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Nepal:Annapurna Circuit

Spectacular hiking for enthusiasts! - Trip for singles

Book From   € 799,-
GROUP SIZE: 2-24 | 22 DAYS

Nepal:Annapurna Circuit

Here you can find the day-to-day description for Nepal:Annapurna Circuit

Highlights

There's plenty to do in this beautiful region. Select below or on the map opposite, the highlight you want to read more information about. Read through carefully and then go directly to the tour description.
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Kathmandu

Kathmandu

Spread all over Kathmandu you'll find many temples with lingams that are covered with offerings for the god Shiva. |Nepal

Jagat

Jagat

In Jagat, you'll mainly find stone houses inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists.

Bagarchhap

Bagarchhap

In Bagarchhap, you can visit the Buddhist monastery Diki Gompa.

Chame

Chame

Chame is the administrative centre of the Manang district, with a post office, a bank and a couple of lovely shops.

Pisang

Pisang

After some strenuous climbing, you'll reach Pisang (3200 m), a small village under the Pisang Peak.

Manang

Manang

Visit the religious Manang (3500 m), on route, you'll see many prayer flags and mani-stones.

Yak Kharka

Yak Kharka

Yak Kharka means ‘barn of the yaks’.

Thorung Phedi

Thorung Phedi

Thorung Phedi is a collection of teahouse lodges, located at the foot of peak of the Thorung La-pass.

Muktinath

Muktinath

For Buddhist and Hindus alike, Muktinath is one of the most well-know place of pilgrimage in the Himalaya.

Kalopani

Kalopani

In Kalopani, you'll again have a great view of the Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and the 3 Nilgiri peaks.

Tatopani

Tatopani

Tatopani literally means “warm water”.

Sikha

Sikha

On route to Sikha, you'll see lots of rope bridges.

Ghorepani

Ghorepani

The highlight of this trekking is the fantastic sun rise and the spectacular view of the Annapurna mountains and the Dhaulagiri peaks! |Nepal

Pokhara

Pokhara

Pokhara is a picturesque town at the shores of the blue-green Phewa mountain lake. Here, relaxing is made easy in one of the many garden cafés. |Nepal

Day to Day description

Transport Route Overnight stay
1 Kathmandu Kathmandu
2 Kathmandu Kathmandu
3 Bus, Walk Kathmandu - Syanje - Jagat Jagat
4 Walk Jagat - Chamje - Dharapani - Bagarchhap Bagarchhap
5 Walk Bagarchhap - Chame Chame
6 Walk Chame - Bhratang - Pisang Pisang
7 Walk Pisang - Braga - Manang Manang
8 Manang Manang
9 Walk Manang - Yak Kharka Yak Kharka
10 Walk Yak Kharka - Thorung Phedi Thorung Phedi
11 Walk Thorung Phedi - Thorung La - Muktinath Muktinath
12 Muktinath Muktinath
13 4WD Muktinath - Kalopani Kalopani
14 4WD Kalopani - Tatopani Tatopani
15 Walk Tatopani - Sikha Sikha
16 Walk Sikha - Ghorepani Ghorepani
17 Walk Ghorepani - Poon Hill - Tirkedungha - Nayapul - Pokhara Pokhara
18 Pokhara Pokhara
19 Pokhara Pokhara
20 Public transport Pokhara - Kathmandu Kathmandu
21 Kathmandu Kathmandu
22 Kathmandu End of tour

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Day 1: Kathmandu

Welcome to Nepal!

Flying into Kathmandu is an incredible experience with the Himalayas spread out before you.

Your tour starts here. From 12 noon you should be able to check into your hotel room. You will also meet your tour leader at this time, in the hotel lobby. Today there are no planned activities; you will just spend time adjusting to your surroundings and readying yourself for the coming weeks.

The Kathmandu Valley is the heart of Nepal and combines a beautiful natural setting with a collection of temples, monasteries and other wonderfully decorated buildings. Amidst the immense fertile rice fields surrounded on all sides by mountains, are the three royal cities, Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur.

Day 2: Kathmandu

Two miles outside the city stands the great stupa Swayambunath, a beautiful sacred place of the Buddhists, which no one should miss. Bodhnath, an even bigger stupa stands a little further outside Kathmandu. Not far from here is Pashupatinath, one of the holiest places in the country, where many Nepalese and Indians bathe in the river Bagmati. It is also the best place to be cremated and there are always plenty of sadhu's, half-naked mendicants with wild hair and drugged eyes.

The sister city of Kathmandu, Patan, is fused to the capital. If at all possible, the old part of town has an even greater density of temples and monasteries than the capital. Patan is much quieter than Kathmandu and a respite from the bustle of the city.

The third king’s city is Bhaktapur. Smaller than its big brothers, Bhaktapur still has a genuine medieval flavour. Discover the cobbled alleys where inhabitants are engaged in herding cattle, turning pots or temple rituals.

Day 3: Kathmandu - Syanje - Jagat

Early in the morning you will depart by bus to Syanje (1100 m), a small village where the paved road ends and the trek will begin. The trail runs upstream along the Marsyangdi Khola, the river you will follow to the Thorung La pass. High above the river, the trail goes through a dense forest of pines and rhododendrons to Jagat (1300m), the first village with stone houses, inhabited by Tibetan Buddhists. Here you will spend the night.

Shree Pancha Kanya School

Our local agent in Nepal helps a number of schools with costs for teachers, libraries and computers. In 2014 Shoestring showed support for this project by contributing towards the cost of upkeep for windows/window frames at Shree Pancha Kanya School. The furniture here (old and in poor condition)deserves more attention in the coming years. This high school has about 700 children, aged 6 to 16 years.

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Day 4: Jagat - Chamje - Dharapani - Bagarchhap

This morning the path leads you up through the woods to Chamje (1430 m). This path climbs upstream to Chamje via a narrow, rocky valley to the village of Tal. At the spot where once was a lake (Tal means 'more'), the villagers now grow wheat, corn, potatoes, buckwheat and barley. Above the village, a waterfall of great height stands. The trail climbs through a forest of pines to the police station in Dharapani (1900 m). It lies on the junction of two valleys. Upstream along the Dhudh Khola is an ancient trade route to Tibet. Police officers ensure that the tourists are not allowed in this part of the valley. The climb continues up to Bagarchhap (2160 m), where the first Buddhist monastery (Diki Gompa) of the Marsyangdi valley is located.

Day 5: Bagarchhap - Chame

The path beyond Bagarchhap offers a nice view for the first few peaks of the Annapurna massif, including the pointed triangle of Annapurna II (7,937 m). The path winds through a dense tropical forest filled with waterfalls up to Latamrang (2400 m) where there are some lodges and a hot spring on the other side of the Marsyangdi. From the village of Koto Qupar it is not far to Chame (2670 m), the administrative center of the Manang district. This large town has stone houses, a few shops, a bank (which is rarely open) and a post office.

Day 6: Chame - Bhratang - Pisang

Today you can see subtropical forest gradually changing to pine forest. Beyond Bhratang (2850 m), is an original Khampa (refugee) village. It is phenomenal to see the sudden change of scenery. You enter a dry calm valley and emerge from a quite windy one, which only once a year can be harvested and where you will be shown the first yaks on pasture. Tonight you stay at the base of Pisang peak in the village with the same name.

Day 7: Pisang - Braga - Manang

You can choose from two routes to reach Manang. A steep, heavy route with breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks to the south and east or the slightly easier, lower route. Close to Ongre village (3352 m), is an airfield that brings the two roads together again. The trail continues over the broad, dry valley floor, past unusual rock formations at one of the prettiest villages in the Annapurna region, Braga (3450 m). On three sides sandwiched between mountain walls, the village lies sheltered from the weather. The 500 year old gompa, situated on a mountain ridge above the village is worth visiting. On the path from Braga to Manang you see walls with mani stones, chortens and prayer flags everywhere.

Day 8: Manang

You take a rest day in Manang (3540 m) to acclimatize to the altitude and to prepare for the tough days ahead. The town is beautifully situated in the valley and is inhabited by Tibetan traders, who traditionally supported themselves through jewellery and salt from Tibet in exchange for grain and silk from India. Meanwhile the Manangi hooked onto the tourism demand and relatively luxurious lodges can be found in Manang, shops with souvenirs and tractor supplies.

Day 9: Manang - Yak Kharka

After a short walk you stop at some lodges, named Yak Kharka (4018 m). You sleep here, at this altitude an increase of 478 meters per day is enough. You have the rest of the day to wander around a bit, read and have a relaxing break.
 

Day 10: Yak Kharka - Thorung Phedi

At this altitude, it can be pretty cold when the sun is not shining. You see little vegetation, only what juniper adorn the bare rock. With luck you can see some chamois or even a flock of blue sheep (bharal). At 4450 meters in altitude, you reach Thorung Phedi, a collection of lodges at the foot of the final climb to the pass. The shelters are located at the beginning of the path to the pass. Late arrivals will sometimes have to spend the night in the dining room.

Sustainable travel

As a responsible company our mission is to increase and improve sustainability in our business. Find out more about the measures that we currently take as well as our further plans to ensure we achieve our green ambitions. Read More

Day 11: Thorung Phedi - Thorung La - Muktinath

You hit the road early today to try to pass Thorung La before the potential appearance of the infamous icy winds. The climb is very heavy and will take about four hours. The pass, 5,416 meters high, is marked by a few lines of chortens and filled with colourful prayer flags, the wishes of mortals carried away by the wind to the gods. Usually after a short stay at this great height, you start to descend to 1600 meters to Muktinath (3802 m). The trail starts steeply, but becomes easier as the path follows the grassy slopes above the Jhong Khola. You stay in the village of Muktinath.

Day 12: Muktinath

Muktinath is one of the most famous shrines in the Himalayas, for both Buddhists and the Hindus. There are 108 water springs at the shrine, a number very important in Hindu philosophy, while one of the most important Buddhist teachers, Padmasambhava, has meditated in the same village. You will then visit a Buddhist gompa and a Hindu pagoda, located in a barren landscape.

Day 13: Muktinath - Kalopani

The route from Muktinath continues by jeep to Kalopani. You drive downhill through an area that shows great similarities with the Tibetan plateau. The rivers and tributaries are deeply ingrained into the sandy floors. Small oases enliven the rugged landscape. The white Himalayan peaks stab blindly into the bright blue sky. You pass Jharkot, a fun and lively village on a ridge above the Jhong Khola valley. A red coloured gompa high on the edge of a cliff, welcomes you.

You then follow a dry riverbed, passing Jomsom (2710m), the administrative center of the area. Now you arrive in the more popular part of the Annapurna area, where there are more amenities. The landscape begins to change, the valley closes and the pine forests begin to return. The jeep ride continues. You travel through the beautiful villages of Tukuche, Khobang and Larjung, located between many fruit orchards. Your accommodation lies at 2530 meters (in Kalopani) and from here you'll witness the 3 peaks of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Nilgiri.

Day 14: Kalopani - Tatopani

Again you'll travel by jeep, down along the ancient trade route between Tibet and India. The valley has a rich history, which can be seen in the large number of settlements along the river. Large stone houses in the market towns are adorned with beautiful carvings. Colourful mule caravans still pull through the valley. Salt from the north will be exchanged for rice and cereals in the south. Through Lete, a beautiful village with defined gardens, you drive down to Ghasa (2010 m), a hefty descent.

Beyond Ghasa you continue through an area that is regularly hit by landslides. The river here is narrow and turbulent, deeply ingrained into a gorge. We overnight in Tatopani (1190 m). This popular resort, nestled between jasmine and orange trees gets its name from the hot springs, which are found near the river. Here you can relax, immersed in warm water. You're sure to enjoy the view and the tasty food that is served in the various lodges.

Day 15: Tatopani - Sikha

Today we are back on foot. Leaving Tatopani behind, we start with a steep climb to Ghara (1768 m) where magnolia, citrus and banana trees and the vegetation is growing in this subtropical environment. The inhabitants leave corn and peppers drying on the roofs of their houses, the children are taught in the open air. We climb on through the villages Chitre (2316 m) and Sikha (1920 m). The slopes in the valley are largely quarried for the construction of terraces. In Sikha we sleep.

Day 16: Sikha - Ghorepani

It's a tough old process with a total increase of more than 800 meters before you reach Ghorepani. The last part of the strong ascent goes through a dense rhododendron forest to Ghorepani (2750 m), where you will overnight.
 

Day 17: Ghorepani - Poon Hill - Tirkedungha - Nayapul - Pokhara

If you want to enjoy the beautiful sunrise over the Annapurna range then you must get up early to hike to Poon Hill (3193 m). After the steep climb and breakfast at the lodge you follow the route to Tirkedungha. This long descent is one of the longest stages in the world. After you have passed Ulleri there are 3280 stone steps to go to Tirkedungha.

You will be regularly visited by groups of monkeys as you travel through the narrow valley. The trail continues on an increasingly crowded inhabited mountain ridge, through Hille and Sudame Matathanti Birethanti, where a variety of lodges and souvenir vendors as well as a police presence, will greet you.

On the road above the town of Nayapul a bus is waiting for you to journey the two short hours to Pokhara. Once in Pokhara again you can feast on a variety of delicious meals.

Day 18: Pokhara

Pokhara is the only place in the world where mountains rise up to heights of over 4.5 miles. From the sub-tropical valley, where Pokhara lies, the north side of the mountains rises straight up to the highest peaks in the world. In the middle of this spectacle of rock, ice and snow is the Machapuchare, one of the smallest peaks in the region at ‘just’ 4.3 miles high, although its ‘pushed-out’ position makes it appear the highest. Once a popular hippy haunt, Pokhara is situated in a picturesque location on a mountain lake, where you can swim, row or enjoy the stunning panoramic view from one of the tea gardens. The area is also ideal for cycling and walking.

The small Barahi-Bhawani temple constructed on an island close to the waterside is definitely worth a visit, as is the Seti River Gorge, one of the stand-out natural features in the region. The gorge has been carved to a depth of 150 feet and is just 15 feet wide in places. The Mahendra Bridge in Pokhara-Basar is recommended for a good view.

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Sustainable travel means taking into account the people, nature and culture so that travel remains possible in the future. The negative effects of tourism are increasingly palpable. 'So what can I do?', you may ask. Shoestring gives you 10 tips. Read More

Day 19: Pokhara

You may wish to go for a walk this morning to Sarangkot, which has an outstanding view of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The panoramic mountains to the west and east of Machapuchare are the peaks of the Annapurna Mountains.

Day 20: Pokhara - Kathmandu

With a local bus (with reserved seats) you travel in about 8 hours (200 km) back to Kathmandu. Your last stay in this bustling city can be used for visiting one of the many villages and towns in the valley, buying all sorts of memories of this colourful country.

Day 21: Kathmandu

It is also possible to go rafting, our local agent can arrange for you. This sport has been increasing in popularity over the years. You can ride on a rubber raft on a wild river in the mountains without training or technique, a truly breathtaking experience. For those who do it for the first time, the Trisuli, Sun Kosi and Kali Gandaki rivers are a great challenge, with plenty of obstacles and a varied sporting environment. For the high season months, there are no special measures necessary against the cold, since both water and air are quite warm. Take a nice rain jacket anyway in addition to your swimsuit. In the winter, rafting is unpleasantly cold.

Day 22: Kathmandu

The last day of your tour. You can use your hotel room in Kathmandu until check out time (most times at 12.00 hrs noon). We wish you a comfortable journey home and are sure you will take with you some wonderful memories of this Nepal.

Your personal ‘my.shoestring’ page on our website is the perfect way to make contact with other travellers before and after your trip. You can read and create journals from trips and upload your photos onto the photo gallery. Visit my shoestring today.

When booking your tour, please check to see whether you need any post-tour nights, bearing in mind that accommodation for the night of the final day of the tour (day 22) is not included.

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