Nepal

Nepal Highlights (no trek)

This 14-day itinerary includes the highlights of Nepal without a ‘proper’ trek. You can explore Kathmandu, Pokhara and Chitwan as well as get away from the crowds in beautiful mountain villages, which offer superb mountain views. Although the itinerary does not include an overnight trek, there are still some lovely optional day hikes in the Kathmandu Valley that can be tailored to children of all ages. Alternatively they can be substituted for village visits, cycling or time to relax.

Highlights

  Dodge the holy cows in Kathmandu
  Witness sunrise over Mt Everest
  Enjoy the views from Changu Narayan
  Learn to make ‘momos’ in Pokhara
  Overnight rafting trip on Seti River
  Search for tigers in Chitwan

14 days from £1,250 pp

Plus international flights from £450

A 2-week non-trekking holiday for a family of four in Nepal will cost from £5,000 (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. Depending on your arrival time we can include some sightseeing today.

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


Day 2 Kathmandu
After breakfast you will 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; chief attraction may be the monkeys that ‘guard’ the entrance and who delight in playing tricks on the many visitors. You also visit the Durbar Square, where kings were traditionally crowned and which is still home to many architectural marvels as well as a living goddess. Lastly you head for Pashupatinath, Nepal’s most important Hindu Temple and fascinating as it is home to many saddhus (or holy men), distinctive in their white and orange robes, dreadlocks and painted bodies.


Day 3 Kathmandu
A second day to further explore Kathmandu with your guide. You will head to Bhaktapur and Patan; together with Kathmandu itself these were the ancient royal capitals of Nepal and are full of beautiful medieval architecture and temples.


Day 4 Kathmandu – Changu Narayan – Nagarkot
After breakfast, set off for Changu Narayan, a small hilltop temple perched on a ridge about 20km east of Kathmandu. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built by King Hari Dutta in 323AD, making it the oldest temple in the Kathmandu Valley. There are gorgeous views of the Himalayas from the temple and you can relax with a cup of chai and enjoy the vista. Later you can choose to either transfer to your hotel by car or you can continue on foot on a 4-hour hike. This follows a small trail along the ridge and through the pine forest. After a while the landscape opens out and the forest gives way to terraced farmland dotted with small traditional villages set against an immense backdrop of mountains.

You will spend the night in Nagarkot on the northeast rim of the Kathmandu Valley. This area is home to one of the best sunset panoramas over the Himalayas so find a good spot on the balcony and drink in the views.


Day 5 Nagarkot – Dhulikel
Rise early to watch the sun rise over the Himalayas. After a leisurely breakfast you spend the day immersed in the traditional villages of the valley. Families with younger children will travel the short distances between villages by car, stopping to wander through the narrow streets and clamber up to viewpoints where brightly coloured prayer flags snap in the wind carrying the prayers of the faithful up to the heavens.

Older children may enjoy a 5-6 hour hike through a lovely rural landscape of forest and steeply terraced paddy fields, always against the backdrop of the Himalayas. You spend the night in Dhulikel, a beautiful small Newari town with breath-taking mountain views. From here you can see a complete panorama from Karyolung in the east to Himalchuli in the west, including Dorje Lakpa (6,966 m), Gauri Shankar (7,145 m) and Langtang (7,324 m).

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Day 6 Kathmandu – Pokhara
Return to Kathamandu for a short flight to Pokhara, a lovely lakeside city with the lofty peaks of the Annapurnas looming behind. Spend the afternoon exploring the city including a boat lake on the picturesque Phewa Lake. Older children might enjoy a bike ride in the countryside outside town and there are many routes of varying difficulty, all with stunning views. Alternatively perhaps take part in a cookery lesson and learn how to make the perfect ‘momo’, a delicious Tibetan dumpling.


Day 7 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. The rest of the day is free for you to further explore Pokhara.


Day 8 Bandipur
After breakfast drive to Bandipur where you will spend the night in a converted traditional Newari Homestead. This 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 explore the village and perhaps take a walk into the surrounding countryside.


Day 9 Overnight rafting camp
After breakfast you will be transferred to a small town on the edge of the Seti River for the ‘put in point’ for your overnight rafting trip. Suitable for children aged around 5 and upwards, the rafting is on a relatively gentle stretch of river. There are some white water rapids, but also some peaceful stretches of river where you can swim along side the raft.

You will spend the night camping on the banks of the river either in a simple tent or in a more luxurious tented camp.


Day 10 Rafting – Chitwan
Drive to Chitwan where you stay for three nights. Chitwan National Park 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 in search of prey.

Overnight in a jungle resort near the national park.


Days 11-12 Chitwan
You have two full days to explore Chitwan National Park and will take part in a wide variety of activities. This morning rise early and head to the river for a trip in a dugout canoe through the wetlands surrounding the Rapti River. This 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 13 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 or perhaps just head to one of the many excellent rooftop cafes and enjoy a last glimpse of the mountains.


Day 14 Kathmandu
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

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