Nepal is a country that presents something on an enigma to its visitors. People are drawn here by the majestic Himalayas, shrouded in cloud and mystery, and the shining brilliance of the temples. Flights to Nepal are generally direct to Kathmandu, Nepalós timelessly dazzling capital. Kathmanduós bombardment of the senses is a fascinating but exhausting experience. Escape into the mountains for seclusion and serenity or action and adventure. There is climbing, trekking and adrenaline sport enough to keep mountain-lovers occupied for weeks, but make time to head south to the subtropical plains where elephants and Bengal tigers roam.
Start your explorations of Kathmandu in Durbar Square, the heart of the old town where the city's kings were once crowned. The most spectacular traditional architecture is here in the square and you can while away hours, strolling between the temples and terraces.
A journey to the Buddhist temple of Swayambhunath is a definitive part of the Kathmandu experience. The incense and ancient carvings create a mystical atmosphere which is intensified as the sun goes down; this is a wonderful place to watch the sunset.
To discover the true soul of Kathmandu, take to the narrow, winding streets of the old town to escape the crowds and make a discovery or two of your own.
Mount Everest is more than a mountain; it has a legendary status and a place in the hearts of many. The trek to base camp is one of the ultimate hikes in the world not just because it is so iconic. It is also because you pass through Sherpa villages, over majestic glaciers and through unspoilt forests to get there.
The Gokyo Lakes are another unmissable region in the Himalaya, with heart-stopping views of Mount Everest and tranquil turquoise lakes. The trekking here is more relaxed and is a good option for those who feel unsure of their ability to do the base camp trek.
Chitwan National Park
One of the best places to spot wildlife in the whole of Asia, this national park is home to rhinos, elephants and the elusive and regal Bengal tiger. The best way to experience the park is to stay in one of the luxury lodges at the edge of the park and venture in on a jeep safari. The town of Sauraha has a lively backpacker scene. Watch the sun set over the river with a beer in hand after a day of wildlife spotting.