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.
And then, 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.
Things to love in Nepal
What to do in Nepal: Discover more with our hand-picked experiences & highlights
As you wander through the forest with your guide, they’ll suddenly stop and motion to you to do the same. As they begin walking forward softly, with increased purpose, you’ll follow as quickly and quietly as you can, until they halt again and gesture for you to look ahead. There, at breathtakingly close range, you’ll see why: the distinctive bulk of a greater one-horned rhino moving confidently between the trees.
Spending a night or two in a homestay, in a thriving community, is one of the best ways to get beneath Nepal’s mountainous surface and experience the details beyond the tourist scene. You’ll see a different side to the country that will bring new insight to your travels, allowing you to experience the ordinary, and extraordinary, moments found within the everyday experience of modern life in Nepal.
Towering high over the Himalayan horizon, Mount Everest retains a unique magnetism that draws explorers from all corners of the globe to feel the exhilaration of conquering its slopes. Whilst climbing the mountain may be out of reach, a high-altitude helicopter flight offers an alternative experience of this enigmatic region.
Discover your Nepal
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The Selective difference
With us, you are taken care of from enquiry until your reluctant homecoming. Your holiday is designed by a specialist who knows your destination first-hand. Throughout your travels, you'll have expert personal guides where requested & our full logistical support. And, it goes without saying, we'll be waiting to hear all about it once you're home.
Our Brighton-based Destination Specialists spend each day working closely with colleagues and partners across Asia. This ensures we stay several steps ahead when designing inspiring holidays, staying up to date and overcoming obstacles, which means your holiday will be crafted using both local and international expertise.
The welfare of our destinations and their communities is incredibly important to us. We are focused on ensuring that your money makes a positive impact, as often as possible, by supporting communities and wildlife conservation through dedicated initiatives and by very carefully choosing our partners in Asia.
We may be partial to the occasional bad pun, but we don’t joke around when it comes to designing first class travel experiences. Over 90% of our clients rate us 5/5 after their holiday, and we're not ashamed to crack a proud grin on behalf of our award-winning teams in the UK and Asia.
We know your time is precious, before and during your trip. We want you to have a smooth and relaxing experience so that your main concern on holiday will be whether to order noodles or rice. There will be no hidden extras, and your holiday will be orchestrated seamlessly by your Destination Specialist plus our local guides and behind-the-scenes crews in your destination.
Explore Nepal's highlights
Undoubtedly Nepal's most popular destination, Pokhara is blessed with one of 'those settings', perched on the banks of the picturesque Phewa Lake and with enticing views to the Annapurna's. And it's these peaks that most come for, whether as the backdrop to a lakeside stroll or a more immersive, multi-day trek of the more gruelling variety. There are all sorts of other activities available too, including rafting, mountain biking and paragliding from the heights of Sarangkot over the lake.
Chitwan National Park
Chitwan means 'heart of the jungle' and it's an apt name indeed. Covering nearly 1,000 square kilometres of lush, steamy jungle and languid river systems, Nepal's flagship National Park is home to over 50 species of mammal, and a host of rare creatures including the endangered one-horned rhino; other inhabitants include sloth bear, a variety of deer, wild oxen, crocodile and over 500 species of bird.
A long-standing Selective Asia favourite, Bandipur is a delightfully multifaceted gem, often missed altogether by travellers as make their way between Pokhara and Kathmandu. Whether you're in search of respite after escaping the bustle of Kathmandu or needing somewhere to rest your weary limbs after a stint in the mountains, Bandipur will hit the mark. Car-free streets, a laid-back pace of life, great food and superb mountain vistas on a clear day. You have arrived.
Responsible Travel in Nepal
In Nepal, change really does start at home. Nepal's many homestay opportunities creating the perfect platform for travel being a force for good. By many metrics, Nepal is amongst the most economically challenged countries on the planet, with restrictively low average household incomes and an extremely challenging geographical and geopolitical location. The climate crisis also feels particularly critical here, with glaciers receding and snowline's rising. The people of Nepal face a multitude of challenges.
One of the most rewarding aspects of travel, we believe, is really getting close to the ground - it leads to more meaningful and thus more rewarding experiences. Whilst the concierge staff of a 5* hotel are no doubt wonderful people, wouldn't you rather be sharing the kitchen with a lifelong resident of Kathmandu, or out walking with a local herder in the foothills of the Himalaya? By incorporating a homestay (or 3) in your travel plans, we take you closer to the real Nepal; we can even arrange overnight stays in a number of monasteries.
When trekking, we champion lesser trodden trails, visiting communities that need the income the most. In the polluted cities we try to minimise the use of vehicles although the limited public transport options makes this tough. Nepal is one of those magical places where we like to think that we all instinctively challenge ourselves a little bit harder; to do the right thing and travel the right way, when the opportunity arises.
51% of people from Bhaktapur do yoga
Put simply, they are utterly superhuman individuals
Did you know you can see rhinos and tigers in Nepal? It's time for a Nepali safari!
Unesco World Heritage
Nepal boast the densest concentration of World Heritage sites - Kathmandu valley alone has 7 of them
The population is diverse, with 60+ ethnic groups and over 100 different dialects
Honking saves lives!
Nepali drivers use their horns as sonar on perilous mountain roads - the cacophony takes some getting used to!
They're charming, welcoming, curious, resilient. They got soul!
The world’s tallest twin towers, linked by a bridge at level 41.
These filled dumplings are so popular that competitions are held to see who can eat the most in a minute (the record: 33)
Nepal contains 8 of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Everest and Kanchenjunga