Hiking the Indian & Nepalese Himalayas

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18 Nights / 19 Days

Soaring snow-capped peaks, rolling hills cloaking in cloud and forests rich with the scent of pine – the Himalayas are one of the world’s most incredible landscapes. This epic eight-night exploration takes you across Nepal from town to scenic countryside, with privately-guided treks, offering something unique and the chance to experience life in the mountains. Your journey starts with two nights in Kathmandu where you will take a scenic helicopter flight over the Himalayas. You will also have the opportunity to visit the significant Nepalese sites of Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Bhaktapur.

Next, you will fly to Pokhara and be transferred to Nayapul where your four-day trek across the Annapurna foothills will begin. You will spend between two and five hours hiking every day, spending each of the three nights at Ker and Downey lodges along the way. Admire the magnificent views, explore untouched valleys and traditional Nepalese villages, and learn about the day-to-day life and traditions of the locals. The sub-tropical forests you will trek through are bursting with tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias.

The next leg of your journey will take you to Pokhara where you will have time to either get in a little more hiking, or do some sightseeing in town. Finally, you will head back to Kathmandu and visit more sites, like Swayambhunath Stupa, a vegetable and spice market and Durbar Square, before bidding farewell to this wonderful country and heading for India.

Your next stop is Delhi where you’ll have some time to go exploring in the heart of Old Delhi. After that, you will embark on a five-day hiking expedition through the Kumaon region. You will trek through forests and villages, meeting locals along the way. Each night will be spent at Shakti Village House properties, until you find yourself at the fabulous Shakti 360° in Leti. There are a variety of hikes to choose from in the area, and a choice of activities to keep you busy while you’re not out in nature.

On the way back to the Pantnagar airport for your flight to Delhi you’ll spend a night in Kana, with a stop at Almora on the way to visit the Panchachuli Women’s Factory.

Day 01 – Day 03 Kathmandu
Meet and greet at Kathmandu airport.
Private transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Spend your days in this fascinating city exploring cultural landmarks such as the 18th century Kumari Ghar Palace and UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Durbar Square. You have our top recommendations for activities, restaurants and shopping so that you can make the most of your time here.

Early this morning you’ll be transferred to Kathmandu’s domestic airport to board your private helicopter and enjoy a scenic flight over the Himalayas, soaring above gorges, glaciers and the snow-capped peaks of this majestic mountain range.

Hovering up the valleys of the Khumbu region surrounded by the snowcapped Himalayan peaks along with some of the highest mountains in the world, the view from the vantage point of a helicopter is exhilarating.

Once in the Everest region, the helicopter will make a stop at a selected location, allowing you to enjoy, photograph and savor the breathtaking view of the Mount Everest and the other great majestic peaks that surround it.

This is a rare and a fascinating opportunity to embrace the legendary Himalayas and discover the ineffable beauty that is guaranteed to be one of the most mesmerizing experiences ever.

Today your private guide will meet you and transfer you to three impressive Nepalese sights: Boudhanath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple and Bhaktapur. The stunning half dome of Boudhanath Stupa is one of the biggest in the world. Your fascinating guided tour which will teach you about modern Buddhist life in Kathmandu. Then explore two of the most incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Bhaktapur and Pashupatinath. One of the holiest temples in the Hindu religion, Pashupatinath temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the three main gods in Hinduism. Your final stop is Bhaktapur, one of the three ancient cities within the Kathmandu Valley. Compared with other royal cities in Patan and Kathmandu, Bhaktapur is the most original and without a doubt the most historically authentic.

Day 03 Annapurna Foothills Trek
Upon arrival in Pokhara, you will be transferred to Nayapul, the start point of the trek. The two- to three-hour walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with views of the Pokhara Valley. The route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey’s Sanctuary Lodge is located. The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre, as it is locally known. Lunch is at the lodge followed by an optional walk to the village of Birethanti. Or you may choose to spend the afternoon exploring the surrounding river valley. You will spend the night at Sanctuary Lodge.

Day 04 Annapurna Foothills Trek
Following a leisurely breakfast, you will leave Sanctuary Lodge and trek to Ker & Downey’s Gurung Lodge at 1450 meters. The lodge is built along the lines of a traditional Nepalese village. Every room has spectacular views of the surrounding valley and mountains. Trek time to the lodge is just two hours. After lunch at the lodge, you will be escorted to the local village of Tanchok. There will be a talk at a local house, now made into a museum. The contents of the house illustrate how the local people live, together with the tools and implements of day to day traditional village life. You will spend the night at Gurung Lodge.

Day 05 Annapurna Foothills Trek
This morning you will start out trekking through the unspoilt village of Patlekhet. The walk then takes you through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. After about four and a half hours, you will arrive at the Basanta Lodge. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus. From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range. You will spend the night at Basanta Lodge.

Day 06 Annapurna Foothills Trek – Pokhara
After breakfast, you depart along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor (3300ft/1000m). Trek time is around one and a half hours. You will then transfer by vehicle to Pokhara (30 minutes).

Spend your time in this charming lakeside town on exciting treks through stunning Himalayan scenery and lush landscape. Boat on the Phewa Lake, visit ancient monuments and try your hand at thrilling activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and paragliding across the valleys. Choose from a choice of activities including various half day excursions.

Day 07 Pokhara
Spend the day in this charming lakeside town. You can either head out into surrounding countryside for some hiking, or stay in the city and enjoy sightseeing. Walk up to the World Peace Pagoda with its incredible views of the Himalayas, or visit the Gurkha Museum showcasing the history of the Gurkha soldiers and the Mountaineering Museum where you can learn all about incredible feats and derring-do in the highest mountains in the world.

Day 08 Pokhara – Kathmandu (By Flight)
Private transfer to Pokhara airport.
Flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Private transfer to your hotel in Kathmandu.

Swayambhunath Stupa, also known as the Monkey Temple, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It rests on a hillock 3km towards the western edge of Kathmandu and is one of the most important and the most sacred Buddhist shrines in Nepal. Legend has it that when Kathmandu Valley was a lake 2000 years ago, a single lotus flower grew at the centre of the lake. When Saint Manjushree, the Bodhisatva, drained the lake with a single slash of his sword, the lotus settled on top of a hill and magically turned into a stupa. Thus Swayambhunath is also known as a self-created stupa.

Kathmandu, the largest city of Nepal, is the political as well as the cultural capital of the country. Retaining its ancient traditions, Kathmandu is blessed by a Living Goddess and is enriched by endless ceremonial processions and events that take to the streets every now and then with throngs of devotees seeking blessings.

You will visit the vegetable and spice market in Ason, and see its many courtyards and bustling bazaars. From here we can take the local rickshaw (tricycle) ride to Thamel, a happening tourist hub of Kathmandu.

The Temple of the Living Goddess: The Kumari Devi is the most important of several living goddesses in Nepal. She is seen on the temple’s balcony regularly.

Day 09 Kathmandu – Delhi (By Flight)
Private transfer to Kathmandu airport.
Flight from Kathmandu to Delhi.
Private transfer to your hotel in Delhi with guide.

With a population of over 18 million, Delhi is an international metropolis. Perhaps daunting at first sight, a little exploring soon reveals a rich, diverse and fascinating culture. Throughout most of its history, it has served as the capital of various kingdoms and empires, captured and rebuilt time and time again. Every dynasty left its mark and as you start to explore, you’ll discover reminders and relics from this colossal game of pass the parcel.

As well as centuries worth of history to explore, Delhi is also one of the best places in India to shop, try the many different styles of food and experience the buzz of a city where its millions of inhabitants are going about their daily business. And if weaving your way in and out of the rickshaws and cyclists ever starts to get too much, turn the corner and you’ll find a tranquil garden or a quiet enclave in which to stop, gather your thoughts and recharge.

In complete contrast to the new city, the old city is a labyrinthine maze of lanes overhung by a tangled mass of electric wires. Within this chaos lies a semblance of order – each lane in this area is dedicated to a particular item, rather like a department store. There are lanes selling bangles, grocers, items used in weddings, silverware, clothes, spices and shoes. Sharing the same space are vendors with carts selling a variety of items, street side dentists, natural healers and cobblers. The old city has space for all professions. You will explore the old city in cycle rickshaws and will also walk along some of the more interesting alleys.

Day 10 Delhi – Katgodham (By Train)
Shakti Kumaom Village Walk.
This morning you will be met by your guide who will accompany you during your Himalayan journey. Together you will be transferred to Delhi train station, where on arrival you will be assisted boarding your train. A packed breakfast will be prepared for your journey and your guide will be on hand throughout. On arrival in Kathgodam (the last station on the line) you will be met and from here driven 3.5 hours to the Almora region, stopping en route for lunch. You will begin walking from the village of Chitai, famous for the Chitai temple – the god of justice – walking for around two hours to reach your first village house in the small and sleepy village of Deora. After freshening up you’ll enjoy drinks followed by dinner prepared by your chef.

Day 11 Shakti Kumaon Village Walk
Setting off from Deora you will soon reach the village of Chirala, where you can visit the local school. Continue walking through a pine forest, descending into the Shivalaya valley where you’ll come across a stream where you can often see children playing while adults work the fields. You’ll then begin climbing up towards the village of Alai, stopping for a drink and the opportunity to dip your feet in a natural rock pool.

Continuing along the path you’ll pass a water-powered flour mill and terraced fields as you make your way through the village of Palyu, before ascending to Ka-Chula Pool. From here you have the option of taking a car, which will be waiting for you, to Dhaulchina (approximately 20 minutes away) before walking gradually uphill to the lunch spot. For those who are feeling more energetic, the walk from Ka-Chula Pool to the lunch spot takes around 1.5 hours with two fairly steep uphill stretches. After lunch, continue walking gradually uphill through stunning rhododendron forests for around 1.5 hours until you reach the village of Jwalabanj where you’ll spend your evening relaxing and enjoying drinks and dinner.

Day 12 Shakti Kumaon Village Walk
This morning after a leisurely breakfast, you may choose to explore the village of Jwalabanj and familiarise yourself with the views and the faces of the local people. This will give you an insight into the rural lifestyle of the Kumaonis. You’ll enjoy a delicious picnic lunch in a lovely scenic spot, after which you may continue to explore the village or perhaps set out and enjoy some birdwatching around the area with your private guide. There are various hiking trails around the village and you can discuss with your guide the level and duration of walking you would like to do and plan a route accordingly. Return to the house in the afternoon and freshen up for drinks and a home cooked dinner.

Day 13 Shakti Kumaon Village Walk
Today starts with a downhill walk through green terraced fields towards the Jageshwar Temple Complex built in the 8th century. Enjoy a picnic lunch before arriving at your next village house, where you can spend the afternoon relaxing with a book and admiring the scenery. For those who wish to walk more, there is a beautiful three-hour hike from the house through rhododendron, pine and oak forests. Drinks followed by dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 14 Shakti Kumaon Village Walk
This morning a very short walk will bring you to the road head where you will be met and driven for around six hours to Leti. On arrival at the road head in Leti you will walk to the property, which usually takes around one hour along a dramatic mountain trail. You may drive this distance if you prefer but after the long drive, the walk into Leti is advised.

Day 15 Leti Kumaon Region
Shakti 360° Leti is a truly spectacular place that offers guests the chance to experience a part of India not many people see. There are plenty of hikes that take you deep into the surrounding countryside, with everything from gentle walks to strenuous treks. You could also choose to just sit back and relax with a book and a glass of wine while gazing out over the mountains, or take part in a cooking class where you’ll learn how to make local delicacies. Whatever you decide to do, there are few places as special as Shakti 360° Leti and by simply being here, you are experiencing something wonderful.

Day 16 Leti Kumaon Region
A steep walk up from the property through a narrow path, or pagdandi, brings you to a flat piece of pastureland. The views of the mountain peaks from here are majestic and include Nanda Devi (7816m or 25,623ft), the highest mountain solely within India.

Day 17 Leti – Almora – Kana
You will be driven to the village of Kana, with a visit to the main town of Almora along the way. You will visit the Panchachuli Women’s Factory. The Panchachuli Women Weavers Co-operative was founded in 2005, its story began in the late 1990s. Your guide will lead you on a walking tour around the factory and shop.

Day 18 Panchachuli sunrise hike
Take a morning walk or hike in the surrounding countryside. Head out early and enjoy the stunning views of the Panchachuli range at sunrise.

Private transfer to Pantnagar airport.
Flight from Pantnagar to Delhi.
Private transfer to your hotel in Delhi with guide.

Day 19 Depart Delhi
Spend one final night in Delhi before your return international flight. Explore the busy city streets, or find a quiet space to unwind and reflect on your hiking adventure.

Evening, transfer to Delhi International Airport for flight to onward destination.

Place Night (s) Hotels
Kathmandu 02 Dwarika’s Hotel
Annapurna 01 Ker & Downey’s Sanctuary Lodge
Annapurna 01 Gurung Lodge
Annapurna 01 Basanta Lodge
Pokhara 02 Tiger Mountain Lodge
Kathmandu 01 Dwarika’s Hotel
Delhi 01 The Imperial
Deora 01 Village House
Jwalabanj 02 Village House
Kumaon Village 01 Village House
Leti 03 Shakti 360 Leti
Kana 01 Shakti Kana Village House
Delhi 01 The Imperial

– Welcome with fresh flower garlands.
– Meet assist at the airport and hotels.
– 18 nights hotel / Camps / Guest House accommodation.
– Daily breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
– All transfers, sightseeing, excursions by private AC vehicle as per the program.
– Kathmandu – Pokhara – Kathmandu – Delhi & Pantnagar – Delhi flight in economy class.
– Delhi – Katgodham express train ticket in Executive Class.
– Local English speaking guides during city tour, sightseeing and excursions.
– Accompanying guide / trekker during the trekking and hiking part of the tour.
– Entrance fees to the monuments as per the program.
– Cultural dance show in Kathmandu.
– 01 Yoga class during the tour.
– All taxes.

– Tips
– International Air Fare
– Visa Fees
– Travel Insurance
– Personal expenses and drinks.

– Accommodation in good hotels.
– Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.
– Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost.
– Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.
– A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.
– If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.
– Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.
– In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.
– In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.
– While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.
– Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.
– In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.

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