When to go

Always consider the climate when you plan a trip to Nepal. Judge it wrong and you may never see the mountains. The best time to visit is probably the start of the dry season in October-November: the weather is balmy, the air is clean, visibility is perfect and the countryside is lush and green following the monsoon. However, roads and trails damaged during the monsoon may not be repaired until later in the year. There are some important and colourful festivals to enjoy too, though the Dasain festival in October can be disruptive if you are on a tight schedule.

February-April, the tail end of the dry season, is the second-best period: the weather is warm and many of Nepal's wonderful wild flowers are in bloom, but dust can reduce visibility (and the pleasure of travelling by road).

In December and January the skies are as clear as crystal but it can be chilly: trekkers need to be well prepared for snow, and a warm sleeping bag is an asset in cheaper hotels, even in Kathmandu. On the other hand, sitting around an open fire wrapped in a yak wool blanket can be a very cosy experience.

The rest of the year is fairly unpleasant for travelling: May and early June are generally too hot and dusty for comfort, and the monsoon from mid-June to September obscures the mountains in cloud and turns trails and roads to mud. Flying is often the only way to reach outlying areas at this time of year, and the western border crossings to India are often impassable.

The best season for trekking is autumn and spring...
...but also then be prepared for showers.