You don’t need to hike up Everest to get the best views of the Himalayas. We asked Lightfoot Travel Designer Kieran to give us his tips exploring the ‘Roof of the World’.
DO: Kathmandu, the country’s capital, is a riot of wonderful sights, sounds, smells and deeply ingrained culture. To get a feel for the city wander through the backstreets where you’ll discover temples, courtyards, and even a singing bowl seller or two. Make sure that you visit the home of the former royal palace and now UNESCO Heritage Site, Kathmandu Durbar Square. And of course, you can’t leave without catching a scenic flight over the Himalayan peaks and viewing the legendary Everest.
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STAY: Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by taking your luggage to Dwarika Hotel. This boutique hotel set in 37 acres of landscaped gardens is a must visit. Featuring Nepalese architecture and filled with beautifully crafted antiques this hideaway gives you the perfect snapshot of Nepali heritage. And if that doesn’t impress you, the views of the famed Boudhanath Stupa will.
DO: The Gateway to the Himalayas and the country’s second largest city, Pokhara is a wonderful dichotomy of modern and traditional, peaceful and bustling. Join the crowds behind the Lakeside to take in the beautiful Newari architecture, then escape to Lakeside Pokhara for a more relaxed look at the city. Or if you want an even more spectacular view of the countryside you can paraglide across the lush farmland.
STAY: At the Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, perched 1,000 feet above the Pokahara Valley. This eco-friendly lodge offers views of the Himalayan mountain range and nothing beats relaxing in the award-winning infinity pool after a day of hiking.
DO: If you’re keen on some trekking, but feel the Himalayas may be too much of a challenge, we recommend hiking through the Annapurna Foothills as an alternative. The trek covers is relatively accessible and not too physically demanding and you will still be rewarded with breath-taking mountain views throughout.
STAY: Built in the style of a traditional Nepalese village, this set of 10 houses is the perfect place to use as your base. With views of the snowy peaks of Annapura and the Himalayan countryside, this country retreat is hard to beat.