Luxury comes in many guises. Travel to Nepal expecting Jacuzzis, turn-down service and white gloves and you will surely be disappointed. But what Nepal holidays lacks in glitzyhotels, it makes up for tenfold with charm, natural beauty and good old fashioned adventure; after all, sometimes getting back to basics is just the ticket for a work weary and perpetually ‘connected’ Westerner.
Rather like its neighbour Bhutan, Nepal has a recommended ‘circuit’ – but there are many ways to skin the cat. A couple of days’ spent exploring busy, dusty Kathmandu – bursting with vibrant Hindu colours and resembling the cities of India more than the tranquil Himalayan haven you may have imagined – is usually enough. From there the short flight to Pokhara will whisk you into the beauty and very welcome tranquillity of the Annapurna Range.
One of the great things about Nepal is the option to move around on foot, river raft, elephant-back and helicopter instead of tolerating endless car journeys. Simple but comfortable village lodges punctuate a stunning trekking route through this Himalayan massif, meaning you can begin virtually on arrival in Pokhara and need not see a vehicle for the next five days. The route meanders from lodge to lodge through small villages, rice terraces and forests, allowing you to meet the Gurkhas and see grazing buffalos and hard-working but healthy donkeys en route. The landscape is every bit as magical as you imagine, and though the lodges are simple their locations are absolutely priceless.
*Image of Tibetan Flags at Annapurna Base Camp 4200m Himalaya via Shutterstock