This is probably one of the world's most awe-inspiring treks, and since 1977 has been one of Nepal’s classics. A complete circuit of the Annapurna range. Our route takes you through a fascinating variety of landscapes and cultures, from the sub-tropical lower Marsyangdi Valley where Hindu (Gurung and Thakali) settlements dominate to the predominately Buddhist areas of the northern arid semi-desert Tibetan Plateau. The contrast could not be more dramatic or diverse.
Along the Marsyangdi Khola, on easy trails and suspension bridges, through rice terraces and forests, you will slowly gain altitude and acclimatize in preparation for the ascend towards the arid semi-desert with stunning and extremely up-close views of snowy and glaciated high peaks including Annapurnas II, III and IV. This remote area lies in a rain shadow formed by the Annapurnas and the landscape supports little in the way of forests apart from pine, juniper and scrub rhododendron. Thus, it is huge glacial moraines abound, etched deeply by wind erosion into fantastic pillars. The crossing of the Thorung La Pass at 5,416m is one of the highlights of this trek, where we are rewarded with breathtaking scenery.
- Spectacular views of the numerous 7,000+m peaks of the complete Annapurna massif
- Crossing one of Nepal’s highest trekking passes, Thorung La Pass at 5,416m
- Soak up the main cultures of Nepal Hinduism and Buddhism, climbing through subtropical scenery to arid wilderness desert
- Spectacular aerial views of the Annapurna Range
Day 1: Arrive Kathmandu
At Kathmandu International Airport, you will be met by a Trek Nepal representative and transferred to your hotel. There will be a full tour briefing in the evening.
Day 2: Drive to Besisahar then Trek to Bhulbule
An early departure from the City of Glory, we drive west out of the Kathmandu Valley and along the Trisuli Valley towards the stunning mountain views of Langtang, Ganesh Himal, Annapurna and Dhaulagiri Ranges. At the half way point we change course and start to follow the Marsyangdi Khola (river) until Besisahar. The trek begins with a gentle walk following the Marsyangdi Khola, through several small villages until Bhulbule. The village lies on the banks of Marsyangdi Khola, in a large luscious green valley, which offers a distant view of mountains in the Manaslu range. It is here we enter the Annapurna conservation area and register for the first time at an ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project) checkpoint. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast lunch and dinner. Altitude: 840m. Trek: 3 hours.
Day 3: Ghermu
The circuit’s trail today is an easy start as we cross the first of many suspension bridges shortly after Bhulbule, and then follows a flat path through rice fields. Do not be deceived; the circuit becomes more challenging, as the numerous ascents we encounter will prove. Continuing along Marsyangdi Khola’s east bank the trail ascends through a big green valley towards Bahundanda passing through the villages of Ngadi and Lampatta, and in the north east there are spectacular views of Manaslu (8,163m). Bahundanda is situated on a small hilltop at 1,311m; the views as you look down the valley are lush green forests, villages and rice fields. From here we descend for half an hour to a stream before commencing a series of gradual ascents and descents that bring us to Ghermu, a picturesque farming villagethat faces a beautiful tumbling waterfall known as Syange. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 1400m. Trek: 6 hours.
Day 4: Tal
Coming away from Ghermu we descend down a rocky trail towards the Marsyangdi Khola. Crossing over to the river’s west bank we take a steep trail to the large ancient village of Jagat. Continuing along the trail high above the river we reach Chamje where we cross the river again, as our trail returns to the east bank. Climbing steeply through a forest the trail emerges into a wide flat area that is Tal. We have now reached the Manang district. Tal lies directly beside the river and during monsoon season experiences severe flooding in the lower lying areas requiring the villagers to move to higher ground. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 1,700m. Trek: 6 hours.
Day 5: Danakyu
The trail from Tal starts with the crossing of the wide flat valley until we reach a bridge that leads to a trail that undulates gradually through bamboo woodland, where there are several interesting dwellings. Crossing the Marsyangdi Khola several times we continue through forest and woodland to Danakyu. En route we pass through a number of villages including Dharapani, known as the ‘stone gateway’ and Bagarchhap, home to a small monastery, which is only operational during festival celebrations, and it is highly likely we will encounter the distinctive bell sounds of a mule pack carrying heavy loads to the upper Annapurna regions. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 2,300m. Trek: 5 hours.
Day 6: Chame
A narrow rocky trail takes us west as we gently climb through a winding pine forest. Snow capped views come into view today; it is the closest we have come to the Himalayas in our journey so far. We will pass many apple orchards, as now we are at a good elevation for growing the delicious fruit, as well as numerous Mani stone walls with prayer wheels. At Kotho the trail becomes flat all the way to our next destination, Chame, Manang’s administrative headquarters - there is even a bank here! The village has a magnificent backdrop with distant views of Lamjung (6,983m), Annapurna II (7,937m) and Annapurna IV (7,525m). Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 2,670m. Trek: 5hours.
Day 7: Pisang
Away from Chame the scenery changes dramatically. To Bhrating the trail is relatively easy and similar to previous days as we travel through apple orchards. Thereafter, it follows a steep narrow valley through a dense forest. At Dhikur Pokhari there are splendid views of Pisang peak (6,091m) and Annapurna lV. Emerging from the forest immediately Paungda Danda imposingly appears for the first time, a 1,500m black rock that rises from the riverbed below, we cross the river for the final time today to reach Pisang. This fascinating village at 3,200m sits at the base of Annapurna ll and lV. The Tibetan-style flat roofs indicate we are now in the rain shadow of the Annapurna range. In the evening we will make our way to Upper Pisang to join the monks in evening prayers. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 3,200m. Trek: 7 hours.
Day 8: Manang
Today leads with a long but gentle ascent over a low pass with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. We descend into the valley below Pisang Peak to Humde, where there is an airport, a magnificent Mani stone wall and spectacular views of Pisang Peak and Annapurna lll (7,555m). Continuing up the valley the wilderness steps in as we walk along wide and dusty trails all the way to Manang. Our destination is a large Tibetan village, with numerous stupas and monasteries, surrounded by mountains, to the north east are the four Chulu peaks (ranging between 6,038m and 6,854m)and Ganggapurna (7,454m)in the south west, with Ganggapurna Lake immediately below. Sunset and sunrise over these great peaks are truly stunning creating one of the most beautiful dawn and dusk views in Nepal. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude 3,540m. Trek: 5 hours.
Day 9: Manang
In preparation of crossing Thorung La pass today is an acclimatization day, which allows us to adjust to the higher altitude. You are free to explore Manang’s dry and fascinating area. There are many options: climb to Chhongar viewpoint to enjoy the views of the Annapurna and Chulu peaks, the route passes the glacier Ganggapurna Lake; visit the two monasteries, one of which is over 600 years old; or simply relax in a warm guesthouse whilst snacking on freshly baked cake and soak up the nearby snow capped scenery. It is important to take some rest today for the coming days. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 3,540m. Trek: 4 hours.
Day 10: Yak Kharka
Leaving behind Marsyangdi Valley our day begins with a steep uphill climb through alpine woodlands with juniper bushes for 1½ hours; the trail takes us to Tengi (3,620m) and Gunsang (3,930m). Thereafter, to reach Yak Kharka, it is an easy walk along gentle undulating dry trails supporting thinly scattered juniper shrubs, while in striking contrast there are magnificent views of Annapurna III and Ganggapurna. En route we may encounter blue sheep but for definite there are herds of yaks. Close up views of Tilicho peak(7,134m) and Ganggapurna can be found by climbing up the brown grassy hill from the village Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 4,018m. Trek: 4 hours.
Day 11: Thorung Phedi
The steep ascent out of Yak Kharka, on a wide trail, leads us to Ledar. Crossing the Kone Khola we continue to climb along its eastern bank. Shortly before Thorung Phedi we traverse a scree slope before making our way into the village, which is situated at the foot of Thorung La. In the afternoon there is an optional hike to high camp where we will see a panoramic view of the surrounding Annapurna peaks including Chulu West (6,419m) and Yakwakang(6,482m). Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 4,450m. Trek: 4 hours.
Day 12: Trek over Thorung La Pass (5416m) Trek to Muktinath
Today is the highlight of the trek, the day we have been working towards. It is a long and challenging day but immensely rewarding. Our morning begins in the dark, walking along thin trails that hug the snow mountains that have been climbed by local herders for centuries. As the sun starts to rise the white mountains surrounding us seem to be glowing. This amazing sight carries us up the steep ascent that can take around 4 hours. The gradient eases as we approach the summit but the altitude makes it challenging. Upon reaching the top we are greeted by fluttering prayer flags in abundance and rewarded with a stunning view of prestigious summits rising above 6,000m; to the west is the great Kali Gandaki Valley and in the north is the Yakwakang. The long descent towards Muktinath is gentle at the beginning becoming steeper the further we descend, as we near Muktinath the descent returns to a gentle gradient of grassy slopes. Before reaching Muktinath the Dhaulagiri range comes into sight with stunning views of Dhaulagiri (8,167m) the 7th highest mountain in the world and Nilgiri (6,940m). Many Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims travel to Muktinath solely to visit the famous and sacred temple, which lies directly above the village. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast lunch and dinner. Altitude: 3,760m. Trek: 8 hours.
Day 13: Jomsom
This is our last day of walking and the easiest by far. The route takes us through landscape of bare, eroded hills with snow capped mountains in the background. An early start is made as strong winds whip up by mid morning creating a ‘sand storm’ with the eroded grit. We follow the old trading route of Mustang and Tibet caravan that passes above Kagbeni, a medieval village that lies next to the massive Kali Gandaki Khola, as we continue to Jomsom. Overnight Lodge/Teahouse. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 2,720m. Trek: 5 hours.
Day 14: Tatopani
Today we drive through the Kali Gandaki Valley, a major trade route. This takes us through a number of picturesque villages and apple and orange orchards, with spectacular views of Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri. On reaching Tatopani, there is time to relax and soak in the hot springs. Overnight Hotel. Included meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Altitude: 1,190m. Drive: 7 hours.
Day 15: Pokhara
We complete the circuit with a drive following the Kali Gandaki Khola to Beni. From Beni we transfer vehicle for our return to Pokhara. Your time is free to relax and enjoy the serenity of Pokhara. Included meals: breakfast and lunch. Altitude: 820m. Drive: 7½ hours.
- Airport transfers
- Accommodation based on twin sharing as detailed in the itinerary.
- Meals as outlined in the itinerary
- Sterilized drinking water during trek
- All necessary transportation, whether private or public
- Activities as shown in the itinerary
- All trekking related permits and fees
- Experienced English speaking guide
- Assistant guides and porters to support the group size
- International flights
- Accommodation and meals in Kathmandu and Pokhara
- Travel insurance to cover adventure activity, medical, emergency evacuation & personal belongings
- Personal clothing and equipment
- Personal medical supplies and vaccinations
- Personal expenses
- Optional single accommodation supplement
- Optional tours, excursions and activities
Making a booking
The deposit for this trip is £198
Your full balance is due 3 months before your trip starts. If you book within 3 months of departure then the full balance is due at the time of booking. If you have any questions please contact our team at email@example.com or call +44 (0) 203 394 0050.
|Sunday 15th Jul 2018 - Sunday 29th Jul 2018||£1,101|