Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

Duration: 20 Days5/5(1 review)
At a Glance
  • Duration 20 Days
  • Trip Grade Fairly Strenuous
  • Destination Nepal
  • Start/End Kathmandu/Kathmandu
  • Group Size 1-14
  • Max. Altitude 5416m

Highlights

  • Best teahouse trek in the Himalayas
  • Adventurous trekking route that goes through lush forests and pastures, crossing suspension bridges
  • Spend nights in picturesque villages and get to see the daily lifestyle of locals
  • Enjoy stunning mountain views and diverse landscapes while trekking
  • Cross challenging Thorong La pass
  • Visit temples and monasteries along the way, including the holy Muktinath Temple
  • Walk along the Kali Gandaki gorge and apple orchards
  • Catch beautiful sunrise from Poon Hill
  • Spend time in a natural hot spring in Tatopani

Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek Overview

"Explore the sub-tropical forests to the alpine zone of the western Himalayas on Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek 20 Days. Embark on an immersive trekking venture that is both demanding and rewarding."

If you have heard about trekking in the Himalayas, then you must have heard about the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trekking. It is one of the most famous and loved trekking routes in Nepal. Opened to foreign travelers in 1977, the Classic Annapurna Circuit trail has welcomed trekkers from all around the world. Starting from the woodlands, the trail ascends to the highest pass of the country, Thorong La pass (5,416 m), in 9 to 10 days of walking.

Classic Annapurna Circuit is a moderate trek. To offer you an ultimate trekking experience in the Annapurna region, we have also combined gorgeous Ghorepani village (2,874 m) and Poon Hill (3,210 m) in our Classic Annapurna Circuit trek itinerary. The Classic Annapurna Circuit trekking is all about diverse landscapes, adventure, and rich culture.

Classic Annapurna Circuit trek route

The trek begins at Bhulbhule and ascends through subtropical forests and terraced fields followed by picturesque villages. You cross suspension bridges and waterfalls along the way. Manang village onwards, there are pastures and arid cliffs.

Walking on a rough, steep uphill path, you approach the Thorong La pass (5,416 m) and descend to Muktinath temple (3,800 m). This part of the trail sees glacial walk and ice flows. Further, walking along the Kali Gandaki gorge, the deepest gorge in the world, you once again begin walking at a relatively lower altitude.

This time, the trekking route has narrow alleyways and apple orchards till Kagbeni (2,804 m) and Jomsom (2,743 m). From Jomsom, the trail drops down to Ghorepani village (2,874 m) via Kalopani (2,480 m) and Tatopani (1,190 m). Further, the trail enters a forested path. The last part of the Annapurna Circuit trekking route passes by lush forests of rhododendron and pine.

Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek Attractions

Many reasons make the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek a must-do trek in the Himalayas, and that is why it's very famous among trekkers. Below are some reasons that make Annapurna Circuit trekking one of our favorite treks.

Adventurous and rewarding teahouse trek in the Himalayas

Classic Annapurna Circuit trek is one of the best teahouse treks in the Himalayas. Teahouse trek means simple accommodation yet heart-warming hospitality of the locals. Every second on the trail is rewarding. Even though many trekkers are hitting the trail in the peak trekking season, you'll still find yourself detached from all the chaos and enjoy the serene views.

Trek through beautiful villages and pass by many wonders of nature

The Classic Annapurna Circuit trail ascends through the foothills of verdant hills and passes by remote villages like Chamje, Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Manang, Yak Kharka, Kagnebi, Jomsom, Tatopani, Ghorepani, etc. Apart from them, there are many other small settlement areas along the trekking route.

The trail is full of ascends and descends through forests, pastures, and gorges. You'll be crossing many suspension bridges and small streams. Likewise, you'll come across waterfalls and terraced fields.

Friendly locals and rich cultural heritage

The Classic Annapurna Circuit trekking route is resided by locals from different communities like Brahmin, Chhetri, Magar, Gurung, etc. The locals are very friendly and welcoming. They'll always help you.

We visit temples and stupas on the way. Likewise, many places are wrapped with colorful prayer flags. While staying overnight in the villages, we have a glimpse of the rich culture and practices of the locals.

Stunning mountain views and diverse sceneries

During the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek, one can see breathtaking views of Mt. Annapurna (8,091 m), Mt. Dhaulagiri (8,167 m), Mt. Nilgiri (7,061 m), Mt. Hiunchuli (6,441 m), Mt. Fishtail (6,993 m), Mt. Gangapurna (7,455 m), Mt. Tukuche (6,920 m), Tilicho Peak (7,134 m), and many others. Likewise, the trek offers diverse sceneries of verdant valleys and rushing rivers to dry, barren hills dominated by snowy mountains.

Cross challenging Thorong La pass

Thorong La, also known as Thorung La, is a high mountain pass with an elevation of 5,416 meters. Located in the Damodar Himal, north of the Mt. Annapurna, Thorong La pass connects Manang village in the east to the Muktinath temple in the Lower Mustang in the west.

The trail to the top of the pass is steep and rugged. Careful walking is needed. Depending upon the season, the trail may be covered with snow too. From the top of the pass, one can see jaw-dropping mountain scenery.

Get blessing in Muktinath temple

Muktinath temple is one of the pilgrimage sites in Nepal. It is a significant temple for Hindus and Buddhists. Hundreds of pilgrims visit this temple to worship every year. On the temple premises, you can see locals selling Saligrams and other precious stones.

Inside the temple, there are 108 sprouts. Taking bath in these sprouts is believed to forgive all the sins by the god. Likewise, there are many small shrines around the main temple.

Walk along the Kali Gandaki gorge and apple orchards

Kali Gandaki gorge is the deepest gorge in the world. It separates the Dhaulagiri range and Annapurna range. Back in the day, this gorge acted as a trade route between Tibet and India for centuries.

Likewise, as the trail begins to approach Marpha and Kegbeni, we pass by lovely apple orchards. These apples are very delicious. On the way, we may stop at the local factory to taste apple brandy and other assortments made from apples.

Enjoy hot springs in Tatopani

Tatopani is known for its natural hot springs. While descending, we spend a night in Tatopani. The hot springs are managed by locals and we need to pay a few extra bucks to enjoy them. The natural hot springs will relieve our sore muscles and also help us get rid of skin diseases. Therefore, do not forget to pack a swimsuit and carry extra cash with you.

Witness gorgeous sunrise from Poon Hill

In the later part of the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek, we hike to Poon Hill, located above Ghorepani village. At 3,210 meters, Poon Hill offers excellent sunrise and snow-capped mountain views. It is a famous viewpoint in the lower Annapurna region, and often trekkers visit this place as a single short trek- the Poon Hill trek.

If you have shorter days for the Annapurna Circuit Trek, We also have 16 days Annapurna Circuit Trek and 12 Days Shortest Annapurna Circuit Trek.

Itinerary

The 20-day itinerary of the Annapurna Circuit is the classic route of the Annapurna Circuit Trek. The Annapurna circuit trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in the Nepal Himalaya, However, after building the road in some parts of the trail, it is not much popular as before. However, We still found that many people are interested in a trek in the classic trail of the Annapurna Circuit Trek.

The 20-Day Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek includes your arrival and departure days to and from Nepal and a day tour in Kathmandu at the start of the trek as an introductory tour of Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu.

The Itinerary that we have offered is a guideline itinerary that is perfectly designed and is suitable for the average fitness level of trekkers. However, if you want to arrange the hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara or need a customized itinerary, We at Outfitter Himalaya are always ready to tailor your itinerary and offer you. Feel free to contact us any time.

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The airport representatives of Outfitter Himalaya will welcome you to the airport. You can see them around the terminal gate with your nameplate. They'll help you with your heavy luggage and escort you to the hotel.

  • AccommodationHotel
  • Max. Altitude1345

An extra day in Kathmandu to prepare for the trek, but first, we visit some historical sites. We have planned a guided sightseeing tour in the morning. Our friendly English-speaking tour guide will accompany you during the tour and take you to sites like Kathmandu Durbar Square, Boudhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath Temple, and Syambhunath Stupa.

After lunch, we meet in our office and prepare for the trek. We'll check all the permits and trekking gear. The trek guide will give a short briefing about the terrain and help you pack your duffle bag.

  • MealsB
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Max. Altitude1345

We begin trekking from Bhulbhule. From Kathmandu, it is a long drive. We'll be following the Trishuli river to Pokhara, and passing by Besishar, drive to Bhulbhule.

The drive offers a stunning panorama of terraced fields, lush green hills, and mountains like Ganesh Himal & Mt. Manaslu.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude875

The trail from Bhulbhule follows a flat path and then steeply ascends to a sheer cliff-face. Further, we descend to Jagat (1,330 m), a stone village. From here, we walk through lush forests to Chamje village for a night's stay.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude1430

Descend to a river and cross it over a suspension bridge. The trail ascends to Sattale (1,550 m) and continues along a steep path down the valley. We walk above the river and gradually climb to the top of the hill.

The trail moves to Tal (1,700 m). From here, the path narrows and winds to a small village called Karte (1,900 m). We then drop down to a river and cross another bridge before reaching Dharapani.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude1960

The trail follows lush forests and goes along the Marsyangdi river to Chame. Chame is the district headquarter of Manang. The trail is beautiful and offers stunning views of Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, and Lamjung Himal.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude2675

The trekking route from Chame goes through a steep and narrow valley to a massive rock wall. It's called Paungda Danda Rock, rising 1,500 meters from the Marshyangdi river.

While walking, we can see tempting views of Annapurna II and Pisang Peak. Further, the trail drops down the Manang Valley floor and goes to Pisang village.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude3100

We trek following the upper route that goes through Upper Pisang via Geru. It is a scenic route that offers remarkable views of snow-clustered mountains like Annapurna II, Annapurna III, Annapurna IV, Tilicho Peak, Pisang Peak, Gangapurna, etc. We walk by Tibetan settlement areas and visit the Barge monastery on the way. There are many shrines and stupas on the route to Manang.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude3440

We take a rest day in Manang village and take this chance to explore the village. We'll hike to the Ice Lakes. The scenery here is breathtaking.

Later in the day, we visit the Himalayan Rescue Association in Vraja village and monasteries around the area. Manang village itself has museums, a movie theater, and many other things to do. It'll be a good day today.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude3440

Manang onward, we begin walking at a high altitude and also notice a change in climate & terrain. Crossing a stream, we ascend to Tenki village. The trail heads out of Marshaygnadi valley and enters Jarsang Khola valley. We walk on an uphill path that goes in the north.

Gradually, walking through several pastures and juniper forests, we continue the trek to Gunsan village. We then cross a small river on a wooden bridge and ascend to Yak Kharka.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude4050

The trail ascends to Thorong Phedi today. From Yak Kharka, we ascend to a ridge and drop down to the Marshyangdi river. Crossing the river, gradually begin walking on a narrow trail to Thorong Phedi. The terrain is rugged.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude4420

Today our goal is to cross the challenging Thorong La pass. From Thorong Phedi, the trail ascends along a steep and rocky path to the top of the pass that offers a phenomenal mountain panorama. From here, we descend to the holy Muktinath Temple. It's going to be a thrilling day today with all the gorgeous scenery and hurdles.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude5416

Before we leave Muktinath, we visit the temple. It is one of the most important temples in Nepal and also a pilgrimage site. The temple has 108 stone sprouts. Locals believe that if you take bath in these sprouts all of your sins will be forgiven by the deity.

From Muktinath, the trail goes through a medieval village called Jharkot. Here we visit the ancient Shakya monastery. We then trek through fields, small white-washed houses, and apple orchards. The trail descends to Kali Gandaki riverbed and goes to Jomsom. On the way, we pass by Kagbeni village, situated at the junction of Jhong Khola and Kali Gandaki.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude2720

From Jomsom, we trek through Marpha, the apple capital of Nepal. This place has one of the most delicious apples and other products made from it. The trail then continues to Kalopani, where we'll be spending the night.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude2530

From Kalopani, we walk on a downhill steep route to Rupse Chhahara (waterfall). Near the waterfall is situated the deepest gorge in the world between Mt. Annapurna and Mt. Dhaulagiri. It's called the Kali Gandaki gorge.

The trail further ascends to Tatopani. We'll have a lot of time to enjoy the natural hot spring.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude1190

We walk on a flat path and ascend steeply through remote villages and terraced fields. The trail then passes by lush forest to Phalate and Chitre villages.

The last few hours of the route go through rhododendron forests to the beautiful Ghorepani village. The village is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude2860

Early in the morning, we hike to the Poon Hill viewpoint. From here, we see a gorgeous sunrise and views of numerous mountains like Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Tukuche, Nilgiri, Fishtail, Gangapurna, Hiunchuli, Lamjung Himal, etc.

After having breakfast, descend through rhododendron and oak forest. From Ulleri (1,960 m), the trail steeply descends to Tikhedhunga. A short 15 minutes walk from here leads us to Hile village.

  • MealsB, L, D
  • AccommodationGuest House
  • Max. Altitude3210

Our last day of the trek is here. It's a pretty easy walk today to Nayapul. From Hile, we mostly walk by forested paths. The trail descends, following Burundi Khola to Birethanti, and crossing the Modi Khola, we reach Nayapul.

The trek ends here, and we take a short drive to Pokhara.

  • MealsB, L
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Max. Altitude830

From Pokhara, it's a half-day drive to Kathmandu. The drive will be comfortable and full of stunning sceneries. In Kathmandu, you'll have the rest of the day's leisure. Meet us in the designated restaurants for the farewell dinner. Do not forget to do window shopping.

  • MealsB
  • AccommodationHotel
  • Max. Altitude1345

Our team will drop you at the international airport as per your flight departure time, or you can continue with your other plans in Nepal.

  • MealsB

Is the offered itinerary not suitable for you?

Looking for a customized itinerary? Reach out to our experts.

Map & Altitude Graph

Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek map

Inclusions

  • Airport transfers
  • Three nights’ hotel in Kathmandu with breakfast
  • Sightseeing tour in Kathmandu as per the itinerary
  • All accommodations in lodges/tea houses during the trek
  • Meals during the trek with hot tea/coffee in breakfast
  • Conservation entry permits & TIMS permit
  • 1-night hotel in Pokhara with breakfast
  • Ground transportation from Kathmandu –Bhulbhule - Pokhara - Kathmandu by bus
  • A guide and porter (1 porter for two people) and a porter carry about 20-22 kg from 2 trekkers
  • Arrangement of Emergency Helicopter service, which will be paid by your Travel insurance company
  • Sleeping bag, down jackets if necessary (need to be returned after the trek)

Exclusions

  • Nepal entry visa fee
  • Your Travel insurance (compulsory) and entrance fees on the Kathmandu tour
  • Lunch and Dinner while you are in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • All the alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Sweet things like chocolate, apple pie, etc...
  • International airfare to and from Nepal
  • Tips for the guide, porter & driver
  • Any other expenses, not mentioned in including section

Essential Info

Extra nights in Kathmandu pre or post the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

The extra night hotel in Kathmandu for pre- or post-trek is available, and we can book this extra night when you need it, Let us know at the time of booking.

Let us know if you arrive earlier or stay in Nepal later than the scheduled dates of the Annapurna circuit trek and need extra nights.

Transportation on Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

  • We provide a private vehicle for airport transfers & sightseeing. And, local bus transport from Kathmandu to Bhulbhule and tourist bus transport from Pokhara to Kathmandu at the end.
  • However, you have options to drive by private car/jeep to Bhulbhule and from Pokhara to Kathmandu or take a short flight from Pokhara to Kathmandu on return.
  • Please do let us know if you want to upgrade the modes of transport to private or flight.

Best Time for Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

It’s possible to do the Annapurna circuit trek in most of the months of the year. The autumn (Sep-Nov) offers clear skies, plus the bugs and dust have been washed away by the rains. So, autumn is the best time to do the Annapurna circuit trek.

Spring (Feb-mid end of May) offers warmer temperatures, longer days, and rhododendrons bloom. So, forests are colorful, the spring is another best time for the Annapurna circuit trek.

Fitness Required for Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

You have to be physically fit with a moderate level of fitness to do the Annapurna circuit trek with daily walking/trekking between 3 to 9 hours on mountain trails. You reach an altitude of 5416m above sea level at Thorong La pass. You better have previous trekking experience and need to have good health and strong desire and stamina.

Accommodation on Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

We provide hotel accommodation for four nights (3 nights in Kathmandu &1 night in Pokhara) and simple lodge/teahouse accommodation for the rest of the 14 nights on the Annapurna circuit trek.

The rooms are basic, normally just a bed with a pillow and blankets on the trekking lodge. A few have electric lights, and all have a spacious dining room – lounge some of them very basic, and a sense of adventure is necessary.

The hotel we provide:

  • Hotel in Kathmandu: Hotel Samsara Resort: 3 nights
  • Hotel in Pokhara: Hotel splendid view: 1 night
  • Hotel on Trek- Simple Mountain lodge: 15 nights

Note:

  • Accommodation will be on double/twin share (triple share available in most places also).
  • Hotel upgrade in Kathmandu and Pokhara is available as there are luxury 4 & 5-star hotels available in these cities so, let us know if you want to upgrade the hotels in Kathmandu & Pokhara.
  • We provide another similar category of hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara if these mentioned are not available.

Meals & Drinks on Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek

A total of 51 meals (19 breakfast, 16 lunch, and 16 dinners) are provided in the Annapurna circuit trek, and the meals are provided in guest houses. You will have breakfast/dinner at the lodge, where we stay overnights, and lunch at the lodge available along the trail.

There is a wide variety of Nepali and Western meals, and drinks like coffee, tea, milk, soft drinks, and beer are also available note that drinks are not included in the cost.

We suggest you bring water purification pills/medicine while coming for the Annapurna circuit trek. You get normal water for free. So, you can use the medicine and drink, or you can also buy bottled/boiled/safe drink water.

FAQs

  • Q1. How Difficult is Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek?

    It is a common question we get asked by trekkers all the time. To answer you in simple words, the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek is a challenging trek that demands physical fitness and previous trekking experience. Classic Annapurna Circuit trekking is not for beginner trekkers. The Classic Annapurna Circuit trek distance covers around 300 km of a walk along the Marsyangdi valley to Thorong La pass.

    The Classic Annapurna Circuit trail has many hurdles, from steep terrain to high altitude and limited tourist infrastructure. Trekking in a remote area and walking on a rough forested path itself is difficult. And the trial only gets high and daunting. There is a lingering risk of altitude sickness, and the trekkers have to be careful of that, too.

  • If you have decided to join the Classic Annapurna Circuit trek and are now looking to prepare your body for the journey, then this may help you. First of all, once we confirm Classic Annapurna Circuit trek booking 2022/2023 from our side, one of our travel consultants will help you in the preparation. He/she will let you know everything about the journey and what kind of physical activities you should do to prepare your body.

    The daily average walk is 6 to 7 hours. So, you have to make sure that you can walk this much on rough terrain. Go on long walks before the beginning of the trek and hikes, too (if possible). You have to make the habit of walking for a long time.

    That brings us to our next point, stamina. Steady stamina is crucial for a trek like this. To build stamina, we suggest doing activities that involve cardio like swimming, cycling, jogging, and running. You can also do cardio exercise.

    Another important thing is getting your shoes ready for the trek. Do not carry brand new shoes while trekking. It'll only hurt you. Break in your shoes and make them comfortable.

Client Reviews

  • 5/5

    Flexible Annapurna Circuit Trek

    We did a 20-day Annapurna circuit trek with these guys in December and had a fantastic time. They were very flexible and able to extend and modify our trip as we ended up having more time than initially expected.

    We ended up going up to Annapurna base camp with our guide Bhim and porter Rajan. These two did a great job of looking after us and were a lot of fun along the way.
    Everything went according to plan and, it was very well organized, well-chosen guides, nice hotels, and good food.

    I would have no hesitation recommending Outfitter Himalaya for a great trip to Nepal.
     

    C
    CraigFrom: Singapore,Feb 16, 2022
    logo

    Dear Craig,

    Thank you for joining us for your Annapurna Circuit Trek in Nepal and thank you for a great review about Annapurna circuit trek with us and Good to know that you are happy with the guide and all the services provided this day tour in Kathmandu.

    We wish you all the best and wish to serve you again.

    Have a good day.

    Arjun
    Outfitter Himalaya Holidays P. Ltd

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