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Nepal: A First-Timer's Guide

A trekking holiday in Nepal is unforgettable and Kit Wilkinson, who has worked at KE for over 30 years, knows this incredible country almost as well a... Read more
Nepal: A First-Timer's Guide

A trekking holiday in Nepal is unforgettable and Kit Wilkinson, who has worked at KE for over 30 years, knows this incredible country almost as well as his hometown of Keswick. We asked him: where is perfect for that first trekking holiday to Nepal? He told us "It's difficult to decide which part of the country to head to on your first ever visit as every part of Nepal is perse and very unique. There are of course a few classic areas to consider - but also a few 'quieter' routes that are perfect for that first Himalayan trek". Take a look at where Kit recommends to go in his first-timers guide.

Trekking in Nepal dates back to 1965, when 3, apparently, quite elderly ladies from the US signed up to travel to Trek to Everest Base Camp with the legendary British explorer Colonel Jimmy Roberts. Since that time, the popularity of this compact, land-locked, Himalayan country has grown steadily and it now ranks No.1 amongst the world’s adventure travel destinations. Nepal's towering mountains have long made it a celebrated trekking destination and, together with its timeless villages, welcoming people and variety of trekking trails, it’s easy to understand the attraction. But, if you’re thinking about your first visit, where should you go?



Mount Everest 

Mount Everest is the obvious choice for a large number of people. It’s the world's most iconic mountain, the one everyone has heard of and wants to see, the biggest mountain on the planet, with a wealth of fascinating mountaineering history. The Everest Basecamp experience has changed somewhat since the time of Jimmy Roberts.


Nowadays, the Khumbu region has the infrastructure in place to make your trek more comfortable than ever before. All KE groups now take advantage of the cosy and colourful trailside lodges which have been set up by the entrepreneurial Sherpa people and the lower and larger villages have cafes, clinics, bars, bakeries, souvenir shops and even wifi. Some of the holidays that include outstanding views of Mount Everest include;


  • The Ultimate Everest Trek. This route veers away from the classic trail after Namche, and heads up to the stunning Gokyo Lakes. It's a slightly tougher route than the Classic and includes the famous Cho La pass. It really is worth the extra few days off work just for the mindblowing view from Gokyo Ri.
  • The Yeti Mountain Home Trek is a more 'luxurious' experience and perfect for people looking for an easier trekking experience. It doesn't reach Basecamp but you still see Everest and experience the magic of the Khumbu while staying in the best lodges.
  • If you are looking for a more cultural experience alongside your walking, then the Everest Panorama Trek is probably the trek for you.

Need help packing? Check out our Top Tips for trekking to Everest Basecamp and for all trips to Everest Base camp, check out our page Trekking to Everest Base Camp.



The Annapurna Sanctuary and Circuit Treks

Only the Annapurna region comes close to rivalling Everest in terms of its popularity with first-time Nepal visitors. More accessible than the Khumbu, since there is no flight to a mountain airstrip to factor in, your trek into the Annapurna Sanctuary starts from the laid-back, lakeside town of Pokhara and includes the chance to experience the wonderful range of Nepalese landscape. From rice paddies and banana trees low down, to some of the finest mountain views, from Poon Hill and in the Sanctuary itself. Just like on the Everest Basecamp Trek, you’ll stay in comfortable lodges overnight with all meals included in your holiday price.

The holidays that Kit recommends for first-timers in the Annapurnas are; 

  • Want to challenge yourself a bit? Then the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you up to the altitude of 5416m with an exciting crossing of the Thorung La.


Can't decide between Everest and Annapurna? Combine them on our Everest and Annapurna Luxury lodge trek.



Less bucket list and more culture

Not everyone wants to follow the crowd. It's not about a Bucket List adventure, it's more about visiting remote areas in beautiful countries and learning about its culture and local traditions. If that is you, then these holidays will suit you better.

  • If you want to really Discover Nepal, then our short and exciting holiday which captures many of Nepal's cultural and scenic highlights will be perfect for you. 



When is it good to go?

The best times to go trekking in Nepal are in the Spring (late February to April) and Autumn (late September - November). In the Spring there is the possibility of a little rain and even some snow, but there are less trekkers meaning the popular routes are less busy and the Spring flowers, rhododendrons in particular, are just stunning. In the Autumn, days are drier and clearer so will give you the best chance of some spectacular views during your trek.


Of course, climate is not the only thing that should influence when you travel. Don't forget about Diwali, which can be celebrated any time from the end of October to the beginning of November depending on the lunar calendar. It can be a wonderful time to visit and the the whole country celebrates this Hindu festival with the lighting of oil lamps and paper lanterns, not to mention wonderful food, creating a magical atmosphere. 


If you want to talk to Kit or any of our other Nepal experts in the KE office, please call us on 017687 73966.

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