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Squeezed between India and Tibet, Nepal is a melting pot of diverse ethnic groups, stunning mountainous landscapes and dense ancient cities brimming with pagoda-topped temples.
Depart London Heathrow on your scheduled, overnight flight to Kathmandu.
Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in Patan, one of three royal cities in Kathmandu Valley. After an introductory meeting at the hotel with your guide, the afternoon will be at leisure to allow you to relax and take in your new surroundings. The group will reconvene in the evening to enjoy a welcome dinner together.
Following breakfast, your group will commence its first foray into Nepal's capital city. Kathmandu is not only the country's core in terms of trading and religion but is also known for the sleepy, all-seeing Buddha eyes which keep watch from the stupas and temples dotted amongst the chaotic jumble of buildings that spread across the valley. Begin with Boudhanath, the largest and holiest Buddhist stupa (a hemispherical shaped monument containing Buddhist relics) outside of Tibet. Continue on to the ancient religious complex of Swayambhunath, also known as Monkey Temple due to the families of macaques that live and roam around the grounds. After lunch your tour returns to Patan, a sprawling city which has almost merged with Kathmandu, separated only by the murky waters of the Bagmati River. Explore the enchanting melange of temples and former royal palaces of Durbar Square before concluding your day with a shopping trip in Thamel where you can barter for souvenirs or take a break to enjoy a sweet pastry from one of the local bakeries.
In the morning you will begin your drive to the hilltop settlement of Bandipur, arriving in time for lunch. With winding lanes, traditional Newari-style buildings and a community of farmers and traders, this beautiful town is seemingly untouched by modern life. Following a local lunch, venture into the heart of Bandipur to discover Bandipur Bazaar, an area of old shops, houses, temples and meeting places where you can appreciate the extraordinary view of the snow-clad Himalayan skyline.
Enjoy a morning at leisure in Bandipur before journeying to Pokhara, the gateway to the peaks and valleys of the Annapurna mountain range. This sleepy lakeside city enjoys a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere and is the perfect base for day walks or hikes into the spectacular surrounding mountains. Arriving at your hotel in the late afternoon there will be some time to unwind before your evening meal.
After breakfast at your hotel, a tour to the stunning Devi's Falls follows where the group will follow a series of underground streams and small walkways before reaching the cascading waterfall that bursts through a tunnel and falls into a cave deep below. Next visit Mahendra Cave to appreciate the stalagmites and stalactites before making a stop at the Tibetan refugee camp to browse for handmade jewellery, pashminas, trinkets and local carvings. Finally your group will take a peaceful boat trip on the serene waters of the lake before enjoying a riverside lunch. Returning to your lodge in the afternoon the rest of the day is at leisure.
Today you will depart Pokhara after breakfast for Chitwan National Park, one of the largest havens for the endangered Bengal tiger and home to a rare population of one-horned Indian Rhinoceros. A stop will be made en route at Manakamana to take a cable car ride to the summit of a spectacular viewpoint. Arrive at the hillside temple and a mountain shrine which dates back to the 17th century and is believed to be a place where the goddess Bhagwati has the power to grant wishes to those who are able to make a suitable sacrifice. Following lunch, your journey will continue into the sub-tropical lowlands of the national park where, in the evening you will experience the traditional dances of the Tharu Cultural Show.
Your full day tour of Chitwan National Park begins in the morning with a canoe ride up the Rapti River where you may encounter the rare gharial, a fish-eating crocodile whose population is estimated at less than 235 individuals. Next visit the elephant breeding centre where you will have the chance to watch mother and baby elephants interact whilst grazing in the jungle and warding off pesky mosquitos by covering themselves in dust. After lunch the group will proceed further into the jungle for a guided safari upon the backs of the majestic elephants, led by the local mahouts (elephant riders) who will be keen to help you spot deer, rhinoceros, antelope and perhaps even a glance of the 'King of the Jungle', the Bengal tiger.
Leaving Chitwan after breakfast, you will be driven back to Kathmandu, stopping for lunch along the way and arriving back in the city in the late afternoon. Enjoy some free time to venture out into the bustling streets to pick out any last minute gifts before enjoying your final dinner with the rest of your group. The sounds of bicycle bells and chanting monks and the intoxicating aromas of Nepalese delicacies will leave you with a memory to cherish for years to come. Namaste - 'the spirit within me salutes the spirit in you', goodbye and farewell.
Transfer from your hotel to Kathmandu airport for your return flight to the UK.
British Passport Holders do not need to obtain a visa for Nepal prior to departure, a Nepalese visa can be purchased on arrival into Kathmandu. This will cost around USD $25, so please have this ready in USD cash together with three passport size photos. We recommend that you check the following website before travelling for all the most up to date advice and requirements for entry into Nepal http://www.nepembassy.org.uk/visa.php
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover||£42||£79||£135|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Nepal is with Jet Airways (9W), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 55cm x 35cm x 25cm in size, in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 40. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in Nepal is the Nepalese Rupee or NPR, divided into 100 paisa. US dollars are also often accepted should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price||Book Now|
|09 Jan 2017||18 Jan 2017||£1365pp||Book Now|
|06 Feb 2017||15 Feb 2017||£1465pp||Book Now|
|06 Mar 2017||15 Mar 2017||£1565pp||Book Now|
|03 Apr 2017||12 Apr 2017||£1465pp||Book Now|
|01 May 2017||10 May 2017||£1475pp||Book Now|
|29 May 2017||07 Jun 2017||£1365pp||Book Now|
|26 Jun 2017||05 Jul 2017||£1265pp||Book Now|
|04 Sep 2017||13 Sep 2017||£1595pp||Book Now|
|25 Sep 2017||04 Oct 2017||£1595pp||Book Now|
|23 Oct 2017||01 Nov 2017||£1595pp||Book Now|
|13 Nov 2017||22 Nov 2017||£1695pp||Book Now|
|04 Dec 2017||13 Dec 2017||£1595pp||Book Now|
If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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