Ever since Nepal first opened its borders to outsiders in the 1950s, this tiny mountain nation has had an irresistible mystical allure for travellers. Today, legions of trekkers are drawn to the Himalaya’s most iconic and accessible hiking, some of the world’s best, with rugged trails to Everest, the Annapurnas and beyond. Nowhere else can you trek for days or even weeks in incredible mountain scenery, secure in the knowledge that a hot meal, cosy lodge and warm slice of apple pie await you at the end of the day. Nepal is nirvana for mountain lovers.
Other travellers are drawn here by the adrenaline rush of rafting down a roaring Nepali river or bungee jumping into a bottomless Himalayan gorge. Canyoning, climbing, kayaking, paragliding and mountain biking all offer a rush against the backdrop of some of the world’s most dramatic landscapes.
Temples & Tigers
Other travellers prefer to see Nepal at a more gentle pace, admiring the peaks over a gin and tonic from a Himalayan viewpoint, strolling through the temple-lined medieval city squares of Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur, and joining Buddhist pilgrims on a spiritual stroll around the centuries-old stupas and temples that lie scattered across the Kathmandu Valley.
Further south lie Nepal’s wild and woolly national parks, where nature buffs scan the treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos and tigers from the backs of lumbering Indian ele-phants. Whether you cross the country by mountain bike, motorbike, raft or tourist bus, Nepal offers an astonishingly diverse array of attractions and landscapes.
There are few countries in the world that are as well set up for independent travel as Nepal. Wandering the trekking shops, bakeries and pizzerias of Thamel and Pokhara, it’s easy to feel that you have somehow landed in a kind of backpacker Disneyland. Out in the countryside lies a quite different Nepal, where traditional mountain life continues stoically and at a slower pace, and a million potential adventures glimmer on the mountain horizons.
The biggest problem faced by visitors to Nepal is how to fit everything in. Many people have spent a lifetime exploring the mountain trails of the Himalaya and the atmospheric temple towns of the Middle Hills, and they still keep coming back for more. Our advice is to pick a handful of essential experiences for your first visit and save the rest for trips two, three and four…
Best places to stay in Nepal
Nepal travel guide
Wedged between the high wall of the Himalaya and the steamy jungles of the Indian plains, Nepal is a land of snow peaks and Sherpas, yaks and yetis, monasteries and mantras.
Most action-packed jungles
Make like Tarzan and take on one of these truly original rainforest adventures. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Battlefield crossing, Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea Hiker on the Kokoda Track. Image by Andrew Peacock / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images.
Rhinos and tigers in Chitwan National Park
Nepal on a budget
Trekking in Nepal Himalaya - Planning Information (Chapter)
This chapter contains the Trek Descriptions, Planning, Environment, Responsible Trekking and Culture chapters from Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya guidebook .
For many people, stepping off a plane into Kathmandu is an exhilarating shock - the sights, sounds and smells can quickly lead to sensory overload.
Best beginners' climbs
Lace up your boots and slip on a harness as we bring you 10 beginners’ climbs to blow your mind. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Imja Tse (Island Peak), Nepal Trekkers on Island Peak. Image by Christian Kober / Robert Harding World Imagery / Getty Images.
Temples and shrines in Nepal
Trekking in Nepal Himalaya - Western Nepal (Chapter)
This is the Western Nepal chapter from Lonely Planet's Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya guidebook.
Everest Base Camp & Kala Pattar
A classic trek through Sherpa villages to the base of Mount Everest and Kala Pattar
Spectacular traverse from Gokyo Lakes to Kala Pattar affording incredible views of Mount Everest
Take to the skies: the world's greatest airborne adventures
Got a head for heights? Soar into the ether in some of the world’s most inspiring locations. This article is adapted from Lonely Planet’s 1000 Ultimate Adventures. Paragliding at Pokhara, Nepal Paragliders over Pokhara, Nepal by momo. CC BY 2.0.
Nepal - The Terai & Mahabharat Range (Chapter)
Wedged between India and the Himalaya, the plains of the Terai are home to over half Nepal’s population, a colourful mix of cultures showcased through the thatched mud-hut villages of the Tharu and the vibrant art of the Mithila.