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The Annapurna Circuit - NEW for 2025 16 days Nepal

Trek
Trek
Communal
Communal
Altitude
Altitude
Terrain
Terrain
RED 1
Grading


About the Challenge

Nepal is a country in a league of its own with breathtakingly beautiful scenery, a fascinating culture and friendly people. Meeting the villagers whilst trekking through this landlocked gem of a nation is second only to discovering the magnificent panoramas of snow-capped peaks and mist-shrouded valleys.

The Annapurna Circuit is a classic trek through the incredible Annapurna region in the Nepalese Himalayas. Gradually ascending from the subtropical forests of the lush foothills, our route takes us into high elevations, with our biggest challenge the ascent of Thorung La Pass at 5416m. Along the way, we pass through colourful mountain villages and remote monasteries, and soak up the inspiring vistas of peaks including Dhaulagiri, Manaslu, and the majestic Annapurna massif, rising over 8000m. This is a challenging trek, but the sense of achievement will leave even the most seasoned trekker with some unforgettable memories.

Dates & Prices

Itinerary

The Annapurna Circuit


OPEN 16 DAYS
  • We arrive into Kathmandu, usually late afternoon, meet our guide and transfer to our hotel in the Thamel area. We have time to relax before a briefing which sets the scene for the trek ahead, and dinner in a local restaurant. Then it’s off to bed to get a good night’s sleep in preparation for the start of the trek tomorrow! Night hotel.

  • After an early breakfast, we depart Kathmandu and drive (approx 5 hours) to our trek start-point at the bustling town of Besisahar, gateway to the Annapurna Circuit. We have lunch before setting off, firstly through Besisahar bazaar, then on rocky steps which lead us through sub-tropical forests and rice paddies. We cross the glacial Marshyangdi River on a suspension bridge so typical of trekking in Nepal, and may see local villagers herding their yaks and goats as we walk. We pass several small communities including Bahundanda, a picturesque village nestled on a long ridge, and enjoy spectacular views of the Annapurnas, notably majestic Annapurna I with its 8091m peak, before reaching Ngadi (930m), our stop for the night. This is a wonderful afternoon's trek which eases us into our challenging adventure, and serves as a great introduction to the culture and landscpapes around us. Night teahouse.

    Drive approx. 5 hours; Trek approx. 4 hours; 11km

  • Our first full day of trekking awaits, and we set a steady pace as we continue to acclimatise to the increasing altitude. Our trail winds its way through a deep wooded canyon dotted with tumbling cascades. We take in rice paddies and sub-tropical forests, and more suspension bridges over rushing rivers, all with a backdrop of spectacular mountain views, before reaching Chamje (1430m). Be prepared for a day of steady ascending, with some steeper sections. Night teahouse (1430m).

    Trek approx. 7-8 hours; 19km

  • Today’s trek to Dharapani continues through a deep wooded canyon, with more spectacular waterfalls cascading from the heights. We climb (steeply at times) though oak and rhododendron, and dip down to river-level again. We'd be forgiven sometimes for feeling we aren't making progress, but we are gradually gaining height as we enter the Manang district of the mountain range. The terrain opens into a wider valley, the landscapes around us constantly changing, and we pass more colourful villages before reaching Dharapani. Night teahouse (1860m). 

    Trek approx. 6-7 hours; 12km

  • Our trek today marks the end of the great Marshyangdi Gorge we have been following. A steep climb brings us to the colourful village of Timang, and our surroundings gradually transform from dense pine forests to drier slopes. We enjoy some gentler inclines after Timang, but still gain over 800m elevation today. We can soak up the views of the forests spilling out in all directions, and the high peaks of the Annapurna range, including the mighty Manaslu, dwarfing the foothills we are ascending through. We finally come to Chame, the district headquarters of Manang and the largest settlement we've seen since we started at Besisahar. Night teahouse (2670m).

    Trek approx. 6-7 hours; 12km

  • Breath-taking scenery rewards us today, with more open landscapes and sparser vegetation as we head up over 3000m. We head through a deep, dramatic gorge, with several river-crossings, then pass the great sweeping slope of Paungi Danda - a strikingly smooth mountain face. Wider valleys give the landscape a more open feel, with some great views of Annpurna II before reaching Pisang. Today has a few steeper sections, but is generally less challenging than the past couple of days, and we should be getting accustomed to life on the trail! Night teahouse (3200m).

    Trek approx. 6-7 hours; 14km

  • Our route today takes us via Upper Pisang and Ghyaru – an area renowned for its spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and forested valleys, and the colourful houses and gompas of its villages. A zig-zagging path takes us steeply up to Ghyaru (3730m), where we can take a breather to soak up the magnificant panorama before us. This short time at higher altitude will help us to acclimatise in the days to come. We then head back down through pine trees to the valley. It is now noticably drier than the lush lowlands we came from, and we are likely to meet local farmers herding yaks on the trail. According to local wisdom, Tibetan yaks tend to take a special interest in people wearing red, so choose your gear wisely today! A welcome flatter section ends our day. Night teahouse (3540m).

    Trek approx. 7-9 hours; 19km

  • We aid our acclimatisation further today, by trekking higher trails and then returning to Manang for a second night. There are a few options for our acclimatisation trek, depending on local conditions, but we are likelo to spend the day trekking up to a panoramic viewpoint, with approximately 900m elevation gain, which aids our acclimatisation significantly. Manang itself, a colourful village of about 500 flat-roofed houses, offers excellent views of Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Gangapurna, and Chulu East, and we will have time to enjoy our surroundings and reflect on everything we have achieved so far. Night teahouse (3540m).

    Trek approx 8 hours; 19km

  • A shorter day of approximately 10km, and we should be feeling great after our second night at Manang. Today's route climbs steadily uphill into the alpine region of the mountain range, opening up to captivating views of Chulu's jagged slopes. Even though we trek at a steady pace, we should arrive at Yak Kharka with plenty of time to rest. These 'easier' days aim to give us the best chance of achieving the big challenge that lies before us in two days' time - Thorung La Pass, our highest point. We sleep tonight at over 4000m. Night teahouse (4050m).

    Trek approx. 5 hours; 10km

  • Another shorter walk today, and we take it at a leisurely pace, enjoying the views, and giving our bodies time to acclimatise. Our surroundings are rockier and more barren now, with low scrub-like vegetation. Once at Phedi, there will be plenty of time to rest and relax, and prepare for our big day. If everyone feels up to it, we may have a short afternoon walk once we have rested. Night teahouse (4525m).

    Trek approx. 5 hours; 7km

  • The big day has arrived, as we prepare to tackle the highest point of the trail, Thorung La Pass, at a towering 5416m. We rise early, and after a nourishing breakfast set off. The trail is steep to start with, but then the gradient eases a little and we can get into a steady rhythm. We pass High Camp, and some glacial lakes, and after 4-6 hours of ascent finally reach the Pass, adorned with prayer flags, a traditional stupa, and stone cairns left by travellers. Here we can pause to admire the breath-taking views and reflect on our achievement, though the altitude and cold temperatures will ensure we don't linger for long. The descent brings us steeply to Chabarbu (4230m) - this section is tough on the knees, but we will feel better with every step that brings us towards lower elevations. The trail levels out a little as we traverse meadows and descend into a ravine, before an ascent brings us onto a wide trail. We finally come to the small town of Muktinath, a revered pilgrimage site for both Hindu and Buddhist devotees. Night teahouse (3800m).

    Trek approx. 9-11 hours; 14km

  • Our last day of trekking! We veer off the main trekking trail to enjoy a side-trip to the ancient village of Purang. From here, a less-frequented route brings us to Jhong, another village with a medieval feel to it. From Jhong, our path descends to the Jhing Khola river, and we follow its course to Kagbeni, another pictureque village. From there, we hop on a public reserved bus to Jomsom. Night teahouse (2800m).

    Trek approx. 4-5 hour; 10km; Drive approx. 1 hour

  • We depart early in private 4x4 jeeps for the long drive on unmade roads to Pokhara. We break our journey for lunch in Tatopani, and a well-earned visit to Tatopani Hot Springs, the ultimate reward after multiple days of trekking! Afterwards, we continue our journey to Pokhara, capital of the Annapurnas. After checking into our hotel and freshening up, we're free to enjoy strolling around this pleasant town, with its many shops, restaurants and cafés. Make time to visit the lovely lakeside area and enjoy wonderful views of magnificent Machhapuchre, or Fish Tail Mountain. Tonight we meet up again for a slap-up dinner to celebrate our achievements.

    Drive approx. 8 hours; 154km

  • After a leisurely breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our short, scenic flight back to Kathmandu, where our adventure began. Here you are free to enjoy some of the sights, sounds and smells of this incredible city, visiting areas like the central Durbar Square, packed with stupas and palaces. If you have time you can visit the atmospheric Buddhist temples of Boudhanath and Swayambunath (also known as the ‘Monkey-Temple’) and the riverside Hindu temple complex of Pashupatinath, or just relax and enjoy this last day of Nepal's friendly and fascinating culture. In the evening, haggle for some last souvenirs at the many shops and markets. Night hotel.

    (Lunch and dinner not included)

  • After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our international flight back to the UK. (Breakfast included)

    Alternatively why not extend your stay in Nepal and enjoy our Chitwan extension for some spectacular wildlife opportunities. See separate information for details.



Dates & Prices

Prices may vary depending on date.


WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • International return flight from London to Kathmandu (inc all known taxes)
  • 3 nights hotel accommodation (twin share B&B basis)
  • 11 nights teahouse accommodation during trek (twin share B&B basis)
  • All meals except where specified
  • Discover Adventure English speaking guide throughout
  • All transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers throughout trek
  • All entrance fees related to the itinerary, including trekking permit
  • 24-hour emergency UK back-up

WHAT'S EXCLUDED

  • Any meals specified 'not included' in the itinerary
  • Extra hot drinks in tea-houses (some are included)
  • Travel insurance
  • Nepal entry visa
  • Personal spending money for souvenirs, drinks and local crew tips
  • Fees for any optional sites, attractions or activities
  • Any applicable surcharges as per Terms and Conditions


Detailed Information

  • Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their experience in harsh wilderness environments, knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Usually leaders are based in the UK or other English-speaking countries and lead for us regularly throughout the year in many different countries. In some instances, trips are led by in-country guides with a wealth of knowledge about the region; they have been trained by us to provide the level of support expected on a Discover Adventure trip.

  • An expedition doctor or medic accompanies the group (dependent on group size.) Their role is to look after the well-being of the whole group and deal with any medical incidents. They help the crew to ensure the trip runs smoothly, and encourage you when things get tough. The total number of crew looking after you will depend on the final size of your group.

  • Our local support crew is made up of local guides, assisted by drivers, porters, cooks and other support staff, depending on the type of trip. Local guides know the area well, and are a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. Not all support crew will speak English well, but are very friendly and approachable. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely. 

    Your leader will arrange a collection of tips for the local support crew at the end of your trek, and you will be provided with a guideline amount in advance. Tipping is not obligatory, but once you see how hard they work on your behalf you will be happy to donate something! All our local crew are paid wages, but bear in mind that the average wage in many countries may be less than you would spend on an average night out.

  • Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with communication devices (eg phones, radios and/or emergency satellite phones), medical kit and other safety apparatus appropriate to the destination. Our leaders always have access to our 24-hour emergency UK back-up. They are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary, should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration - such as medical questionnaires and travel insurance as appropriate - is all done with your safety in mind.

  • Altitude adds to the challenge, and affects people differently. Most travellers experience no more than headaches and shortness of breath (typical symptoms of being at altitude, and not usually a concern.)

    Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) or 'altitude sickness' occurs when you ascend to high altitude quickly. The best way to avoid it is to allow time for the body to adjust - our itineraries are designed with this in mind - and to walk at a slow pace (which our leaders will set). We also recommend avoiding alcohol and smoking. Problems usually begin at heights of around 3500m - 4500m.  More severe symptoms are usually quickly remedied by descending to a lower altitude and taking more time to acclimatise.

  • For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
  • Group flights usually leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick on scheduled airlines and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). 

    Your journey may involve a transit en route; details of route and flight times will be confirmed several months before departure.  We do not always use the same airline for each destination; if you wish to know the probable carrier and flight times, please call for details. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.

  • Accommodation is in teahouses (simple but comfortable mountain lodges) when trekking, and hotels or guesthouses when in cities. City accommodation is comfortable with private, twin-share facilities. Tea-houses are generally simple, and are run by individual families. The most common ‘best memory’ of a trip to Nepal is the warmth and hospitality of the local people and the evenings spent in the teahouses along the route. 

    The tea houses vary, but please be prepared for rustic conditions, especially if you are only used to nice hotels! Being out of your comfort zone adds to the challenge and makes your achievement all the sweeter.

  • Some accommodation will be twin-share. Please tell us if you know somebody else on the trip that you would like to share with and we will try our best to accommodate your request. If you don't know anyone else in the group don't worry, we always pair you up with someone of the same gender, and a similar age where possible. We do not charge a single supplement if you are a solo traveller in a shared room.

    On some nights we are likely to sleep in more communal accommodation such as dormitories/hostels, huts, local homestays or monasteries, depending on the trip, and you may be sharing with a larger number of participants or the whole group; this type of accommodation cannot always be single-sex.

  • Your booking is part of a group challenge, and the tour costs and fundraising targets listed on our website are based on a minimum number of participants which is shown on the challenge  Our typical groups run with approximately 15-25 participants; however you may find your group is smaller or larger than this.

    We will confirm at least 12 weeks prior to departure that your challenge is guaranteed to run. Occasionally it may be possible to still run the challenge with less than the minimum numbers, subject to a small group supplement.  If we think a small group supplement may be necessary, we will discuss this with you as soon as possible, usually 5 months before your departure date. 

    Minimum numbers and groups sizes may vary on Bespoke Charity challenges.  If you are booked onto a bespoke challenge please contact your charity for full details.

  • The food provided is plentiful, often local in style and freshly-cooked, and will give you plenty of energy. Sometimes we enjoy a buffet-style lunch-stop, other times we might have packed lunches. On some trips we stop at small local restaurants. Dinners are generally eaten at our accommodation each evening. In some regions there may be less variety than you are used to, and in others fresh meat or produce can be harder to come by. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally on travel / free days, giving you the opportunity to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit different budgets.

    Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we may be in very rural or remote areas, or among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat we strongly recommend you bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice.

  • Your luggage, food, water and equipment is transported for you from one night-stop to the next. If there is easy road access this is done by vehicle; if not porters, mules or even camels might carry your bags, depending on the terrain.

    Space is limited and hard-sided luggage is not suitable, so it is essential that your kit is packed in a soft bag, rucksack or expedition kitbag. Ask us about our specially-designed low-cost kitbags if you don’t have one already. You should also bring a small daypack to carry for items needed during the day as you will not have access to your main luggage until the evening.


Preparing for the Challenge

  • This is designed to be a challenge, and it is vital that you train sufficiently for it. We will supply you with a thorough training guide once you have registered. We expect all participants to train hard in advance, but we respect everyone’s limits and do not expect everyone to maintain the same pace. Inadequate training is likely to have an impact not just on your chances of completing the challenge, but enjoying it too - and we want you to have the time of your life!

    Our challenges attract people of all levels of experience, fitness and ability as well as all ages and backgrounds. We design our challenges so that everyone can go at their own pace: this is not a race. If you have concerns about your fitness or if you have reduced mobility please do contact us for a confidential chat about whether this challenge is appropriate for you.

    For logistical and safety reasons we sometimes need to re-group, so the front-runners may find themselves waiting for the slower ones. Please relax, and remember that this is a team effort that enables people to achieve their personal goals and earn sponsorship.

  • Entry requirements vary depending on your destination and nationality. It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid, and any visas are obtained in good time. Check the FCO’s advice on entry requirements for your destination to be sure. Please ensure you allow plenty of time to apply for your visa; we will provide you will all necessary information 6 weeks prior to depature to assist with your application.

    Your routine UK schedule of vaccinations should be up-to-date (especially tetanus). We recommend you check Fit For Travel for further details. You should always check with a GP or travel clinic for up-to-date travel health advice as it does change.

  • We plan our trips around the optimal weather conditions, but could still be exposed to bad weather at any time. It is vital you are prepared for all conditions. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, with plenty of information, and we are always available if you need advice.

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory on all of our challenges outside of the UK; we strongly suggest that you arrange insurance cover as soon as your booking with us is confirmed, or as soon as you're able to purchase some, and at least 8 months prior to travel. Should you need to cancel prior to departure, you will need insurance to cover the costs involved (registration fee and any trip costs depending on cancellation date). 

    We all hope never to need it, and thankfully most of the time we don't, but on those rare occasions when you do, you want it to cover you as best it can. Whilst it's a fairly boring admin task relating to your trip of a lifetime, it is really important you ensure that you have adequate cover for the type of challenge you are taking part in as well as medical emergencies, evacuation and repatriation, so make sure you're happy with the level of cover. There are lots of suppliers out there, with a wide range in levels of cover; generally speaking, you get what you pay for! Get and pay for the right level of cover and then you can go on your adventure not having to worry about the what-if's. For more details click here.

    Once your travel insurance is arranged, just remember to let us know the policy number and 24-hr medical emergency phone number provided by your insurers.

     

  • For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow participants and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!

  • In the unfortunate circumstance that you need to cancel your booking, we would ask that you notify us in writing either by post or email.  Your cancellation will be considered effective from the date the notice is received. Registration fees and amendment fees are non refundable and, depending on your payment option and how close it is to your challenge departure date, you may be liable for a cancellation charge.

    Full details of all cancellation charges may be found in the Terms and Conditions of booking.

  • We have a Passenger Portal which will give you more details of the challenge itself. It also enables you to see any outstanding information we need, the countdown to your challenge departure, see your outstanding balance, make payments and update your contact details. You can access this via the following link - Passenger Portal Log in.