Spending your honeymoon in a cookie-cutter resort is so passe! More and more couples are opting to go on adventurous honeymoons, to mark their union with a once-in-a-lifetime trip. And there's hardly a place more adventurous than Nepal. From trekking to atmospheric ancient culture to relaxing retreats, here are some top suggestions for honeymooning in Nepal.
Option 1: Trekking
Depending on your available time and taste for adventure, there are many great treks that can match your preference. Below are two options that have specific appeal for honeymooners.
You can't go beyond a luxury trek in the Everest region. The Everest region is a top honeymoon pick, not only because of the world-class views and Sherpa culture, but also because of the availability of superior accommodation here.
Yeti Mountain Homes and Everest Summit Lodges are particularly noteworthy. These boutique hotel chains have beautiful lodges with excellent service and comfort, and are several steps up from the humble tea houses that are ubiquitous along Nepal's trekking trails. Here, you’ll find a comfortable night’s sleep, hot showers, cozy and attractively designed interiors, and some of the best local cuisine in the Solukhumbu. The mountain views are also spectacular, of course, as these lodges are carefully situated to make the most of the landscape.
If money isn't a barrier, a great way of traveling around the Solukhumbu is by helicopter. This reduces the amount of trekking time necessary, and affords breathtaking views.
A suggested itinerary for a trekking honeymoon in the Everest region, incorporating helicopter flights, looks like this:
- Day 1: Helicopter from Kathmandu to Lukla (45 minutes); trek to Phakding (4 hrs), 2610m
- Day 2: Trek to Namche Bazaar (6-7 hrs), the heartland of the Sherpa people, 3440m
- Day 3: Helicopter tour: EBC, Khumbu Icefall & Gokyo Lakes; Visit the Edmund Hillary school and Everest Museum, 3440m
- Day 4: Helicopter to Kongde, 4250m
- Day 5: Trek from Kongde to Phakding (5 hrs), 2610m
- Day 6: Helicopter from Phakding to Kathmandu
If you are not after luxury, there are plenty of amazing trails in Nepal for a memorable and adventurous honeymoon. And there's definitely a romantic quality about sharing a tent with your new spouse on a camping trek!
The 13-day Dudh Kunda trek is a spectacular camping and teahouse trek that makes for a memorable honeymoon. It gets you off the beaten track to explore lesser known villages and the wilder places of the lower Everest region. The route to Dudh Kunda lake passes through authentic Sherpa villages, stunning forests with the chance of spotting wildlife, and up into the awe-inspiring Himalayan landscape around the sacred lake.
The trip begins with a short flight to Phaplu, from where you ascent to Pikey Peak, possibly the best viewpoint for the Himalayas in all of Nepal. On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Kanchenjunga in the east to the Annapurnas in the west! And of course, full-frontal views of Mt Everest.
From Pikey Peak, trek down to the large Sherpa village of Junbesi and visit the Thubten Choling Monastery, a first contact point for many Tibetan refugees and home to a large population of Tibetan Buddhists. Continue upwards to Dudh Kunda on the camping component of the trek, and return to Phaplu via Chiwong monastery.
Option 2: Culture & Adventure in Kathmandu
You needn't go far beyond the Kathmandu Valley for a romantic few days. If you don't have multiple weeks for a honeymoon but still want to enjoy the best of Nepal, stick to Kathmandu and its surrounds. A week spent in and around the capital staying in luxury accommodation and doing immersive cultural activities will surely make for a memorable honeymoon.
Base yourself in Kathmandu city for at least three nights, staying at the gorgeous Dwarika's Hotel if you're not on a strict budget, or the Patan Inn if you want a boutique place that's a bit more affordable. Spend a couple of days seeing the cultural highlights, such as the old Durbar Squares, once the palaces of the kings of the Kathmandu Valley, and the Buddhist sites such as Swayambhunath and Boudanath stupas.
If you're looking for a more unique way to visit these tourist attractions, add a Vespa Valley tour onto your itinerary. As the name suggests, you'll tour the city on the back of a Vespa scooter. The traffic in the city can be bad, so zipping through the traffic in a smaller vehicle is a good idea. Plus, you can tailor trips to suit your own tastes and interests, such as checking out street food places or Kathmandu's street art.
It would be a shame to visit Nepal without glimpsing Mount Everest, so take a scenic flight early one morning. Everyone is guaranteed a window seat, plus you're served a glass of champagne to mark the occasion! Definitely a memorable way to start your marriage. If money isn't an object, you could opt for a scenic helicopter flight instead, which actually takes you to Everest Base Camp--all before lunchtime!
Spend a couple of days on the edge of the Kathmandu Valley to enjoy the mountain air, panoramic views, and a more serene setting. Stay at Dwarika's Resort Dhulikhel if you want high-end accommodation, or the nearby Namo Buddha Resort in the small Buddhist pilgrimage town for quality lodging and excellent food at a cheaper price. Interesting day hikes are accessible from both Dhulikhel and Namo Buddha, to ethnic Tamang villages, beautiful temples and stupas, and along ridge lines with fantastic views.
Option 3: Explore Pokhara
An alternative (or supplement) to the busy capital city is Nepal's second city, Pokhara. It's incredibly scenic, very chilled out, and has lots of romantic and luxury spots.
Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a short flight of just half an hour, and make sure to ask for a seat on the right-hand side of the plane for the best views. The Temple Tree Resort is particularly beautiful place to stay, and has a lovely pool and spa to enjoy some pampering.
While staying in the city, enjoy some leisurely activities, such as paddling on the stunning Fewa Lake, or something more adventurous, like paragliding from Sarangkot. Whichever you choose, you'll be doing it with a gorgeous mountain backdrop, as the pointed peak of Machchapucchare (Fishtail) rises behind the hills surrounding the lake.
One morning, rise early to catch the sunrise from Sarangkot hill. On one side you can see the Annapurna ranges spread out before you, and on the other is the town of Pokhara and the pretty lake.
If you're feeling active, you can use Pokhara as a base for some short hikes in the area. The Poon Hill and Khopra Danda treks are great if you have up to a week, but other shorter treks are also available near Pokhara, such as the Panchase trek.
Other honeymoon options
- A yoga or meditation retreat. Mahalaya and Pranamaya offer yoga retreats to different destinations, and the meditation retreats at Kopan Monastery in Kathmandu are well-reputed.
- A multi-day white-water rafting or kayaking trip. Join a group or hire a crew for a private expedition. GRG's Adventure Kayaking offers trips up to 11 days on different rivers.
- Go on safari. The Chitwan National Park is easily accessible from Kathmandu and is famous for its rhino population. The Bardia National Park in the far west is more rugged, less touristy and you're more likely to see a tiger. Luxury and high-quality accommodation is available in both parks.