Monday, 23 April 2012 8:37 AM
If you're planning an activity holiday that also lets you take in stunning scenery and one of the world's most famous landmarks, consider booking a Nepal trekking tour. Home to Mount Everest, Nepal is an ideal location for exerting some energy while admiring beautiful landscapes and absorbing the rich culture.
Trekking is a popular pastime for visitors to the country hoping to catch sight of the imposing peaks to be found here; spend a couple of weeks exploring and you'll be able to make your way through some fascinating areas, as well as get up close to the majestic Mount Everest.
You can expect to begin your Everest base camp trek in the city of Kathmandu, where you'll get settled in your hotel and have some free time to explore your surroundings. A great way to find out more about the settlement is with a city tour, during which you'll catch sight of the old royal palace, temples, market stalls and shops. A must-visit is the Monkey Temple, or Swayambhunath Stupa to give it its formal name. Here, you'll be treated to breathtaking views over the city.
After a good night's sleep, you'll fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, where you can don your trekking gear and begin the hike to Phakding. The village is located in the foot of the mountains and you'll spend the night here in a comfortable trekking lodge. The following day, hike along the river to Sagamartha National Park, where you can obtain your trekking permit before following the trail up to the Sherpa town of Namche Bazaar. This colourful settlement is the ideal spot for picking up any souvenirs you plan to take back home.
You'll spend a day in the village, which will give you time to acclimatise to the 3,446 m altitude, before trekking over a ridge that leads to the picturesque spot of Khumjung. Atop the ridge you can take in your first sighting of Everest, before making your way to the settlement of Thengboche on the neighbouring ridge the next day. Descend through rhododendron forests and over the suspension bridge before climbing up to the village.
When you arrive, your exertion will be rewarded with truly stunning vistas of the mountain and its neighbouring peak Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain on Earth. There's also a Buddhist monastery here, which is well worth visiting to find out more about the area.
Next, you'll trek through the Imja valley, where you might spot the endangered musk deer if you're lucky. You'll spend some time acclimatising to the altitude in Dingboche before trekking along the Thokla Pass and the edge of the glacial moraine until you reach Lobuche. Venture through the Khumbu valley, admiring the glorious mountain scenery, and ascend Kalar Pattar, which is 5,550 m tall. Finally, you will reach Everest base camp and be able to get up close to the famous peak. Located in Mahalangur in the Himalayas, the mountain is situated on the border between China and Nepal and measures 8,848 m in height.
Admire your surroundings and make sure you've got your camera handy, you'll want some mementos of your Nepal tour after all! After achieving your goal, you'll trek back to Lobuche, pass through Namche Bazaar and journey on to Lukla. Fly back to Kathmandu and you'll transfer to ancient Bhaktapur – a capital of one of the former four kingdoms of Kathmandu Valley. The historical settlement is dotted with old buildings and temples made from wood. If you want to extend your tour, spend an extra day white water rafting, or head to the Chitwan or Bardia National Parks to explore.