One of the most common questions we get asked by travellers is “When is the best time of the year to visit Nepal?” The standard answer that you’ll find in most guidebooks is spring and autumn, as the skies are generally clear and the weather mild and stable. However, due to the varied nature of Nepal’s climate and topography, more and more travellers visit Nepal in winter and summer too, and with good reason.
There are many places where trekking in winter is even better, such as the lower Solukhumbu, in the Everest region, and many lower altitude treks near Pokhara, including the famous Poon Hill Trek. The south of Nepal, like Lumbini and Chitwan National Park are also perfect winter destinations, when the temperatures are moderate. And Mustang, lying in the rain shadow of the Himalaya, is perfect to visit during the Monsoon season.
With the right information and travel plans Nepal is a great destination all year round!
From March to mid May
In spring, temperatures are moderate to cold in the mountains, depending on the altitude and time of the day and mildly warm to warm in the lowlands, usually increasing over May.
Although the weather is not as stable as in autumn, March and April are considered the second best season for trekking, due to the generally mild weather and longer days.
Rhododendrons are in bloom in the hills and mountains, especially in March and April, colouring the landscape in pink and red.
In the south, the Terai high grasses have been cut, making it the best time for viewing wildlife in Chitwan and Bardiya National Parks.
The downside is that during this season haze can cover the mountains from lower elevation.
Also, spring features some great festivals, such as Holi in March.
From mid May to August
Summer is the hottest season of all: temperatures are high and can rise over 30 °C (90 °F). It is also the monsoon season in Nepal, with rain and clouds almost every day.
Although the weather is likely to be wet and humid, city sightseeing is still possible, the nature is lush and, without the influx of high-season tourism, wildlife is easier to spot and the experience of the local people and culture more intimate.
And there are a number of regions in Nepal protected by the Himalayan rain shadow, such as Upper Mustang, were trekking during summer is also possible.
From September to November
From late September, summer and the rainy season are over and the weather is pleasant, clear and dry. Temperatures are warm to mildly warm in the south and central Nepal and moderate in the mountains, with the cold starting to set in from November.
The beautiful clear skies mean generally good visibility and mountain vistas are excellent during this season.
This is also the main festive season in Nepal, when the biggest Hindu festivals of Dashain and Tihar are celebrated.
The downside is that this is the peak season in Nepal and tourist destinations can get crowded.
From December to February
During winter the weather is clear and stable. The temperatures are cold in the mountains but mild in the south.
At higher elevation, January and February can be very cold, especially at night, but will reward you with crystal clear skies and quieter trekking trails.
It’s also an excellent time to visit the Terai lowlands and explore the jungles of Chitwan National Park without the heat or to do some lower altitude treks and visit Nepal’s main cities when they are not too crowded.
Typically from mid June to mid September
During monsoons, most of Nepal is covered by a wet and humid blanket.
Nature is alive with bright green fields, flowing rivers, clean air, blossoming flowers and an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables and tourist numbers are at their lowest, making it the perfect time to experience the “real” Nepal.
Drawbacks of this time are the frequent transportation delays, the elusive mountain views and leeches on the trekking trails.
As mentioned, though, some areas, such as the Mustang District or the Dolpa District, lie in the rain shadow of the Himalayas and don’t experience the monsoons like the rest of Nepal. Visiting these high-altitude windswept regions in other seasons can be particularly cold, therefore this time is perfect to trek here.
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