the lake and repair their boats. Or take a boat to the small island and visit the small Tal Barahi temple. Or get transferred to the other side of the lake and climb up to the World Peace Pagoda.

In the evening you can observe an Aarti ceremony on the banks near the temple: Hindu priests perform a ritual offering light (flames) to the deities. Definitely worth it!

You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Pokhara.

Day 7
Drive to Phedi (ca. 2 hours) / Trek to Pothana (ca. 4 hours)

Today the driver will take you to Phedi, the starting point of your short trek, together with your guide and your porter.

At the foot of the Himalayas you will walk at your own pace through small villages, with a magnificent view of the white peaks of the Himalayas along the way. Definitely one of the highlights of your trip!

You walk into the mountains via a landscaped path in a wooded area. After about 2 hours you reach the village of Dhampus (1650m), where you have lunch with a beautiful view of the mountains.

After lunch you walk further to the Australian Camp. Australian Camp is located on a ridge and has a beautiful view of the south of Annapurna, Hiunchuli, Machhapuchhre and Lamjung Himal. If you’re lucky, you’ll also see birds of prey floating around here.

Then you walk through a rhododendron and oak forest up to Pothana (1890m). You will enjoy a beautiful view of the Machhapuchhre, the mountain with the shape of a fish tail.

You spend the night in a teahouse in Pothana.

Day 8
Trek to Ghandruk (ca. 5 to 6 hours)

Today you first walk up gradually for about an hour until you arrive in Deurali (2100 m.). This village, surrounded by oaks and mixed forests, offers beautiful views of Manaslu, Annapurna and Mardi Himal.

After Deurali the path descends steeply to Tolkha (1840 m), a beautiful Magar and Gurung village.

You walk further along the gradually descending path through terraced fields and some settlements. You pass Landruk, an important Gurung village.

Now the steep descent goes down to the banks of the Modi Khola river and you cross the river over an iron bridge. Then you walk along a landscaped path with large steps steeply up to Ghandruk. In the traditional Gurung village, Ghandruk, there is a museum about the Gurung people that you can visit.

In Ghandruk you can also enjoy a view of the Annapurna South (7229 m.), Hiunchuli (6441 m.), Annapurna III (7755 m.) and Macchapuchhare (6997 m.). Here you really feel like you are in the Himalayas!

Even if you hike longer today than the day before, you hardly notice it because there is so much to see along the way!

You spend the night in a teahouse in Ghandruk.

Day 9
Trek to Syauli Bazaar (ca. 3 hours) - Drive to Pokhara (ca. 2 hours)

It’s already the last day of your trek! Today you have a nice change between nature and getting to know the daily life of the local mountain people.

You walk out of the village on the steps down. Afterwards you follow an unpaved road. You walk along terraced fields, where the locals are at work. When you arrive in the village Kimche (1640m), you walked for 2 hours.

You continue your trip to the end point and pass some beautiful villages such as Tikyang. Sometimes you walk along terraced fields, sometimes through forests with bamboo, rhododendron and oak. You walk on to the end point in Syauli Bazaar, where the driver is waiting for you.

After arrival in Pokhara, you have the rest of the day to relax. If you have stiff muscles from walking, pay a visit to Seeing Hands. This is a social enterprise where blind people are trained and employed as masseurs. Enjoy a refreshing drink and a snack on a terrace along the lake.

You’ll spend the night in a standard hotel in Pokhara.

Day 10
Free day in Pokhara

Today you have one more day to fill in completely free.

If yesterday was a relaxing day, you can go and see a lot of things today.

Like the beautiful Devi’s Falls, a natural wonder south of Pokhara. It is spectacular to see how the water of the river disappears into the huge cave. Across the street you can enter the Mahadev Gupteshwor Cave, where you can see the water of the Devis Falls flowing in like a waterfall. In this cave you can also see a sanctuary for Shiva.

Another natural wonder in Pokhara is the Mahendra Cave. This large limestone cave is also known as the ‘house of bats’.

Near Devi’s Falls lies Tashiling. This is one of the Tibetan settlements in Pokhara that has grown into a real Tibetan village. Tibetans live here whose families fled Tibet decades ago. You will visit the small museum and a handicraft factory. The sale of these handmade goods is for many Tibetans their only source of income. The perfect place for some nice souvenirs!

Stroll around in the old bazaar of Pokhara, where traders from various ethnic backgrounds sell colourful goods. It is a pleasant and shady place to walk around. Here you will also find one of the most important sanctuaries of the city, the Bindhyabasini Temple, dedicated to the goddess Bhagwati.

If you like cycling, you can also rent a bike or mountain bike in Pokhara to tour around. You can take it to one of the other lakes, e.g. Lake Begnas, where it’s much more pristine than in Pokhara.

In Pokhara and around there are also several possibilities to practice adventure sports: paragliding, zip flyer, canyoning, rafting …

You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Pokhara.

Day 11
Drive to Lumbini (ca. 6 hours) / Free time in Lumbini

In the afternoon you will arrive at the birthplace of Buddha, Lumbini. This is a holy place for Buddhists from all over Asia.

The domain in Lumbini is Unesco World Heritage and is 4.8 km long and 1.6 km wide. The holy place is bounded by a large zone in which only monasteries and temples may be built.

Lumbini has ruins of ancient monasteries, a sacred Bodhi tree, an ancient swimming pond, the Ashokan pillar and the Mayadevi temple, where the presumed birthplace of Buddha is located. In several places there are statues depicting the life of Buddha in scenes.

From early in the morning until late in the evening pilgrims from different countries sing and meditate.

You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Lumbini.

Day 12
Free day in Lumbini

Today you have a full day in Lumbini, where there is a lot to see!

Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, was born in the famous gardens of Lumbini, located in the southwestern Terai of Nepal. Lumbini soon became a place of pilgrimage.

In 249 BC the pious Buddhist emperor Ashoka made a pilgrimage to this city and erected one of his memorial pillars. The place is now developing into a Buddhist pilgrimage centre, where the archaeological remains associated with the birth of the Buddha occupy a prominent place.

Lumbini is one of the most sacred and characteristic places for one of the world’s greatest religions.

You can do this on foot or rent bikes on the spot.

You will spend the night in a standard hotel in Lumbini.

Day 13
Drive to Sauraha (ca. 4 hours) / Free afternoon in Sauraha

You’ll arrive in Sauraha around noon. Sauraha is a small village located just next to Chitwan National Park.

After lunch take a nice walk along the Rapti River. You will not only see animals bathing in the river, but also get acquainted with daily life in the surrounding Tharu villages.

Moreover, you can also just enjoy observing the elephants, which roam freely around the domain and play in the river. The lodge is one of the few in Sauraha that has its own elephants that chain around freely.

In the evening, enjoy a glass of the beautiful sunset along the river.

You spend the night in a lodge in Sauraha.

Day 14
Canoe ride and jungle walk in Chitwan National Park

The Chitwan National Park is one of the most beautiful and famous wildlife parks in Asia. Literally translated, Chitwan means “in the heart of the jungle”.

The park has vast forests, large bare grass plains and marshy terrain with creeks and pools. More than 50 different species of mammals and 450 different species of birds live here. You will find animals such as armoured rhinos, the rare Bengal tiger, leopards, bears, giant monkeys, wild boars, wild elephants, deer, antelopes, anteaters, hyenas, and crocodiles.

You will enter the park today with a local nature guide. You will start with a canoe trip on the Rapti River. In a hollowed-out tree trunk, you silently slide across the river, giving you the chance to watch the animals on the banks.

Afterwards you will walk into Chitwan National Park. A jungle walk is a great way to spot the wildlife in the jungle of Chitwan! An experienced nature guide will take you and follow the tracks of the wild animals. In this way the guide knows how to trace the animals. Did you know that Nepal is one of the few countries in the world where you can safely go on safari on foot?

You spend the night in a lodge in Sauraha.

Day 15
Free day in and around Chitwan

Today you have an extra day off in and around Chitwan National Park.

You can make it a quiet day and spend some time in and around the lodge. Or you can go out again! The lodge where you stay has a whole range of activities on their domain and in the park.

Take a morning walk in the lawns behind the lodge behind an elephant. The elephants in the lodge are rescued elephants, who are retired and therefore spend their days free on the domain. The elephant walks in front of you and does what he wants. You observe and follow. A very fascinating way to learn more about these beautiful animals!

Rent bikes and explore the Tharu villages around Sapana Village. This is a fun way to get to know the local Tharu people and their lifestyle. And the fun part is that this part of Nepal is flat!

Or go on a jeep safari in the Chitwan National Park or to the Twenty Thousand Lakes, where you go looking for wild animals and get to places where you can’t go on foot right away.

You will spend the night in a lodge in Sauraha.

Day 16
Drive to Pharping (ca. 5 hours) / Free time in Pharping and the monastery

After the drive from Sauraha back towards Kathmandu valley, you will arrive in Pharping. This is a thriving, traditional Newari village, famous for its places of pilgrimage and popular with both Tibetan Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. The town has a number of Buddhist monasteries that are well worth a visit.

The monastery where you spend the night overlooks the surrounding landscape and the main prayer room has beautiful murals and a 15 meter high statue of Sakyamuni. There are almost 200 monks living here, so attending a ceremony is really a special experience!

In Pharping you will also find the famous Asura cave or Guru Rinpoche cave and the remarkable Vajra Yogini temple, dedicated to a tantric Buddhist goddess.

You will spend the night in a guesthouse of the monastery.

Day 17
Drive to Bhaktapur / Visit to Bhaktapur

You end your beautiful and varied tour with a stay in Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is the best preserved medieval city of Nepal and a protected Unesco heritage. The largely traffic free center is a cozy place where you can spend a lot of time. Once the day visitors are gone, there is a very special and unique atmosphere in the evening.

In the cozy little streets you look out of your eyes: shops with colourful handicrafts, sacrificial places, doors and windows in beautifully carved woodwork goods and the locals engaged in daily activities.

Bhaktapur is the third Kings Town in the valley and also has a beautiful Kings Square, with some beautiful examples of Nepalese architecture.

The Royal Palace is a beautiful building and has a balcony with 55 hand carved wooden windows. Be sure to check out the palace’s impressive entrance gate: the Golden Gate.

Nyatapola Temple is the largest and highest pagoda ever built in Nepal, with architectural perfection and artistic beauty. The beautiful Bhairab Nath Temple is dedicated to Bhairava, the most fierce and manifesting aspect of Shiva.

Next to the Kings City, Bhaktapur is also known as the city of potters. The medieval craft is practiced on several squares in the city: you can easily follow the different steps. You can see the potters at work, you can also see the primitive baking ovens and the end result is spectacular: thousands of pots are drying in the sun.

The locally made pots are also used to store a Bhaktapur delicacy: yoghurt!

You spend the night in a guesthouse in the old part of Bhaktapur.

Day 18
Departure day

The end of the journey has come. During your trip you got the chance to get acquainted with the different aspects of Nepal. We hope you had a fantastic trip and will bring home a lot of beautiful memories.

If you fly later in the day, you still have some free time to score some nice souvenirs. In Nepal you will find a lot of beautiful handmade goodies of excellent quality.

At least 3 hours before your flight, the driver will take you to the airport.

What's included?


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What's is included?


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18-day round trip in Nepal

Trip Facts

  • Can be done all year round, best from mid-September to the end of May.
  • Private car with English speaking driver
  • Mix of standard hotels, ecolodges, guesthouses and during the trekking teahouses
  • Basic, can be adjusted
  • 3
  • Phedi / Syauli Bazaar
  • Ghandruk - 2021 m / 6630ft
Nepal Inside Out op TripAdvisor