The Everest Region has arguably the most dramatic scenery in the world and, with flights making the area easily accessible, it is possible to reach the heart of the mountains within a few days. This family trek is taken at a leisurely pace, allowing plenty of time to sit back and enjoy the sensational mountain views and the company of our Sherpa hosts. We spend two days Kathmandu, relaxing and enjoying the mystical shrines and temples of this magical city before flying to Lukla, the starting point of our trek. For the first two days we trek slowly to aid acclimatisation and head north up the Dudh Kosi Valley. Our route takes us through beautiful tracts of pine and rhododendron forest, with the peaks of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru soaring above the trail. It is a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar (3446m), the capital of the famous Khumbu Sherpas, where we are again rewarded with spectacular mountain vistas. We allow a rest day here to acclimatise and there are options of taking short walks towards Thami Valley and the nearby national park museum. From Namche we follow the trail to Khumjung where the views of Everest, the Lhotse-Nuptse Wall, Ama Dablam and Kantega dominate this peaceful location - surely one of the most tranquil and inspiring places in the world. Our return journey takes us back to the airstrip at Lukla, where we farewell to our new found Sherpa friends and fly back to Kathmandu. There is time to relax, shop or sample the delights of some of the many excellent local restaurants before we end this memorable adventure.
Day 1 - Kathmandu (1360m)
Upon arrival in Kathmandu, you are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Our airport representative will be waiting for you in the arrival hall, located after passing out of the customs area. Look out for the note on the hotel signboard. The drive from the airport to the hotel is around 20 minutes. A briefing given by our group leader is scheduled for the late afternoon. He will discuss our trekking program and co-ordinate any last minute arrangements. The evening is free, but usually our tour leader will organise an evening meal (optional) at one of Kathmandu’s fine Nepali restaurants. Alternatively you can enjoy a dinner at the hotel.
Shangri La Hotel or similar
Day 2 - Kathmandu (1360m)
In the morning we explore Kathmandu on an organised sightseeing tour. We visit Bodhnath Stupa, one of the biggest Buddhist shrines in the world, where we observe Buddhist monks in prayer in the monasteries surrounding the stupa. We also visit Pashupatinath, the most famous Hindu temple in the country, located on the banks of the holy Bagmati River. Here we see Hindu holy men (sadhus) meditating, pilgrims bathing and occasionally funeral pyres burning on the ghats. The rest of our time in Kathmandu is free for further sightseeing and exploration. You may wish to take the option of wandering into the centre of town and exploring the Durbar Square area or just relaxing in the spacious hotel gardens. Alternatively you may wish to arrange for a taxi to take you out to Bhaktapur, probably the most fascinating of the medieval towns in the Kathmandu Valley. A visit to Thamel gives you a chance to do some last-minute shopping. Later, we are supplied with our Trek Pack and departure information for tomorrow.
Shangri La Hotel or similar
Day 3 - Phakding (2652m)
(Trekking: approx 3 hours)
In the early morning we take the spectacular flight from Kathmandu to Lukla (2827m), flying parallel to giant Himalayan mountains bordering Nepal and China (Tibet). The flight time is about 40 minutes and we land at an airstrip built by Sir Edmund Hillary and the Sherpas in the mid-1960s. After landing we have time to explore the village while our Sherpa crew sort and load our trekking equipment. In the afternoon we begin our trek by descending towards the Dudh Kosi River where we join the main trail to Namche Bazaar, located just above Chaunrikharka (2713m). The walking is easy and after passing through the small village of Ghat (2550m) it is a short walk to Phakding.
Day 4 - Monjo (2835m)
(Trekking: approx 3½ hours)
From Phakding we cross the river and head up the valley, following porters from the south that are ferrying supplies to Namche Bazaar. The trail keeps close to the river valley and is lined with beautiful blue pine and rhododendron forest that is very spectacular in the spring months, when the flowers are in bloom. We cross the Dudh Kosi River at Benkar, where there are tantalising glimpses of the snow-capped peaks of Kusum Kanguru (6369m) and Thamserku (6623m). From here it is only a short walk to Monjo (2835m), where we arrive in time for lunch. We spend the night in Monjo with the afternoon free, giving us an opportunity to do some exploring around the village. The day has been deliberately kept short to aid acclimatisation, which is a very important process.
Day 5 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours)
Today the walking is a little tougher and includes a steep ascent to Namche Bazaar. From Monjo it is a short walk to the entrance of the national park, before we cross the Dudh Kosi River to Jorsale (2805m). The trek continues upstream on generally flat terrain, crossing back to the right bank to the confluence of the Bhote Kosi and Dudh Kosi Rivers, where we start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. After crossing a large and stable suspension bridge high above the river, we slowly ascend at a steady pace. There are some fantastic photographic opportunities as the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Taweche (6542m) come into view for the first time. After arriving in Namche Bazaar, we enjoy lunch with the afternoon is free to bargain in the shops for Tibetan artefacts or simply relax and marvel at the beautiful scenery.
Day 6 - Namche Bazaar (3446m)
We remain at Namche Bazaar for a second night to allow for proper acclimatisation to the altitude. Namche is a prosperous village situated in a large protected hollow. It gained its importance during the period when Tibetan salt was traded for the lowland grains of Nepal. Today a limited amount of trade still exists at Namche and Tibetans are often seen in the village trading rugs and Chinese-made goods, clothing, salt and dried meat.
It is recommended that you take the opportunity to see both the sunrise and sunset views from the national park headquarters above the village. The stunning vista includes a superb panorama of the Khumbu peaks and great views of Everest. After breakfast, a variety of options exists. Perhaps a walk towards Thami (3810m) above the beautiful Bhote Khola River Valley or a visit to the national park headquarters to see the interesting displays of Sherpa lifestyle and culture. There is also a mountaineering display and information on the park’s flora and fauna. Your guides are on hand to offer advice and escort you on walks.
Day 7 - Khumjung (3790m)
(Trekking: approx 4 hours)
From Namche Bazaar, we climb towards the park headquarters and cross the little used Shyangboche. We take a short break at the Everest View Hotel before descending to the patchwork of fields at the village of Khumjung. We trek past the school and onto our lodge at the head of the village. The village of Khumjung is located away from the main trail to Everest and is a truly peaceful and tranquil setting. The most notable peaks seen from here are Kantega, Ama Dablam (perhaps the most beautiful peak in the region) and, of course, Mount Everest. During our time in Khumjung we can visit the small local hospital built by Sir Edmund Hillary, a short walk away at Kunde, and enjoy the company of the local villagers. Those interested in local folklore must also visit the Khumjung Monastery to see the famous scalp of the Yeti!
Day 8 - Phakding (2652m)
(Trekking: approx 5 hours)
We enjoy a leisurely departure from Khumjung and head to the airstrip at Shyangboche and then back to Namche Bazaar. Here we enjoy a final opportunity to visit the shops in the bazaar before we descend steeply down to the large suspension bridge over the Dudh Kosi River. We follow the trail through Jorsale and back to Monjo, where we take lunch. In the afternoon it is a short walk via Benkar through blue pine and rhododendron forest, with great views of Kusum Kangaru, back to our lodge in Phakding.
Day 9 - Lukla (2800m)
(Trekking: approx 3 hours)
An easier day for our last trekking day. We descend down valley before making the final climb up to the airstrip at Lukla. After settling into our lodge we are free to wander around, relax or perhaps enjoy a hot shower! In the evening we enjoy a farewell dinner, followed by a few celebratory drinks and perhaps dancing with our Sherpa companions.
Day 10 - Kathmandu (1360m)
We rise early in the morning to be ready for the arrival of our aircraft for the flight back to Kathmandu. On arrival in Kathmandu we are met and transferred back to our starting hotel.
Depending on our time of arrival, the rest of our day is then free for sightseeing, shopping and exploring the bazaars and markets. Located in the south of the city, Patan is also worth a visit with its own Durbar Square full of historic structures and statues of past kings. Alternatively, a visit to Bhaktapur is highly recommended if you have not done this already.
Day 11 - Kathmandu (1360m)
Our trip ends today after breakfast. Your leader will be on hand to advise and assist with your onward travel arrangements. A departure transfer to the airport is not included and Kathmandu has so much to offer and occasionally flights from Lukla can be delayed, so we recommend that you consider booking pre-tour or post-tour accommodation and a departure transfer before you commence your travels.