Nepal

Nepal Highlights (no trek)

This 12-day itinerary includes the highlights of Nepal but without a trek. Enjoy the bustling cities of Kathmandu and Pokhara as well as the jungle splendour of Chitwan. Soak up superb Himalayan views from a hilltop village and spend the night at a river camp on a rafting trip (suitable for all ages). As ever the exact itinerary can be tweaked to ensure that it is suitable for your family and the ages of your children.

Highlights

  Dodge the holy cows in Kathmandu
  Boat ride on Phewa Lake
  Learn to make ‘momos’ in Pokhara
  Enjoy Himalayan views in Bandipur
  Overnight rafting trip on Seti River
  Search for tigers in Chitwan

12 days from £1,125 pp

Plus international flights from £600

A 12-day non-trekking holiday for a family of four in Nepal will cost from £4,500 (plus international flights).

View pricing guide

Nepal Highlights (no trek) day-to-day itinerary

Day 1 Kathmandu
Arrive in Kathmandu where you will be met by a Stubborn Mule representative and taken to your hotel.

Kathmandu is a wonderful city and on arrival you are immediately transported into a completely different world. The streets are packed with temples, rickshaws, palaces and the ubiquitous holy cows, which amble unhindered around the narrow streets.


Day 2 Kathmandu
After breakfast you have a full day to explore Kathmandu with a guide. Your visit will include Swayambhunath, a beautiful Buddhist Temple that sits on top of a hill with lovely views over the city. The chief attraction for the children will be the monkeys that ‘guard’ the entrance and who delight in playing tricks on the many visitors.

From here head to Nepal’s most important Hindu Temple, Pashupatinath. The temple is home to many saddhus (or holy men), distinctive in their orange robes, dreadlocks and painted bodies. This is also where you find Nepal’s cremation ghats, where the bodies of the dead are burned in a sacred ceremony.

Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant then visit Boudhanath. This is a huge stupa with distinctive painted eyes that gaze over the surrounding streets. Join pilgrims spinning the prayer wheels and find a quiet roof-top cafe to enjoy the views.

End the day in Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, where kings were traditionally crowned. The streets surrounding the square are thrumming with activity and atmosphere. Your guide will be happy to take you deep into the maze of alleyways to explore, before returning to your hotel.


Day 3 Kathmandu
A full day to further explore the Kathmandu area with your guide. One option is to visit Patan and Bhaktapur, two of Nepal’s medieval cities. In Patan the children will enjoy exploring the picturesque streets, stopping for a cup of chai in a cafe and browsing the many market stalls. In Bhaktapur, watch the potters create traditional handicrafts; the children may be invited in to have a go at the potter’s wheel.

Alternatively you could head out of Kathmandu for a morning hike in the Kathmandu Valley. Our preferred route is from Sanga to Panauti, following quiet trails through the rice fields and farmland, with sensational views of the Himalayas. Panauti itself is a beautiful traditional Newari town and well worth a wander. You can stop in Patan on the way back to Kathmandu.


Day 4 Kathmandu – Pokhara
Transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Pokhara. This is a very attractive lakeside city, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Annapurnas.

You have some time to relax before a late afternoon momo-making cookery class in a local house. Momos are Tibetan dumplings, little filled morsels of deliciousness that are a staple part of of the Nepali diet. The children will enjoy making these and may be able to impress their friends when they get home! (If this doesn’t appeal, we can suggest an alternative activity).


Day 5 Pokhara
Rise early to head to Sarangkot, a hilltop just outside Pokhara that offers an impressive sunrise over the Annapurnas. The views towards the mountains are staggering and all the more so during the pale light of dawn. You will then enjoy a guided tour of Pokhara, stopping first at a hilltop temple to enjoy the commanding views over the city. This is a hive of activity with spinning prayer wheels and local pilgrims leaving garlands of flowers and offerings.

The children will also enjoy the boat ride on Phewa Lake and searching for souvenirs and trinkets in the market stalls of the Tibetan refugee camp. Return to your hotel in the early afternoon for time to relax.

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Day 6 Bandipur
After breakfast drive to Bandipur, a rural gem of a village. It is reached by a steeply climbing road that switchbacks up the mountain for 8km. The views are stunning, stretching towards orange orchards to the south and towards the Annapurnas in the north.

This afternoon you can take a picturesque hike to the small village of Ramkot. The views towards the mountains are superb. Alternatively you can enjoy a more relaxing day, exploring Bandipur with its traditional cobbled streets. There are no cars allowed in the old town, so this is a beautiful place to wander, exploring the flower-filled alleyways and chatting with villagers along the way.

Spend the night in a converted Newari Homestead.


Day 7 White water rafting camp
This morning transfer to Damauli, from where you will start your rafting excursion on the Seti River.

After a safety briefing you will board your raft and set off. Along the way, enjoy scenic views of local villages, rice fields and waterfalls. The banks are lined with thick jungle interspersed with sandy beaches. Suspension bridges span the river overhead, with children waving as they head home from school. You will stop along the way for a picnic lunch and a swim.

There are a number of rapids on the river, but these are not severe so this is suitable for children of all ages. There will also be plenty of quiet stretches of river. Here the kids can spend ages jumping off the raft, floating along, then clambering back on again.

This evening, spend the night camping by the river (all camping gear and meals included). There is the option to upgrade to a more comfortable permanent tented camp if you prefer.


Day 8 Rafting – Chitwan
Rise early for breakfast by the river. You will then continue rafting, with more opportunities for swimming along the way.

Late morning you will arrive at Gaighat, where your vehicle will be waiting for you. From here drive to Chitwan National Park. This is one of Nepal’s big drawcards, a vast area of forest and wetlands where tigers prowl and rhinos roam. The rivers are home to brooding crocodiles, monkeys jump from branch to branch, exotic birds flit through the jungle canopy and sloth bear tramp through the long grasses.

Overnight in a jungle resort near the national park.


Days 9-10 Chitwan
You have two full days to explore Chitwan National Park and will take part in a wide variety of activities. One morning rise early and head to the river for a trip in a dugout canoe. This will take you through the wetlands surrounding the Rapti River. The area is home to a great variety of birds but the main attraction for the children will be the local crocodiles. Keep your eyes peeled and your fingers inside the dugout!

You will also explore by jeep as you venture into different parts of the park in search of the elusive Bengal tiger as well as wild elephant and rhino. Depending on your choice of jungle camp, there may also be the opportunity to help look after and care for elephants.


Day 11 Chitwan – Kathmandu
This morning rise early for a spot of bird watching before breakfast. Later you fly back to Kathmandu where rest of the day is free. Perhaps head to the markets and haggle for elephant-dung lanterns, ethnic bags and fake designer outdoor gear. Alternatively find a rooftop cafe and enjoy a last glimpse of the mountains.


Day 12 Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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01728 752751

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