This ten-day tour is a great option if you're short on time yet keen to see the Everest region. You'll spend your nights in the beautiful Himalayan lodge and your days either trekking or flying through the Everest region by helicopter. Kongde, the highlight of the trek, is a panoramic ridgeline perched about the Everest region that few trekkers get to visit.

Highlights

  • Stay in some of the most luxurious lodges in the Everest region
  • Experience Sherpa culture in Namche Bazaar
  • Trek to Thame, up a remote side-valley from the major Khumbu Valley
  • Get amazing views of Everest, Lhotse, and Ama Dablam from Kongde
  • Enjoy a thrilling helicopter ride to Everest Base Camp

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Kathmandu
Day 2 Explore Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, Patan Durbar Square Kathmandu
Day 3 Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m) Phakding
Day 4 Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m) Namche Bazaar
Day 5 Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar Namche Bazaar
Day 6 Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame Thame
Day 7 Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m) Kongde
Day 8 Rest day in Kongde (Optional day hike to Farak Ri) Kongde
Day 9 Heli tour to Everest Base Camp & Fly back to Kathmandu. Kathmandu
Day 10 Depart Kathmandu  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!

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

Flying into Kathmandu, you'll have views over the valley, the Himalaya, and the terraced fields below. After completing customs, a representative will be waiting to greet you outside the airport and to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets to your hotel.

Once you've settled in, head out and explore the city. Kathmandu 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.

Day 2: Explore Kathmandu: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square

Patan Durbar Square
Patan Durbar Square

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll be picked up by an English-speaking guide for a full-day tour of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting three sacred sites: Swayambhunath, Pashupatinath, and Patan Durbar Square.

This day fits quite a bit in—helpful for maximizing your time in Kathmandu—but doesn't overload you with too many sites. You can spend as much time as you like at each temple (this is a private tour just for you), although most people tend to spend an hour. For lunch, you'll stop at one of our recommended local restaurants. 

Return to your hotel in Kathmandu in the late afternoon and meet your trekking guide who will go over details for tomorrow's adventure.

Tour length: 7-8 hours (including transfers)

Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla - Trek to Phakding (8,563 feet / 2,610 m)

Phakding
The lodge at Phakding

After breakfast, you'll fly to Lukla and land on a steep mountain runway, which brings you to the start of your trek. Try to get a window seat on the left-hand side of the plane and keep your camera close: The flight takes you between mountains and through valleys, with great views of the Himalaya on clear days.

You'll then trek a short distance today through local villages where you'll likely encounter fellow trekkers, locals, and yaks with their tinkling bells. (Having an easy first day is intentional, allowing you time to get used to the higher elevation.)

Continue through the Dudh Koshi Valley on a well-marked trail and stay overnight in Phakding

Flying time: 30 minutes
Trekking time: 3 hours (4.7 miles / 7.5 km)
Overnight: Yeti Mountain Home

Day 4: Trek from Phakding to Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet / 3,440 m)

Yeti Mountain Home, Namche
Yeti Mountain Home, Namche

After breakfast in Phakding, you'll start a steady and steep incline towards Namche Bazaar. This is a challenging day as you'll start to feel the altitude. The route also consists of a number of high suspension bridges over the Dudh Kosi River that you need to cross.  

Just beyond the village of Monjo is the entrance to the Sagarmatha National Park, which was set-up in order to protect and preserve the fragile mountain environment (your guide will cover your permit fees here). The trail gets steeper along the way, and if the weather is clear, you will get the first glimpses of Mount Everest. After a steep 45-60 minutes climb, you'll arrive at the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar.

Namche is a great place to stock up on supplies as there are numerous small shops selling snacks and trekking gear, as well as restaurants and bars. If here on a weekend, check out the Saturday market—a meeting place for the Hindu traders from the lowlands and the Tibetan yak caravans that have crossed the glaciated Nangpa La

Close to your lodge is the internationally known Museum of Sherpa Culture; the traditional villages of Kunde and Khumjung are a highly recommended half-day excursion. The location of our lodge is superb, with a bird's eye view over Namche and across the valley to the serrated ridges of the Kongde range, while the magnificent peak of Thamserku (6623m) rises as a backdrop. Just a short walk away is a classic view of Ama Dablam, one of the most beautiful mountains in all Nepal, and of Lhotse and Everest.

This is an ideal place to spend the day, acclimatizing to the new altitude.

Trekking time: 4-6 hours (4.6 miles / 7.4 km)
Overnight: Yeti Mountain Home

Day 5: Acclimatization day in Namche Bazaar

View of Khunde and Khumjung villages
View of Khunde and Khumjung villages

Today is a rest day so take time to relax and sleep in. Namche is tucked away between two ridges amid the giant peaks of the Khumbu and has an abundance of lodges, tea shops, and souvenir markets. It is an ideal place to spend a day acclimatizing to the higher altitude.

To speed up the acclimatization process, you can also head to the Khunde Hospital set-up by Sir Edmund Hillary, or take a highly-recommended one-hour walk up to the Everest View Hotel above Namche for views of notable peaks like Ama Dablam, Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest. There are also good views from the Sherpa Culture Museum.

Day 6: Trek from Namche Bazaar to Thame

Thame Valley
Thame Valley

After breakfast at the lodge, you start the day with a 2 to 3-hour walk through forest of spruce, juniper and pine to the village of Thamo. This trail is much less used by trekkers and you'll immediately notice the difference. It is, however, an important trail which leads all the way to Tibet via the Nangpa La on the shoulder of Cho Oyu (26,286 feet/ 8012 m). It is also the historical route that the Sherpa’s migrated from eastern Tibet 800 years ago.

A lunch stop is made in Thamo, home Ang Rita Sherpa, who holds the record for scaling Everest ten times without oxygen. After lunch, we continue walking for another two hours to arrive at a deep gorge where the Bhote Koshi River thunders through the narrow defile. We cross a sturdy bridge spanning the gorge to reach Thame (12,467 feet/ 3800 m).

This important village is the home of many famous mountaineers including Tensing Norgay, the first man to reach the summit of Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. Apa Sherpa, who has reached the summit at least 18 times, lives here now. The village is very picturesque and also has a magnificent 16th-century Nyingmapa Gompa (monastery) built by Lama Rolwa Dorje.

From your lodge tonight, enjoy breathtaking views of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru. 

Trekking time: 3-4 hours
Accommodation: Yeti Mountain Home

Day 7: Trek from Thame to Kongde (13,944 ft / 4,250 m)

Views from the Kongde lodge
Views from the Kongde lodge

Fit and well-acclimatized, you'll have two tougher trekking days, which bring great rewards in terms of the outstanding Himalayan panoramas which they allow us. You start out today with a descent of around 30 minutes and then follow a trail on the south side of the Bhote Kosi River, through the tiny village of Pare.

You then climb gradually through beautiful rhododendron, pine, and bamboo forest to arrive at the glacier of Kongde Peak where you have stunning views of Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam. This is a very new trail, built specifically for the Yeti Mountain Home Lodge, and you are unlikely to see many other trekkers at all on this section. Although the trail is well built, it does cross some very steep ground and there is one short section where cables are used as handrails to safeguard progress.

You check into our lodge for the next two nights in Kongde. This lodge situated at 13,943 feet (4250 m), and has the most spectacular view, looking right across the valley to Namche and beyond to Thyangboche, with the backdrop of Everest, Lhotse, Thamserku and Ama Dablam. The restaurant and bar serve fine wines and delicious cuisine which you can enjoy while watching the sunset on the world's highest peak out of the window. It just doesn't get better than this!

At Kongde, you'll settle into the lodge and then head outside for a walk to enjoy some of the best views in the Everest region. From atop Kongde, you'll have panoramic views of the entire Khumbu region, and of Everest, Ama Dablam, and other mighty Himalayan peaks.

Trekking time: 5-6 hours
Accommodation: Yeti Mountain Home

Day 8: Rest day in Kongde (optional day hike to Farak Ri)

The best breakfast view in the Himalaya
The best breakfast view in the Himalaya

For those who wish to make the excursion to Farak Ri (16,404 feet/ 5000 m), we have an early start to catch the best views. It will take us two-to-three hours to reach the top of this viewpoint peak. From the summit, we are treated to a panoramic view of the entire Khumbu Valley, including four of the six highest peaks in the world: Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Cho Oyu. Returning to Kongde we take lunch on the terrace with our birds-eye view over Namche and Khumjung village, and the rest of the day is free for relaxing or further walks in the area.

Overnight: Yeti Mountain Home

Day 9: Heli tour to Everest Base Camp & Fly back to Kathmandu.

Helicopter to Everest Base Camp

After an early breakfast, instead of trekking back the way you came, you'll be picked up in Kondge for a private helicopter tour in the Himalaya. You'll get aerial views of Ama Dablam, Thamserku, Kantega, Lhotse, and Nuptse. Stop at Everest Base Camp, before flying all the way back to Kathmandu.

Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you'll be transferred to your hotel and can enjoy the rest of the afternoon and evening on your own, seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip. 

Day 10: Depart Kathmandu

A local resident in the capital city
A local resident in the capital city

It's time to say farewell to Nepal! Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home.