Itinerary - Nepal 360°: the temples of Kathmandu and the peaks of Annapurna
Check-in to your hotel in Kathmandu. The first impact of this large city may be a little traumatic - it is chaotic and untidy after all... but don't be daunted! We soon discover that the Nepalese are friendly and welcoming and we are enchanted by the sound of Tibetan bells at sunset. This evening, our welcome dinner featuring Nepalese specialities awaits us. Let's toast to the start of our adventure, perhaps with a glass of raksi - a local liqueur similar to grappa.
On the road to Pokhara
After a nice breakfast, our real adventure on Nepalese soil begins. Today we have a long transfer to Pokhara, a traditional town reflected in the waters of Lake Phewa. There are 200 kilometres between here and Kathmandu and it will take us about 6 hours to get there - we will see the landscape change kilometre after kilometre out of the window, from the city to nature and back to the city again.
Don't worry - we know you'll need a break along the way, and what better way to do that than with some energising river rafting? The route we'll be driving down runs alongside the Trishuli river, which is coincidentally one of the best spots for this activity.
Time to jump into the raft and get that adrenaline pumping!
In the Tibetan quarter
When we arrive in Pokhara we spend some time exploring the city. The streets of the centre are quiet and Lake Side, the main street, is invaded by shops selling mainly climbing equipment. One of the most interesting areas is the peaceful Tibetan quarter, made up of colourful low houses, a Buddhist temple and a shopping area with handicrafts made by the community's women. Not to be missed! At sunset, we take a stroll to browse the stalls along the lake and watch the characteristic boats moored near the shore. Dining in front of such a backdrop will be truly relaxing and rejuvenating after so many hours on the road!
Trekking towards Ghandruk
Towards the mountains!
One of the best experiences in Pokhara is the sight of the sun rising and illuminating the spectacular backdrop of Annapurna - the tenth highest peak in the world, so we wake up early to take in the spectacle! After breakfast we set off for Birethanti in our jeep and in about 3 hours we arrive at our destination, ready to continue... on foot! In fact, our trek begins - let's warm up our muscles properly, because we will be walking for the next three days! Nothing too complicated: this trek is suitable for everyone and we will only have with us a small backpack with everything necessary for the next two nights in the Nepalese nature.
The trek begins!
Our trekking begins: for the first part of the day we will face flat terrain, so nothing too difficult. Perfect for enjoying the view! We arrive in Saulibazaar, the first stop of the day, for lunch: we stop just long enough to recharge our batteries and then continue towards today's final stop, Ghandruk. In two hours we walk along jungle paths and past small villages, seeing for ourselves what life is like in these parts. We finally arrive in Ghandruk, where we visit the local museum and spend the night.
Trekking to Chhomrong
We wake up to the sounds of nature and the sun's rays slowly filtering through the windows and warming the mountain landscape around us. We recharge our batteries with a good breakfast and then we are ready to tackle the kilometres of hiking that await us today. The first part of the trek takes us about two hours to Kimrung Danda, where we stop for lunch, surrounded by the incredible scenery of the high Himalayan peaks. We then continue downhill for an hour and arrive at Chhomrung, today's final stop. This is a very special place: Chhomrung is the last village before Annapurna Base Camp, so from here we can enjoy a spectacular view of the immense Nepalese massif. The sunsets seen from here are not easily forgotten... let's enjoy ours in all its beauty until the stars appear.
Back to Pokhara
Last day of hiking
Last day of trekking, so we try to enjoy it to the fullest: again today, for the most daring, the alarm is set for dawn, if only to admire the beauty of Annapurna in the early hours of the morning, when it is illuminated by the warm light of the sun. After breakfast we set off towards Jhimodanda, which we reach in about an hour's walk. Here we make a stop... swimming! In fact, there are natural thermal pools around here, so we can take advantage of this to relax a little and pamper the muscles that we have used so much in recent days. After lunch, we resume the path to Nayapul, for another 4 hours, until we reach our jeeps, which are waiting to take us back to Pokhara. It's been an intense and beautiful three days, but once back at the hotel... a little relaxation doesn't sound too bad at all!
Chitwan National Park
Good morning Nepal! This morning we head for Chitwan National Park, Nepal's largest and most beautiful park, home to protected animals such as rhinos and the world-famous Bengal tigers. We board a jeep for an excursion into the jungle. Although we are always accompanied by a local guide, the idea of meeting antelopes, macaques, snakes, rhinos and tigers will send shivers down our spines the whole time. Near the park there are several small towns with restaurants and bars, all located on the northern bank of the Rapti River. It is in one of these that we will settle for the night. Walking through these small streets it will be easy to meet some wonderful tame elephants returning to their stables. We dine by the river, watching the sun go down in the jungle, surrounded only by the songs of the animals and the sounds of nature.
Elephants, boats and Chitwan
Let’s enjoy nature
We still have a few hours to enjoy the Chitwan National Park. We take the opportunity to go on a boat trip on a long boat, or to visit the Elephant Breeding Centre and the village of Tharu. We try to enjoy these moments immersed in nature and Nepalese culture to the full: we soon have to say goodbye to these magical places and continue our journey back to where it all began, in Kathmandu. The return trip takes about 6 hours, so let's get comfortable and enjoy the Nepalese landscape flowing past the window. Towards late afternoon we arrive in Kathmandu, we check into the hotel and relax a bit, before going out for a stroll through the streets of the city, perhaps looking for a small restaurant where we can taste some typical specialities.
Discover the capital
We have one last day to visit Kathmandu. We lose ourselves in the Thamel market, the hippie area of the city, which is a must in Nepal! We continue our exploration of Kathmandu on our own, taking our time to enjoy this incredible city and look for the last souvenirs from the local handicrafts. Those who want to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city can take refuge in the Garden of Dreams - also known as the Garden of the Six Seasons. This park is a true oasis of greenery, with large gardens, fountains and six very special pavilions dedicated to the six seasons of Nepal. In the evening we all meet again for our farewell dinner: we use this moment to remember all the special moments spent in Nepal and take the last group photos against the background of this city full of cultural and artistic contrasts.
Time to go home!
Time to go home
Until next time!