nepal prayer flags

Mini Annapurna Circuit

16 days
from
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5 / 5 from 11 reviews
Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Challenging
Activity Rating - Challenging
Trip code: 
TNH
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
4–16
Min age:
16

Experience a condensed version of the Annapurna Circuit in just two weeks. 

The perfect trek for those who would like to experience Nepal’s classic Annapurna Circuit trek in just two weeks. With superb views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri and the chance to cross the formidable Thorong La Pass it's no wonder this remains one of Nepal's classic treks. A demanding yet excellent introduction to walking in the Himalaya.

Highlights

  • New improved route for 2020 using New Annapurna Trekking Trails (NATT)
  • The Annapurna Circuit in 2 weeks
  • Sunset and sunrise from Manang over Gangapurna and the Annapurnas
  • Cross the formidable Thorong La
  • Dramatically changing scenery

Key information

  • 3 nights standard hotels and 11 nights teahouses
  • 11 days point-to-point walking with full porterage
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus tour leader and local staff. Min. age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 5416m, average 2800m
  • Travel by private bus and 2 internal flights
  • Snow and ice may be encountered
  • Countries visited: Nepal

What's included

  • All breakfasts 
  • Morning bed-tea on trek
  • Welcome drink at each overnight lodge
  • 3 nights standard hotels and 11 nights teahouses
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout, plus local staff (staff to client ratio of 1:4 on trek) 
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Full porterage throughout trek
  • Exodus kitbag 
  • Trekking map (provided locally)
  • Trekking permit and national park fees

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request, Kathmandu and Pokhara only)
  • Visas and vaccinations
  • Sleeping bag (hire in advance from £49*)
  • Down jacket (hire in advance from £49*) 
  • *Hire package incl. down jacket and sleeping bag from £56
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

11

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 7hrs walking per day

Terrain:

High altitude; including steep, rocky terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 36.0km/4.0miles
Day 413.0km/8.0miles
Day 517.0km/11.0miles
Day 618.0km/11.0miles
Day 715.0km/9.0miles
Day 811.0km/7.0miles
Day 912.0km/7.0miles
Day 1010.0km/6.0miles
Day 117.0km/5.0miles
Day 1216.0km/10.0miles
Day 1314.0km/8.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Exodus has a longstanding relationship with our local partner in Nepal, having worked with the family business for over 30 years. We employ local leaders, guides and staff throughout and work with family-run hotels wherever possible, such as the Hotel Royal Singi.

Exodus has set up and supported many projects in Nepal over the decades, from installing solar cookers and donating smokeless stoves, to supporting a tree nursery in Braga (Annapurna’s) and helping supply water and hydro-electric power to several villages.

Following the 2015 Nepal earthquake, Exodus’ emergency fundraising appeal raised over a quarter of a million pounds. This enabled us to provide immediate and longer-term emergency support in the necessary areas. Exodus worked with volunteers from Nepal Medical College to run a medical camp in the remote village of Thulopatel in 2016, and sponsored Health Partnership Nepal to run a medical camp in Charikot in 2017. We are also proud to support Freedom Kit Bags (providing sanitary wear) for women in Nepal..

To learn more about what Sustainable Travel means to Exodus and the projects we support through the Exodus Travels Foundation click here... your contributions really do make a huge difference to the communities we aim to help – if you’d like to donate to our Himalayan Community Projects you can do so here.

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Depart London.

    The group flight is an overnight flight departing London this evening.

  • Day 2

    Start Kathmandu

    Those on the group flight from London will arrive into Kathmandu today and will be transferred to our hotel. Those not travelling with the group from London will meet us in the hotel. There will be a full trek briefing at the hotel this afternoon.

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

  • Day 3

    Scenic drive to Ngaddi via Besisahar; begin trek to Bauhundanda

    We leave Kathmandu early in the morning and drive towards Pokhara. After leaving the Kathmandu Valley we follow the river to Mugling. We then continue to Besisahar and on to Ngaddi, from where we begin our trek - the total drive time to the trailhead can vary depending on road conditions and traffic but is usually in the region of 7 hours. We begin trekking from Ngaddi with great views ahead of Himalchuli and Peak 29. We now have a 2.5hr walk steadily uphill through scrub forest through Lampata, a Manangi village with Tibetan style prayer flags, with a final short ascent to the village of Bauhundanda (Brahmin’s Hill), perched on a ridge.  

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1290m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Visit Tallo Chiple village and cross the Marsyangdi Valley to Jagat

    The trail starts with a steep descent towards the Marsyangdi River. We then head up the valley on an undulating trail to Germu. From here, we start a steep ascent through fields and forest, reaching Tallo Chiple in time for lunch in a small homestay. This beautiful village is so far untouched by the new road which is being built. We descend a little and then have a short but steep climb (to avoid a landslide) towards Maththillo Chipla. Just before the village, we descend steeply for a short time to the Marsyangdi River, which we cross by a suspension bridge. Heading steeply uphill for around 20-minutes, we rejoin the main trail at the village of Jagat, where we spend the night.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,300m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Reach the village of Dharapani.

    Immediately after leaving the lodge, a small old trail turns off the road up to the left and undulates through the forest all the way to Chyamje, after which we cross a suspension bridge and climb through oak forest. An undulating ascent brings us to a level valley where 'Tal', the next village is situated at the foot of a grand waterfall (1,700m). From Tal, we stay on the same side of the river and climb up above the river to Kotro (this trail is susceptible to landslides in the monsoon so your leader will check the situation on the day). From Kotro, we descend to the Marsyangdi River, cross it via a bridge and then have a short ascent to Dharapani.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 1,890m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Visit Odar village. Climb to Temang, then descend to Chame

    Beyond Dharapani we leave the jeep trail and turn sharply up to the left and have a steep hour's climb up a stone staircase to the pretty village of Odar. Passing traditional farms and homesteads we trek through Galenchowk before descending to the main trail at Bagarchap at 2,164m. The name of this village means 'butcher's place' and, although Buddhist, the people of this region used to hunt animals. Continuing, we follow the jeep track for a short while past apple orchards to Dhanagyu. From here we turn sharply up into the forest and we have a fairly long climb to Temang, where we have lunch with magnificent views of Manaslu and Peak 29. The trail then descends through fir and pine forests to Thanchowk and further on through Koto to Chame (2,713m), the administrative centre of the Manang district. (Please note that for those who do not want to climb up to Odar village there is an alternative trail on the right side of the river through Thonche to Dhanagyu – this trail is a bit easier).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 2,700m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Continue ascending through forested hillsides past the rock face of Paungdi Danda to Upper Pisang.

    We now experience a dramatic change of scenery. Leaving the forests and vegetation of the alpine regions behind we enter the upper district of Manang, known as Nyeshang. At first, our trail follows the river closely through a deep canyon on the jeep track for a couple of hours to Brathang at 2,919m where there is now a large apple plantation. We can stop for fresh coffee and cakes (and maybe some fresh apple juice) before we begin our climb this morning. The trail then crosses the river and leaves the jeep track to climb on forest trails through fir and pine trees from where the impressive curved rock face of Paungda Danda rises nearly 1,500m from the riverbank to Dukha Pokhari, where we stop for lunch. From here we veer off to the right and take the trail that climbs away from the road track and to Upper Pisang village, where we stay in a simple lodge for the night. There is an impressive monastery in the village which we can visit in the afternoon. From here to the pass we are the closest we will be to the mountains and today the views of Annapurna 2 are particularly impressive (weather permitting) and worth all the climbing.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,300m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Climb high above the valley on a wonderful high trail to Ngawal

    A shorter but spectacular day for acclimatisation. From Upper Pisang we take the fantastic high-level route towards Manang via the villages of Gyaru and Ngawal. This is a wonderful walk with great views across to the Annapurnas. We start with a short descent through the forest and then we have a very steep climb up to Gyaru for a tea break. The views across the valley become ever more spectacular the higher we go. From here the trail undulates high above the river with magnificent views across the Annapurnas to Ngawal, where we stay tonight. There should be time in the afternoon to explore this pretty mediaeval village and visit the gompa.  

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,650m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Follow the high trail from Ngawal via Julu to Manang

    Another day for acclimatisation. From Ngawal we take a spectacular high trail which contours high above the valley with amazing views across to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. As we leave Ngawal village, we pass a large chorten before the trail drops down to Julu village. We take the route which climbs steeply out of Julu onto a wonderful high trail above the valley. The trail climbs to a plateau and we contour around the valley through forests with great views across the valley to the Annapurnas and Gangapurna. The trail drops down to the pretty village of Braga, dominated by a large ancient gompa. We can stop for a cup of coffee or lunch at the Super Bakery and visit the gompa and the small tree nursery, a project that Exodus has supported for many years. Passing carved mani walls we arrive at the village of Manang at 3,530m.

    We have time this afternoon to explore Manang and enjoy the magnificent views of the whole Annapurna Range and the enormous icefall that crashes and rumbles down from Gangapurna. This is the part of the trek where we are closest to the mountains. Across the valley the huge bulk of Gangapurna and the Annapurnas tower way above us - the sunset and sunrise over this great amphitheatre is one of the most beautiful mountain views in the country. Manang has many bakeries and coffee shops and is an ideal place to spend the afternoon.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,530m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Trek to Yak Kharka; afternoon acclimatisation walk

    Leaving Manang we head towards the base of the Thorong La. We climb out of the Marsyangdi Valley and turn northwest up the valley of the Jarsang Khola. Looking back the views are ever more spectacular as we are above the forests now and pass through dry, alpine country, with scrub juniper and occasional clumps of birch. We spend tonight at a lodge in Yak Kharka. We will reach the lodge by lunchtime and in the afternoon, we will have an acclimatisation walk onto the surrounding hills. Look out for the Blue sheep that inhabit this cold, windy spot.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,000m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 11

    Short half day walk to Phedi, at the foot of the Thorong La

    Another short day to aid acclimatisation. The scenery becomes wilder as we continue ascending the valley. At one point we descend to cross the Jarsang Khola, then traverse a scree slope to the lone teahouses at Phedi (4,420m) at the foot of the Thorong La. Thorong Phedi can be very cold and windy. In the afternoon we can go for a walk up to Thorong High Camp which is the last lodge and is about an hour above Phedi.

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 4,420m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Cross the Thorong La (5416m) to Muktinath, a place of pilgrimage

    A long day as we leave Phedi very early in the morning for the climb to the pass. The first part of the ascent is very steep, but it eases somewhat as we approach the top, although the altitude still makes the going tough. Eventually, after numerous false summits, we reach the pass itself at 5,416m. Ahead there is a magnificent panorama of snow-capped peaks soaring above the Kali Gandaki Valley looking towards Dolpo and Mustang and looking back we can see several of the main peaks of Annapurna. Directly in front of us is the great chasm of the Kali Gandaki, 2,500m. It's a very long descent that begins gently and becomes steeper, as we follow a series of switchbacks down to more grassy slopes. We stop for a break at Phedi where there are a few tea houses. From Phedi it’s another hour of gentle descent to Muktinath (3,700m). (Please note that conditions on the pass vary. It can be calm and clear with no snow but there can also be snow and ice and high winds on the pass. We recommend you carry Yaktrax or microspikes in case of snow or ice and take enough warm layers in case of high winds).

    Teahouse (sleeping altitude 3,700m)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Trek via Lupra to Jomsom.

    From Muktinath, we pass through a landscape of bare, eroded hills with a backdrop of snow-capped high peaks. After visiting the temples we take an off the beaten track trail uphill for about an hour to a small col with excellent views of Dhaulagiri. Descending steeply we come to the isolated village of Lupra with an ancient Bon monastery. After lunch, we follow a fantastic gorge down to the Kali Gandaki Valley. The last couple of hours we follow the main trail into Jomsom.

    Teahouse 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    Fly to Pokhara; afternoon free to explore the lakeside.

    The flights from Jomsom to Pokhara are usually in the early morning due to the high winds which blow up the Kali Gandaki Valley later in the day. The short but very spectacular flight takes us all the way down the Kali Gandaki Valley with great views of Niligiri and Dhaulagiri. We fly to Pokhara, where we transfer to a small guesthouse for the night. The rest of the day is free to explore this lakeside resort. You can hire a bike and cycle around the lake, shop or simply relax in one of the lakeside cafes.  

    Please note that flights from Jomsom are dependent on good weather. If the flight from Jomsom is cancelled, we will return to Pokhara by road.

    Hotel Lakefront / Hotel Dahlia (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Fly to Kathmandu.

    We fly to Kathmandu. If the weather is good there should be good views of the western end of the Nepal on this flight. The rest of the day is free to explore Kathmandu. You may wish to visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving, is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambhunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath. Various sightseeing tours can be booked and paid for locally at the hotel in Kathmandu. For details see the Optional Excursions section. (Very occasionally it may not be possible to fly, in which case we return to Kathmandu by road, arriving in the evening).

    Hotel Royal Singi (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 16

    Fly to London.

    The trip ends after breakfast. Those not on the group flight will leave us after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Nepal

Most nationalities require a visa for Nepal, which can be obtained in advance or on entry (at present, the Immigration Department of Nepal have suspended  'visas on arrival' for certain nationalities - please check if this applies to you). All Nepal tourist visas are multiple entry. We recommend that you apply in advance as queues on arrival can be very long – applications can be made directly through the Nepal Embassy (by post or in person) or through our recommended visa agency, Travcour. The current cost for a visa in advance is GB£20 for a 15-day visa and GB£35 for a 30-day visa for UK passport holders (plus processing and postage fees if applying through Travcour).

The current cost for a visa on arrival is US$30 for 15 days, US$50 for 30 days, or US$125 for 90 days for UK passport holders. The fee can be paid for in any major currency at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. On arrival in the immigration hall there are 3 queues (if you have obtained a visa in advance go straight to (3) - immigration):

(Step 1) Fill in a 'Tourist Visa' form: either online before travel (recommended) via the Department of Immigration website - print the submission receipt with barcode (valid for 15 days) and bring it with you, or use the electronic kiosk machines on arrival at the airport. If using the kiosks, after inserting your passport the machine will automatically fill out an application form, take an electronic photograph of you and print a paper slip. If the machine won’t read your passport you can complete the details manually using the touch screen. We recommend taking 1 passport photo with you just in case. (Step 2) Proceed to the visa fees collection counter and pay the visa fee (we advise to take some cash) – make sure to keep the receipt. (Step 3) Lastly, go to the relevant immigration desk and present your tourist visa form, payment receipt and passport to obtain your 15, 30 or 90-day visa stamp. Please check you have been given the correct visa duration.

Non-UK nationals should check requirements with their nearest embassy (a few nationalities are not permitted visas on arrival).

Vaccinations

Nepal

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A.

There is low to no risk of malaria throughout Nepal and antimalarial tablets are not usually advised although may be considered for certain higher risk groups; you may wish to consult your GP or travel health clinic for further advice. The risk is highest in the low lying southern ‘terai’ districts bordering India.

A yellow fever certificate is only required if travelling from a country with risk of yellow fever transmission or for travellers having transited for more than 12 hours through a country with risk of transmission.

Dengue fever is a known risk in Nepal. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. As of August 2019, there has been a recent outbreak of Dengue fever in southeast Nepal and we therefore recommend you take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites (such as wearing full length trousers, long sleeves and applying insect repellent during the day as well as at dawn and dusk).

Most of our trips to Nepal go to high altitudes where there is a risk of being affected by Acute Mountain Sickness. Our itineraries are designed to enable everyone to acclimatise to these altitudes, but you should be aware that it is still possible for you to be affected. Please refer to the Altitude Warning within the Trip Notes for further advice on AMS.

Eating and Drinking

Breakfast is included throughout the trip.

In the teahouses breakfast will comprise of a choice of bread (a slice of toast, chapatti or Tibetan bread), a choice of egg (boiled, fried or omelette), and a choice between either muesli or porridge each day. Hot tea/coffee will also be served. On specific days, there will not be a choice for breakfast and either a trekkers breakfast (egg, hash brown, baked beans and toast) or a pancake with jam/honey will be served - these options are not available in all teahouses and so we have only included them in locations where they can be guaranteed.

Lunch will be taken at a teahouse en route - sometimes one of your guides will go ahead with the group's order to make it more expedient. Dinner will be in the same teahouse that you sleep at (this is custom in Nepal as teahouses base their room rate on it).

Although most lodges have almost identical menus, they are reasonably extensive and offer a varied selection, ranging from traditional Nepalese dhal bhat to pizza and apple pie. Dhal bhat is the staple diet in Nepal and comes in many different forms but generally comprises some curried lentil dhal and meat or vegetables, some rice, and a pickle/chutney. Another popular snack is momos; a type of Nepalese dumpling, fried or steamed, filled with meat or vegetables.

Although meat is available in the teahouses, we advise against eating it on trek. The meat has often been carried in the heat from lower altitudes for several days before reaching the lodges and can cause stomach upsets or illness. Germs can also be spread by handling dirty money - we recommend using hand sanitiser.  

If you have a gluten free diet, then we strongly recommend you bring some extra food and snacks with you to supplement the food on trek as there will be little variety available for you, particularly for breakfast. Even many of the soups are powdered and contain gluten. Gluten free breakfast options will be limited to vegetable fried rice and a choice of egg, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the toast / with an extra egg) will be served. Breakfast options for vegans will be limited to a choice of muesli/porridge with water each day, and on specific days only, a trekkers breakfast (without the egg), or vegetable fried rice will be served. If you are lactose intolerant as opposed to vegan then the same will apply although you will also have a choice of egg each day. 

If you buy imported food and drink whilst on trek you will spend more than the suggested amount.

Drinking Water

Staying hydrated is important when undertaking any physical activity but particularly so at altitude where it is generally recommended to drink at least 3-4 litres per person per day.

We strongly encourage you not to buy bottled water on trek as this contributes to the growing problem of plastic pollution in Nepal.

The teahouses sell boiled water for approx. Rs150-300 per litre (the price increases the higher you trek) which should not require treating. This is also perfect for a bedtime refill as it can double up as a hot water bottle.

Alternatively, all teahouses will provide cold water free of charge, if requested. Although this should not be drunk untreated, we recommend that you bring a reusable bottle with you and use an effective form of water treatment. There are a wide range of products available these days which are more effective than the traditional purification tablets - we recommend talking to an outdoor retailer for the latest advice as technologies are improving all the time: make sure to check the product’s performance in cold/freezing conditions and consider battery life (lithium batteries are best in cold conditions).

Handheld UV filters such as a ‘SteriPEN’ are very effective, can treat 1 litre of water in a couple of minutes and the water is ready immediately – look for lightweight lithium battery models and remember that you will need to bring a wide-mouthed bottle (e.g. Nalgene) for use with these devices.

There are also an array of water filter and purifier bottles on the market but be wary of their weight, bottles with a small capacity and the products performance in freezing conditions. Exodus has partnered with Water-to-Go, a filtration system that eliminates over 99.99% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source – please visit Water-to-Go for more information. Exodus customers can claim 15% off your first order, and better still, 15% of the purchase value will be donated to the Exodus Travels Foundation. Please note that if the water freezes it will clog up the filter – in this event, defrost before use by sitting the filter in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes.

Weather

The main trekking season in Nepal is from October to mid-May when daytime temperatures at most altitudes are generally comfortable for walking, the sky is clear much of the time and rain and snow are occasional occurrences. Daytime temperatures will vary from 15ºC to 35ºC in the Kathmandu Valley to around 10ºC at 3,600m and progressively lower the higher we go. Different seasons offer different advantages for trekking.

The crossing of the Thorong La can be cold at any time of year. Sometimes the pass is clear of snow and there is no wind whilst at other times it is covered in snow (or ice) and it is extremely windy and cold. We cannot predict the weather, so you must have adequate clothing and equipment for very cold temperatures. We cannot guarantee you will need them but we suggest you take YakTrax or microspikes (the ones with spikes on not coils) in case of snow or ice as it is best to be prepared.

Snow can be expected on any departure, usually at the higher altitudes above Manang. 

Post Monsoon/autumn: Mid-September to November. This is the main trekking season in Nepal. Day temperatures in Kathmandu are approximately above 20ºC. Skies are usually clear and days on trek are sunny and mild with clear mountain views (particularly in late autumn). Nights will be colder with temperatures dropping as low as to minus 5ºC at the higher altitudes.

Winter: December to end February. Despite the colder conditions, this is an ideal time to trek in Nepal. Skies are usually very clear especially in December and the mountain views are at their best. Nights will be very cold with temperatures down to minus 10ºC or lower at the highest altitudes but days are pleasant and sunny. The trails are also much less busy at this time of year. In Kathmandu, maximum daytime temperatures are 19ºC.

Pre-monsoon: March to May. Both day and night temperatures will be warmer in general but haze will often build up in the afternoons. It is very hot in the lowlands and temperatures rise to 35ºC in Kathmandu. Flowers bloom in this season and this is one of the reasons people chose to trek in spring. A buff is highly recommended as protection against the dusty winds that can occur on certain sections of the trip.

Is this trip for you?

This is a Challenging (Activity Level 5) trek with 11 days walking. The maximum altitude is 5,416m, and the average altitude is 2,800m. Please read a description of our Activity Levels, found on our website.

Apart from the Thorong La, a high pass with a steep approach, the walking on this trek is generally quite moderate, and the first few days do not involve any long or steep ascents. We recommend this trek to those who want a thorough overview of the Nepalese Himalaya. Although we schedule this trek at times of the year when conditions should be favourable, there can be unseasonal snowfall which very occasionally makes the Thorong La impassable. In this case, we can spend one day waiting, and then if it is still not possible to cross the pass we must then retrace our steps to Besisahar.

The Mini Annapurna Circuit trek involves walking on almost entirely well-established trails. Apart from the crossing of the Thorong La the walking is at intermediate altitude, but it is likely to be below freezing on several nights. During the crossing of the Thorong La, it will be extremely cold! Some snow or ice may be encountered on the pass.

The trail crosses numerous modern suspension bridges over rivers and valleys; all have mesh sides and none are especially high, however, anyone with a strong fear of heights or vertigo may find them difficult.

A dirt road is currently under construction along part of the main Annapurna Circuit route, however, our Base Manager recce'd the route again in December 2019 and our itinerary now takes alternative trails (NATT – New Annapurna Trekking Trails) wherever available to avoid the road as much as possible.

You may find our Walking & Trekking Fitness Training Guide a useful reference.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group. 'Altitude gain' given within the itinerary refers to the total ascent that day (i.e. all the uphill sections added together). Unfortunately, we do not have this data for the 'altitude loss' at present so this is left blank.

As this trip spends considerable time at altitude, we ask you to refer to the altitude warning under the 'Practical Information' section below. 

Internal flight delays

Please note adverse weather conditions at Jomsom airport may occasionally mean that your flight to Pokhara cannot operate and we may have to return to Pokhara by road. Exodus has built-in an additional day to the itinerary to accommodate this. Ultimately any prolonged delay of your return to Kathmandu may result in missing your international flight; in such circumstances, Exodus will make every effort to rebook flight inclusive package clients onto the next available flight (in the appropriate booking class and with the same international carrier). Land only clients should be aware that in these circumstances we cannot be held responsible for you missing onward travel arrangements.

To help you better prepare for your Nepal holiday, please also see our Nepal Destination Guide.

Why Trek with Exodus?

• Over 30 years’ experience of organising treks in Nepal.
• 'Ask an expert' - talk to Exodus office staff who have done the treks themselves.
• Experienced English-speaking local leaders who are qualified in first aid and trained in recognising and dealing with altitude sickness.
• One of the highest staff to client ratios on trek - 1 staff member: 4 clients.
• All staff (leaders, guides and porters) are fully insured and paid a fair wage.
• Carefully planned ascent rates and itineraries with built-in acclimatisation and contingency days.
• Staff carry oxygen and a first aid kit.
• Self-assessment AMS cards used to monitor every client at altitude.

Walking hours stated within the itinerary are given as approximates only. Timings stated exclude lunch stops and will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels & Teahouses

We spend three nights in standard hotels and eleven nights in lodges (teahouses).

In Kathmandu, we usually stay at the Hotel Royal Singi, located within walking distance of the Thamel district. All rooms have en suite facilities and there is a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor courtyard. In Pokhara we usually stay at Hotel Lakefront or Hotel Dahlia.

The teahouses are basic but adequate; please be realistic about what to expect in the mountains. 

In the Annapurna region most of the lodges offer Wi-Fi. You have to pay for it in each lodge. The cost is around NPR100-200. Sometimes the Wi-Fi may not work because of the poor network coverage or power cuts.

The hub of the teahouse is the dining room, sometimes with a stove or heater (some lodges charge a fee to put the heater on). All teahouses sell snacks and other essentials such as tissues, soap and toilet paper. Most lodges have electricity but it is not wholly reliable and lighting may not be bright enough to read by – a torch is essential. In many locations on the Annapurna Circuit, there are electrical plug sockets in the teahouse bedrooms so you can recharge devices free of charge but in some locations, charging facilities may only be available in the dining room for a small fee (approx. Rs100-200 per hour per device). Most of the lodges on this route have Wi-Fi for around Rs100 per day. Sometimes the Wi-Fi may not work because of the poor network coverage or power cuts. 

The bedrooms are mostly twin-share but occasionally during peak seasons you may be asked to share a dormitory room (3-5 people max) for the odd night. Beds with foam mattresses, bedsheets and a pillow are provided. Bedrooms are generally unheated and can get cold at night so you will need to bring or hire a sleeping bag.

Most lodges have only one or two basic toilets and sometimes these are located outside the main lodge building. Toilets are usually Asian ’squat’ style; although many lodges have now installed ‘western style’ seated ones. Toilet paper is not provided so you should bring your own or buy it locally (please dispose of it the bin provided – do not put it in the bowl). If there is not a flush handle, there should be a container of water to pour down – if it is empty (or frozen) please either refill it or ask the lodge to. There are laundry facilities in Manang if you need to wash a few items.

Most lodges now have hot gas or solar showers (charged at approx. Rs100 per shower) but don’t expect them every night. Sometimes a hot shower is simply a bucket of hot water and not a showerhead.

Standards of cleanliness vary especially in the peak trekking season and in winter when the water freezes at night. Please report any problems to your leader or the lodge and be vigilant in your personal hygiene regime – use soap or hand sanitizer gel before and after toilet breaks, snacks and meal times.

The lodges along this trekking route vary in terms of comfort and there are a couple of very basic lodges.

Extra Accommodation

If you require any additional accommodation either before or after the trip in Kathmandu, we can book this for you (subject to availability), provided you notify us at the time of booking.

Single Accommodation

There is no single supplement available whilst on trek. (If you require a single room on trek please ask your leader and if there is one available it is possible to arrange and pay locally on a day to day basis).

If you would like a single supplement for the hotel nights in Kathmandu and Pokhara (3 nights in total) please enquire at the time of booking.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3943
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed December 2019
    Michelle Burton

    Fantastic trip - great scenery, well paced, brilliant leader

    We had the most wonderful trip on the Mini Annapurna Circuit in Nov 19 with a great group of 6, and a brilliant leader Jangbu. The scenery was amazing throughout and so varied - starting off warm with jungle and rice terraces, going through to the barren and snow covered pass. The group was made up of 3 couples (40's/50's/60's) who all met on this trip but worked really well together and was a nice number. The itinerary was very well thought out, from walking times between breakfast, tea stop, lunch, and afternoon. A slow enough pace that no-one was pushed, out of breath or sweaty. No-one got altitude sickness as the increase in altitude every day was so well managed. The food was much better and more varied that expected (fried rice, fried noodles, soup, curry, chips, pizza, and occasionally even items like lasagna, burritos etc. And of course desserts like apply pie, and mars bar rolls !

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The peace and tranquillity on the trail. Going end-Nov meant it was very quiet, and we even had a lot of the tea houses all to ourselves. Every day the views were amazing and fascinating to see it change the higher you went.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader Jangbu was superb. Nothing was too much trouble, he was always on hand to answer any question, order our breakfast, tea, lunch, dinner, sort out wifi, charging, showers, safe drinking water etc. He made sure we all knew the next days plans, what to wear, what to carry etc etc. We felt completely confident and comfortable with his leadership and advice, considering he has been doing this for years, and has even summited Everest 6+ times ! He made sure we only ate in safe places, advised us on what to eat, what to drink, where not to eat, and even made sure the hygiene in each place was up to standard - including going into the kitchen to assist ! No-one from the group got ill, and he was always on hand for any questions, had no downtime for himself, and even on the final day was around at breakfast and to ensure we all got our transfers to the airport and to say goodbyes.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The trip notes do cover everything you need to know - just keep re-reading them as whatever you need to know is in there ! The trail is very dusty - not just the jeep tracks, but also the walking trails, so expect very dusty boots and trousers, and a buff is essential every day. A few essential items to bring: Buff (needed every day of trek) Steripen and wide-mouth Nalgene bottle Body wipes (unreliable hot showers, and sometime too cold to want one) Hydration pack - drink on the go Hand gel - multiple bottles Diamox (start on day 3) - can buy in Kathmandu/before the trek Lots of toilet roll (3 each) Pillow case V. warm clothes - it was -8c on the morning we went over the Thorong La pass. Decent 4-season sleeping bag (we used this every single night), and sleeping bag liner to keep it clean The tea houses vary in quality - some quite smart and new, others more basic and old. We had more rooms with ensuites than shared bathrooms, and the higher you go, they all have a hot stove you can gather round in the dining room to warm up. None had heating in the bedrooms so you are only in there to unpack/pack and sleep. We normally slept in some of our clothes, and needed the 4-season sleeping bags and sometimes provided blankets as well. We only ended up having a few showers as either the hot water ran out, or the rooms were too cold to want to undress/come out wet, so body wipes were much needed ! You are advised not to drink alcohol over 3000m so this meant from day 4 onwards until you are in Jomsom on the final trekking day - 8 days without !

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were a bit daunted by this trip, and potential for either getting altitude sickness, or getting ill from general hygiene on the trail. But we didnt need to worry. The itinerary is planned so you acclimatise well and the leader really looks out for you. We all religiously used hand gel at all opportunities - even cleaning the cutlery, and as a result, no-one got sick. I would 100% recommend Exodus and going guided as it takes away all hassle and concerns, from planning, pace setting, and even to knowing the safe places to eat/drink. We met a lot of people travelling in 2's/3's without guide or porters, and every evening they had to find somewhere to stay, were pouring over maps planning route, worrying about weather forecasts etc. Whereas we were all calm and had 100% faith in our leader Jangbu. Even down to what to wear, when the sun will hit the path etc. Invaluable. You also have the knowledge that you have someone there to help if you get ill, they carry any medication you may need, and even have an oxygen cylinder the entire time. None of group got sick from food or altitude which cannot be underestimated.
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Jo Griffiths

    Fabulous!

    This trip had everything I could've wished for. Fabulous mountains, magnificent scenery, picturesque villages, friendly locals, great company and physical challenge. What I love about trips like this is the point when you forget about everything back home and properly switch off, maybe day 6 on this trip. Your whole focus is on eating, hiking, sleeping. Back to basics, perfect!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Always the mountains; the reason why I choose to do these big hiking trips. Mountains aside, I fell ill with a vomiting bug and had to take a motorbike ‘taxi’ as I was too poorly to hike one day. I was petrified, but at the same time, the exhilaration of riding along a high altitude dirt track in the Himalaya was quite awesome and something I will never forget. We also spotted a few vultures flying at eye level, which was cool! Of course, crossing Thorong La Pass was fabulous; the whole event. Getting up so early, the anticipation and excitement, hiking by torchlight, the snow and ice; a very special day!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous, as I’ve come to expect on all Exodus trips. Chandra and our two local guides, Hemant and Jumba, worked tirelessly to make sure everyone had a great trip. Evening briefings were always a joy, were we learnt about Nepalese culture, traditions and card games, as well as the plans for the next day. Tour Leaders and local guides take care of everything, even the simple things like advising when to put on a your waterproof, and when it’s time to take off some layers! We didn't really see much of our porters during the hike as they would set off really early, but it lovely that they joined us for dancing and few beers in Jomsom.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get your visa in advance, the queues at Kathmandu can be horrendous! Take a pillow case to avoid using those provided by the tea houses. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the tea houses, however brace yourself for some pretty basic facilities in others. Buy yaktrax in Kathmandu if your Tour Leader recommends them for your departure. Don't be put off by all the negative talk of the road!
  • Reviewed May 2019
    Claire Walls

    Incredible and life-affirming adventure

    The holiday was absolutely fantastic: well planned, well executed and a magical experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better break!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing Thorong-La pass in the dark wearing head torches and seeing my breath in the freezing air!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was fantastic. The best Exodus tour guide I have had, and that’s saying a lot!
  • Reviewed December 2018
    Linda Ainsworth

    Great Trek in the Himalayas

    The variety is this trip is a great surprise, after being in the Everest Region. We start from a fairly low altitude and trek all the way up, which gives a great sense of the terrain and climate as you go up. And helps with altitude acclimatization. The views are wonderful; to see the mountain ranges from all sides is a treat.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Going over the pass is the big day. We were lucky with great weather and clear skies. Sunrise on the way up to the pass was a highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Dorjee and RB are a great team! Dorjee is a great guide. He takes his job seriously but keeps it fun as well. he has great presence and it is clear he loves his job, Nepal, and the Himalayas. He does a great job telling what we need to know each day and enough of what we need to know of the days ahead. RB is also very knowledgeable and caring. He is very attentive.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    read the trip notes! if you read it and the packing guide, you are good to go.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A big surprise and a bit of a disappointment is the amount of walking we need to do on the road. i know it is unavoidable and not the fault of exodus. is there anyway to alter the route to minimize the time on the road
  • Reviewed November 2018

    stunning !!

    An amazing adventure that was enjoyed by all. The scenery was amazing.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The crossing of the throng la pass..........this had been what we had been edging towards from the start. Somewhat apprehensive as at 5416 metres and a long long day ahead. The weather was the unknown factor but we were lucky, once the sun came up after 2 1/2 hours , it looked achievable . The scenery was simply stunning most of the time .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sukman was superb. Knowledgeable and experienced he was there for any problem big or small. He shared with us the love of his country and its people .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Much of the group were first time trekkers. Everyone appreciated the use of trekking poles. The steri pen for sterilising water by UV was essential but make sure you have spare batteries as the cold temperature at night can render them useless if you dont keep them in your sleeping bag. The generous baggage allowance of 2 bags totalling 35 kgs with Jet airways meant I could take old warm clothing for the porters/sherpas and back copies of Wanderlust for the schools as they are wonderful pictorial atlases of the world we live in.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Old reviews speak of the road spoiling the circuit. I found it did intrude a couple of times on the trek but it is now important for the future of Nepal and its people. The mini circuit seemed to have less contact with the road than the full trek. It is dusty so a buff is essential but on the last day of walking which was spectacular , the last part......the road became an exhilarating experience and another facet of Nepal. The group all felt the trip was an amazing experience.
  • Reviewed November 2018
    Marc Gardiner

    Good Job Exodus!

    This was a wonderful trip - and challenging in so many ways! Above all, it was well organised by EXodus, and our excellent local guide Sukman was outstanding.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking 300,000 steps in 11 days, ascending over 4000 metres in the process and then coming down the other side of the Pass.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sukman was excellent. Not only was he knowledgeable and professional at all times, but he also worked constantly to ensure our comfort and safety. He was always the last to bed and the first to rise, and nothing concerning our well-being was too small for him. Sukman is a treasure!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Relax and enjoy yourself - you are in good hands!
  • Reviewed December 2017
    George Frier

    Best of the Circuit

    The AP mini circuit has to be considered as a viable alternative to the full circuit(which I have not done) - if you have a fortnight and are confident of your trekking abilities, you will get all the thrill of the trek up the Valley and over the 5416m pass , a descent through the incredible Mustang valley on the other side followed by a memorable flight past the AP range back to Pokhara .

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Without doubt the dawn trek up the to the Thorong La pass - summit reached at 0926 am! to find a small hut selling hot chocolate -and the views behind us of the amphitheatre of the mountains we had left behind and the vast sweep of the Mustang valley ahead. Truly memorable as we all danced around in front of the flags in the very strong winds which sweep across form the west.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent - ex nepali army, a natural leader who told us clearly what was what, when, but with a friendly smile and sense of humour. He would take decisions that weren't always obvious to us but then you would see why.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do it now! Biggest concern must be whether the route can remain special when there is now a (dirt)road up the Valley from the start point, and now evidence of 4 x 4 tours and the like. That coupled with increasing westernisation of the trek offering -- some of which is welcome (western toilets !) some of which is not ( There was an advert for English breakfast at one place in Menang which cannot be a necessity....) Make sure you are pretty fit and leave your prejudices behind - chill . Literally , as you get higher - but also use it as a reason to do a digital detox as i did and you will enjoy it all the more.
  • Reviewed November 2017
    Billy Martin

    Mini Annapurna Circuit - October 2017

    A wonderful trip with beautiful mountain views of the Annapurna region. The trip starts at a low altitude (approx 600m) and you get a variety of scenery, rice paddies and villages at the lower levels to high mountains at altitude. The tea houses and food were excellent and were of a higher standard than I had expected. Hot showers were available at all stops.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    After a 4.30 am start, getting to the Thorong La Pass with wonderful mountain views all around. The group were absolutely fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Chandra was a fantastic group leader, was very knowledgeable on the Annapurnas. He did everything with a great sense of humour and his evening briefings were very entertaining. He had a wonderful support team in Ming Ma/Pema/Pemba. Ming Ma regularly set the pace at the front of the group which we could all keep up with, this was very important when we started trekking at high altitude.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink plenty of water, follow the pace of the guides, this will help to acclimatise at altitude. Using a steri-pen or purification tablets helps reduce the plastic bottle waste in Nepal and is also cheaper than buying bottled water every day. Having previously done the EBC trip, I can say the tea houses on the Mini Annapurna Circuit were of a higher standard compared to those on the EBC trip.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only negative is the amount of time spent walking on the dusty road, would be great if a trekkers path could be developed away from the road. Not an issue at the higher altitude as you're on mountain paths. Would have no hesitation in recommending this trip and Exodus to others.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Keith Tilley

    Mini Annapurna Circuit (Tour code TNH 161030)

    An outstanding experience. The trek was extremely well organised and led by an outstanding tour leader and assistant guide and guides. After reaching Thorung La and following a long and physically challenging day it would have been good to have stayed in a more comfortable tea house and one that had some heat in the main communal room.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching Thorung La pass. A truly inspirational achievement. The varied and changing scenery was also spectacularly beautiful.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Ajay was outstanding - so much so i have nominated him 'tour leader of the year'. Please see my comments about him on my submission. He had everything, professionalism, enthusiasm, knowledge and encouragement. A truely inspirational leader.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Do the trek - it's amazing!!!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Some accommodation could have been more comfortable.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Gillian Clayton

    Mini Annapurna Circuit

    An amazing experience. The guides and porters ensured the group were supported, prepared, guided and encouraged throughout the trip. The views were incredible and sharing the experience with the group helped form wonderful friendships and memories

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Crossing the Thorong La Pass together as a group

    What did you think of your group leader?

    A great group leader. Knowledgeable, approachable, enthusiastic and supportive of all group members

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Train for the challenge

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Loved Nepal and am looking to plan next years trip with Exodus

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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