Nepal’s dramatic mountain ranges entice hikers with stunning scenery and a sense of triumph as they conquer the challenging peaks. Famous hiking routes like Everest Base Camp and the Annapurna trail offer adventurers the chance to tick something incredible off their bucket list, while lesser known journeys like the Tamang Heritage trek and the nearby sacred peak of Mt Kailash open up brand new experiences.
Everest commands its place in the Himalayas, standing tall and unassailable on the horizon. Conquering its high mountain passes rewards trekkers with impressive views and an unmatched sense of accomplishment. En route you’ll watch the landscape change from dense forest to glacial terrain as you gradually ascend through the winding trails and traditional Sherpa villages.
Undertaking the 15 day Everest Base Camp trek with G Adventures will see you spend some time in Phakding and Namche Bazaar acclimatising to the altitude, before trekking to Tengboche and Dingboche. Your day in Dingboche can be used to hike up the Imja Khola to Chhukung or Nagarzhang Peak, where the views of the surrounding snow capped mountains and the Amphu Lapcha pass will take your breath away. You’ll head off along the Khumbu Glacier to reach Lobuche, then cross the Changri Glacier en route to Everest Base Camp.
Rise early to watch the sun throw its first light across the slopes of Everest, giving you goosebumps and a smile that you won’t be able to wipe off your face the whole descent back down. Along the trail you’ll stay in a series of teahouse lodges – the facilities are basic, but the location is pretty incredible. The bathrooms are usually shared, and toilets can be either Western style or squat toilets. While most teahouses have running water, this is usually cold only (and where hot water is an option you will pay for the privilege).
If you want to surround yourself with the stunning mountain scenery that Everest is known for, but don’t want to compromise on your creature comforts, Peregrine offers an itinerary to experience Everest in style. This trip doesn’t trek to Everest Base Camp itself, but follows trails surrounded by the snow-dusted peaks of the Himalayas and stays at the very best accommodation available in the area. The lodges have heated rooms (double or twin bedding) equipped with ensuites with hot and cold running water and Western toilets. They are sustainable properties, and many have organic gardens that stock the kitchen daily.
On this itinerary you’ll trek from Lukla to Phakding, then hit the trail to Namche Bazaar to catch sight of Everest’s looming profile. Incredible scenery will surround you during your three nights in Namche Bazaar where the days are yours to explore the Sherpa capital or take some further day walks under the advice and escort of your guides. This is as high as you’ll go, and while you may not reach Everest Base Camp itself, you’ll still have Everest etched in your memory forever.
Extend your exploration of Nepal with Intrepid’s Everest Base Camp and Gokyo Lakes itinerary. This trip takes a different route to Everest Base Camp, climbing through lush valleys to the stunning Gokyo Lakes region. Pools of vibrant turquoise and blue hug the base of the rugged mountain facades and climbing Gokyo Peak rewards you with breathtaking views of the Khumbu region and Ngozumpa Glacier.
Stop in the traditional Sherpa village of Phortse to get an insight into the local life and culture, pass through a patchwork of fields nearby Dingboche, then stop for lunch at the foot of Khumbu Glacier’s moraines flowing off Everest. Follow the valley running alongside Khumbu Glacier and tackle a series of ascents and descents to Everest Base Camp, where views of glaciers, lakes and the Everest Ice Fall await. For views of Everest itself, your morning trek to Kala Patar will satisfy your every wish.
There is not much that compares to reaching Everest Base Camp, but on a 21 day itinerary filled with incredible experiences, it will have to jostle for the top spot. Full of cultural treasures, G Adventures’ journey through China and Nepal tour kicks off in Beijing taking in the Forbidden City and the Great Wall of China, before joining the Trans Tibetan railway to Lhasa. Spend three days acclimatising to the altitude and exploring what Lhasa and its surrounds have to offer, before hopping through Tibetan townships and Monasteries to Rongbuk, the highest Monastery in the world.
Stay in a Rongbuk Monastery guest house for a taste of local living before commencing your hike to Everest Base Camp. Back up one rewarding trek with another, as you join the trail that this Kailash Saga Dawa Festival itinerary is all about. Trek around the holy mountain of Kailash, a route said to bring good luck to those who complete it, and witness the pilgrims replace the Tarboche prayer flagpole as part of the festival. A once a year tradition, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
The Annapurna Range looms out of deep lush valleys, its snow-capped peaks transforming into creaking glaciers and icy rivers that dissect the mountains. Trekking through this remote and dramatic landscape is incredible, and paired with an exploration of Nepal’s hillside villages, delivers a memorable experience for the senses and the soul.
Take to the roof of the world with G Adventures’ 15 day Annapurna Sanctuary itinerary to combine a 10 day trek with some time discovering Kathmandu and Pokhara. Kathmandu welcomes you with a kaleidoscope of colourful temples, careening rickshaws, and alluring shops that call to you with their vibrant handicrafts, while lakeside Pokhara stands proud as the gateway to Annapurna.
Strap on your hiking shoes to traverse lowland pastures, rugged mountain terrain, and high mountain passes en route to Annapurna Base Camp – the ultimate destination. You’ll hear the thunder of waterfalls and the groan of glaciers as you pass by on your ascent and descent, and in Jhinudanda trade icy waters for natural hot springs to soak your deserving muscles. Finish up back in Kathmandu with some free time to load up on souvenirs and mementos, although you may not need them – this trip is one that will be hard to forget.
If you have a little less time on your hands, or have already ticked Kathmandu off your list, you can walk Annapurna over five days with Intrepid. This journey operates as a round trip from Pokhara and is a great introduction to trekking Nepal. It also gives an intimate insight into traditional life, staying with locals who welcome you into their family households for homestays throughout the itinerary. If you are after a little more luxury, you can explore Annapurna in style with Peregrine and stay comfortable trekking lodges along the trail.
Combine your Annapurna trek with a visit to Chitwan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed reserve comprised of forests and savannahs abundant with wildlife. Take an adventure through Nepal with G Adventures, trekking the rugged foothills of the Himalayas before heading from Pokhara into the wilderness of Chitwan National Park. Explore the region on a 4x4 safari keeping your eyes peeled for endangered Indian rhinoceros, elephants, Bengal tigers, bears, leopards, and other wild animals that call the reserve home.
Intrepid’s epic exploration of Nepal and India takes in the trails of Annapurna, Chitwan National Park, and the treasures of India. This youth tour is designed for travellers 18 – 29 years of age who want to throw themselves into the adventures of this incredible region. Go rafting on the Trisuli River, camp on the beach and have dinner under the stars, trek Annapurna, take a safari through Chitwan National Park, enjoy a sunrise boat ride along the Ganges, and marvel at the stunning Taj Mahal. Visit the tiny Rajasthani village of Tordi, haggle in the bazaars of Jaipur, and get swept up in the hustle and bustle of Delhi. A truly epic 20 days!
You’d be forgiven for thinking you had to choose between Everest and Annapurna if you were thinking of trekking Nepal. The good news is your options don’t end there. You can choose to trek Everest and Annapurna both on the one holiday, or look to Intrepid’s Tamang Heritage & Langtang Valley Trek for something you may not have considered before. Since the Tamang Heritage Trail opened, travellers have had the chance to discover a previously unexplored part of Langtang National Park.
Immerse yourself in sacred Tibetan culture as you travel deep into the Tamang hinterland. Spend a night with a local family in Briddim where you can share stories and a home cooked meal and stay on a farm in Nuwakot, where you can pick fresh vegetables and learn to cook the traditional way. Between the quaint Tamang villages, the old Monasteries, and the cultural immersion, this trip is definitely an itinerary to consider.