Overview

Trip Facts:

Trip Name:  Secret Old Nepal in the Valley
Grade: Easy
Accommodation: Hotel and Luxury Mountain Lodge
Meal: Full Board / BB in the cities
Best Season: October to May
Max Elevation: 2000m/6560ft
Total Days: 10 Days

Trip Summary:

Some of the best Old Nepal hidden gems are right here in the Kathmandu valley – immerse yourself in Nepal’s rich cultural and scenic tapestry. This is the perfect combination of panoramic Mountain View walks, rich culture and gorgeous countryside. Patan is the best Durbar in the Kathmandu valley. We stay at the delightful Patan Inn, a fantastic converted Newari house, carved with the artisan skills that this little town is world famous for - two nights here to fully enjoy. Then to the near hills for the incredible panorama of the Himalayan peaks, the whole range from Dhaulagiri in the west, to Everest and Kangchenjunga in the east - we are right in the middle.

Then, via Bhaktapur Durbar Square, enjoying it’s unique World Heritage pagodas and temples, we head to the east foothills for 2 nights at the amazing Namo Buddha Resort, a hidden gem designed as an authentic Newari village, comfortable cottages in beautiful gardens, forest, mountain views and sensational home grown food. It’s a short pine forest walk to the Namo Buddha.

An easy morning walk brings us down to the ancient township of Panauti - marvellously preserved temples dating back to the 14th century. Then the serene Gokarna Forest Resort where, for all the enjoyment of it’s fantastic facilities, the highlight is the forest itself, the former hunting reserve of Nepal’s rulers. Two nights here gives us an easy day walk to nearby Changu Narayan, Kathmandu’s oldest and best restored temple, and on through traditional farmland where local villagers hand work the rich soil. A dawn walk in the gorgeous forest, and we head to the nearby Buddhist enclave of Boudhanath. This is the largest stupa temple in Nepal and our lovely hotel on the quiet edge of this ‘little Tibet’ is perfectly placed to stroll to this holiest of Buddhist shrines, joining the devout pilgrims who perform their ‘kora’ circumambulations of the thousand prayer-wheels that line the route.

10 Nights 9 Days 30 Sep, 01 Oct, 02 Oct, and more
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • 09 nights in Heritage Hotels on BB basis as per the itinerary in Kathmandu/Hattiban/Namo Buddha
  • Guided Sightseeing of World Heritage Sites as per the itinerary
  • Private Transportation during Sightseeing
  • All Entrance Fees
  • 1 hour scenic Mountain Flight over Everest

Transportation:

  • All Private Transportation as per the itinerary
  • All airport transfers as per the itinerary

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Nepal Visa fee
  • Lunch and dinner as per the itinerary
  • Liquor beverages (soft and hard drinks)
  • Expenses of personal nature e.g. laundry, phone call etc.
  • Gratuity for staff
  • Expenses incurred due to unforeseen circumstances
  • Services not mentioned herein
Highlights
What makes this tour special

Our Old Nepal itineraries capture the unique feeling of trekking in Nepal in the early days. Staying at our truly comfortable ‘hidden gem’ locations we access the ‘real Nepal’ that the tourist trails miss: unspoilt villages, traditional foothill farmland, stunning forests and

Panoramic views of the whole Himalaya. Be in no doubt - this is the greatest mountain landscape on the planet, and you really don’t have to stick to the tourist trails to see the very best of it. Our secret Nepal is as gorgeous as ever. Walking days are designed to be easy enough for all casual walkers, linking our wonderful night stops through beautiful countryside and stunning views. Every detail of these itineraries is carefully crafted to give the richest experience of the gorgeous foothills and culture that only Nepal has to offer.

Being here... in these incredible inspiring landscapes... staying in such fabulous locations - surely the most rewarding holiday available on earth. This is our beloved Old Nepal

Itinerary

Outline Itinerary:

 

Days

Itinerary

Overnight

01:

Arrival in Kathmandu and transfer to hotel. Transfer to Patan world heritage site

Hotel (BB)

02:

Trek briefing in the morning and half day sightseeing tour of world heritage sites   Patan

Hotel (BB)

03:

Drive to Hattiban, day hike to Campadevi  Hill 

Hotel (BB)

04:

Drive to Namo Buddha, visit Bhaktapur en-route

Hotel (BB)

05:

Day hike to Namo Buddha and Thrangu Yantse Monastery

Hotel (BB)

06:

Walk through historical Panauti village and transfer to Gokarna Forest Resort

Hotel (BB)

07:

Day walk through one of the oldest temple Changu Narayan temple, traditional farm land and meet local farmer community

Hotel (BB)

08:

Early morning forest walk of Gokarna and transfer to Boudhnath center of   Buddhism and world heritage site

Hotel (BB)

09:

Morning Everest flight and return to Hotel. 

Hotel (BB)

10:

Final departure transfer to airport                                                                         

Hotel (BB)

 

Detailed Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to Patan Inn (B&B)

Patan is the most rewarding of the old cities of Kathmandu with the best preserved Durbar Square, small streets rich in traditional architecture, a marvellous museum and the very best of the beautifully restored Newari inns for us to stay in. If your international flight is an afternoon arrival it is well worth adding an extra night at the wonderful Patan Inn to really make the most of it. O/N at Patan

Day 2: Patan historical walk, Patan Inn (B&B)

There is so much to see, right here in Patan, exploring it’s marvelous little streets and hidden back squares. We start with an early visit to the famous Golden Temple, the Hiranya Varna Mahavihar, in fact a monastery with the unique Newari fusion of Buddhist and Hindu features. This is a very devout place and we do our best to be unobtrusive to the daily rituals that are the life blood of the temple. The intricacy of the copper gilt work introduces us to the incredible artisan skills that Patan is famous for. We go on to the Patan Durbar Square itself, densely packed with very diverse and beautifully crafted temples, now the best restored of any of the Kathmandu Durbars. There is so much here to see, but we will end at the award-winning Patan Museum which is full of fabulous treasures, intricately carved windows and historical narrative. O/N at hotel in Patan

Day 3: Drive to Champa Devi ridge, walk to Hattiban Resort

A short drive through town and up a winding jeep-trail brings us to the Champa Devi ridge which offers the very best walk on the Kathmandu rim. A fantastic ancient trail through the protected forests here gives simply the best views over the valley of the full panorama of the Himalayas, all the way from the Annapurnas to Everest itself. The ridge line trail winds through forest rich in wildlife, wild boar and musk-deer, to a short but steep-stepped ascent to it’s high point at 2500 metres. There is nothing difficult about this remarkably well-made trail as long as we take our time, both coming up and on the equally steep descent. We have all day to enjoy it. Just before arriving it levels out into the fabulous tall pine forests around our hotel. Hattiban enjoys a unique location here, a beautiful tranquil setting, its delightful gardens and comfortable rooms still with panoramic views as far as Everest. O/N at Hattiban Resort(AP)

Day 4: Visit Bhaktapur, afternoon drive to Namo Buddha Resort

The Bhaktapur Durbar Square feels very different to Patan’s, spread over a larger area with some truly unique buildings. The very ancient Palace of 55 Windows, the five storey Nyatapola pagoda, the tallest in Nepal, the beautifully proportioned Bhairava Nath temple, and the richly moulded Golden Gate, are some of the highlights. It takes less than an hour to drive here so we can spend plenty of time before lunch, but some groups may also want to visit nearby Thimi on the way with it’s backstreets of traditional pottery works - almost a working museum in it’s own

right. After lunch we drive on for another hour to the unique and marvellous Namo Buddha Resort right on the eastern edge of the Kathmandu valley. Purpose built cottages providing comfortable accommodation are carefully designed in the style of an authentic Newari village set in beautiful forest, gardens and organic home farming, with the backdrop of spectacular views of the mountains. O/N at Hotel in Namo Budhha

Day 5: Short walk to Namo Buddha and Thrangu Tashi Yangtse Monastery, Namo Buddha Resort

After a delicious breakfast on the terrace, it is a half hour walk through gorgeous pine forest to the famous Namo Buddha stupa and it’s dedicated monastery. The legend is that the Buddha prince Mahasattva fed his own body piecemeal to a starving tigress so that her cubs could survive, and the stupa was built over his remains. The monastery is one of the largest in Nepal, home to 250 monks with a monastic college that combines Buddhist and modern scientific teaching. We return to our hotel for lunch and an afternoon relaxing in it’s wonderful village atmosphere. O/N in Namo Buddha.

Day 6: walk down to Panauti, drive to Gokarna Forest Resort

Today we will walk down for a couple of easy hours, through forests and farmland, to the well preserved and ancient Newari township of Panauti. It’s Indreshwar temple dedicated to Shiva is claimed to be the oldest in Kathmandu valley, dating back to about 1300. From here it is just an hours drive to the protected 470 acre Gokarna Forest, a haven of peace and beauty nestled in the Kathmandu valley. The hotel is comfortable and luxurious, with indoor pool, spas, golf course and fantastic restaurants, but the highlight will always be the forest itself. Huge mature fig trees dominate the site, and fallow deer and myriad other wildlife roam these former private hunting grounds of Nepal’s rulers. O/N in Gokarna Forest Resort in Gokarna.

Day 7: Changu Narayan temple and traditional farmland walk, Gokarna Forest Resort

A very short drive gets us to the start of today’s fascinating short walk to the ancient temple of Changu Narayan, parts of which may even predate Indreshwar, now marvellously restored after some damage in the 2015 earthquake. The hilltop site includes the main pagoda dedicated to Vishnu and many other shrines all richly decorated and steeped in spiritual significance for the Hindus of Kathmandu. Heading on from here we descend into the best area of traditional farmland in the Kathmandu valley with beautiful terraced fields on the lower slopes descending to the monsoon flood-plain of the Manohara River. We might catch the rice harvest or, later on, potato cropping or land being tilled by traditional hand mattock. The intricate small fields are micro farming maintained meticulously, a fabulous maze of small paths and the drainage channels ingeniously worked to flood the rice paddies in the monsoon. More of a meander than a walk, with all the time in the world to chat with our guide to the colorful groups of village women working the land. Then we cross the river near a small forest and head back to the road.

Day 8: an early forest walk, then the famous Boudhanath stupa, Hotel Shambling (B&B)

The best way to end our delightful time at Gokarna is with a dawn, pre-breakfast, walk in the forest, the best time for wildlife. Then a very short drive brings us to the Buddhist quarter of Boudha. This is the small area around the biggest and most important Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Boudhanath. It feels like ‘little Tibet’ here with many red-robed monks and most of the devote visitors in Tibetan style dress. Our hotel is absolutely in keeping with this, designed in Tibetan style but with every comfort, and tucked into a quiet courtyard with a lovely garden decked in prayer flags. It is a short walk down little streets to visit the Boudhanath itself, quite the nicest way to quietly arrive here and join with the many devout pilgrims who come daily to perform their ‘kora’, the patient circumambulation of the great stupa, spinning the thousands of prayer wheels to the sound of a hundred mantras. We will spend the early evening here, when much of the local population gravitate to this evocative sites.

Day 9: morning Everest mountain flight, Hotel Shambling (B&B)

A benefit of our east Kathmandu location at Boudhanath is that it’s just a 20 minute drive to the airport for the fantastic mountain flight. Nothing compares to this close encounter with Everest and the surrounding peaks, Lhotse, Makalu and Cho Oyu, the 8000 metre giants around the most famous peak in the world. The afternoon of our last day is kept free to relax or to head into town if a little light shopping and evening life is your thing. O/N in Kathmandu.

Day 10: Departure day:

The short drive back to the airport and depart Kathmandu

Map
map