Escape the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu City on this short getaway to the ridgeline that surrounds the Kathmandu Valley. You'll explore ancient cities and villages along a hike short multi-day hike and wake up to great views of the Himalaya. In the end, explore the streets of Kathmandu by vintage Vespa before you depart.

Highlights

  • Explore the more authentic and rural side of the Kathmandu Valley
  • Get great views of the Himalayan in a short amount of time
  • Tour the Kathmandu Valley on the back of a vintage Vespa
  • Visit the ancient medieval city of Bhaktapur

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Welcome to Kathmandu! Drive to Bhaktapur Bhaktapur
Day 2 Explore Bhaktapur, Hike to Namobuddha Namobuddha
Day 3 Hike to Namobuddha, Panauti, and Patan Patan
Day 4 Vespa Valley Tour of Kathmandu, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu! Drive to Bhaktapur

Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley
Sightseeing in the Kathmandu Valley

As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the city, the Himalaya, and of 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 the Kathmandu Valley. You'll be driven to the ancient city of Bhaktapur for your first night.

Day 2: Explore Bhaktapur, Hike to Namobuddha

Bhaktapur's Durbar Square and temple complex
Bhaktapur's Durbar Square and temple complex

After breakfast, you'll have time to explore Bhaktapur, one of the three ancient cities within the Kathmandu Valley. It is also known as 'Bhadgaun', meaning the city of devotees, and is the home of true medieval art and architecture in the Kathmandu Valley. Bhaktapur is the center of traditional Nepalese wood carving and you'll find beautifully carved peacock window frames around the city. 

In the afternoon, you'll drive to Dhulikhel where you'll have lunch before starting your hike to Namobuddha, a beautiful site which is sacred to Buddhists, especially to the local Tamang population. At sunset, there's a nearby viewpoint that offers great views.

Day 3: Hike to Namobuddha, Panauti, and Patan

Typical Newari homes outside of Panauti
Typical Newari homes outside of Panauti

Start the day with a short stroll down the hillside to the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namobuddha. You'll learn about its significance and place in local Tamang culture before heading on to visit a newly-built Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on the hilltop above Namobuddha.

From Namobuddha, you'll drive to Panauti, the 13th-century capital of the autonomous kingdom of Banepa and still the most important historic village in the Kathmandu Valley, and one which has retained its historic authenticity. The village is built in the signature Newar style, with pink brick and carved wood and is full of rural calm. 

From Panauti, you'll head to the southern part of the Kathmandu Valley to the city of Patan. After a local lunch, a local guide will take you on a behind-the-scenes walking tour of this fascinating ancient city. You'll explore the narrow alleyways and the intricate courtyard systems that make this ancient city such a unique and well-planned place. You'll also see craftsmen busy at work creating bronze statues or copper pots, thangka painters (in the traditional Newar style) focused on the minutiae of their masterpieces, the temple of a thousand Buddhas, the Golden Temple, and many ‘secret’ monasteries and temples unknown to the majority of visitors to Nepal.

Wrap up the day with sunset at the old palace square (Durbar) with a cup of tea, watching people slowly close down their shops and finish their daily tasks before heading back to your hotel for the night.

Day 4: Vespa Valley Tour of Kathmandu, Depart

Kathmandu Vespa tour
Kathmandu Vespa tour

Today,  you'll have a unique tour of Kathmandu on the back of a vintage Vespa. There are a number of different Vespa tours you can choose from or also combine into the perfect experience. At the end of the day, you'll be taken to the airport for your flight home.