Swiss Family Treks Blog Posting
The eccentric and striking features of the Annapurna Region can rarely be found anywhere else in the world. Annapurna region stands in a league of its own with its stunning view of mountain ranges and a stretch of multicolored forests filled with a variety of flora and fauna. Not only this, but the Annapurna region also consists of a spectacular variety in its landscapes, making it easier for you to experience the difference in lifestyles and cultures of the people of Nepal as a whole.
The region gets its name from Mt. Annapurna, which stands at the towering height of 8091m. Annapurna Base Camp, which lies in this region, is known as one of the most sought out travel destinations globally.
1. Pokhara - the city of Lakes
Pokhara is a must-visit tourist destination in Nepal. Pokhara's outskirt is known to be one of the best destinations for hiking and trekking in Nepal. The terraced paddy field and traditional mud houses in the villages give you a perfect depiction of life in the hills.
The city of Pokhara, however, is filled with a different kind of gusto. You will feel one with nature as you spend the evening with a beer in your hand, overlooking the serene water flow in Fewa Lake. Furthermore, you can also feel the adrenaline kick in as there are various options for adventure sports like paragliding, bungee jumping, rafting, zip-lining, and so on. Pokhara is the only destination in Nepal where you can experience the best of both worlds in one place.
2. Muktinath - most important pilgrimage site
Muktinath holds a place of paramount importance in the hearts of both Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims. In Hindu culture, Muktinath is known as 'a place of liberation.' It is believed that bathing in the water from Muktinath's 108 springs will liberate you from all your sins. According to Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, Muktinath is also one of the only places on earth to hold all five elements, i.e., fire, water, sky, earth, and air from which all material things in the universe can be made. It is also the temple residing in the highest altitude, i.e., 3800m.
Each year, Muktinath welcomes a horde of not only international but also domestic travelers. The view of Mt. Dhaulagiri (8167m) can also be seen from Muktinath, along with the breathtaking view of the semi-desert of Mustang, which lies in the rain shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri.
3. Annapurna Sanctuary - best mountain views
The Annapurna Sanctuary is the best place to enjoy the sight of the alluring Annapurna mountain ranges from up close. The oval-shaped plateau of the Annapurna Sanctuary climbs up to the highest elevation of 4130m. From here, you can enjoy the view of the exquisite peaks of the Annapurna range, most of which stand at a height of over 7000m from sea level. These peaks surround the sanctuary from all sides, causing the view to look almost heavenly when the light reflects the snow-covered mountain peaks.
The stunning rise and fall in the altitude along the trek to reach Annapurna sanctuary is the highlight of the trip. Along the way, you get to enjoy the unique ecosystem, courtesy to the frequent rise and fall in altitude, and get an outlook into the rich culture of the Gurung people, who are native residents of the area.
4. Manang- the most dramatic village with Annapurnas
If you want to experience the lifestyles of people living in Nepal's remote mountain regions, then the small town of Manang will be your perfect choice. The exquisite food, clothing, and language, along with a rich cultural presence, make Manang's time even more refreshing for those who have not yet experienced the mountain lifestyle of Nepal.
Manang is also the rest stop with the stunning view of mountain ranges, semi-deserted lands, and beautiful forests. It can be considered as the gateway to the Annapurna region, where the trekking adventures kick-off.
5. Nar-Phu Valley - the twin hidden villages
The wild and isolated track of Nar-Phu valley gives travelers an experience different from any other trekking routes in the Annapurna range. As the trekking route is not that popular as other trekking routes, the rich ancient Tibetan culture is still preserved exceptionally. Travelers can thus enjoy the travel back in time as they experience the villagers' nomadic yak-herding lifestyle. Along with this is the picturesque view of vast pasture lands, white rocks, shining glaciers, the beautiful Nar-Phu River, and the beautiful Annapurna peaks.
6. Lo-Manthang - an ancient walled city of Upper Mustang
Lo-Manthang, the capital of the ancient city of Upper Mustang, lies at the altitude of 3800m. Upper Mustang is widely known as Nepal's ancient hidden city, as its presence was unknown to the world for hundreds of years. Even today, the ancient Tibetan culture and lifestyle are highly present in this place, which is because of its closeness to the Tibetan border. Thus, travelers who visit Lo-Manthang feel having traveled to a different world than the one we live in.
The thing that makes Lo-Manthang even more alluring is the ancient caves discovered in the areas surrounding the village. These caves were filled with old Buddhist paintings made of gold and silver, consisting of Tibetan scripts dating back to the 13th century.
7. Poon Hill - the vantage point for Himalayan scenery
Poon Hill (3210m) is one of the most famous but trekking destinations in Nepal. The hill-station has gained more travelers over recent years as trekkers scramble to capture the stunning sight of the Annapurna Massif from up close. Giant Mountain peaks like Dhaulagiri (8167m), Annapurna I (8091m), Annapurna South, Machhapuchhre, Hiunchuli, Dhaulagiri II, and many others can be sighted from the hill-station. It is also the gateway to the Annapurna Sanctuary.
8. Ghandruk - the beautiful traditional village for culture
Ghandruk is one of the most equipped and easily-accessible trekking options in the Annapurna region. It is popular among people of all age groups. The mountain view includes majestic peaks like Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Machhapuchhre, Mt. Gangapurna, and Mt. Hiunchuli. You can also enjoy the refreshing air traveling from the midst of dense forests of the Annapurna Conservation area and experience the lifestyle of Gurung people who reside in this area while you are at it.
9. Khopra Ridge - spectacular panorama of high mountains
Khopra Ridge lies at an altitude of 3660m. Adorned with the spectacular panoramic view of the Annapurna peaks, it is a perfect trekking destination. One of its plus points is that it is less crowded than other trekking destinations in the Annapurna region. So, you can fully enjoy the mountain vistas from up close in peace. The highlight in the Khopra ridge is that you can enjoy the view of Dhaulagiri, Annapurna I, Nilgiri, and Annapurna South, along with many others. You can also enjoy the stunning view of Khayer Lake, which stands at an altitude of 4660m.
10. Thorong La - the world's highest trekking pass
At a thrilling height of 5416m lies the Thorong La pass. It is one of the most popular destinations in the Annapurna region you reach at the Annapurna Circuit end. It is also one of the most challenging trekking destinations in the Annapurna region.
As you reach your destination after a grueling ten days trek through sub-tropical forests and waterfalls, what awaits you is the breathtaking panorama of mountains, which include Annapurna Massif, Dhaulagiri, Machhapuchhre, Manaslu, Gangapurna, and Tilicho peak, all of which lie at the height of above 7000m along with several other peaks. Along the way, you also get to mingle with several traditional Hindu and Tibetan villages.
11. Tilicho Lake - high altitude lake
At the stunning height of 4919m stands the lake at the highest altitude, Tilicho Lake. The spectacular view of the clear blue water reflecting the towering snowcapped mountains' image cannot be described in words. Along the trekking route, the settlements are rare. So, you will get to experience first-hand the lives of the people in these rural areas in such adverse conditions. Not only this, but you will also get to gain more knowledge of their unique cultures and way of life.
The view of the Annapurna range follows you throughout the journey, along with the view of Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Machhapuchhre, and many other peaks.
12. Panchase Hill - best viewpoint for seeing Annapurna and Dhaulagiri range
Lying within a short distance from Pokhara, the Panchase hill trek is a relaxing endeavor that people of all ages can enjoy. It is also the perfect eco-friendly destination to view breathtaking mountain peaks like Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Annapurna, Mt. Lamjung, Machhapuchhre, and many more. The route is covered with colorful forests filled with rhododendron trees and more than 100 species of orchids. You can also experience the lifestyle of Gurung and Brahmin People along the way.
The wide arms of the Annapurna region welcome people of all ages and interests. Once you reel into the natural gifts of Annapurna, there is no coming out. The Annapurna region always has and continues to keep people in awe with its spectacular mountain vistas, hidden rich cultures, and all in all, an unforgettable experience.