Hidden Gems of the Himalayas

We share our top 5  experiences for you to consider whilst holidaying in the Himalayas.  We’ll run you through what they are and where you can find them …


"Even the rocks reach out to the heavens. / No wonder beings seeking divine made you their abode."



#1 Hiking & Trekking

The Himalayan region is perhaps the best in the world for hiking and trekking. It has 8 of the 14 highest summits in the world that exceed an altitude of 8,000m, including Mount Everest (8,848m).

Our favourite Treks:

Everest Base Camp

One of the most popular treks in the Himalayas; the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek takes you through the Dudh Kosi Valley up to the Sherpa capital of Namche. Continuing up, you’ll have various stops along the way, highlighting the remarkable landscape en route to Everest Base Camp (5,357m).

Annapurna Base Camp

The trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) provides remarkable views of picturesque landscapes.  You can expect stunning panoramic views of snow-capped mountainous peaks as well as diverse Himalayan cultural settings hidden beneath the southern slopes of the Annapurna ridge.

Ghorepani (Poon Hill)

The Ghorepani trek is one of the most popular of the Himalayan treks. Taking you across dirt paths and enchanting forests, this trek emerges to high altitudes revealing unsurpassed views of the Himalayas.  Take in the exceptional views of the Machhapuchhare Mountain. The day you hike to the top of Poon Hill (3,200m) is truly a highlight; witnessing uninterrupted views of Himalayas as you watch the sunrise over the mountains.



#2 Biking through the Kathmandu Valley

The Kathmandu Valley in the Himalayas provides the perfect location for exciting mountain biking trips. There’s a range of day and multi-day trips you can do exploring this diverse region.

While there are many options to choose from, a typical mountain biking adventure usually involves crossing through the breathtaking landscapes and the mountainous peaks of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting areas like the Shivapuri National Park. You’ll also have the opportunity to journey through the local villages and experience local culture. Furthermore, witness the changing landscapes from the city to the lush greenery of the forests as well as monasteries and World Heritage sites.


#3 Horseback Treks

If you’re looking for something a bit different in the Himalayas, horse riding is definitely a great option. Instead of trekking on foot, you’ll be trekking on horseback. It’s a fairly unique experience, and offers a very different perspective of the Himalayas compared to a standard trek.

Because the roads and paths are so narrow and many areas aren’t accessible by road, you don’t see many, if any vehicles in the region. Many locals have adopted horse riding as an easier way of getting around especially when carrying food and other necessities.

One of the many advantages of horseback adventures is that you can experience the wonders of the Himalayas even if you aren’t able to walk for long periods of time. Furthermore, you can combine horseback treks with on foot treks. This way you get to experience the Himalayas from two different perspectives.



#4 River Rafting

Truly an exhilarating experience, there’s nothing quite like rafting through swirling waves of the various rivers of the Himalayas.

Formed by melting glaciers, the rivers that flow through the Himalayas make up part of the largest network of rivers in the world. Being able to cruise through the rapids and fast moving water proves to be one of the most memorable experiences for many that have travelled to the Himalayas.

Definitely something for the adrenalin junkies; however, this adventure sport isn’t limited to the professionals.  If you’re an amateur rafter, the more gentle rivers are ideal. Rivers in Ladakh offer fairly calm waters suitable for everyone, no matter what your rafting ability is.

If you’ve got a bit more experience, you might want to check out rafting in Himachal Pradesh. A popular tourist destination, the white water rafting here is a bit more intense and really gives you a thrilling adrenalin rush.

Another exceptional but slightly more challenging river is the Ganges (Ganga). Experience adrenalin rush as you navigate through the fast moving river currents or relax as you gently float past the gorgeous forests and hills.


#5 Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) Toy Train

A vast contrast to the adrenalin filled experiences listed above; a Toy Train ride through Darjeeling is a relaxed way of experiencing the remarkable scenery of the Himalayas.

In operation since the 1880’s, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway track takes you through the Himalayas and is still the highest railway in India. The track itself is very unique in the way that because of the steep terrain, the only way to get higher was to build part of the track in a zigzag formation.

On December 2nd 1999, the Toy Train became the second train route in the world to gain UNESCO World Heritage status. While today there are many mountain railways that are higher, the engineering marvels of the DHR make it the most remarkable example of a hill passenger railway.  If you’re visiting the Himalayas, you simply cannot miss this heritage experience.


#6 Monasteries

The Himalayan region features some of the most beautiful monasteries in the world. Home to thousands of Buddhist monks, these monasteries have been around for centuries. Here’s some of the must see monasteries in the Himalayas…



Situated in Bhutan, the Tiger’s Nest (Taktsang) is said to be one of the most sacred sites in Bhutan; where Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, appeared roughly 1,300 years ago on the back of a flying tigress. Finding shelter in a series of caves, he meditated for three years then set out to convert the Bhutanese to Buddhism. First constructed in 1692, the monastery features multiple renovations with major reconstruction in 2005 after a fire devastated the site in 1998.

Located at the top of a hill in the Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the Ki (or Key) monastery is said to be one of the oldest and largest in the area. Also a religious training centre for lamas, the monastery houses and educates roughly 300 lamas. Believed to be over 1000 years old; over the years the monastery faced countless devastations including attacks by Mongols in the 17th century as well as earthquakes and fires. Despite the damages and with many renovations, the monastery stands tall atop the hill.

Furthermore, the Himalayas feature countless other striking monasteries including, Thiksey Monastery, Dhankar Monastery and Hemis Monastery.



#7 Festivals

Most people wouldn’t expect such a remote region to be exceptionally well known for its festivals; but let us assure you, the Himalayas is the place to be for vibrant spectacles showcasing the best of Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan culture. Here’s just a few…

Taking place in Ladakh, one of the most popular festivals is the Hemis Festival. Held over two days, it celebrates the victory of good over evil. Dedicated to the birth of Buddhist Lord Padmasambhava – the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism in Ladakh, Hemis festival is celebrated on the 10th day of the Tibetan lunar month.

Celebrated throughout the Lahaul district of Himachal Pradesh, Halda, brings in the New Year by paying tribute to Shashikar Apa, the goddess of wealth. Festivities take place over two days and include musical acts, bonfires, dancing, as well as a delicious feast.

A three-day festival celebrating the Tibetan New Year, Losar is one of Buddhism’s biggest festivals in Himachal Pradesh. Celebrated according to the lunar calendar, the date varies each year but the festivities remain the same. Celebrated by worshipping the local deity of the monastery to bring peace, happiness and good fortune for the coming year. One of many festivities includes impressive musical performances featuring elaborate masks and costumes as well as dancing and singing.


#8 Yoga & Meditation

While the Himalayas has a lot to offer, the tranquil peaks also offer an opportunity for reflection.  With the most spectacular natural surrounds, there’s nowhere else in the world that offers such beauty and remoteness, the perfect backdrop for your next yoga session.



There’s a range of yoga and mediation tours available; taking you through to beautiful retreats tailored to provide you with a rejuvenating spiritual experience through the Himalayas.

References: Thank you CN TravelerTrekking in NepalWorld NomadsIndia MarksLonely PlanetUNESCO and  Darjeeling Tourism

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