With the soaring peaks of the Himalayas running all the way down its northern flank, Nepal is often called 'the roof of the world.' Exploring this magical mountain scene, with its dazzling lakes, vertiginous rice terraces and staggeringly beautiful panoramas, should be top of any traveller's to do list.
A holiday in Nepal enthrals and excites on multiple levels - from those lofty, snowy crags all the way down to the low lying plains. The lush, sultry jungles of the Terai are home to national parks where rare species like one-horned rhino and Bengal tiger still roam, and the trees are filled with iridescent birdlife. The rhino in particular are surprisingly easy to see if you visit in spring.
Conveniently sandwiched between the two, there are the cultural gems. A string of UNESCO-listed ancient cities where time really feels like it has stood still. Bhaktapur, Patan and the vibrant capital Kathmandu are stuffed with serene wing-roofed temples and incense-wreathed shrines dedicated to Buddhist, Hindu and Animist gods.
Here too you'll find everyday life going on with all its pungent aromas, chaotic colour and cacophonous noise. Wandering around markets, getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the city, meeting local people and seeing how they live and work: these are some of the true delights of a Nepal holiday. Everyone is incredibly friendly and these chance encounters can be particularly special. Don't be surprised to suddenly find yourself caught up in an exuberant festival procession, as there's something happening almost every month of the year.
Of course, looming high above everything, utterly unmissable, are those amazing mountains. You don't have to trek to enjoy the Himalayan scenery. Places like Bandipur with its cobbled streets and ancient verandas, and Pokhara set on a serene lake and humming with a backpacker vibe are both perfect for kicking back for a few days and soaking up the views.
A journey through Nepal truly is a kaleidoscope of sights, sounds and aromas. You'll find it completely unique, and utterly unforgettable.
Taking an alternative approach to a classic Nepal combination, this journey contrasts the heady and hectic streets of Kathmandu with the open savannah of Chitwan National Park. Slow down to search for tigers and rhinos amid the wilderness, before strapping up your boots for a light trek between two atmospheric lodges in the Himalayan foothills around Pokhara.