A paradise for trekkers, The Himalaya stretches across India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and Pakistan and is an incredible part of the world to explore. Picturesque treks through lush foothills, stunning views of the soaring mountains, remote villages and their diverse cultures are all there to be experienced. With some of the most welcoming people in the world, you cannot help but fall in love with this fascinating region, and what better way to immerse yourself and get a real taste of the Himalayas than on foot.
Gone are the days when trekking in the Himalayas was deemed suitable only for the fittest and hardened of mountaineers – now pretty much anyone can immerse themselves in this beautiful mountainous environment. With en-route accommodation ranging from luxury lodges boasting breathtaking views, to home-stays and lodges for those who really want to understand Himalayan life, possibilities are endless. Trekking in the Himalayas really can appeal to everyone as tours vary in length, capability and group size. Here we have picked our top 10 best trekking experiences in the Himalayas.
1. 10 Day Himalayas Trekking Experience, Easy Treks & Expedition
The best trekking experience in the Himalayas has to be the 10 day Himalayas Trekking Experience by Easy Treks & Expedition. Based in Nepal, what better way to be introduced to this fascinating region than with a company native to the area. It is a stunning country steeped in history and culture – surrounding yourself in the mountains has got to be one of the best ways to enjoy it.
This is a perfect trek off the beaten track and away from the crowds, starting in Kathmandu with half a days sightseeing and then gradually progressing to Pokhara where the actual trek begins. Of medium difficulty, its definitely suitable for most people and is kept to a really nice group size – a maximum of 14 people. Our amazing trekking guide was informative and a local trekking expert, enabling us to have a really genuine insight into local rural life. He also spoke good English and and I have to say that from the word go we felt in very safe hands.
The tour itself is of perfect length and extremely interesting; we explored intriguing villages, waded through beautiful rhododendrons, trekked through thick rainforest and of course admired the magnificent scenery and views. Our first resting point was at Pothana and then we made our way to Deurali where we spent our first nights lodging. Subsequent stops thereafter were towards Low Camp, High Camp and finally to Mardi Himal Base Camp. From here, the last leg was spent trekking down to Siding where we were driven back to Pokhara for our last group meal together – rather a sad affair as we had been in the company of such a great group of people throughout our trekking journey.
In summary, we had a wonderful experience from start to finish. Easy Treks & Expedition took care of everything from the minute of our arrival at the airport, to the very end of our adventure. From making sure that we were fully prepared for our trek in the beginning, to being there every step of the way, we could not fault the service and professionalism. A once-in-a-lifetime trekking opportunity not to be missed.
2. Sikkim Bhutan Trek, World Expeditions
The Sikkim Bhutan Trek by world expeditions starts in Kathmandu and ends in Paro. It is a 20-day cultural trek suitable for introductory and moderate level trekkers, providing a wonderful opportunity to see and learn about the Buddhist cultural heritage. Groups are nice and small and all transportation, meals and overnight accommodation is organised for you.
The trek takes you between Sikkim and Bhutan through Yuksam, Paro, Phuentsholing and 10 other destinations in Nepal, India and Bhutan. En route to Bhutan there are plenty of opportunities to take in the local history with a visit to the ancient forts (known as dzongs) and the fascinating Buddhist monasteries in the Paro and Thimphu valleys. This trek is a great experience – exhilarating as well as culturally informative.
3. Everest Base Camp, G Adventures
If trekking to the infamous Everest Base Camp is on your bucket list, then this trek by G Adventures is for you. With small groups averaging 10 people in size, it is certainly on the more adventurous side and perfect for the more active trekker who is isn’t afraid to break a sweat.
Taking you up high passes and glaciers and through the charming sherpa villages where you can meet the ‘locals’, is a truly humbling and memorable experience. The panoramic scenery is amazing, and the team that accompanies you is very welcoming, professional and knowledgeable. It is a 15-day trek, starting and finishing in Kathmandu. Whilst it is challenging at times due to the high altitude hikes and cycling in parts, it’s a good trek for the serious trekker.
4. Annapurna Circuit trek, Easy Treks & Expedition
This classic Annapurna Circuit trek run by Easy Treks & Expedition, will take you through 15 days of adventure within four districts in the Annapurna region; Manang, Mustang, Lamjung and Myagdi. Nothing can prepare you for the complete diversity you will experience – from lush dense forest boasting some of the most fabulous flora and fauna, to open paddy fields and intriguing villages.
First opened in 1977, this trek has been tweaked over time to provide the wonderful experience that it is now. Offering not just geographical but cultural diversity, the Annapurna Circuit trek takes you from from Hindu villages in the foot hills to the Tibetan Buddhist settlements in the far west. Stunning landscapes all the way, diverse culture and high pass crossings boasting panoramic views – this is another great trek.
5. Druk Path Trek, Mountain Kingdoms
The incredible Druk Path Trek, run by UK based Mountain Kingdoms, takes you on a slightly more relaxing trek for 5 days. You will not fail to take amazing photographs on this trek as you not only experience the magnificent high mountain scenery but the many cultural attractions of Paro, Thimphu and Punakha such as the Tiger’s Nest Monastery and Punakha Dzong.
This is one of the oldest trails with such varied scenery and of course superb mountain views. It’s worth noting the extras that make this trek so great – the well-appointed hotels and quality of accommodation along the way, as well as the ever so friendly yet professional staff that accompany the group you.
6. Luxury Trek in Upper Dolpo, Explore Dolpo
On the isolated mid-western part of Nepal, you will find the Dolpo – one of 77 districts of Nepal. It is divided into two regions – Upper and Lower Dolpo, and remains one of the most untouched and naturally picturesque regions to explore.
This seven day Luxury Trek in Upper Dolpo begins with a flight directly into Dolpo, and then a luxurious pony trek takes you on your adventure. It is one of the easiest treks as there is little walking involved, however still considered moderate due to its elevation as the trek goes up to Kang La Pass at 5240m. Winding through the villages of Doplo and culminating in Phksundo Lake, this wonderful tour concludes with a flight back to Kathmandu.
7. Chitwan National Park and Poon Hill Trek, Wild Frontiers
Starting in Nepal’s capital city, the Chitwan National Park and Poon Hill Trek with Wild Frontiers commences as you touch down at Chitwan National Park, at the foot of the Himalayas. Such an incredible opportunity to enjoy a game drive in Nepal’s first national sanctuary, where you can witness crocodiles, rare rhinos, and if you are lucky the incredible Bengal tiger.
Chitwan National Park is just the start of your trekking experience as you embark on a two week trek over the Annapurna ranges where you will witness the untouched village of Patlekhet, hike along the Modi River and explore the orchid-filled forests. The trek ends in Pokhara before returning to Kathmandu at the end of your adventure.
8. Manaslu Region Trek, Explore-Share
Meaning ‘intellect or soul’, Manaslu is the 8th highest mountain in the world. The Manaslu Region Trek takes you on a slightly less frequented mountain than Everest and Annapurna and because of its lack of visitors it is a more remote hike where you will experience completely unspoilt solitude. It’s a 21 day more slow-paced option and gives you the opportunity to discover some of its most stunning spots; from open countryside to deep snow and forests, you will experience it all.
9. Laya Gasa, The Mountain Company
The Laya Gasa Trek by The Mountain Company stretches across northern Bhutan along the border with Tibet. It starts near Paro then traverses four Himalayan mountain passes before arriving at the village of Laya. The trek continues down to the remarkable hot springs and then it’s on to Ghasa, the Punakha Valley and lastly a drive to Thimpu.
Located in the heart of the Himalaya, Bhutan is known for uniquely rich, cultural heritage and its steep mountainsides, remote valleys and holy places. Not only will you witness the most impressive scenery but a number of Dzongs (fortress monasteries) dotted along the Tibetan border. On this trek, you cannot help but be immersed in Bhutanese Buddhist culture and village life – it is a great all round experience.
10. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek, Adventure Alternative
For the experienced trekking connoisseur, this tour consists of 21 actual days trekking but is 26 days in total. The Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek takes you through what is a deeply remote region of Nepal that has only recently been opened to tourism. Kangchenjunga is actually the second-least climbed mountain of the eight-thousand that exist and is a quiet trek where you are unlikely to come across many people except for at the lodges. The best times to trek are April through to June when the weather is a bit more reliable and slightly warmer – it is then that you are most likely to experience some of the most splendid, rich and varied alpine scenery in the world.
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