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Annapurna Foothills gentle trekking tour
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Highlights

  • Gentle trekking in the Annapurna Foothills
  • Stay in comfort and style at Ker and Downey’s luxury trekking lodges
  • Watching dawn break over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre
  • Kathmandu; Durbar Square and Boudhanath
  • Discovering Nepali village life as you walk from lodge to lodge

Discover the magic of trekking in the Nepal Himalaya on an easy going trek through the Annapurna Foothills between comfort trekking lodges. Magnificent mountain vistas, charming mountain inns and first class service.

The lush green hillsides of the Annapurna Foothills perfectly frame the white peaks of the mighty Himalayas. Criss-crossed by quiet trails from village to village you will discover village life, enjoy wonderful views and stay in comfort and luxury at Ker and Downey’s unique lodges, which feature en suite rooms, comfortable beds with sheets, blankets and hot water bottles.

Your stay in Nepal begins at the Gokarna Forest Resort, in the Kathmandu Valley. After an optional Everest View flight you fly to Pokhara and begin your trek through the foothills of the Annapurna range to the Sanctuary Lodge in Birethanti, and then on to Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk, where you spend two nights. Enjoying the dawn break over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and Machhapuchhre (the Fishtail) from the terrace at sunrise is a highlight, as are the village walks.

Your trek continues along the Modi River to Sanctuary Lodge and then Gurung Lodge, a charming collection of traditional houses and manicured gardens on the edge of Majgaun village before you spend a final night at Basanta Lodge in Dhampus. Each day you can look forward to fabulous walking (3 - 6 hours) on quiet trails through traditional Nepali villages and magnificent mountain scenery. You will have plenty of time to learn about village life, visit shrines and places of interest and relax in the most beautiful of surroundings.

From Basanta Lodge it is a short one to two hour walk to the road head, from where you will be transferred to the Temple Tree Hotel in the pretty lakeside town of Pokhara. The next morning you fly back to Kathmandu where you can look forward to a sightseeing tour visiting Durbar Square, Swayambhunath and Patan. After a final night at the Gokarna Forest Resort we will transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

DAY 1:
Arrive Kathmandu

Upon arrival at Kathmandu Airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to the Gokarna Forest Resort.



Gokarna Forest Resort is located inside the temperate Gokarna Forest, the former Royal hunting grounds of the Kings of Nepal. A winding road climbs through the forest, up to the main complex, comprising a mix of subtly majestic Malla period architecture, Rana period lodges, and sanctuaries harmoniously blending with nature. A quiet peaceful haven set between ancient towering trees with glimpses of the second fairway in the valley below make the perfect getaway for golf, enchanting forest walks, relaxation and rejuvenation at the Spa, as well as time close to nature.


Overnight: Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu (300m)


DAY 2:
Fly to Pokhara & Trek to Sanctuary Lodge (1150m)

After an optional early morning flight to Mount Everest, you fly to Pokhara (1000 m). On arrival you will have a briefing at our office before you are transfered by road (1 hour) with guides & porters to your trek start point.


Today your walk will follow a ridgeline in the lower foothills of the Annapurna's with wonderful views of the Pokhara Valley. The route then drops to the Modi River Valley, where Ker & Downey's Sanctuary Lodge is located.



The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre. A picnic lunch is provided when you arrive late afternoon arrival at the Lodge.


Trek: 3 - 4 hours


Overnight: Sanctuary Lodge, Birethanti (1150m) (B, L, D)


DAY 3:
Trek to Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk (2012m)

After breakfast, you leave Sanctuary Lodge walking out through farms following the Modi River Valley. Soon you begin to climb out of the valley & 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. Hot lunch is served on arrival at the lodge in the early afternoon.


Located at over 6,500 feet in the shadow of the Annapurna, the Himalaya Lodge overlooks Ghandruk, once a popular recruitment location for the Ghurkhas. With 11 comfortable rooms and stunning mountain views the Himalaya Lodge is a favourite amongst our trekkers.


Trek: 5 - 6 hours


Overnight: Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk (2012m) (B, L, D)


DAY 4:
Himalaya Lodge Village Walks (2012m)

You wake up this morning with tea and coffee served in the garden and watch the sunrise over Annapurna South, Annapurna 1, Hiunchuli, Gangapurna, and the Fishtail.


After enjoying a relaxing breakfast and the glorious views from the Himalaya Lodge, your guide will take you on an exploration of this mountain village and the surrounding countryside. Ghandruk was once a major recruitment centre for the famous Gurkha soldiers. The women of Ghandruk maintain a local industry of weaving traditional Nepalese rugs.


Walk: 2 - 3 hours optional


Overnight: Himalaya Lodge, Ghandruk (2012m) (B, L, D)


DAY 5:
Trek to Sanctuary Lodge (1150m)


After breakfast, you leave the Himalaya Lodge walking out through the village of Ghandruk. Buffaloes and goats graze in the surrounding fields and you may have to make way for the donkey and mule trains that convey goods to and from the Gurkha settlements. You may also meet some of the trekkers coming down from or heading up to the Sanctuary itself.


You continue descending for about 2 or 3 hours until you reach Shauli Bazaar. From here, follow the Modi River until reaching the Sanctuary Lodge. You’ll have lunch at the lodge followed by another optional to walk to explore the village of Birethanti. Or you may choose to spend the afternoon relaxing by the riverbank.


Trek: 4 hours


Overnight: Sanctuary Lodge, Birethanti (1150m) (B, L, D)


DAY 6:
Trek to Gurung Lodge, Majgaun (1400m)

Following a leisurely breakfast,  leave the Sanctuary lodge and trek to Ker & Downey's Gurung Lodge at 1450 meters. You cross the bridge nearby the lodge and start heading up the Modi River. This is a little used trail that starts off on a rocky path along the riverbank and then meanders though a forested area.


You'll then reach a long, winding stone staircase, which you ascend to reach the village of Waday. From Waday there are far reaching views of the whole valley. Your trek continues though the small villages of Patlekhet and Majgaun before arriving at the Gurung Lodge.


Gurung lodge is a charming collection of traditional houses and manicured gardens on the edge of the Majgaun village. Located at 4.620 feet the views of surrounding valleys are truly incredible and provide excellent photographic opportunities.


After lunch, you may chose to do a hike up to the nearby village of Tanchok, where there is a traditional house now made into a museum. The contents of the house illustrate how the local people live, together with the tools and implements of day to day traditional village life. You may also choose to visit the local school.


Trek: 3 - 4 hours to Gurung Lodge, optional 1 - 2 hours Tanchok walk


Overnight: Gurung Lodge, Majgaun (1400m) (B, L, D)


DAY 7:
Trek to Basanta Lodge, Dhampus (1525m)


This morning you start out trekking through the unspoiled village of Patlekhet. Your walk takes you through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, you will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. After about 3 ½ hours, you arrive at the Basanta Lodge. From the lodge, there are sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old village of Dhampus.


Trek: 3 - 4 hours


Overnight: Basanta Lodge, Dhampus (1525 m) (B, L, D)


DAY 8:
Trek to Pokhara

After breakfast, you depart along the ridge & descend through the wooded hillside and terraced farmland to the valley floor.


You then transfer by vehicle to the Temple Tree Resort in Pokhara (30 minutes). On the way back to Pokhara, you can visit the Tibetan refugee camp where you will have time to explore the temple complex.



You’ll arrive at the centrally located Temple Tree Resort in time for lunch. The rooms at the Temple Tree are filled with ethnic touches. Surrounding the rooms are landscaped gardens, water features, a swimming pool and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. You’ll have a chance to enjoy lunch and dinner at local restaurants. The afternoon is free to explore the lakeside where most of Nepal’s Tibetan curio shops are located.


Trek: 1 - 2 hours


Overnight: Temple Tree Resort, Pokhara (830 m) (B, L, D)


DAY 9:
Fly to & Explore Kathmandu

After breakfast you fly back to Kathmandu. Upon arrival, you’ll visit Durbar Square. Kathmandu's Durbar Square was where the city's kings were once crowned and legitimized, and from where they ruled (Durbar means ‘palace'). As such, the square remains the traditional heart of the old town and Kathmandu's most spectacular legacy of traditional architecture. You’ll then have lunch in a local restaurant, before visiting Boudhanath, the largest Buddhist Stupa in Nepal. From here return to the hotel, where the rest of the day is free.


Overnight: Gokarna Forest Resort, Kathmandu, (1300 m) (B, L)


DAY 10:
Depart Nepal

Transfer to the airport for your international departure home (B).

Accommodation

On this in-style trekking trip we have carefully selected high quality accommodation both on trek and in Kathmandu and Pokhara.


Single Rooms and Solo Walkers

Unfortunately this trip is not available to solo walkers, however if you do require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you, although there is a single room supplement payable.


During your trek you will stay 6 nights at Ker & Downey’s acclaimed trekking lodges in the Annapurna foothills. Ker and Downey lodges offer guests the opportunity to experience the magnificent scenery of the Himalayas in style and comfort whilst staying in en suite rooms with comfortable beds with sheets, blankets, down pillows and hot water bottles.



 

 

 



Sanctuary Lodge



Sanctuary Lodge

The lodge has magnificent views of the sacred and unclimbed Fishtail Mountain, or Machhapuchhre.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Himalaya Lodge



Himalaya Lodge

Located at over 6,500 feet in the shadow of the Annapurna, the Himalaya Lodge overlooks Ghandruk, once a popular recruitment location for the Ghurkhas. With 11 comfortable rooms and stunning mountain views the Himalaya Lodge is a favourite amongst our trekkers.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gurung Lodge



Gurung Lodge

Gurung lodge is a charming collection of traditional houses and manicured gardens on the edge of the Majgaun village. Located at 4.620 feet the views of surrounding valleys are truly incredible and provide excellent photographic opportunities.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Basanta Lodge



Basanta Lodge

The Basanta Lodge at 4,920 feet in Dhampus offers panoramic views of the Phedi and Mardi Valleys. Nearby activities include nature walks through thick forests of bamboo, conifer and rhododendrons.
This intimate lodge has only 8 rooms with panoramic views of the entire Annapurna range.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Temple Tree Pokhara



Temple Tree Resort & Spa

In Pokhara you will stay at the Temple Tree Resort and Spa for one night. Temple Tree is a boutique hotel combining western standards with the distinctive architecture and culture of Nepal’s Western Himalayas. The rooms at the Temple Tree are filled with ethnic touches. Surrounding the rooms are landscaped gardens, water features, a swimming pool and stunning views of the surrounding mountains.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gokarna Forest Resort



Gokarna Forest Resort

Situated within the city limits of Kathmandu Gokarna Forest Resort is located inside the serene temperate Gokarna Forest, the former private Royal hunting grounds of the Kings of Nepal.


 

 

 


Alternative Kathmandu Hotels


If you would prefer to stay in the heart of Kathmandu just let us know and we can book your stay at the Yak & Yeti Hotel or Annapurna Hotel for a small supplement.
If you would like a touch of luxury in Kathmandu I would suggest booking the historic Dwarika’s Hotel, undoubtedly the finest property in Kathmandu. There is an additional cost for this.



 

 

 



Hotel & Yeti, Kathmandu



Hotel Yak & Yeti, Kathmandu

Kathmandu’s Hotel Yak and Yeti is one of Kathmandu’s iconic 5 star hotels. Set in lush gardens only a 10 minute walk from Thamel the hotel has 270 rooms, several restaurants, a spa and swimming pool. It is always a hive of activity with trekking parties and expeditions coming and going.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Annapurna Hotel, Kathmandu



Annapurna Hotel, Kathmandu

The Annapurna Hotel sits in 5.5 acres of grounds in the centre of Kathmandu a 10 minute walk from Thamel, close to the Royal Palace. Built in 1965 it boasts comfortable modern rooms, a large pool, three restaurants and breakfast is served in the bright coffee shop overlooking the busy street.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu



Dwarika’s Hotel, Kathmandu

Dwarika’s is undoubtably Kathmandu’s finest heritage hotel. Built upon a rich tradition of Nepali hospitality and incorporating some of the country’s most exquisite architectural traditions, The Dwarika’s Hotel in Kathmandu is an authentic experience of Nepal’s ancient cultural heritage. With 87 meticulously designed rooms and suites, The Dwarika's Hotel Kathmandu offers a regal experience comparable to the royal suites of the 14th century Malla Kings of Nepal.
Each room has been individually designed to immaculately mesh a contemporary lifestyle with a flavor of Newari motifs and stylistic living.


Beautiful gardens, a luxurious pool and spa and impeccable service make a stay at Dwarika’s very special.


 

 

 

Meals & Drinks


All meals except lunches and dinners in Kathmandu are included as is tea with meals. Whilst on trek an evening happy hour include local soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages. Other soft drinks, water and alcoholic drinks are not included.


Time of Year & Availability

This trip is available to start on any day of the year from the end
of September through to May.  The most popular times to go trekking in
Nepal are October/November, when the post monsoon mountain air is clear
and fresh, and March to April when the weather is dry and pleasant and
the rhododendrons bloom. You can start your trip on any date in the
season.


Your Guide & Porters

Quality guides make the difference between a great trip and an
unforgettable experience. Our Nepali guides are qualified and trained.
All have many years experience of guiding trekkers in Nepal, and speak
fluent English. They bring a wealth of knowledge to your journey,
opening your eyes to the legends, culture, food, flora and fauna of the
Himalayas. Additionally they are first aid trained and fully trained and
experienced in dealing with cases of Altitude Sickness. Your luggage
will be transported by porters (1 porter between 2 people). 


Air Travel in Nepal

Due to the nature of our treks in Nepal, access to the start point is
often only possible by taking an internal flight. Flying in Nepal is an
acknowledged risk due to the changeable nature of mountain weather and
the fact that the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal does not operate to
the same standards as those of the UK and other western nations.


However, we have taken steps to ensure that our customers travelling
to Nepal are as safe as they can possibly be by becoming stakeholders in
an independent air audit of Nepal airlines undertaken by UK tour
operators in 2015. This audit deemed several airlines as safe to fly to
with including Yeti Airlines and Tara Air, and our itineraries will only
include flights with these particular airlines. Tara and Yeti Airlines
have also fulfilled the IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) which is a
new global safety standard for commercial airlines operating smaller
aircraft.


Whilst we have taken the above steps, you should be aware that flying
in mountainous areas like Nepal does carry with it a certain amount of
risk.


If you would like to find out further information on flying on Nepal
and the associated risks, you can read advice on the UK Foreign Office
Travel Advice page - https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/nepal/safety-and-security.


Fitness, Grade & Terrain

This trekking trip is graded easy to moderate and includes 3 - 4 hours of trekking on most days with one day of 5 - 6 hours with 1000m of ascent. The maximum altitude is 2100m (6,700 feet).To get the most from this trip you should be comfortable walking for up to six hours through hilly terrain.


You follow well maintained paths and tracks, away from the tourist trail. Some short sections can be steep so walking poles are helpful.


During your walk you will be accompanied by an experienced guide so you do not need to navigate.


Equipment

You will need comfortable walking/hiking clothes and footwear, warm and waterproof clothes and comfortable clothes fro the evening. We will send you a comprehensive packing list on confirmation of your booking.


Additionally we include the loan of a duffle bag, walking poles and water bottle if you require them. Down jackets, gloves and warm hats are provided at the lodges for cooler evenings.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information:

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, (for example, proper rain gear jacket and pants, sun hat, sunscreen). Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Visa

Please be aware that you need a tourist visa for Nepal to enter. You can get this upon arrival at Kathmandu airport, where a few forms need to be filled out before you can go through customs. You will need to make sure you have the right amount of USD with you and two passport photos in order to obtain your visa. Alternatively Nepali embassies will also issue visas.


Flights to Kathmandu

Flights to Kathmandu are available daily from the UK and Europe via the Gulf or India. Airlines include Jet Airways, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways & Etihad Airways. Kathmandu is also very well served from North America and Australasia.

Flights to Kathmandu

Flights to Kathmandu are
available daily from the UK and Europe via the Gulf or India. Airlines include
Jet Airways, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways & Etihad Airways. Kathmandu is also
very well served from North America and Australasia.

Included

  • All airport and internal transfers in Nepal
  • Return internal flights from Kathmandu to Pokhara including taxes
  • 2 Nights accommodation at Gokarna Forest Resort in deluxe rooms including breakfast.
  • 1 Night accommodation at Temple Tree Lodge in Pokhara on a full board basis.
  • 7 Days guided gentle trekking with guide, porter (1 porter for 2 clients : luggage allowance - 15 kg per person), loan of a trekking pack including duffle bags, walking stick, water bottle, souvenir hat & scarf and a comprehensive group First Aid Kit, carried by your guide.
  • Trekking permits
  • 6 Nights at Ker & Downey’s Lodges featuring; Solar heated showers, flush toilets and electricity, all meals, snacks, drinking water, tea and coffee while on trek, all laundry while on trek, evening Happy Hour including local soft drinks and local alcoholic beverages, services of qualified Ker & Downey guides and porters, down jackets, warm hats and gloves
  • Half day sightseeing tour of Kathmandu visiting Durbar Square and Boudhanath
  • Farewell Dinner

Excluded

  • International flights to/from Nepal
  • Lunches and dinners while in Kathmandu
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal equipment
  • Nepal Visa
  • Extra drinks and snacks, laundry
  • Excess baggage charges for internal flights
  • Tips for your trekking crew (expected, but not mandatory)

Extras

  • Additional nights
  • Accommodation upgrades in Kathmandu
  • Single room supplement

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the region is extremely popular especially over October/November and March/April. However, we will always try our best to accommodate your plans.

How is my baggage transported on trek?

Your bags will be transported on trek by local porters. We have a strict porter protection policy and, for this reason, we ask you to keep your baggage weight to a maximum of 15kgs per person. If you do want more luggage than this for your trip it is possible to leave items you will only want for Kathmandu at your hotel, thus helping to decrease the weight of the bag your are taking on trek.

What equipment do I need?

Your detailed information pack will be sent to you after you book. This has a detailed equipment list which includes standard trekking gear such as good walking shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack. Remember when you are staying in the trekking lodges you will need to have your own sleeping bag.

Fantastic trip

5

The scenery in both regions is beautiful, the walking not too strenuous and the accommodation is very good with great food. This is a great way to sample the Everest and Annapurna regions. The hotel in Kathmandu is lovely though it is under the flight path and some of the rooms need a refurb.

SK

North Yorkshire

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What a Place!! i would return in a Heartbeat....

5

This was our first trip to Nepal. We will definitely be returning, hopefully in 2019. The country, the people, the views were all amazing. This trip, however, isn't for the very fit and active. As the distances covered are pretty short. It was only 2-3hrs walking each day. This appears due to the fact that lunch is provided at all of your accomodations. So the guide makes sure you arrive for lunch.The food was great though! However, our guide was amazing and took us out for an additional 2-3hr hike in the afternoons. This was at our behest, and there was no compunction to go. So if you just wanted to have a lazy afternoon you could. As a result of these extra-curricular walks we saw some great sights and had some truly lovely afternoons. We visited some schools/monasteries/temples. All out-of-the-way, in the middle of nowhere. The guide Janak was interesting, informative and could not have been more accommodating. He was brilliant. The lodges on the Annapurna side were gorgeous, with breath-taking views. The staff were all fantastic. Plus, the heavy jackets/gloves/woolly hats definitely helped in the early mornings catching the sun rise above the mountains. Breakfast on the lawn at Dhampus Lodge was a real highlight of that part of the trip!! The view was breathtaking. The trekking on the Everest side was tougher and definitely colder. Pack a thick down jacket as none are provided on this side. But the amazing views are never-ending. Again, the service provided at each of the lodges was fantastic and could not be faulted. But be warned the lodges are very cold. Electric blankets are provided in each of the beds. And they are Needed!! My wife said that this was the best trip she has ever had, even though she found the hiking in Everest tough and the cold in the lodges tougher. If you are looking for a real physical test though you should probably consider Everest Base Camp or The Three Passes. We loved this trip and would recommend it highly.

Biddy

London

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Best holiday ever!

5

Fantastic trip of a lifetime. Best ever. Loved the Kerr & Downey lodges, fabulous service and beautiful food. Couldn't do enough for us. Our guide Janac and our porter Rajendra were excellent. Scenery was spectacular, trekking was true to the description in the brochure/online. Loved the extended stay in Pokhara and do not miss the mountain flight over Everest. Would love there to be more options to trek in the area and stay at lodges of this quality.

Sandra & Grant

Edinburgh

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Great experience

5

I booked this trip only three weeks in advance because I was in desperate need to get far away from the pressures and emotional stresses of my very busy schedule. I have previously climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and walked 250kms on the Camino to Santiago de Compestela. At the end of the day I prefer to have a comfortable bed and private bathroom rather than sleeping in a tent or dormitory and sharing a primitive toilet. This excursion was perfect on all levels. Great organisation, excellent accommodation and food and physically challenging. The so called foothills of the Annapurna would in most other countries by legitimately called mountains! A few of the days were much more challenging than I'd anticipated and I'd not recommend this for someone hoping for a gentle stroll. Some of the ascents and descents are quite brutal - not dangerous but not unlike climbing up and down stairs for three, four or five hours without respite. The Annapurna mountains are beautiful and the scenery is lovely. I thoroughly enjoyed this visit to Nepal and the trekking was invigorating. I returned home feeling renewed, refreshed and eager to plan another adventure. I wouldn't hesitate to use Macs Adventure again.

LJ

Cape Town

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Annapurna Foothills: Trekking in Style

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