Walking Holidays in Nepal - Nepal - Annapurna Sanctuary

Holiday Highlights
  • Enjoy fine views of the Matterhorn-like Fishtail mountain along great ridge walks. Pass through lush bamboo forests, dense jungle, cascades and river torrents
  • Begin at dawn to witness the unforgettable sunrise over the Sanctuary – one of the most stunning sights on Earth

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The Annapurna Region has long been one of the most popular hiking destinations in Nepal. This is not surprising as it offers the hiker an opportunity to walk through spectacular varied scenery amongst majestic mountain peaks.  In addition, to experience Nepali mountain life passing through Gurung villages clinging to the mountain sides where farming has continued unchanged in its methods for centuries.  This way of life is now supported by providing hospitality for trekkers, both in lodge accommodation and porters to carry luggage for as with Everest Region, there are no roads to speak. During a trek up to Annapurna Sanctuary or trekking in the Foothills, you will walk through Rhododendron forests full of vibrant colours in Springtime, and through giant bamboos standing above fast-flowing mountain rivers filled with melt water as they pass through deep gorges. If you are making the trek to the Sanctuary you will experience all this plus a beautiful Himalayan amphitheatre surrounded by 6000 metre snow-capped mountains.


Guided Walking

A guide is essential when trekking in the Himalaya. He will not only make sure that the correct paths are taken, but also ensure that you are looked after in the accommodation, manage the porters  and in addition he will explain the scenery, culture, flora and fauna as you walk in this exotic land. We operate on a maximum four clients to every guide, but you may find that there are only two clients per guide.  The guide will be Nepali and probably from the area in which you are walking so be prepared for him to stop and chat with friends. He will manage the porters who will carry your luggage. We go to great lengths to ensure that the guides and porters are suitably paid and looked after by our local walk managers. The guide will eat with you and in most cases stay in the same accommodation unless space determines he sleeps nearby. The porters sleep and eat in  porters’ lodges and eat with fellow porters as they prefer it that way.

Travelling to the Annapurna region

 The gateway airport to the Annapurna Region is Pokhara,  located 200km west of Kathmandu. We have included flights Pokhara with a flying time of 45 minutes. The airport here is in a valley location unlike Lukla used for Everest!  The return journey is  made by road in 6 – 7 hours and is a spectacular journey especially the entry/exit road into Kathmandu as you ascend/descend from the high plateau on which the city is perched. You travel along side fast flowing rivers, through gorges, alongside fields busy with buffalo tilling the soil and through Nepali villages. Your driver will make stops en route, but we have to say that road journeys in Nepal are not for passengers of a nervous disposition.  You can return by air or travel out by road if you wish.

Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Itinerary – Standard Lodge only

Our programme is subject to changes en route due to weather conditions. Should the need arise enroute, because of your individual circumstances, the guide may be able to alter the programme to suit your needs.  

Day 1 Depart from the UK.

Day 2 Arrive in Kathmandu and transfer to your hotel. Dinner at your leisure, (not included) either in the hotel or in a local restaurant.

Day 3 Morning in Kathmandu where you can take a city tour which we can arrange in advance, or just relax to recover from the journey. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for a 40 minute flight to Pokhara. Overnight in Pokhara on a Bed & Breakfast basis.

Day 4 Pokhara to Landruk. In the morning you will meet your guide and porter for the trip. You are then driven to Kande, eliminating the first 600m ascent with 2000 steps, which would not be a great start! From here you walk along a ridge initially with fine views of the Matterhorn-like Fishtail mountain. Finish the day in Landruk (1565m). Ascent 544m Descent 615m Time 5 hours Distance 13km 

Day 5  Landruk to Jhinudanda. The day starts walking through lush jungle descending to the Modi Khola river, crossed by a suspension bridge, and which will remain on your left almost all the way to Annapurna Sanctuary. Relax in the hot springs in Jhinudanda during the afternoon before your overnight stay here. Ascent 535m Descent 356m Time 4 hours Distance 6.5km  

Day 6 Jhinudanda to Sinuwa. A short day lies ahead, but the first part is a steep ascent of nearly 400m as you climb to Chomrong (2170m), the last permanent settlement in the valley. Descend then to the river through pretty farming landscapes with snow covered peaks drawing ever nearer. A stepped path then climbs again to the delightful hamlet of Sinuwa perched on the mountain side. The views from here are magnificent. Ascent 580m Descent 250m Time 3 hours Distance 4 km

Day 7 Sinuwa to Deurali. A longer day at first through lush bamboo forests as the gorge narrows and the mountains close in with peaks soaring high above. Walking through increasingly dense jungle, cascades and mighty river torrents bridged by short wooden logs surround you. Pass the overhanging rock at Hinku Cave before reaching your overnight stay in Deurali at 3200m. Ascent 850m Descent 50m Time 4.5 hours Distance 13km

Day 8 Deurali to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. An easy day for acclimatisation as you walk on to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Leaving Deurali you trace the river crossing over via wooden plank bridges. As you continue your ascent the 'gates' to the Sanctuary appear and a superb mountain vista opens before you. Ascent 500m Descent 40m Time 2.5 hours Distance 6km

Day 9 Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Annapurna Base Camp 4130m and return to Machhapuchhre Base Camp. Two nights are spent here to allow for weather and acclimatisation. An early start today to see sunrise over the Sanctuary – one of the most stunning sights on earth. The day is free to spend as much time as you wish, or to overnight at Annapurna Base Camp if the weather has not been favourable. Ascent 450m Descent 450m Time 2.5 hours Distance 4km

Day 10 Machhapuchhre Base Camp to Dobhan. Retrace your steps down the valley enjoying an easy walk down! Dobhan is a really delightful spot set on a steep mountain side with fantastic views down and up the valley. Ascent 40m Descent 1180m Time 3.5 hours (from Machhapuchhre Base Camp). Ascent 40m Descent 1610m Distance 16km Time 7 hours plus (from Annapurna Base Camp)

Day 11 Dobhan to Komrong. Continue descending as far as Taulung 2180m where you leave the Base Camp trail for the quieter trail to Komrong (2250m). Overnight at this small settlement set high on a ridge with stunning views up and down the valley. Various route options.

Day 12 Komrong to Tadapani. Walk through dense Rhodedendron forests - so spectacular during spring time but also in autumn with dappled sunlight filtering through the canopy creating a magical effect especially if you are lucky enough to hear and see the langoor monkeys playing. Overnight in Tadapani perched on a mountain top with amazing views of all the main peaks. Sunsets are phenomenal. Ascent 720m Descent 30m Time 4 hours Distance 9.7km

Day 13 Tadapani to Ghorepani. A day of contrasts with a morning climb through moist forest following waterfalls and moss covered vegetation rich in orchids. After lunch at Deurali Pass, a wonderful ridge walk with spectacular views makes for a superb afternoon before descending to the lively village of Ghorepani – famous for its view point – Poon Hill. Ascent 645m Descent 440m Time 6 hours Distance 9.5km

Day 14 Ghorepani to Ulleri or Hille. Rise before dawn to climb 460m up to Poon Hill for a rewarding Himalayan spectacle during sunrise. Return to the lodge for breakfast before descending a beautiful trail rich in Nepali culture to Ulleri 2020m. Ascent 83m Descent 1351m Time 6 hours (Hille)

Day 15 Ulleri/Hille to Pokhara. You continue the descent to Birethanti where you meet your old friend the Modi Khola river whose path you follow for the last section to Nayapil (1070). Here you are met and driven to your hotel in Pokhara for a well-earned rest. Ascent 50m Descent 1000m Time 4 hours Distance 8km

Day 16 Pokhara to Kathmandu. You can either fly back or travel by road (5 hours) to your hotel in Kathmandu. Breakfast only.

Day 17 If catching a later flight you have the chance for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before we transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

Day 18 Arrive home.

Luggage Transfer by Porter
Your luggage will be transferred by a (human) porter often referred to as a Sherpa. He will carry your Trekking Himalaya Annapurna Sanctuary, Nepalluggage for the duration of the trek so you can just walk with a day rucksack.  Porters are limited to carry a maximum load of 30 kilos for tourist.  To make their load easier to carry this will be two 15Kgs soft duffel bags. We provide these, and they will be waiting for you in Nepal. We suggest you take up to your airline baggage allowance  on the flight and then re pack into your duffel bag while in Kathmandu all items  necessary for the trek.  The remaining luggage such as clothes more suitable for Kathmandu can be left in your suitcase, which we will take care of whilst you are trekking.
Nepal’s capital and largest city of 1 million people is located on a plateau at 1,400m and is a bustling, vibrant city rich in culture and heritage.  As soon as you leave the airport you are immediately consumed by the sights and smells of a way of life far removed from that of our own – it’s amazing! Most tourists stay and visit the oldest area of the city called Thamel, where the narrow streets are always bustling and every other shop is selling hiking gear at very reasonable prices.  There are also many restaurants in this area where you can sample some excellent Nepali and Tibetan food.  During your stay in the city it is worth taking a guided tour of the main attractions. Worth visiting is the great Durbar square full of ancient palaces, temples and artistic shrines where the Buddhist and Hindu religions predominate side by side.  Also take a trip to the Pashupatinath Hindu temple of Lord Shiva, renowned for its gold gilt roof and richly carved silver doors.
With only 10% of the population of Kathmandu, Pokhara is a quiet and peaceful place relative to the bustling capital. It lacks the historic and cultural architecture of Kathmandu, but the refreshing lakeside location and spectacular mountain backdrop with the famous ‘Fishtail’ mountain looking like a large Matterhorn in easy view, more than compensating for this. There is a very interesting museum of the mountains to visit and boats can be hired for a relaxing afternoon pottering on the lake. Pokhara is a superb place to spend a few extra days after your Annapurna trek. 

AMS –  Acute Mountain Sickness 
There is a risk when taking exercise above 2400m of AMS and all our treks to Nepal exceed this level. The higher you go the greater the effects but we ensure you receive a full briefing before you depart the UK and also your guide will monitor your health (as long as you let him know if you have any symptoms) during the ascending days. We have designed the treks to reduce the risks by insisting on acclimatisation days at critical levels.  

Group departure dates
These group departure dates are in addition to our Independent guided walking offerings. If when travelling to Nepal you wish to walk with other New Experiences hikers we have selected dates for this to be possible. The guiding is at a ratio of one per 4 hikers. 

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Hotel Marshyangdi 3* Katmandu - 3 Star

Hotel Marshyangdi  is a charming hotel of authentic Nepali style and is conveniently located in the old part of the city – Thamel.  It has 55 rooms all with individual air conditioning, TV, fridge and  private bathroom.  There are pleasant outside seating areas including the pretty garden restaurant where meals are served and there is a roof top bar with outstanding views. This hotel is included on a room with breakfast basis. Wifi is available as well as 24 hour room service.


Nepal - Annapurna Standard Grade Hotels

There are many lodges located in the villages and along the trail. In the lower regions of Annapurna, some lodges offer rooms with private toilet and shower, but as you travel higher up the valley it is possible you will share toilet and washing facilities.  Some lodges offer a hot shower with water heated by solar which means its availability is unreliable. 


The Lake Side Retreat, Pokhara - 3 Star

Situated across the road from the lake this hotel has 30 rooms on two levels located around pretty, well kept gardens. It is close to the centre of town and a good choice of restaurants. The rooms have individually controlled air conditioning, mini bar, TV and bathrooms with a small bath or shower. Most rooms have a view of the mountains. Breakfast is taken in a small restaurant in the garden where this also a swimming pool.


Availability Information

It is possible to go to Annapurna Sanctury anytime from Mid September when the Monsoon finishes, through to late May when the Monsoon starts. With today’s unpredictable weather patterns there is a possibility that May and September will be affected by Monsoon rains. In the mid December – February winter months it will be cold as you climb higher and the walking may be affected by snow.  The best time to go is from October to December and during March and April. However, everyone has the same idea and although the weather may be at its best, the trails are busy which can detract from the experience. Travelling just out of season brings the rewards of empty accommodation and quiet trails.

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Nepal - Nepal - Annapurna Sanctuary

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