A trip to the Annapurna Sanctuary is one of the world's classic treks, offering perhaps the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring mountain vista on earth. From a base at Pokhara, you walk to the village of Ghorepani (2855m) where you catch the first glimpse of the peaks of the Annapurna Himal and Dhaulaghiri (8167m) to the west. The ascent of the nearby Poon Hill (3193m) at dawn offers spectacular views of the mountains at sunrise. From here, you head north-east along the Modi Khola Valley through forests, then above the treeline until you reach the gates of the sanctuary - passing between the peaks of Hiunchuli and Machhapuchhare to reach Machhapuchhare Base Camp (3700m). The sanctuary is a natural amphitheatre where you are encircled by the soaring peaks of Hiunchuli (6441m), Annapurna South (7273m), Annapurna Fang (7647m), Annapurna 1 (8091m) and 3 (7855m), Gangapurna (7454m) and Machhapuchhare (6993m). Making your way to Annapurna base camp (4150m), the scenery is stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset. The sanctuary is exited by the same route as you make your way back to Pokhara.
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Travel to Annapurna Sanctuary
Organised group tours: The following tours for Annapurna Sanctuary are available:
Don't just visit the roof of the world – climb all over it. Take a ten-day trek through the remote and imposing mountains of the Annapurna Range. Begin and end the journey in Kathmandu with its colourful temples, city squares, and great shopping. With the support of a team of expert Sherpas, the challenging trails of Annapurna will reward you with a stunning combination of towering peaks and dramatic valleys. Rest and relax overnight in teahouses, where you’ll reconnect with ancient ways long forgotten by the modern world.
North of Pokhara, one of the greatest of Himalayan treks to the Annapurna Sanctuary, follows the valley of the Modi Khola into the heart of the Annapurnas. Here, giant peaks such as Annapurna 1, Gangapurna and Machhapuchhre encircle the natural amphitheatre known as the Annapurna Sanctuary. Starting out at Phedi, this excellent lodge-based adventure manages to cram the full range of Nepalese trekking experiences into 11 days of picturesque walking. We encounter sub-tropical heat, pretty villages and neatly terraced rice fields, followed by several days of pleasant ridge walking amongst forest and farmland. Finally, we pass a narrowing of the valley and reach the world of ice and snow that is the Annapurna Sanctuary. In common with all of our lodge treks, this trip provides great opportunities to meet and share experiences with like-minded travellers from around the world.
After Everest, the Annapurna range of mountains north of Pokhara are the most well known in Nepal and the highest peak, Annapurna I, has the distinction of being the first 8000-metre peak ever to be climbed. Four Annapurna peaks over 7500 metres together with Gangapurna form the main range, considered to be the most beautiful in the Himalaya and extending southwards, two encircling arms ending in Annapurna South and Machhapuchhre (the ‘Fishtail' peak), enclose a high cirque only penetrated by outsiders as recently as 1956. These are the locations for two of the Himalaya's classic treks, namely the Annapurna Circuit which circumnavigates the range and the Annapurna Sanctuary which visits the hidden cirque to view the incredible South Face of Annapurna. Previously these two treks were quite separate but taking advantage of new jeep roads which allow high access to the valleys of the Marsyangdi and Kali Gandaki we can combine the two most famous trails of the region into one classic 3-week trek. This Ultimate Annapurna trek combines spectacular mountain scenery with a wide diversity of ethnic and cultural experiences as we travel through very different ecological life zones. This is without doubt, the ultimate Annapurna experience and is justifiably placed among the world's top treks.
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