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Surround yourself with the majestic mountain scenery of the Himalayas on this entry-level trek through some of the most popular sections of the spectacular Annapurna trail. Experience Nepalese hospitality, and gain an insight into the local mountain culture, as you get to know your guides and journey from village to village. This 7-day Annapurna Panorama trek is perfect for those who seek the peace of the mountains, but have slightly less time to spend doing so.

Duration: 12 days
Trekking days: 7
Max Elevation: 3210m/10,531ft
Grade of trek: Moderate
Dates: Flexible throughout the trekking season (Sept-May). Guaranteed start dates on 1st Friday of each month.
Arrival day: Friday
Return day: Tuesday
Eligibility: This is accessible to all reasonably fit walkers.
Age: 18+

Highlights

  • Trekking through the varied and spectacular landscapes of the Annapurna range
  • Viewing a spectacular Himalayan sunrise from the top of Poon Hill
  • Staying in traditional Gurung mountain villages, experiencing Nepalese culture and hospitality first hand
  • Exploring historic Kathmandu with its winding streets and beautiful temples

Ghode Pani

Description

The Poon Hill trek is one of the most popular along the Annapurna trail in Nepal thanks to its easy climbs and varied landscapes. Throughout the Annapurna Panorama trek, you will enjoy magnificent views of the Annapurna range from a relatively low altitude, including Fishtail Mountain and Annapurna South, as well as a sunrise panorama from the top of Poon Hill.

Along the way, you will pass through lush rhododendron forests, and if trekking in spring, will enjoy the sight of these beautiful flowers in full bloom. You will also experience staying in traditional Gurung mountain villages, giving you an insight into the local Nepalese culture, and a taste of delicious authentic Nepalese cuisine.

This 12 day trip includes 7 days of trekking and reaches altitudes of over 3200m. It is a trek suitable for all levels of experience (from beginners, to family groups to older trekkers) and is graded as ‘moderate’, making it accessible for all reasonably fit walkers.

You will begin the trip with a two night stay in the bustling, historic city of Kathmandu. Here you will receive a warm, traditional welcome and a quick safety briefing, followed by a comprehensive trek briefing the next day, an introduction to your guide and answers to any last minute questions you might have. While in Kathmandu, you will also be given a guided tour of the city’s world heritage site.

After your initial orientation in Kathmandu, you’ll be driven to the lakeside town of Pokhara and then on to Naya Pul, from where you will start your Poon Hill trek. You will spend the first two days climbing steadily up to the base of Poon Hill, via Tirkhedhunga and Ghorepani. On the third day, you will rise early in order to reach the summit for a spectacular sunrise view across the peaks of the Annapurna range. You will then spend the following three days descending slowly through beautiful forests and traditional mountain villages. You will end your trek at Phedi, and then driven the short distance to Pokhara, where you will have an afternoon free to explore this popular lakeside town.

Check out our full itinerary for a breakdown of the route and more details.

Accommodation and food

  • Whilst in Kathmandu (4 nights) and Pokhara (1 night) you will stay in comfortable, yet simple, hotels on a bed and breakfast basis
  • Along the trekking route you will stay in comfortable and good quality lodges, expect to share a bathroom with other trekkers (6 nights)

In our experience, trekkers enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose their meals. Therefore, we exclude most meals from the cost of the trek so that you can eat according to your budget and preferred taste. A budget of £13 per day should be ample.

Travel arrangements

Airport: Kathmandu Airport (KTM)
Arrival day: Friday (other arrival days are possible).
Transfers: You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel accommodation for orientation.
Departure day: Tuesday – you will be taken back to Kathmandu Airport.

Supporting You

Basant has been our representative since we started and has over a decade of experience in dealing with our trekkers. He is based in Kathmandu and runs all of the orientation sessions before handing you over to one of the highly experienced guides who will be leading your trek.

Included

  • Access to your own personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the program and manage your booking
  • Dedicated contact time with an experienced destination manager to discuss the project, answer any of your questions and for us to find out more about you
  • Help and advice from our UK office before arrival and whilst you are away
  • In-country support
  • Pre-departure information covering medical, safety and project advice
  • Financial protection: ATOL (if we book your flights); IPP (if we don’t book your flights)
  • Thorough orientation on arrival
  • Accommodation (see the ‘accommodation’ section above for details)
  • Advice on visa requirements
  • Oyster plants a tree in Africa with TreeAid to help offset your carbon emissions
  • Airport transfers and all necessary transport during your trip
  • 1 half-day guided sightseeing of the world heritage sites in Kathmandu, including transport and entrance fees
  • Trek with well-respected trekking organisation with experienced guides and full insurance
  • Porters during the trek (weight max. 15 kg per client)
  • National park fees
  • Oyster Trekking kit bag for each group member

Not Included

  • Flights – as an ATOL bonded company, Oyster can book flights for you
  • You need a valid passport that meets the requirements of the country you will be travelling to
  • Insurance (covering your time with Oyster and any planned independent travel)
  • Any costs associated with changing your return flight date if you need to
  • Independent travel costs
  • Home country travel costs
  • Spending money for additional trips, food and entertainment
  • All meals during trek (budget approx. £13 per day); Lunches and dinners in Kathmandu and Pokhara
  • Personal expenses (laundry, bar bills etc)
  • Nepal Visa fee (approx US$25 for up to 15 days)
  • Gratuities for staff

More Information

Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu: (1300m)
You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel. Our representative will get you settled in and give you a basic introduction to the local area. O/N Hotel.

Day 2: Briefing and sightseeing:
After breakfast, you will have a full briefing to prepare you for the trek, including kit, trekking conditions, health and safety. In the afternoon you will be taken for a guided tour of Kathmandu – a fascinating medieval city. O/N Hotel.

Day 3: Drive to Pokhara (7 hours) – 820m/2690ft
Wake early, and be collected by your guide who will transfer you to the tourist bus station for the beginning of your journey to Pokhara. You will drive for about 7 hours (with breaks), through beautiful Nepalese countryside, before arriving at this popular lakeside town. From here, you will be driven for a further hour along the Modi River to Naya Pul. You will end your journey with a final trek to Birethanti. O/N at a lodge in Birethanti.

Day 4: Trek to Tirkhedhunga (5-6 hours walk) – 1540m/5052ft
Set off from Birethanti, after a good breakfast, to begin your first full day of trekking. The trail today will take you along the beautiful banks of one of the River Modi’s tributaries. Continue along this route, enjoying the variety of bird and plant life that you encounter, before stopping for lunch at Hille. Trek through the afternoon to Tirkhedhunga, your welcome resting place for the night. O/N at a lodge in Tirkhedhunga.

Day 5: Trek to Ghorepani (6 hours walk) – 2820m/9252ft
Today’s trek follows the trail as it climbs out of Tirkhedhunga, up a steep stone staircase, and through lush forests of oak and rhododendron. You will spend much of today walking steadily through these mountain forests, and will break for lunch at Banthanti. On arrival in the attractive village of Ghorepani, you will be rewarded by a magnificent panorama of the Himalaya peaks, and can enjoy a night at a comfortable lodge in this popular trekking village. O/N at a lodge in Ghorepani.

Day 6: Early morning climb of Poon Hill (90 mins) then trek to Tadapani (5 hours walk) – 2590m/8497ft
Wake before dawn, and begin your day with a hike through rhododendron forest up to the top of Poon Hill (3185m/10480ft) in time for sunrise. Enjoy the spectacular morning views from the summit of the hill as you gaze over the Mustang and Pokhara valleys, and look out towards more than 20 of the Himalaya’s highest peaks. After enjoying Poon Hill’s magnificent views, spend the rest of the day following a gentle forest trail, past villages and teahouses, and with beautiful views of the Annapurna South constantly visible. Break for lunch at Banthanti, and end the day in the village of Tadapani. O/N at a lodge in Tadapani.

Day 7: Trek Tadapani (2600m) to Ghandruk (1940m) – 4-5hrs
Enjoy an easy trek today as you follow a gentle descent through lush forest to the attractive village of Ghandruk. After arrival, have the rest of the afternoon to relax in the village and explore its maze of little streets, before enjoying dinner at your lodge. O/N at a lodge in Ghandruk.

Day 8: Trek Ghandruk to Pothana (1900m) – 5 – 6 hours walk
After breakfast at the lodge, begin today’s trek with a descent to the Modi Khola River Bank, and cross a mountain bridge over the river. You will continue to follow the trail through terraced hill fields and up to Landruk village. As the day goes on, you will trek through paddy fields, and up a final ascent to Pothana via Deuralli Village. This will be the last night with your trekking crew (apart from your guide), and they will organise a farewell ceremony with Nepali songs and dance. Enjoy this cultural experience and, if you’re brave enough, try the local drink ‘Rakshi’. O/N at a lodge in Pothana.

Day 9: Trek Pothana to Phedi (approx. 2hrs walk) and drive to Pokhara (30 minutes)
Most of today’s trail to Phedi is along the ridge of a hill, and will provide you with many stunning Himalayan views. You will descend down to Phedi through beautiful forests, passing the attractive farming village of Dhaupus on the way. Upon arrival you will be driven to Pokhara, and have the rest of the day to explore this popular lakeside town. You could choose to go boating on Pokhara’s Fewa Lake, or take part in a guided sightseeing tour of Mt. Museum, Davis Fall and Mahendra Cave in the village. O/N at a hotel in Pokhara.

Day 10: Drive Pokhara to Kathmandu by tourist bus
Spend today travelling as you embark on the 7 hour bus journey back to Kathmandu. On arriving in the city, you will be transferred to your hotel, and will spend the night here. O/N at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 11: Day at leisure in Kathmandu
You have the whole day to yourself to relax at the hotel or explore Kathmandu – its historic and cultural monuments, its bustling streets, and colourful shops. O/N at a hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 12: Holiday extension or transfer to the airport for final departure
You will be transferred to the airport for your final departure flight, unless you are extending your holiday in the country.

Nepal has two main seasons. The dry season is between October and May. The wet season is between June and September. It can get very hot in Nepal, even during the winter months it can get to 20ºC during the day, but it gets very cold at night – especially at higher altitudes.

As with all of Oyster’s trips, you can be confident of safe, well-organised travel and a great personal service from Jon, the Destination Manager for Nepal. He will be happy to chat through your needs and find the right Nepal trek for you. Our prices are extremely competitive, due to the fact that we have direct and longstanding links with our trekking partners and are able to keep our prices down without compromising on quality.

Oyster is not able to advise you on which insurance policy you should get. What we can say is that you should ensure that you have a comprehensive policy that covers you for trekking at altitudes up to 3210m. You should also make sure that your policy covers you for emergency helicopter evacuation.

We act as ‘Introducer’ for a policy with Global Travel Insurance.

We would recommend allowing £13 per day for food. Including social life costs, you will probably spend about £20 per day in total.

You can withdraw Nepali rupees in Kathmandu from one of the many ATMs in the city. You will need cash for the trek to pay for your food each day, and to tip the porters at the end of the trip.

The Nepal Visa fee is approx US$25 for up to 15 days. This will be granted on arrival in Nepal.

You can travel solo on our treks although groups of friends are very welcome. The more people in your group, the cheaper it will be per person.

You should visit your doctor or travel nurse to find out what vaccinations you will need. Your routine vaccinations will need to be up to date, you are likely to need Hepatitis A and Typhoid, and you may need Hepatitis B, Yellow fever, malaria and Rabies. You should follow your doctor’s advice.

There is a health clinic run by western doctors located in Kathmandu. They deal with most health concerns of our participants. If you have any medical issues whilst on a trek, you will be offered First Aid from our trained guides. There are medical clinics along the trekking route and, for anything serious, your travel insurance should cover you for helicopter evacuation to Kathmandu.

Trekking is an adventure sport and carries risks with it. We have taken every precaution to make sure that you will be suitable for the trek and that you will be briefed thoroughly on the risks and how to manage them. Our guides are experts and able to deal with any safety issues. Nepal is generally regarded as safe. Don’t believe all you hear from tourists and do listen to the advice of Oyster and Basant. Above all use your common sense i.e. if you see a crowd forming, don’t go and see what it is all about – leave the area.

While in Kathmandu, you will be in the heart of Thamel, the tourist district. While on trek, Kathmandu will be at least a 6 hour drive from the trek start point.

You will stay in simple but comfortable hotels in Kathmandu and Pokhara, as well as the best available lodges en route.

Dal Bhat – this is a lentil based curry (not very spicy) served with rice. You will learn to love this as most people have this for breakfast and dinner each day. In Kathmandu, you can buy pretty much any food that you like. There are pizza places, bakeries, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurant – the list goes on! On trek, you will not be restricted to curry, but will be able to choose from fried rice and chow mein dishes amongst others. Nepal is one of only a few countries in the world that does not have a McDonalds!

WiFi is available in Kathmandu before and after your trek by visiting one of the many internet cafes. Whilst on the trek, you should not expect to get access to the internet.

Mobile reception is good in the Kathmandu Valley. Don’t expect to get mobile reception when trekking. Our guides carry emergency satellite phones which are only used in case of emergency.

You will be in UTC +5.45.

An international adapter is recommended in Nepal. A mixture of 3 round pin (small or large) and 2 round pin sockets exist.

Many trekkers use this as an opportunity to explore the World Heritage Sites in Kathmandu and to buy gifts to take home. In Pokhara you are able to hire boats to explore Fewa Lake, or you can choose to take part in a guided sightseeing tour of Mt. Museum, Davis Fall and Mahendra Cave in the village. If you extend your trip and have more free time, there are lots of things that you can do. From rafting, to safari to bungee jumping, we can advise and help you to book these.

You will have at least one free day in Kathmandu, and a free afternoon in Pokhara.

Supervision will be fairly intensive during the first few days, when you will receive a thorough induction and trek briefing. During the trek itself, you will be supervised by a guide and porters whilst walking.

Staff at Oyster’s head office and in-country will be responsible for your safety and welfare while you are on the trek. This will start from the moment you are picked up from the airport until the time you are dropped back there. Before and after these times, you will be outside Oyster’s responsibility and should make sure that you act safely and avoid risk. This is also true if you choose to go sight-seeing during your time off. We will give you plenty of guidance and advice about this.

Got a question or want to chat to Project Manager Jon who has first-hand experience of the project? Call +44 1892 771972or email: – [email protected].

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