Following sightseeing in Kathmandu, we travel to Besisahar by private coach to tackle this classic trek in an anti-clockwise direction.
The trail from Besisahar follows the Marsyangdi River through rice paddies, terraced fields and small Hindu villages. The valley narrows as we ascend, passing waterfalls cascading from high above and soaring rock faces. The scenery becomes gradually more alpine-like and dry – resembling that of Tibet – as we bear west, curving around the back of the Annapurna range towards Manang. The remote Manang region has a distinctly medieval feel to it.
We rest at Manang to ensure we are fully acclimatized to undertake the crossing of the Thorong La: at 5416 metres, this is the highest point of the trek. The pass is the border between the Manang and Mustang regions.
We descend to Muktinath, a place of special religious significance to both Hindus and Buddhists, and home to a famous temple surrounded by 108 waterspouts which pilgrims come to bathe under.
At Jomsom, in the lower part of Mustang, we drop right to the floor of the dramatic Kali Ghandaki valley carving its way between Annapurna I and Dhaulagiri. These 8000 metre giants are only 38 kilometre apart, with the river flowing between them at a height of less than 2200 metres. This makes the Kali Ghandaki the deepest gorge in the world.
Continuing, at Tatopani we find hot springs and sub-tropical conditions – a great place to soak, soothe and refresh tired muscles! The final section of the trek is a climb again, to Ghorepani. An early start sees us climbing Poon Hill, aiming for arrival at sunrise to view a superb vista of the Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Nilgiri Himal.
From there, we head to Naya Pul where a vehicle will transport us to Pokhara. We complete this trek with one night to relax beside the serene lake, before flying back to Kathmandu.
NOTE: It is possible to shorten this itinerary by ending the trek at Jomsom and taking a flight back to Pokhara. Please enquiry if interested in this variation.