Top 10 Himalayan Trekking Holidays
At Mountain Kingdoms, we’re absolutely passionate about the Himalaya. Spanning five countries – India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet and Pakistan – the Himalayan range contains not only nine of the ten highest mountains on the planet but thousands of smaller peaks, fertile valleys, sparkling rivers, dramatic glaciers and azure lakes. Alongside the endlessly stunning scenery is a wealth of cultural interest, evidenced by the variety of language, dress, customs and beliefs of the people that call the Himalaya home.
We wanted our 10 favourite trekking holidays to reflect this great scenic and cultural diversity, to include both classic treks and remote trails and to offer something for novice walkers and hardened trekkers alike. The only problem was, keeping it to just 10! So, after much discussion, here’s our top 10, in no particular order…
On the Druk Path by A Tierney
13 or 14 day trip | 5 days on trek, walks on 1 day | Moderate grade
If you enjoy spending time under canvas, but not too long, take a look at our Druk Path Trek. This ancient trail traverses gorgeous mountains between Bhutan’s two main cultural centres of Paro and Thimphu. Highlights of the trek include a haunted monastery, sacred lakes and wonderful views of the eastern Himalaya. With ample time for sightseeing before and after the trek this holiday really does showcase the very best of Bhutan in just two weeks. If you’d prefer to spend a little longer in the mountains, then take a look at our Chorten Path Trek which continues on from Thimphu to the old capital of Punakha.
Everest success by A Parsons
19 day trip | 14 days on trek | Strenuous Grade
A trek to Everest Base Camp is high on many people’s ‘bucket list’. Whether to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, to savour the iconic history or simply to say ‘I was there’, it remains one of the great objectives for the walking enthusiast. Starting with the exhilarating flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and ending at the foot of the world’s highest mountain, it’s never less than a thrilling and inspiring experience. And yes the trails are popular and the tea houses often busy but you’ll enjoy the company of fellow trekkers and have someone to share your sense of adventure and achievement with.
We offer two accommodation alternatives for trekking to Everest Base Camp – Everest Base Camp in Style which uses luxury lodges and some first-rate tea houses or the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek staying in tea houses throughout.
Markha Valley by Hull
14 day trip | 7 days on trek | Vigorous grade
In the rain shadow of the Himalaya, Ladakh offers both summer trekking and a very different landscape. An arid, desert-like land it is characterised by deep gorges, contorted rock strata and dramatic cliffs set against a backdrop of towering, snow-capped peaks. The Markha Valley epitomises the best of this scenery and is Ladakh’s most celebrated trek. Taking only two weeks London to London, it provides a superb opportunity to enjoy a great value Himalayan trek in the summer months.
Beautiful Ganesh Himal by S Berry
17 day trip | 12 days on trek | Moderate/Vigorous grade
Looking for something away from the main trekking trails of Nepal but not too strenuous, then our Ganesh Himal trek could be just for you. Situated in northern central Nepal, the region of Ganesh Himal is home to four peaks over 7,000m yet the trek itself is relatively low altitude by Himalayan standards - staying below 4,000m. Camping for the most part, you will wake each morning to glorious mountain views and spend each day trekking through verdant terraces, beautiful forest and traditional villages populated by either Tamang or Gurung people. And the chances are you’ll have the trails entirely to yourself with not another trekker in sight - a rarity indeed.
On route to K2 by J Turner
22 day trip | 15 days on trek | Strenuous grade
For the connoisseur of serious trekking, the walk to the foot of the world’s second highest mountain is considered one of the true classics. Closed for several years, the recent change in Foreign Office travel advice has once again opened trekking routes into this spectacular region. Our trek follows the route taken by expeditions attempting to conquer K2 that takes us across the Baltoro Glacier, through the mountain ‘throne room’ of Concordia and past savagely beautiful landscapes of granite spires and glittering icy-peaks before reaching Base Camp itself.
Annapurna Circuit by S Harbert
Annapurna Circuit (Currently unavailable from 2020)
21 day trip | 16 days on trek | Strenuous grade
We couldn’t have a top 10 list of Himalayan treks without the Annapurna Circuit. Rightly considered one of the classic treks of the world, the Annapurna Circuit has been wowing trekkers for years with its spectacular, varied scenery and fascinating cultural interest. Crossing the fabled Thorong La pass at 5,414m is the undoubted high point of the trek but trekking into the deepest gorge in the world – the Kali Gandaki – and peeking into mysterious Upper Mustang are equally unforgettable experiences. If you have less time to spare, but still want to discover the magic of the Annapurnas, then take a look at our Mini Annapurna Circuit
Annapurna amphitheatre by C West
16 day trip | 12 days on trek | Vigorous grade
This magnificent trek remains one of the most spectacular in Nepal following the scenic gorge carved by the Modi Khola river into a hidden amphitheatre of towering Himalayan peaks including the awesome south face of Annapurna I. Seeing the sun rise from base camp remains one of the most magical and unforgettable moments you can experience on any Himalayan trek. With super-comfortable accommodation including soft pillows and hot water bottles, this is a great trek for those who like their adventure with a few home comforts. We also offer a classic Annapurna Sanctuary Trek staying in traditional tea houses.
Lingshi Dzong by A Harrison
35 day trip | 28 days on trek | Strenuous grade
This epic trek traverses the full length of Bhutan’s Himalayan peaks including Gangkar Punsum – the world’s highest unclimbed mountain. Passing through vast uninhabited regions, over high passes and into truly remote villages you’ll be stepping foot into places where few people have ever been; Lunana is Bhutan’s most isolated and beautiful region where even the king of Bhutan has rarely ventured. So, if you’ve got a real spirit of adventure and a passion for the mountains then why not tackle the ultimate trekking challenge and complete the Lunana Snowman trek!
Luxury Lodge by J Shillibeer
12 day trip | 5 days on trek, walks on 1 day | Gentle/Moderate grade
This is the perfect first Himalayan trekking holiday taking easy-paced walks between high quality lodges nestled in the fertile valleys and fields of the foothills. The low altitude trek follows well-trodden village paths set against the backdrop of some of the most beautiful mountains including Machapuchare with its striking fishtail summit. If you’re new to trekking, the lodges provide welcome comfort and relaxation with excellent food, en suite rooms and even a nightly happy hour. Cheers!
Yalung Glacier moraine. Image by J Fitzpatrick
24 day trip | 18 days on trek | Strenuous grade
Spectacular Himalayan scenery, with views of many 8,000m peaks, sets the scene on this superb off-the-beaten-track trek in Nepal. Following a trail through the most scenically stunning area in all of Nepal, this trek leads its way to the foot of the world’s third highest mountain, Kangchenjunga, with excellent acclimatisation and ample time to explore this wonderful area. This is a challenging trip for the adventurous trekker.