Combine adventure with comfort in this well-rounded Himalayan experience. From Kathmandu, head to Pokhara where you will have time to explore Lakeside before making your way to the village of Astam. Spend three days hiking moderate to steep ascents, sharing routes with shepherds, donkey trains, and farmers. Marvel at the incredible Annapurna mountain range and enjoy relaxing evenings in luxury lodgings. Your city accommodation in Kathmandu and Pokhara will also be some of the best in the country, combining traditional Nepali design with modern comforts.

Highlights

  • Experience traditional life in the villages of Dhampus, Patlekhet, and Majgaon
  • Enjoy classic views of the Annapurna range and Dhaulagiri
  • Learn about Gurung culture, the largest ethnic group in the Nepalese Himalaya
  • Stay in the famous Ker & Downey lodges for a taste of luxury each night
  • Experience some of the finest hotels in Nepal in Pokhara and Kathmandu 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Explore Lakeside Pokhara
Day 3 Drive from Pokhara to Astam, Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m) Dhampus
Day 4 Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m) Majgaon
Day 5 Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara Pokhara
Day 6 Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa
The cityscape of Kathmandu and Boudhanath Stupa

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the city, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After going through customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you and guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to get you settled into your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Durbar Square is a great place to start your exploration, where you'll walk through narrow alleyways teeming with small shops, ancient temples, and local restaurants. If you want to stretch your legs, Swayambhunath, the white stupa rising above the valley, is the perfect spot to catch the sunset over the valley.

In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes. You'll spend the night in comfort in one of Kathmandu's luxury hotels or a charming boutique hotel, with traditional design touches such as antique furniture and hand-woven and printed bed linens. 

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Explore Lakeside

View of Machapuchare from Pokhara
View of Machapuchare from Pokhara

After breakfast, you'll be picked up and driven by private transfer to the domestic airport for your flight (30 minutes) to Pokhara, Nepal's second-largest city. This is a stunning half-hour flight along the Himalayan range where four of the world’s 14 giant mountains over 8,000 m can be seen: Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Manaslu, and Shishapangma. 

Upon landing, a driver will be waiting to bring you to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore or just to relax by the lake. Pokhara has plenty of great cafés, restaurants, funky shops, and yoga studios that cater to expats and adventure travelers.

Day 3: Drive from Pokhara to Astam, Trek to Dhampus (1,700 m)

Bedroom of a Ker & Downey mountain lodge

Today you will be driven out of town, taking a scenic route to the village of Astam. Along the way, you can see magnificent views of the Annapurna Range and Machhapuchhere, commonly known as Fishtail. From Astam, you will begin your trek following the ridgeline to Dhampus—a stunning village with one of the best Himalayan views in Nepal. Relax and enjoy the local mountain hospitality.

The lodge where you'll spend the night isn't your average Himalayan teahouse: the luxury Basanta Lodge, run by the luxurious Ker & Downey group, has comfortable and tastefully decorated rooms, attached bathrooms, delicious food, and sweeping mountain views. 

Driving time: 1-2 hours
Trekking time: 3-4 hours

Day 4: Trek from Dhampus to Majgaon (1,400 m)

Ker & Downey Gurung Lodge

After breakfast, trek from Dhampus to Deurali. From there, you will gently ascend through rhododendron and oak forests until you reach Pothana. Along the way, there will be excellent vantage points to view Machhapuchhre and other Himalaya giants.

Continue trekking through sub-tropical forests of tree orchids, rhododendrons, and magnolias to the untouched Gurung village of Patlekhet. The Gurung people who live in this part of the Himalaya, are a famous ethnic group in Nepal, well known for their role in the Gorkha regiments of the Nepalese, Indian, and British armies.

Enjoy another night in a gorgeous luxury lodge, Ker & Downey's Gurung Lodge designed like a traditional Gurung home but with comfortable modern features.

Trekking time: 4-5 hours

Day 5: Trek from Majgaon to Kande (1,770 m), Drive to Pokhara

The Annapurna mountain range reflects in Lake Phewa, Pokhara
The Annapurna mountain range reflects in Lake Phewa, Pokhara

After breakfast, leave beautiful Majgaon behind and hike along a rugged Jeep trail to Kande. Here you will say goodbye to your trekking crew before transferring back to Pokhara. In Pokhara, stay in a gorgeous luxury or boutique hotel with Himalayan views. You'll especially appreciate the comfort after the exertion of the trek!

Trekking time: 1-3 hours

Day 6: Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Depart!

Sunset in Patan Durbar Square
Sunset in Patan Durbar Square

After breakfast, you'll be transferred to Pokhara's domestic airport for your flight back to Kathmandu. If you're flying back home from Kathmandu today, you need to ensure your flight departs no earlier than 11 am to ensure you'll have enough time to catch it. (The earliest you can arrive back in Kathmandu will be around 9:15 am.)