Nepal is beautiful from every angle, but there's something special about seeing it from the air. Helicopter tours are a unique way to combine transport with sightseeing among the world's tallest mountains and deepest valleys—and it's the perfect solution if you're short on time. Here are some of the best helicopter excursions to incorporate into your trip.

Touring by Helicopter in Nepal

Most helicopters are AStars (Ecureuil AS350B), manufactured in France and particularly well suited for mountainous terrain and passenger comfort. They typically fit four passengers, have a service ceiling of 15,100 ft (4,600 m), and are wide and comfortable. They're also very safe and if weather conditions are too windy and might cause discomfort or safety issues, the tours for that day are canceled. 

For helicopter charters, expect to pay around $2,000 USD per hour. Most helicopters can fit up to four people, making it more affordable the larger your group. The best months for helicopter tours are spring (March to May) and fall (September to November) given the skies are generally clear for great views. Rides can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as several hours, depending on the specific tour or experience you're looking for.

Luxurious Kongde Heli Trek

View of Mt. Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam from the lodge at Kongde
The lodge at Kongde, perched high up in the valley, is a short helicopter flight from Lukla.

Combining a helicopter tour through the snowy peaks of the Himalaya with luxury accommodations on the ground can be a great way to experience the Everest region. You'll still get some trekking in, but you can get picked up from the lodge at Kongde (either at the start or end of your trek) and take a tour over the turquoise Gokyo Lakes and the valley leading up toward Everest.

Everest for Breakfast

Breakfast at Yeti Mountain Home
Take a morning flight from Kathmandu for breakfast at Yeti Mountain Home, Kongde

If you'd rather skip the trekking and take in some sweeping mountain views without the sweaty climb, a flight from Kathmandu to the Everest View Hotel or Yeti Mountain Home Kongde (the highest full-service luxury resort in the world) is just the ticket. Both lodges serves up a delicious breakfast and the kind of views that you don't see every day. 

Everest Base Camp Trek & Helicopter Tour

Helicopter near Everest Base Camp
Helicopter near Everest Base Camp

After trekking one of Nepal's most classic routes to Everest Base Camp, you can return by helicopter from Gorak Shep to either Kathmandu or Lukla. This is a great way to still complete this trek if you're short on time and will save you 3-4 days. It's also a great way to see the Himalaya from a unique vantage point and the route that you trekked on your way up.

Everest Sightseeing Tour from Namche

Helicopter tours in the Everest region
Take a short helicopter tour from Namche Bazaar in the heart of the Everest region

From Namche Bazaar, the largest village in the heart of the Everest region, you can take a half-hour helicopter tour to see Mt. Everest or over the Gokyo Lakes valley. This is a great add on to your trek, as well treks in the Everest region pass through Namche Bazaar. If you're short on time, you can also catch a helicopter from Namche Bazaar back to Lukla or all the way back to Kathmandu.

Langtang Valley By Helicopter

Langtang Valley, Nepal
Langtang Valley, where you can combine your trek with a helicopter tour

From Kathmandu, you can take a short flight with excellent views of traditional Nepalese villages to the Langtang Valley. Expect views of Mount Annapurna and the surrounding peaks as you fly in and out of the Tamang village.