Nepal has a range of climates - tropical forest, jungle, snowfields and glaciers. As in neighbouring India, the monsoon winds have a great influence on the weather. Late June to September is the rainy season and October to May the dry season. During the rainy season visitors can expect an average of two to three hours of sunshine each day. There's also a good chance of flooding in parts of the country. The dry season is much more pleasant - warm weather and between six and nine hours of sunshine each day. Naturally, the higher you go, the colder it gets.
When to fly to Nepal
The busiest times of the year - but also the best times - to search for cheap flights to Nepal are between February and May and late August to December.
The main festivals of Dashain and Tihar occur during these months. Dashain, Nepal’s most important festival, commemorates the gods’ victory over demons. The celebrations are reminiscent of Christmas; homes are decorated, families get together and gifts are given. Tihar follows Dashain. This festival – worship of the Hindu Goddess of Fortune – lasts for five days and is all about celebrating one’s siblings and friends. In March, the festival of colours (Fagu Purnima or Holi) takes place. This Hindu festival is marked by the throwing of coloured water or coloured powder.
Mid-June to September is the low season in Nepal. It's the monsoon season when rainfall is heavy and temperatures are high. Landslides, flooding and avalanches can occur during the monsoon season.
Getting around Nepal
If you're trekking or seeing the sights of Kathmandu, you'll be getting around on foot. Domestic airlines offer flights around Nepal, but to get the authentic Nepalese experience take the bus. There are micro buses in Kathmandu (and Tempos - three wheeler auto-rickshaws), local buses and tourist buses that travel between Kathmandu, Pokhara, Chitwan, Lumbini-Bhairahawa and the border towns. Renting a car with a driver or renting a motorbike are also options.
Nepal insider information
- Mount Everest: you don’t have to scale the world’s highest mountain (8,848 metres); a trek to base camp, at a mere 5,340 metres, will get the blood flowing. The best time to do this is spring, although autumn and winter can offer clearer skies and crisp views of Everest. Climbing Kala Patthar (mountain) will afford tourists a view of Everest from base camp to peak.
- Kumari Devi, the Living Goddess, lives in the Kumari Ghar, in Durbar Square, Kathmandu. She was chosen from the Sakya community as a young girl. Kumari Devi travels through Kathmandu city on Indra Jatra (in September), local people pay tribute to her and she blesses the King.
- The temple of Changu Narayan is said to be the most ancient temple in the Kathmandu Valley, dating back to the 4th century. It is one of the seven Unesco World Heritage Sites in the Kathmandu valley.
- Lumbini, on the Terai plains in the south, is where Siddhartha Gautam, the Shakya Prince and the ultimate Buddha, the Enlighted One, was born in 623 BC. The sacred place, marked by a stone pillar erected by Emperor Ashoka of India in 249 BC, is a World Heritage Site.
- The temple of Manakamana is on top of a 1,302-metre hill. The deity is one of the manifestations of the Hindu Goddess Bhagawati who is believed to have the power to fulfill wishes. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Nepal. Climb to the top by cable car.
- The top tea-growing regions in Nepal are Dhankuta, Illam, Jhapa, Therathum and Panchthar. Nepalese tea is said to be very like Darjeeling. The altitude of tea gardens range between 1,000 metres to 2,194 metres.