Nepal Grand Circle Tour – 19 Days
Wandering in Kathmandu valley, you will get a feeling that you are living in an open air museum. It provides you great opportunity to experience ancient Hindu and Buddhist culture. Your tour around Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur Durbar squares will provide you true experience of medieval period. The country is full of art, architectures, temples and monasteries which symbolize the importance of art, culture and religion in Nepali society.
An extended trip down to Pokhara would provide you real experience of remarkable natural beauty of Nepal including the view of some of the highest mountains and beautiful lakes. As well as the trip down to Lumbini will give you excellent opportunity to experience real aspect of Buddhism and a short trip to Chitwan national park will amaze you with its diverse flora and fauna.
Day 01: Arrival in Kathmandu
Day 02: Visit Swoyambunath & Patan
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Bhaktapur via Thimi
Day 04: Drive Bhaktapur to Nagarkot via Changunarayan
Day 05: Trek Nagarkot to Thali and drive to Kathmandu: visit Pashupatinath & Boudhanath
Day 06: Visit Kopan monastery
Day 07: Flight Kathmandu to Pokhara & trek to Astham
Day 08: Trek Astham to Milanchoka & drive to Sedi Bagar
Day 09: Drive Sedi Bagar to Pokhara: visit Devi’s fall / Gupteswori Cave & World peace stupa
Day 10: Visit Sarankot / Mountain Museum & Mahendra Cave
Day 11: Free Day in Pokhara
Day 12: Drive Pokhara to Lumbini|
Day 13: Visit Kapilbastu & Lumbini Garden
Day 14: Drive Lumbini to Chitwan
Day 15: Chitwan Jungle Safari
Day 16: Chitwan Jungle Safari
Day 17: Drive Chitwan to Kathmandu
Day 18: Visit Kritipur
Day 19: Departure
Day 01: Arrive in Kathmandu airport and you will be transferred to the hotel by one of our representatives. Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Visit Swoyambhunath and Patan: start our tour with the magnificent Swoyambhunath which is 10 minutes drive from Thamel. Then a short drive to one of the oldest cities of Kathmandu valley which is called Patan to witness its incredible architecture from medieval period.
Swoyambhunath is one of the oldest stupas of the Kathmandu Valley. It is situated on one of the highest hills in the valley. It watches over the Valley from the top of a hillock on its western side just three kilometers west of the city center. The stupa is one of the holiest Buddhist sites in Nepal and its establishment is linked to the creation of the Kathmandu Valley out of a primordial lake. Swayambhu is also known as Samhengu and is recognized as a World Heritage Site. It is also one of the oldest and most glorious Buddhist shrines in the world which is said to be two thousand years. The four sides of the stupa are painted with the eyes of Lord Buddha.
Patan- the second largest town in the valley is situated to the south of Kathmandu. Patan's great building boom took place under the Mallas in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Numerous temples of widely diverse styles, as well as many Buddhist monasteries, are scattered around the fascinating town. Patan is famous for its crafts and metal works which are wonderful souvenirs.
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Bhaktapur via Thimi: today we drive to the oldest part of the Kathmandu valley, a quick stop at old Thimi and observe some traditional farming and old alleys of Thimi village. Then finally we go to visit an ancient city called Bhaktapur. This fascinating city reminds you the true culture and living style of medieval period.
Bhaktapur- Located about 20 km east of Kathmandu in the Kathmandu Valley, Bhaktapur is known as the 'City of Devotees', the 'City of Culture', the 'Living Heritage', and 'Nepal's Cultural Gem'. It is one of the 3 royal cities in the Kathmandu Valley. We visit four different squares in this city: Durbar Square (palace square), Tamaudi Square (public square), Pottery Square and Dattatrey Square.
Day 04: Drive Bhaktapur to Nagarkot via Changunarayan: we drive to one of the oldest temples of the valley, Changunarayan before we go to Nagarkot. It is a fascinating place where you can see oldest Manu script found in Nepali history and some magnificent temples. Another exciting drive for an hour on winding road takes us to Nagarkot. It is a great place to escape from Kathmandu’s hustle bustle.
Nagarkot – One of the most popular hill station / viewpoints close to Kathmandu valley. The reward for Nagarkot trip is the panoramic view of 33 different mountain peaks of different regions including Mt. Shisapangma of Tibet.
Day 05: Trek Nagarkot to Thali and drive to Kathmandu and visit Pashupatinath and Boudhanath: on our way back from Nagarkot, we trek down to Thali, which takes about 4 hours. Then, catch our vehilce and drive to Pashupatinath and Bouddhanath
Pashupatinath Temple is one of the holiest pilgrimage destinations for all the Hindus of the world. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the trinity and the guardian (patron) deity of Nepal. This is one of the oldest temples, situated on the banks of the Holy Bagmati River. It is a double–roofed golden temple with four triple silver doorways. Pashupatinath covers an area of 281 hectares, which is one of the biggest temple complexes in Nepal.
Bouddhanath Stupa lies about 6 km east of downtown Kathmandu and it is the largest stupa in the Valley and one of the largest in the world. It presents one of the most fascinating specimens of stupa design with hundreds of prayer wheels and 108 small images of Buddha all around. Just like Swoyambhunath, this stupa has four sides with the watchful eyes of Lord Buddha. All the Buddhists throng to this stupa to take part in the sacred rituals during the Buddhist festivals.
Day 06: Visit Kopan Monastery: hike for about an hour to Kopan monastery through few villages and winding roads. Kopan is situated at a hill of Kathmandu valley about 2 km north from Boudhanath stupa. It is the first monastery in Nepal which started to teach Buddhism and Buddhist meditations in foreign language. Afternoon free.
Day 07: Flight Kathmandu to Pokhara (820m) and trek to Astham: a scenic flight to Pokhara for about 30 minutes then drive about an hour to Milanchock where we start our short trek to Astham, Adhikari family home. Being in Astham, we can observe and experience real culture and living style of typical Nepali family of country side.
Overnight: Home stay
Day 08: Trek Astham to Milanchock and drive to Sedi Bagar: hike back to Milanchock then drive for an hour to Sedi Bagar followed by a short walk to Thapa family home which offers magnificent view of the lake and surroundings.
Overnight: Home stay
Driving Time: 1 Hour
Day 09: Drive Sedi Bagar to Pokhara and visit Devi's fall, Gupteswori Cave and World Peace Stupa: drive back to Pokhara and settle down at your hotel. In the afternoon, we visit Devi’s fall, Guptesori Cave and World peace stupa; which offers you the best view of the Pokhara city and Fewa Lake.
Day 10: Visit Sarangkot (1592m, Mountaineering Museum and Mahendra Cave: early morning drive to Sarangkot. It’s about an hour drive on steep uphill. (You can walk back if you are interested walking down hill) The view from Sarangkot is superb. Several different peaks of the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri ranges, including the two highest peaks in the world,-Annapurna I (8091m) and Dhaulagiri (8167m) can be seen.
In the afternoon, visit first Mountaineering museum in Pokhara, where we can learn about history of Nepal mountaineering and witness true mountaineering culture. Then, a visit to a cave in the afternoon which is about 5 km away from Lake City. It is one of longest caves in Nepal.
Day 11: Free day in Pokhara: You can spend the day exploring the lake city or shopping.
Day 12: Drive Pokhara to Lumbini: eight hours scenic drive to Lumbini, Birthplace of Buddha. In the afternoon, visit Maya Devi Temple exact birth place of Gautam Buddha. Maya Devi temple is built right on the place of his birth. The temple is built in modern design, however inside the temple; they have preserved exact structure of the place/stone where he was born.
According to the legend, his mom; queen of Kapilbastu was on her way to her parental house to visit her parents and all of sudden, she was struck with labor pain and she asked her servants to take her back to the palace but pain was unbearable so she decided to rest on the shade of the banyan tree nearby, where she gave birth Gautam Buddha.
We also visit some of the temples and stupas built by different nations dedicated to Lord Buddha.
Day 13: Visit Kapilbastu and Lumbini Garden: start our tour early in the morning driving about 28 km west of Lumbini to visit the palace of Shakya dynasty. Gautam Buddha spent 29 years of his life with his family in this palace as a prince. Even though he was a prince of the kingdom, he was different than rest of the royals and he was curious about the real world, which scared his family and his father, the king of Kapilbastu. King wanted his son to become future king and rule the country so he wanted to train his son as a future king not as someone who would go outside and try to get knowledge as a scholar and become a monk. So king arranged all the physical luxury possible in the world right inside the palace so his son wouldn’t know about the poorness and cruelty of the real world outside of palace.
In the afternoon, visit rest of the temples in Lumbini garden.
Day 14: Drive Lumbini to Chitwan (815m): six hours scenic drive to Chitwan. Arrival at Wild Life Camp and a welcome drink
14:00: Lunch, then two hours free time.
16:00: Tour to the Tharu village and museum. Sunset point for a drink and the magnificent view of the setting sun.
Difference in Elevation: -5m
Day 15: Chitwan Jungle Safari:
7:00: Breakfast, then head out for our canoe rides on the Rapti River, followed by a short jungle walk.
15:00: Elephant safari: An excellent opportunity to see: four different kinds of deer; rhinoceros; wild boars; monkeys; leopards; sloth bears and the Royal Bengal Tiger (if you are lucky). You may also encounter many other smaller mammals that have made Chitwan their home.
20:00: Tharu culture program
Day 16: Chitwan Jungle Safari:
7: 00: Breakfast
7:30: Jeep safari for four hours into the heart of the jungle
Day 17: Drive Chitwan to Kathmandu (1334m):
7:30: Elephant breeding centre
9:00: Drive back to Kathmandu: scenic drive for about 6 hours to Kathmandu.
Day 18: Visit Kritipur: a short drive to visit one of oldest and historical fort towns in Kathmandu valley called Kirtipur.
Day 19: Transfer to the airport and departure
The tour price includes:
- Transfers airport / hotel / airport.
- Accommodations in Kathmandu / Nagarkok / Bhaktapur / Pokhara / Lumbini / Chitwan
- Welcome dinner at one of the traditional Nepali restaurants
- Transport, guided visits and entry of the monuments in Kathmandu / Patan / Bhaktapur / Pokhara / Lumbini
- Domestic flight (Kathmandu – Pokhara) as per itinerary
- Domestic airport tax
- Private vehicle Pokhara – Lumbini – Chitwan - Kathmandu
- Professional English speaking tour guides
- Private vehicle during sightseeing
- Full board in Home stay
- Full board in Chitwan Tour
- Drinks (Tea / Coffee only)
- All activities in Chitwan Tour
- Your international flight re-confirmation.
- All necessary documents and government tax.
- Insurance for staff
The tour price does not include:
- International Flights
- Lunch and Dinner in Kathmandu / Nagarkot / Bhaktapur / Pokhara / Lumbini
- Travel Insurance (compulsory and we strongly advise you to take out to cover accident / repatriation, helicopter / medical care)
- Alternative / addtional transportation (flights / vehicles), accommodation in case of bad weather, heavy rain, flood, landslide, strike, road blockade etc
- Personal expenses such as snacks, cold drinks, mineral water, alcoholic drinks, telephone etc.
- Tips for tour staff or car / van / bus driver.
NOTE: The price of the tour will be adjusted according to the group size.
From the eternal snow of the high peaks to the extensive tropical lowlands, Nepal has a wide variety of climates.
Spring: March to late May: In this season, Kathmandu is in full bloom, lots of different types of flowers can be seen at this time of the year. Temperature is mild, end of the cold winter and approaching warm and hot summer. Temperatures vary between 10 ° C to 28 ° C but can rise up to 30 ° C. Between 2000 and 3000m, temperature rarely drop below 0 ° C. However, few frosts or snowfalls are possible in March above 4000 m.
The summer/monsoon period - It interrupts the majority of trekking from late June to late August. Some of the trekking regions "trans-Himalayan", Dolpo and Mustang, however, remain protected from monsoon prevailing rest of the country. They are the only channels available in Nepal in the summer.
Autumn: mid September – mid December - Perfect temperature and weather for trekking. Brings cooler days, but clear skies. Above 3000 m altitude, temperatures can drop to -10 ° C at night.
In winter: mid-December - mid-February - Nights are generally cold, dry climate, Above 3000m, temperature drop down to 0 ° C to - 15 ° C at night, the days are often sunny.
- Travel Pack / Suit case
- Day pack
- Lightweight, low maintenance and versatile clothing
- Convertible travel trousers
- Lightweight fleece
- Lightweight waterproof jacket
- Comfortable shoes/boots
- Hat (sun/warm hat)
- Warm clothes / Jackets / trousers (If travelling in early Spring / Autumn / Winter)
- Luggage locks
- Head light (torch)
- Wash bag
- Travel towel
- All purpose travel soap
- Small repair kit (needle and thread)
- First aid kit
- Accessory bags
- Guide book
- Electrical adaptor
- Insect repellent
- Sun cream
- Valid passport
- Print out of Airline tickets
- Contact detail of Embassy / Tour agency
- Travel insurance