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Nepal and Sikkim

15 days from £3350 per person

Bordering Nepal to the east, the small Indian state of Sikkim has much in common with its near neighbour. With a common heritage and similar Buddhist cultural traditions, this journey follows the eastern ranges of the Himalayas to uncover the region's most compelling sights. Starting in Kathmandu, fly to Bhadrapur and, after crossing the border into India, drive to the charming hill-station of Darjeeling. The next week is spent travelling through Sikkim with stays in Pelling, Gangtok and Kalimpong before ending with two nights in Kolkata, historic heart of the British Raj.

Route: Kathmandu – Darjeeling – Pelling – Gangtok – Kalimpong – Kolkata

Itinerary Highlights

The Nepalese capital is the perfect base to explore the world heritage sites of the Kathmandu Valley. Highlights include the towns of Bhaktapur and Patan and the Changu Narayan temple.

The hill station of Darjeeling occupies a spectacular setting with fabulous mountain views. Visit the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and ride the delightful Darjeeling Mountain Railway to Ghoom.

Capital of Sikkim, Gangtok is a charming place in which to spend a few days. Visit Rumtek Monastery which is known for its religious paintings and, time permitting, the glacial holy lake of Tsomgo.

Itinerary: Nepal and Sikkim

Today depart the UK on the Qatar Airways flight to Doha. (N)
Arrive into Doha and connect onto the Qatar Airways flight to Kathmandu. This afternoon take a walking tour of the old city and explore the temples and palaces of Durbar Square – an astonishing area of regal and religious architecture which is the cultural heart of Kathmandu. End the day at the 2500 year old Swayambhunath Stupa, one of the oldest and most important sites of worship in the city. (N)
Accommodation in Kathmandu: Yak & Yeti Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Dwarikas Hotel (or similar)
Start the morning at the Pashupatinath temple complex, Nepal’s most important Hindu pilgrimage site and location of the Royal Cremation Ghats. Continuing, visit the nearby stupa of Bodhnath, one of the world’s oldest Lamaist shrines and a focus for Tibetan pilgrimage, before driving outside of Kathmandu to visit the ancient city of Patan, capital of the Malla Kings. Patan is the artistic and architectural centre of the valley and the central square houses an astonishing 55 temples and 136 monasteries. (B)
Accommodation in Kathmandu: Yak & Yeti Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Dwarikas Hotel (or similar)
This morning leave the city and visit the historic Changu Narayan temple. Standing upon a hilltop at the eastern end of the Kathmandu valley, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is over 1,500 years old and a fine example of Nepalese pagoda architecture. From here return towards Kathmandu stopping to visit charming Bhaktapur. Capital of the valley between the 14th and 16th centuries, the highlight is Durbar Square and the Nayatpola Temple, the tallest pagoda-temple in Nepal, built by Newari artists and craftsmen. (B)
Accommodation in Kathmandu: Yak & Yeti Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Dwarikas Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast transfer to Kathmandu Airport and fly to Bhadrapur. From here cross the border into India and continue by car to the old Raj hill station of Darjeeling. Occupying an idyllic setting, surrounded by hills thickly covered by coniferous forest and terraced tea gardens, Darjeeling has stunning views of the enchanting Kangchendzonga range. (B/D)
Accommodation in Darjeeling: Mayfair Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Windamere Hotel (or similar)
Today you are at leisure to relax and explore Darjeeling under your own arrangements. You may also wish to include a walk to Observatory Hill or a visit to the Bhutia Basti Monastery. (B/D)
Accommodation in Darjeeling: Mayfair Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Windamere Hotel (or similar)
At dawn visit Tiger Hill which at 2,590m is the highest viewing point in the area and is famous for its magnificent dawn views. Later continue to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute which displays equipment used on the famous Tenzing-Hillary Everest climb, the Himalayan Zoo, Tibetan Self-help Centre and the Happy Valley Tea Estate. In the afternoon take a ride on the Darjeeling Mountain Railway to visit the Yiga-Choling Monastery near Ghoom which was built in 1875 and houses famous Buddhist scriptures. (B/D)
Accommodation in Darjeeling: Mayfair Hotel (or similar)
Upgrade option: Windamere Hotel (or similar)
Today leave Darjeeling for the drive to Pelling. The road journey today is beautiful and follows the twisting route of the rivers Rungeet and Teesta. En-route a stop will be made in Gyalsing, the capital of West Sikkim, to visit the Pemayangtse Monastery which is home to numerous exceptional murals and sacred works of art, afterwards continue on to nearby Pelling. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Pelling: Chumbi Mountain Retreat Resort & Spa (or similar)
This morning visit Sanga Choling Monastery which is believed to be one of the oldest in Sikkim and was built in 1697. Located on a ridge surrounded by rolling valleys, on a clear day the views from the monastery are majestic. Later, return to Pelling on foot and in the afternoon visit the Sangchay Falls. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Pelling: Chumbi Mountain Retreat Resort & Spa (or similar)
Leave Pelling and drive on to Tashiding from where it is a steep walk up the hill to enjoy views of this famous monastery. From Tashiding the road climbs initially to Ravangla, offering panoramic views of Mt Kabru and Mt Marsing. Descend to the Teesta River passing through paddy fields and small villages before arriving in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim. The town has a spectacular setting with fine views of the Kangchendzonga Range. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Gangtok: Netuk House (or similar)
This morning drive southwest of Gangtok to the Rumtek Monastery, the headquarters of the Kagyu order of Tibetan Lamaistic Buddhism. The monastery is known for its beautiful monastic paintings and intricate woodwork and was constructed in the 1960s as a copy of the monastery they had fled in Tibet after the Chinese invasion. Later leave Rumtek and take a scenic walk across terraced fields to the Lingdum Monastery before returning by car back to Gangtok. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Gangtok: Netuk House (or similar)
After breakfast leave Gangtok and drive to sleepy Kalimpong, a remote hill station set in beautiful mountain scenery which was for centuries one of the main meeting points on the trade route between the ancient ‘closed lands’ of Tibet, Bhutan and Nepal. When you arrive, enjoy the fine views of Kangchendzonga. (B/L/D)
Accommodation in Kalimpong: Himalayan Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast transfer to Bagdogra Airport in good time to catch your onward flight to Kolkata. Kolkata is the heart of eastern India. One of the forward-thinking intellectual capitals of India, the city has long been noted for its wonderful architectural landmarks – many of which date from the period of the British Raj. Kolkata is also known as the ‘soul of India’, one of the most populous urban areas on earth and an intensely human city. (B)
Accommodation in Kolkata: Oberoi Grand Hotel (or similar)
Today explore Kolkata with your guide. Places of interest include St John's Church which has a memorial to the city's founder Job Charnock, the Writers Building which is now the seat of government, South Park Cemetery and the silver-domed General Post Office. Also visit the imposing white marble Victoria Memorial, built in 1921 and today a treasure trove of Raj relics. End the day at the excellent Indian Museum, the largest museum in the country which was established in 1814. (B)
Accommodation in Kolkata: Oberoi Grand Hotel (or similar)
Today transfer back to Kolkata Airport to catch the Qatar Airways flight to Doha. On your arrival connect onto the onwards Qatar Airways flight to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Domestic flights
  • Private car and driver
  • Sightseeing with local English speaking guides
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

China, Mongolia, South Korea, Central Asia, Nepal and Bhutan Holiday Review

I was lucky enough to be given a three month career break and wanted to do some extensive travelling in Asia. I emailed a number of travel companies with a request to prepare a tailor made tour across certain specific dates. Pettitts were the first to reply and from that moment on provided a superb service. Initially there were a number of changes requested to the itinerary, but they were able to accommodate all changes and flex the programme according to our needs. The countries visited were China, Mongolia, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Nepal and Bhutan. Pettitts have clearly identified high quality international partners given that we were impressed with all travel guides in each country.

Pettitts assisted with all questions we had during the planning of the trip and were very quick to get in touch with us on the one occasion they needed to during the trip. Pettitts were excellent and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their service was first class and I would be more than happy to use their services again.

SG - China, Mongolia, South Korea, Central Asia, Nepal and Bhutan - July 2018

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