Earth : Asia : South Asia : Nepal : Kathmandu Valley : Nagarkot
Nagarkot is 32 km NE of Kathmandu on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu Valley. Nagarkot is famous for its Himalayan views- the Himalayan peaks at sunrise are a magnificent sight to behold. Many wish upon arrival they would have planned for more than one day to stay. Nagarkot is surrounded by thickly forested hills of pine trees which give you an idyllic scene.
It is a rustic resort high on the northern fringe of the Kathmandu valley. It is an outstanding hilltop that offers great views of Himalayas, breathtaking mountain scenery and the most impressive views of sunrise and sunset.
Nagarkot commands one of the broadest views of the Himalayas in the Kathmandu valley (8 Himalayan ranges of Nepal out of 13 from here). The ranges include Annapurna range, Manaslu range, Ganesh himal range, Langtang range, Jugal range, Rolwaling range, Mahalangur range (Everest range) and Numbur range with views of the Kathmandu valley and Shivapuri National Park.
The simplest and cheapest way to get here from Kathmandu is to take a bus at the "Bakhtapur Bus Terminal" located east of Ratna Park to Bhaktapur (25 RP in June 2014, 40-50 minutes trip) and from there another Nagarkot (45 RP in June 2014, 1.5 hours, nice trip although buses are very overcrowded).
There is also a tourist bus which goes directly from Kathmandu. Departs Kathmandu at 13:30 from Shorakhutee Tourist Bus Park Nayabazzar. And from Nagarkot at 10:15 (RP 400 per person). But please check first if it still operates, phones for inquiries and reservations: 01-4262602, 4700424 in Kathmandu; 01-6680137, 6680150 in Nagarkot.
For some people, it is best to travel by private-hire cars and taxis to Nagarkot. From the international airport, it should take about 40 mins and from the city center, about an hour. A scenic drive via the ancient city of Bhaktapur and tiny villages along meandering mountain roads is a journey by itself.
Hiking in and around Nagarkot
Nagarkot is a great place for active, energetic and health conscious travelers who live life to discover. It is the place to enjoy the Himalayan vistas, of course weather permitted, with lots of spectacular hiking trails and beautiful nature walks. Nagarkot offers a green escape from bustling capital of Kathmandu and is blissfully calm and laid-back. This is a place to relax after the chaos of Kathmandu and recharge your batteries with fabulous food and leisurely wandering. The hikes around Nagarkot will take you in the lush green countryside of northern Nepal and deliver you stunning mountain views, serene pine forests, peaceful villages.
1. Nagarkot View Tower
Nagarkot view tower is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nagarkot. It is situated around 2100 metres above sea level and can be hiked by physically fit hikers in about one hour. You will have a 360 view of the himalayas one of the broadest views of himalayas along with kathmandu valley, lush greenery of national parks, rolling hills,etc. Lots of people they wake up early and do sunrise hiking to Witness the magnificent sunrise along with the grandeur and magnificence of the himalayas. What makes the sunrise hiking very special is with morning sunrise changing colours of the snow capes himalayas. It’s like fire on ice. Still it is a very scenic walk to the view tower during daytime with the stunning views of the unobstructed landscapes, rolling hills, thick pine forests and charming villages.
2. Nagarkot Panoramic hiking Trail
Nagarkot Panoramic Hiking Trail is a very refreshing walk with stunning views of the majestic Himalayas. This panoramic Hiking Trail is perfect enough for good 3 to 3.5 hours ideal for everyone from young travellers to family with children as it is pretty easy hike. This hike includes Nagarkot Nature Trail + Tamang Village Walk (starting from kartike village) + Panoramic Hiking Trail with 180 degree views of the stunning landscapes with lush greenery. You will enjoy the time in nature and burn some good calories in this trek. Perfect to enjoy the stunning mountain views in quiet and with fresh mountain air. For details
The way from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot is steep and adventurous yet many tourists enjoy mountrain biking and it may be one of the way you can get to Nagarkot.
Nagarkot is plenty of choices of accomodation of any kind. From around 400 RP (May 2013) to 35 USD or more for a double room.
There were at least 2 cases when tourists were robbed in Nagarkot area. Furthermore, some locals behave slightly aggressive after consuming alcohol. However, in vast majority of hotels work nice people.