Annapurna Sanctuary trekking holidays

“The Annapurna Sanctuary is a dramatic, 4,000m-high plateau ringed with Himalayan mountains, clear air and the jangling bells of mule trains. You'll feel like you've trekked to the heavens and back.”

Highlights

Kathmandu | Pokhara | Naya Pul | Birethanthi | Ulleri | Ghorepani | Walk through rhododendron forests | Chuili | Modi Khola Valley | Machhapuchhare Base Camp | One night in Annapurna Base Camp | Chomrong | Jhinnudanda | Optional: ascent of Poon Hill for sunrise

Description of Annapurna Sanctuary trekking holidays

Nepal’s Annapurna sanctuary is a vast, natural amphitheatre ringed by the peaks of the Annapurna Himal, which soar up to 7,000m high. This Annapurna Sanctuary trekking holiday follows a circular route from Birethani to the Sanctuary and back, with magnificent views of Himalayan giants including Annapurna 1 and 3, Gangapurna, Glacier Dome, Machhapuchhare and Fang.

Over 11 days, you’ll be trekking through terraced hillsides and rhododendron forests – alive with colour in spring. There are opportunities to bathe in clear mountain pools – and to ascend hills in time to catch the sunrise over the mountains before returning to camp for breakfast. You’ll pass riverside villages, the summer huts of local herdsmen and mule trains carrying rice to Mustang – hearing their bells before you see them.

On reaching the Annapurna Sanctuary, at over 4,130m, you’ll have a full day to explore this plateau, with extraordinary, close-up views of the snow-capped peaks in the crisp, mountain air. You’ll then spend the night in Annapurna Base Camp, waking up to one of the most spectacular sunrises you’ll ever experience.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
11 Dec 2016
£ 1959
including UK flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 11 Dec 2016 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Annapurna Sanctuary trekking holidays

Environment

Activity:
Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. It is a low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this. We work with a strict ‘leave no trace’ policy, meaning we have respect for wildlife and the landscape, separate rubbish and take all burnable waste back to Kathmandu. We also ask that clients consider using biodegradable toiletries and shower at lodges where electricity or solar power is used for hot water.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
On this trip we spend 4 nights in standard hotels and 10 nights in local lodges (teahouses). Most of the teahouses are owned by families who have lived in this region all of their lives. This is an easy way to make sure a decent portion of the trip cost and the money you spend on meals in the teahouses goes directly back to the community. Breakfasts are included and will usually consist of something simple, locally sourced and carb-heavy for energy, like porridge and toast. Where meals aren’t included, clients can support local lodges by trying some authentic cuisine, rather than imported meals. Try Nepalese dumplings (Momos) or lentils and spicy curry (Dal Bhat).

Local Craft and Culture:
This trip is packed with colourful Nepalese culture and opportunities to immerse yourself in a range of religious, historical and natural sites. Highlights include stopping at several small villages along the way (e.g. Ghorepani, Chomrong and many more). Pokhara’s traditional bazaar, temples and lakes are another cultural favourite as are the temples in Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, Pokhara, and some of the villages we visit, there will be traditional and handcrafted souvenirs available for purchase. Buying handmade jewellery, painted masks and puppets, prayer wheels, hand woven bags and tapestries all helps to support small vendors and their craft.

Charity:
After organising tours to the Himalayas for over 40 years, we have developed many long lasting partnerships with our operators and leaders as well as some of the local communities we visit. We seek ways to give something back and we usually help with small-scale practical projects that can help local communities and their environment, whilst giving the maximum possible long-term economic benefit. Together with our local leaders we manage all our own projects and over the years we have helped build schools and a children’s home. We have built water tanks and provide water pipes for villages and have helped with hydro electric projects. We have sponsored and installed more than 130 smokeless stoves and 50 solar cookers.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

Reviews of Annapurna Sanctuary trekking holidays

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 09 Jan 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Outstanding scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Variation of temperatures during the day , especially when the sun sets or you are in the shade.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes revenue found its way to local individuals.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Extremely satisfied.

Reviewed on 31 Mar 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Reaching the Annapurna Base Camp - exhausted but thankfully with no AMS effects - thanks to the gradual ascent over the previous days. The overall experience of being surrounded by the mountain ranges was truly indescribable.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Have plenty of warm clothes for the evening and nights. Allow a bit more money than you might think necessary - the costs increase as the lodges become more remote plus of course the jewellery shopping opportunities. Think about extending your holiday by having a couple more days in Kathmandu - another incredible experience.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, porters and trek guides and leaders were all local. Local payment meant that all our living costs went straight to the local providers. We were very attentive to not using plastic bottles and mineral water, to using solar energy where possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Excellent; an enlightening and refreshing experience.

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