Day 01: Arrival in Lhasa (3,650m/11,972ft)
We arrive in Lhasa either from a direct flight from Nepal or via mainland China. If we decide to fly from Nepal, then we get to enjoy a beautiful hour-long trans-Himalayan flight that takes us over Everest (8,848m), Kanchenjunga (8,536m) and other Himalayan peaks and glaciers. If we choose to go to Lhasa via mainland China, we may fly from any of the major Chinese cities or take the world's highest train route to Lhasa. Upon our arrival in Lhasa, a representative from Nepal Trekking Operators will pick us up either from the airport or the train station for about an hour’s drive to our designated hotel in Lhasa. We are advised to take plenty of rest for the remainder of the day in order to minimize altitude sickness. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 02: Lhasa sightseeing: Potala Palace, Norbulingka Palace and Tibet Traditional Hospital: 5 - 6 hours
We begin sightseeing in Lhasa after breakfast. Today is the day we visit the beautiful Potala and Norbulingka Palaces. Built in the 17th century, Potala Palace provides amazing views of the entire city and houses the private quarters of the Dalai Lama, numerous grand state rooms and chapels. Norbulingka Palace is the summer palace of the Dalai Lama and houses what is considered to be the largest man-made garden in Tibet. Next, we visit the Tibet Traditional Hospital which is the center for the treatment, training, research and production of Tibetan medicine. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 03: Lhasa Sightseeing: Sera Monastery, Drepung Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar: 5 - 6 hours
After breakfast we visit Drepung Monastery, Sera Monastery, Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Bazaar. Drepung Monastery, which was built in the 14th century, is believed to have sheltered around 10,000 monks in the past but as of now there has been quite a declination resulting in only a few hundred. The history, culture, and religious beliefs of the Tibetan people are strongly concentrated and centered in this marvelous monastery. Sera Monastery is a preserved monastery of white-washed walls and golden roofs. Jokhang Temple is another important sacred site which unravels more deep-seated mysteries of Tibetan Buddhism. We further stroll through Barkhor Bazaar (market). With its open air stalls, shops and crowd of pilgrims, it is the nerve centre of Lhasa. Overnight in Lhasa.
Day 04: Lhasa to Gyantse (3,950m/12,956ft): 5 - 6 hours
Today, we take a scenic drive to Gyantse. On the way we cross the Khamba La Pass (4,794m) with a brief stop to savor the beauty of the Yamdrok Tso (Turquoise Lake), one of the three largest sacred lakes in Tibet and the beautiful Nazin Kang Sang glacier (7,252m). Soon, we come across another pass, the Karo La Pass (5,045m). From our vehicle, we can enjoy views of huge glaciers tumbling down into the road before reaching Gyantse. In Gyantse, we visit the Khumbum Stupa, Phalkot Monastery and Gyantse Dzong (fortress), which is one of the best preserved dzongs in Tibet. Overnight in Gyantse.
Day 05: Gyantse to Shigatse (3,900m/12,795 ft): 2 hours
After breakfast, we drive towards Shigatse, the second largest city in Tibet. In Shigatse, we visit the popular Tashilhunpo Monastery which holds both historical and cultural importance for being founded by Gendun Drup, the First Dalai Lama in 1447. After sightseeing in Shigatse we will have the remainder of the day free for resting, which will help us with acclimatization and the next day’s long drive. Overnight in Shigatse.
Day 06: Shigatse to Rongbuk (5,000m/16,400ft) via Sakya: 8 - 9 hours
After breakfast, we leave Shigatse for Rongbuk. On the way, we visit the Sakya Monastery which is the ancestral temple of the Sakyapa sect of Tibetan Buddhism. After the visit to Sakya Monastery, we continue driving towards Rongbuk. Here, we visit the Rongbuk Monastery, which is located at the foot of the mighty Everest and is the highest monastery in the world. While here, we also enjoy the stunning mountainous scenery all around us. Overnight in Rongbuk.
Day 07: Rongbuk to Lhasa with a visit to the Everest Base Camp: 9-10 hours
We leave Rongbuk in the morning to visit the Everest Base Camp (5,250m/17,220ft). On the way, we enjoy spectacular views of high mountains like Cho Oyu (8,201m/26,906ft), Shishapangma (8,013m/26,289ft) and, of course, the mighty Everest (8,848m/29,028ft) also known as Mt. Chomolongma in the Tibetan side. Today, we accomplish one of the major highlights of our trip, reaching the base camp of Mt. Everest. We make approximately a 16km round trip around the Everest Base Camp. The base camp itself is dry and barren, but the view of Everest is more than compensating. After spending some quality time at the base of the world’s highest mountain, we make Lhasa our next destination. Overnight in Lhasa.
Note that on rare occasions due to bad weather or political riots the local government may close down the road to the Everest base camp for safety reasons and without prior notice.
Day 08: Final Departure
Our adventure in the Himalayas comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize photographs. If time permits, we can engage in shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Nepal Trekking Operators will take us to the airport or the train station for our next journey.