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Trekking near Kathmandu - Bhaktapur

Trekking Across the Edge of the Valley

Kathmandu Valley trek

Route: Kathmandu - Dhulikel - Nagarkot - Bhaktaphur - Kathmandu

Trekking near Kathmandu city will take you across the edge of the Kathmandu Valley and up into the mountains. It will give you a good impression of local mountain life and the history, culture and religion of this country. The trek leads through terraced farmland with breathtaking views of the mountain ranges and through a couple of historic towns and small rural villages where you'll feel like you've stepped back in time. The stone temples and traditional Nepalese architecture add to the magical atmosphere, especially when the sun creeps over the mountain peaks and the buildings turn a beautiful golden red hue. 

When trekking near Kathmandu you'll be staying in small, basic and well located hotels; 2 with great mountain views and one right in the heart of old Bhaktapur city. As you are staying in hotels no sleeping bag is required on this trek! Need some advice or inspiration? Have a chat with one of our India travel specialists on 01273 322044.
Duration 4 days / 3 nights
Daily departure


Simple mountain guesthouse in Dhulikel and Nagarkot and a centrally located guesthouse in Old Bhaktapur. Comfort Level 2/3 (see accommodation).


£225 per person - based on 2 people sharing a private trek
£178 per person - based on 1 person joining a group trek


3 nights accommodation (inc breakfast), transport, english-speaking guide and 1 porter between 2.


Private car transfer


All other meals, local bus fare, admission fees for temples and squares (approx US $15)

Day 1: Trekking near Kathmandu - Kathmandu to Dhulikel

Travel time: approx 1-2 hour by car and 6-7 hours trekking

When trekking near Kathmandu, you'll be picked up at your hotel in the morning by our driver who will transport you to the starting point of the trek. Weaving through the heavy traffic, you'll head out of the city to the quiet village of Panauti. The journey will take just over an hour depending on the traffic. From here, you'll continue on foot up to the holy Namobuddha, which means 'Hail to the Buddha'. The name of the stupa is linked to one of the 'Jataka' legends recounting the previous lives of Buddha and it's one of the most important pilgrim sites in the valley, particularly for Tibetan buddhists. The many flags and pilgrims dressed in colourful robes form a vibrant display around the bright white dome of the stupa. Today is the longest day of trekking on this route with some steep climbs and more easy-going stretches too.

Trekking near Kathmandu - Stupa with prayer flags
After lunch (not included) in one of the small restaurants you will set off on a hike through the countryside to Dhulikel. When trekking near Kathmandu you leave the urban landscape behind and pass through fields, small villages and forest. So, you'll get a good feel for rural life in Nepal. Dhulikel is a beautifully preserved Newari town made up of traditional stone houses reaching 4-5 storeys high. Traditionally, they're home to large families with often as many as 50 relatives all living under one roof. You'll stay in a small hotel on the outskirts of town with great views of the surrounding mountains. When trekking from kathmandu the views are particularly beautiful at sunrise. The accommodation is small, comfortable hotels rather than the very basic lodges on the other trek routes. It's great to have a hot shower and some good food after a hard days trekking!

Day 2: Trekking from Dhulikel to Nagarkot

Travel time: approx 5-6 hours trekking

After a night in Dhulikel, the your trekking near Kathmandu continues to the village of Nagarkot, the highest point in the Kathmandu Valley. It's a scenic walk of about 4-5 hours through green terraced fields and, if the weather is clear enough, fantastic views of the mountains. If you are tired your guide might suggest, on one short leg of the journey that you can jump on a local bus for a few kms. Nagarkot, which lies to the north-east of Bhaktapur and approx 30km to the east of Kathmandu, was once a military post but is now a popular destination for walkers and cyclists. The village has a great panoramic vista of the Himalayas. The view is particularly memorable at the end of the day, when the sun slowly sets beyond the horizon and the mountains glow in the evening light or at dawn.

Trekking near Kathmandu - Stop to admire the view
Trekking near Kathmandu - Bhaktapur

Day 3: Trekking from Nagarkot - Bhaktapur

Travel time: approx 3-4 hours trekking

Today is the easiest day of this trekking near Katmandu module and is mostly downhill to Bhaktapur, again passing through fields and farmland. After about four hours trekking or so you will reach Bhaktapur. Your guide may suggest you take a local bus ride from Changunarayan to Bhaktapur to avoid walking along a section of road. Then you'll get to Bhaktapur sooner.  Here, you can have a drink and rest your feet on one of the many rooftop terraces the look out across Durbar Square before setting out to explore the town. Durbar Square is the central town square which is also where you'll find museums, temples and galleries selling traditional thankas (colourful paintings depicting the life of Buddha and other religious scenes). In the middle of the square you'll find the Nyatapola Temple. Reaching a height of over 30 metres, this is the highest temple in Nepal.

After lunch you can head out to explore the area. Bhaktapur is quite remarkable as it has hardly changed since the Middle Ages. Throughout the town you'll find medieval buildings with beautiful wood carvings and, as the town is largely pedestrianised, it feels almost like a huge open air museum. We've deliberately planned an overnight stay in Bhaktapur in this itinerary so that you can explore the town outside of peak hours. With most of the tourists gone, the town suddenly becomes quiet and peaceful and you get a feel of what the place was like hundreds of years ago. Wandering through the narrow alleyways, you pass local women spinning wool behind their spinning wheel and threshing rice by hand. At this point on your trekking near Kathmandu trip, you'll stay in a small cosy hotel right on Durbar Square
Trekking near Kathmandu - Little girl in Bhaktapur

Day 4: Transfer from Bhaktapur back to Kathmandu.

Travel time: approx 1-2 hours by car

After a quiet night, you can enjoy a relaxed breakfast on the rooftop terrace with views across the square, where old men shuffle by with wooden carts while little old women knit and chat on the temple steps. The slow pace of life here is quite a contrast to Kathmandu's Durbar Square. After breakfast, the trekking near Kathmandu tour ends, and your driver will take you back to Kathmandu.

Here you can pick up an onward flight or even head on to Chitwan for our Chitwan elephants and rhinos module.

A peek at your accommodation (click to enlarge)

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