Best time to visit Nepal

temperature & rainfall

When is the best time to visit Nepal? Tricky question; there are four clear seasons revolving around the summer monsoon (June - Sept), not the best time to visit Nepal if you're trekking, but an incredible time to see the country simply alive with growth and freshness. If you're trekking, autumn (Sept - Nov) and spring (Feb - mid-April) are your best bet: autumn brings exceptional clarity, the dust washed away by the monsoon, and spring days are warmer and longer. Winter is very chilly - wrap up warm and you'll be one of only few in the mountains.

When to visit Nepal & when not to

a month by month guide

Winter in Nepal brings great visibility, but temperatures can drop to a teeth-chattering 1°C, so if youíre trekking then, make sure your endurance is up.

The Annapurna hiking circuit is the most likely to be affected by snowfall and has been known to close during peak winter months, so double check before you book.

From late December through January and into February, Nepal's weather is cold, but not unbearable, although temperatures drop significantly at night, especially in the mountains. January is by far the coldest month, but fewer people means fewer crowds.

March heralds spring in Nepal, when temperatures start to get warmer and rhododendrons are in beautiful bloom. Days are longer during March and April too, making them ideal for trekking, but temperatures are still a bit chilly at night, so pack your layers.

May is one of the warmest months and is lovely, but is also the calm before the storm: clouds begin to loom and showers begin to fall as a precursor to the monsoon season.

During Nepalís monsoon season Ė June, July and August Ė it doesnít necessarily rain all day, but it does rain every day, so trails are muddy and rife with leeches, the mountains are often thick with cloud, and landslides are common and disruptive to travel plans. Itís not the best time for trekking therefore, but because most rain falls at night, the mornings are spectacular and sightseeing is still possible.

During the monsoon, more rain falls at night than during the day, so the mornings are often crisp and beautiful Ė if you want to trek then, avoid Nepalís more popular circuits and head to Manang, Mustang or Dolpo, Himalayan areas that sit in rain shadows.

As the monsoon dissipates in September, Nepal is a glorious kingdom of huge clear skies, fresh air and breathtaking views. October through to November is possibly the best time to visit Nepal as dry days make trekking easier and offer good visibility. The way the replenished landscapes spring to life during autumn is spectacular; donít forget your camera!

Best time to visit Nepal recommends

Richard Goodey from our supplier, Lost Earth Adventures shares his advice on the best time to visit Nepal: "A lot of people are put off by the idea of winter in Nepal, but if you go in December there are barely any tourists around, so itís lovely and quiet. It is cold, but you get incredibly crisp skies, as the air is so clear. The cold is more likely to affect you at night if youíre trekking because the teahouses donít have any heating, so bring a warm sleeping bag, or rent one in Nepal, which is easy to organise if you donít want to carry one out with you. My favourite time in Nepal is October and November; itís warmer, so itís great weather for walking and enjoying sunny days, but it does bring the tourists, so my advice would be to stick to the more off the beaten path destinations like Langtang, Helambu, and also the Manaslu Circuit."

Festivals & events in Nepal

Our cultural pick from the Nepal calendar

Did you know about...?

Holi is a three-day festival held in February or March known as the festival of colours, or the festival of love and involves the Nepalese literally throwing colourful powder all over each other. Although itís a deeply religious celebration, it brings out the kid in everyone and youíll see fully grown Nepalese men wrestling in the street and chasing each other in fits of laughter.
Photo credits: [topbox: Vera & Jean-Christophe] [rainbow: Sharada Prasad CS] [holi 2: Steven Gerner]
Written by Polly Humphris
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