Highlights of Kathmandu Valley

The spiritual heart of the country, the Kathmandu Valley is an elevated bowl protecting a plateau of fertile land on the approach to the high Himalayan passes to Tibet. This unique geography lead to the valley being Nepal’s cradle of civilization, having nurtured many great dynasties over the centuries, and it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Measuring 25km across this is a traveller’s treasure trove to explore with a patchwork of ancient cities, lush countryside, Buddhist and Hindu temples, rural villages and viewpoints from which to soak up views of the world’s tallest peaks.

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Durbar Square, Bhaktapur
Detached from the sprawl of central Kathmandu to the east, Bhaktapur is one of the three main cities in the Kathmandu Valley World Heritage Site. Bhaktapur is arguably Nepal's most atmospheric and picturesque medieval city, much of which is now pedestrianised and well-preserved.
The traditional Newari town of Dhulikhel is a popular retreat from the city within the Kathmandu Valley, and a great place from which to get views of the high Himalaya. The town is set at an altitude of 1550m and is less than two hour's drive from central Kathmandu, and just an hour from Bhaktapur.
Durbar Square, Kathmandu
Set in a central valley surrounded by four mountains at an altitude of 1400m, Kathmandu is the intoxicating capital of Nepal through which most travellers pass. Kathmandu's history dates back over 2000 years, and it flourished as an important link in the trade route between Tibet and India. Although mainly Newari Hindu the city is now a melting pot of ethnic groups, which has created a busy and bustling metropolis layered on top of an ancient medieval city.
Mountain view, Nargakot
Located just over an hour's drive from central Kathmandu, Nagarkot is a peaceful village set on a ridge to the east of the city with panoramic views of the Himalayas on a clear day which include Annapurna in the West and Everest to the east.
The peaceful village of Nuwakot, with its impressive fortress and ancient temples, is dramatically perched on a ridge 50km northwest of the Kathmandu Valley overlooking the meandering Trisuli River and distant peaks of the Langtang National Park.