The perfect trip for those wishing to experience a short trek through the magnificent Annapurna mountain range in Nepal while staying in relative luxury. Ker and Downey's famously comfortable and characterful lodges enjoy spectacular mountain vistas and offer comfortable beds and ensuite bathrooms with hot running water. Enjoy complimentary drinks during the nightly happy hour and share your day's adventures around the lodge's cosy fireplace. Kathmandu - Explore the fascinating temples and bazaars of this ancient city. Pokhara - Relax and enjoy the stunning lake with far reaching views of the snow-capped peaks Chitwan National Park - Spot a one-horned Rhino and other wildlife
The trip starts today in Kathmandu, the busy, colourful and chaotic capital city of Nepal. Your Leader plans to meet everyone in the hotel reception for a welcome meeting at 5 pm. For those that wish, there is the chance to go out together as a group for dinner afterwards. There are no other activities planned for today. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your leader will leave any essential information and details of the best time to catch up with them, at the hotel reception. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). You should allow at least 45 minutes to reach our hotel in central Kathmandu as traffic congestion in city can be bad. Depending on the arrival time of your flight, should you wish to explore, our hotel is located a short walk from the lively Thamel area. Home to a multitude of outdoor gear, souvenir shops, great bookshops and a huge variety of restaurants, it's a fun place to wander.
After breakfast we set out with a local guide on a walking tour visiting the bazaar and temples of Old Kathmandu. Much of the day to day life of the city takes place in the local bazaar, a fascinating mix of people selling spices, rickshaw drivers honking their horns and the ever-present sacred cow wandering amongst it all. In the afternoon we plan to visit the temple of Pashupatinath on the banks of the Bagmati River, the holiest Hindu shrine in Nepal, and also to visit Bodnath, the largest stupa in the country and a destination for Buddhist pilgrims from all over Nepal.
After breakfast, we leave the Kathmandu Valley behind and drive to Pokhara, a journey of around 6 hours. We'll stop for lunch at a typical Nepali roadside cafe along the way. Pokhara is smaller and more relaxed than Kathmandu and is beautifully situated on the banks of Lake Phewa from where, on a clear day, there are superb views of the snowcapped Annapurna range, including Machhapuchhre - the famous 'Fishtail' mountain. In the afternoon there will be a briefing by your tour leader to give you an idea of what to expect on a day to day basis while on trek and to make sure that everyone is properly equipped.
This morning we depart Pokhara by road, it's about an hour drive to the point where the trek starts. Our walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurna with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. We plan to enjoy a picnic lunch with a view along the way. The route then drops to follow the Modi River Valley where the first of our comfortable Ker and Downey lodges, Sanctuary Lodge, is located. The lodge was constructed in the traditional mountain style by local artisans and has a beautiful garden where you can enjoy magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed peak Machhapuchhre, or Fishtail Mountain as it's more commonly known because of its shape like a fish's tail. Today's seven kilometre walk is expected to take around three-and-a-half hours with a total descent of 460 metres.
After breakfast, we leave the lodge walking out through the outlying farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon we begin to climb out of the valley and up towards the mountains. The trail passes through small hamlets, terraced rice fields and forests with spectacular views of the surrounding valley. Snacks are provided along the trail and a hot lunch is served on arrival at the lodge in the early afternoon. Himalaya Lodge affords magnificent close-up views of the surrounding Annapurna mountain range. It also overlooks the settlement of Ghandruk with its whitewashed, stone tiled houses clustered closely together on the valley side. Populated by the Gurung ethnic group, Ghandruk is a popular recruitment location for the Gurkha soldier regiment of the British Army. Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around five-and-a-half hours with a total ascent of 850 metres.
We wake up this morning tea and enjoy coffee served in the garden and watch the sunrise over some of the highest peaks on the planet - Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and the Fishtail. After a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, we start our trek to Landruk. After leaving the village of Ghandruk, the trail descends steeply to the banks of the Modi River. We reach the base of the cliffs where the famed honey hunters of Nepal climb up on ropes to collect the honey from bees' nests on the cliff side. We then cross a strong suspension bridge to the opposite banks of the Modi. From here is it about an hour trek up switchbacks and steps to reach the Gurung village of Landruk which enjoys glorious views of the Annapurna range. La Bee Lodge is small and intimate, with only 12 en-suite rooms and is exquisitely perched on a cliff edge with awesome views stretching far into the distance. After lunch on arrival, we will set out in the afternoon to explore the village and surrounding area on a guided walk. Today's six kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 315 metres and descent of 750 metres.
After breakfast, we leave the Bee Lodge and trek to our final Ker and Downey lodge of the holiday, Gurung Lodge situated close by the village of Majgaun. Today's trek contours the hillside, with small ups and downs, passing through villages and farmland. We reach the Lodge in time for lunch with the option to join an afternoon hike through the surrounding villages. Gurung Lodge has been built in the style of a typical timber and stone tribal house, set in lovely gardens with 11 en-suite rooms, a beautiful lounge and dining area with exposed wooden roof beams. Today's six kilometre walk is expected to take around four hours with a total ascent of 135 metres and descent of 300 metres.
After breakfast, we set off along the ridge and descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor where we meet the road and our bus that will take us back to Pokhara. On arrival in Pokhara the afternoon is free to relax. You can hire a boat and spend time on the lake or explore the lakeside area where many of the souvenir and clothing shops are located. Pokhara also has a great choice of cafes and restaurants serving hungry trekkers all types of cuisine from around the world! Today's two kilometre walk is expected to take around one-and-a-half hours with a total ascent of 210 metres.
Today we drive to the flat lands of Nepal's Terai region where we stay just outside of Chitwan National Park. Once a private hunting ground, Chitwan is now a National Park with thick tree cover and tall elephant grass sheltering a wealth of animals. We'll be briefed today on the variety of activities that we can enjoy in the Park and orientate ourselves on a short walk around the village. All Park activities will be accompanied by a trained naturalist guide who will help us get the best enjoyment from these excursions.
Throughout your stay you will be kept busy except for a couple of hours around lunch time when you can read or relax in the shade. Activities in the park include a jeep safari searching out Chitwan's famous rare one-horned rhino, bird watching, jungle walks and a dugout canoe trip along the Rapti River. Canoeing will be dependent on the water level, floating silently down the river in a traditional dugout canoe gives us the opportunity to spot many varieties of water birds. On a nature walk in the company of trained native naturalists we walk along trails in the less densely forested parts of the park. An early morning bird watching walk near the river will reveal many of the 450 bird species that can be found in the park, especially kingfisher.
Today we drive back to Kathmandu. Due to ongoing roadworks this journey is taking longer than usual, possibly up to eight hours.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kathmandu. There are no activities planned for today, so you are free to depart at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day, luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to depart from Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM).
11 Break Fast(s) 6 Lunch(es) 6 Dinner(s)
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