WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Phase 1 (days 1-10) Nepal:
Arrive in Kathmandu. Fly into glorious Nepal, where you will begin your adventure in Kathmandu. See its towering spires stark against the burnished blue of the bright air. This is a land where sky meets earth in spectacular fashion, and you will be immediately absorbed by the incredible natural beauty all around you.
During this phase, you will take in the temple of Kashthamandap, a structure said to be constructed from the wood of only one tree. Legend tells us that the pagoda was constructed by a tantric priest, and the site is a fascinating focal point for the city of Kathmandu, which was named after this architectural masterpiece. Other sites in this phase include Pokhara, where you will find an enchanting city glowing against the backdrop of the Himalayas. Pokhara is an ancient trade route, and to this day mule trains led by the Marang and Gurung people who have earned worldwide fame as Gurkha soldiers can be seen camped around the city. Activities available include trekking and rafting on the tranquil Phewa lake, as well as venturing into the hubbub of the bustling bazaar, as well as the bar strip found in the Damside and Lakeside areas.
As well as all this, phase one could include trekking in the Annapurnas, taking in museums, temples, festivals, and remote monasteries, as well as much more.
Phase 2 (days 11-17) Tibet:
Travel from Kathmandu to the dramatic city of Lhasa. This stronghold of Tibetan culture sits at the foot of towering Mount Gephel nestled by the Lhasa River, and sitting at one of the highest altitudes of any city in the world it truly is the "City of the Gods". Discover its ancient passages and resplendent views, as you duck through the doorways of its tiny teahouses, gossip with the locals in the pretty town squares, and bask in the impassive bulk of the Potala Palace, hewn from the mountain rock and filled with a wealth of sumptuous treasures, intricately spun fabrics and curious religious artefacts.
During this phase, you can try adventure activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, rafting, canoeing and visiting the local festivals, which are always a riot of colour and a fascinating insight into local customs. You could visit wild, untamed forest landscapes which hide rare and beautiful creatures including tigers, and visit elephant sanctuaries where the locals tend to these sacred animals. As well as this, you will have the chance to enjoy some of Tibet's finest cuisine, see some of its most precious and lauded architecture including monasteries and temples, and trek across wide basin plains home to herds of woolly cattle, surrounded by protective rings of snow shrouded mountain peaks.
Phase 3 (days 18-28) India:
Travel from Lhasa to Kathmandu, and then onto sprawling Delhi, a madcap melee of a city that hides a heart of deep inner tranquillity. First impressions can be overwhelming but you will soon begin to appreciate its contrasting nature; the serenity of the city's gleaming temples watch over the confusion of its busy streets, whilst the calm of its wide colonial avenues lined with verdant leafy trees provide a welcome break from the ever shifting tide of people that occupies its central areas. From Delhi you will travel to Rajasthan, the seat of the Maharajas and historically home to India's greatest warriors, where you will find testaments to its cultural significance on every side. See a palace with a thousand spires and jewel-like windows built on the calm waters of a lake, or watch a train of camels pass in front of dilapidated forts, their riders on a pilgrimage to one of the region's many holy sites.
You may also get the opportunity to travel to the Taj Mahal in Agra, and see this monument to love in the soft half light of the vast sunsets, as well as exploring everything else this vibrant city has to offer. Other cities taken in during this phase include Jaipur with its many roomed palaces, the city of Pushkar famous for its colourful temples, and the Pushkar Lake, a site of extraordinary natural beauty. You will finish your journey with a visit to Ranthambore National Park, a precious natural reserve that harbours some of India's most wonderful species, including leopards, Nilgai Antelope, Dhole Wild Dogs and wild boar, amongst many others. From here you will return to Delhi for your flight home.