Journey through the Himalayas: Lhasa to Kathmandu along the Friendship Highway

17 days
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Private Guided
Explore Lhasa's Potala Palace. Visit the working Sakya Monastery. Journey from the Tibetan plateau into Kathmandu. Take in views of Mount Everest's north face.
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Trip type
Private Guided
Lodging level
Premium - 4 star
Physical level
Trip pace
Full schedule

What's this trip about?

    Explore Lhasa's Potala Palace. Visit the working Sakya Monastery. Journey from the Tibetan plateau into Kathmandu. Take in views of Mount Everest's north face.

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Itinerary focusClassic Highlights
Group sizeIntimate group - 12 max
Age rangeNo age restrictions
Flights and transportN/A
Start CityKathmandu
End CityKathmandu

Travel Themes

  • Cultural
  • National Parks
  • Nature & Wildlife


  • Asia
  • China
  • Nepal


  • Everest Base Camp
  • Himalayas
  • Kathmandu
  • Lhasa
  • Potala Palace
  • Turquoise coast


  • Culture
  • Nature

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Day 1 : International outbound flight

Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Kathmandu.

Day 2 : Kathmandu

Once you've landed, cleared customs and collected your baggage, you're met by your guide for a private transfer to your hotel.

Day 3 : Kathmandu

Today you can enjoy a tour with your driver and guide, taking in Kathmandu's sights and attractions. You'll also visit the impressive Swayambhunath Stupa situated on a hill in the west of the city. Swayambhunath is also known as the Monkey Temple due to the large number of monkeys that live on the hill.

Day 4 : Kathmandu

You have the full day at leisure today. We suggest exploring the city on foot, walking between Dunbar Square and Thamel. Alternatively, relax in the Garden of Dreams - a neo-classical garden just outside Thamel.

Day 5 : Tsetang

Your private driver takes you to the airport this morning ready for your flight from Kathmandu to Gongkar Airport in Tibet. On arrival, you're met by your Tibetan guide for the drive to Tsetang. The afternoon should be taken at a leisurely pace as you adjust to the high altitude.

Day 6 : Tsetang

Today your guide accompanies you by car to Samye Monastery - Tibet's first Buddhist monastery. In the afternoon you continue on to Yambulagang Palace, home of the first 32 kings of Tibet. There are great views of the surrounding countryside from the palace.

Day 7 : Lhasa

This morning you're driven in a private vehicle to the capital, Lhasa. On arrival you check into your hotel and then enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to wander through the Tibetan bazaar and streets of the old city.

Day 8 : Lhasa

Visit the superb Potala Palace this morning, which is the seat of the Dalai Lamas. In the afternoon, explore Sera Monastery, where you may be able to watch the monks debating. Later you visit Lhasa's only nunnery, near Barkhor Square.

Day 9 : Lhasa

This morning you can enjoy a tour of Lhasa's most important temple, the Jokhang. Afterwards, travel to the outskirts of Lhasa to visit the seat of the State Oracle at Drepung.

Day 10 : Gyantse

Your private driver escorts you to Gyantse today on the Southern Friendship Highway, first passing the beautiful Turquoise Lake and later, snow-capped peaks. On arrival in Gyantse the evening is at your leisure.

Day 11 : Gyantse

Today is spent with your guide visiting the impressive Pelkor Chode Monastery and the Kumbum. Afterwards you're free to wander around the old town independently, perhaps visiting Gyantse Fort.

Day 12 : Shigatse

You're driven in a private vehicle to Shigatse this morning, via Shalu Monastery. In the afternoon you also visit Tashilunpo Monastery, the former seat of the Panchen Lama. Afterwards you have some time at leisure to wander around and visit the local markets.

Day 13 : Xegar

This morning you're driven from Shigatse to Xegar, visiting Sakya Monastery. The seat of the Sakya School of Tibetan Buddhism, it was founded in 1073. You'll visit a number of the monastery's temples.

Day 14 : Rongbuk and Everest Base Camp Region

Today, enjoy the passing scenery on the drive towards the Himalaya, eventually arriving at isolated Rongbuk Monastery, which sits in the shadow of Everest. You'll spend the night here at an altitude of 5,000 m (16,400 ft).

Day 15 : Gyirong

Set off early this morning for a hike up to Base Camp itself, where you can take in staggering views of Everest. You then make the journey to Gyirong, the border crossing between Tibet and Nepal.

Day 16 : Kathmandu

After crossing the border this morning, you're met by your new driver and guide for your private transfer through the mountains to Kathmandu.

Day 17 : International return flight

You're taken to the airport in a private vehicle today in time for your onward flight. Your return flight will arrive the same day.

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Dates & Availability

Price From $6,541
Price per day$385
Last Updated: 0/12/2022

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Audley Travel.

The total tour cost includes the tour price (regular or promotional) and the compulsory local payment. The promotional price is subject to change. Check directly with the operator for the latest price offer. The tour operator requires you to pay only the tour price to purchase your travel. The compulsory local payment will be paid when you join the trip. All prices are based on double, twin or triple share occupancy. Solo passengers will be accommodated in a double, twin or triple room according to availability with a passenger(s) of the same gender. Single supplement only needs to be paid if the passenger does not want to share and requests their own room. Discounts can only be applied at the time of booking and cannot be added at a later date, regardless of any changes made to the original booking.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

Audley Travel Reviews & Ratings

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