Day 1 : Meet at the group hotel in Kathmandu. Transfers from Kathmandu Airport are provided.
Welcome to Nepal! On arrival in Kathmandu, you will be met at the airport by your representative. They will have YMH signboard if you have booked directly or the logo of travel agent if you are through your agent.
There is a short drive to your hotel. You’ll be served with welcome drink and given keys to your rooms. Rest of the day is for you to prepare for the trek.
Day 2 : Fly to Lukla, then trek mainly downhill to the riverside settlement of Phakding (2610m).
An early start for the flight to the high airstrip in the Everest region known as Lukla. This incredible flight is a highlight of the trip, taking us through the Himalayan foothills and offering perhaps a glimpse of Everest as we come into land on the tiny airstrip at Lukla. After meeting our porters for this section of our trip, we will take lunch in the Yeti Mountain Home lodge and then start our trek with an easy, mostly downhill leg, from Lukla to Phakding. This trek takes us through Sherpa villages and individual farms. Many Sherpas now make their living exclusively from trekking and there are many tea-houses and basic lodges where it is possible to stop for a drink. We will also pass by many stones intricately carved with prayers in the evocative Tibetan script, as well as prayer wheels of all sizes. Everywhere in the valley colourful strings of prayer flags flutter from high points and bridges. Dropping down to a trail above the Dudh Kosi (river) we head north to reach our Yeti Mountain Home lodge at Phakding. The elevation at this first night's halt is actually lower than Lukla at 2610 metres.
Day 3 : Trek through farms and villages to Namche Bazaar (3400m).
Leaving Phakding we head north along the west bank of the Dudh Kosi, passing several lodges and tea houses to a high thin waterfall at Benkar (2710m). Here there are sensational views of Thamserku (6623m). Beyond Benkar, we cross the river on a high suspension bridge and continue along the east bank below high cliffs clothed in rhododendron forest. The trail undulates as we negotiate several side valleys bringing melt water from the high peaks. Crossing the Kyashar Khola, we make a final climb to the village of Monjo (2835m) where we pass the entrance to the Sagamartha National Park. We then have a short but steep descent on stone steps to another suspension bridge where we cross once more to the west bank of the Dudh Kosi. We continue up the wooded valley on a good trail and cross the river again before reaching a confluence of rivers one coming down from Thame and the other from the main Khumbu Valley. We make a final crossing here on a spectacular high suspension bridge and then begin an hour and half long ascent to Namche on a wide switch-back trail. This is the sting in the tail of today's otherwise gentle ascent, and one of the steepest of the trip. About half an hour below Namche, we gain our first views of Everest. On arrival in Namche, we can take a breather in one of the town's coffee shops before finishing off the climb to our Yeti Mountain Home lodge. The location of our lodge is superb giving us a bird's eye view over Namche and across the Valley to the serrated ridges of the Kongde range, while the magnificent peak of Thamserku (6623m) rises as a back drop. Just a short walk away is a classic view of Ama Dablam, one of the most beautiful mountains in all Nepal and of Lhotse and Everest.
After lunch, you may chose to hike with your guide to the nearby village of Tanchok, where there is a traditional house now made into a museum. The contents of the house illustrate how the local people live, together with the tools and implements of day to day traditional village life. You may also choose to visit the local school. Trek time 1-2 hours.
Day 4 : At Namche Bazaar. Optional day-walk to Khumjung and Khunde for views of Everest.
Namche Bazaar is tucked away between 2 ridges amongst the giant peaks of the Khumbu. An ancient market place where goods from as far away as Tibet were and still are traded, Namche today boasts an abundance of lodges, cafes, bars and souvenir shops. Close to our lodge is the internationally known Museum of Sherpa Culture and the traditional villages of Khunde (3840m) and Khumjung are a highly recommended half-day excursion.
Day 5 : Trek above the BhoteKhosi River via Phurte and Thamo to the Sherpa settlement of Thame (3820m).
After breakfast at our lodge we start the day with a 2 to 3-hour walk through forest of spruce, juniper and pine to the village of Thamo. This trail is much less used by trekkers and we will immediately notice the difference. It is, however, an important trail which leads all the way to Tibet via the Nangpa La on the shoulder of Cho Oyu (8012m). On today's trek we are likely to see few other trekkers. We stop for our lunch in Thamo which is the home village of the Ang Rita Sherpa, who has summitted Everest 10 times without oxygen. After lunch, we continue walking for another 2 hours to arrive at a deep gorge where the Bhote Koshi River thunders through the narrow defile. We cross a sturdy bridge spanning the gorge to reach Thame (3800m). This important village is the home of many famous mountaineers including Tensing Norgay the first man to reach the summit of Everest along with Sir Edmund Hillary. Apa Sherpa who has reached the summit at least 18 times lives here now. The village is very picturesque and also has a magnificent 16th century Nyingmapa gompa (monastery) built by Lama Rolwa Dorje. We check into our deluxe rooms with breathtaking views of Thamserku and Kusum Kanguru.
Day 6 : Trek back down to Namche Bazaar and onwards beside the Dudh Kosi to Monjo.
We retrace our steps to the Sherpa capital of Namche Bazaar with great views of the Khumbu peaks ahead of us. We have lunch at Namche before continuing our descent, steeply at first, to Monjo where we check in at the Yeti Mountain Home lodge.
Day 7 : Trek back to Lukla, with the afternoon free to explore this thriving airstrip settlement.
With a chance to take in all of the views that were behind us on the way up, we now walk back to Lukla. The prominent mountain of today is Kusum Kanguru which is prominent from this direction. Descending to ever more lush environs, we walk through several villages before making a final short but steep climb to the airfield at Lukla where we check in at the Yeti Mountain Home lodge. There should be some free time to explore this thriving settlement before returning to our lodge for dinner. This evening we will say goodbye to the trek crew who have been looking after us in the Khumbu.
Day 8 : Fly via Kathmandu to Pokhara. Then transfer to the roadhead and trek to Birethanti (1025m).
We will be up early today to catch the spectacular flight back to Kathmandu. Here we connect with the 30 minute flight to Pokhara. This equally spectacular flight offers views of the Langtang, Manaslu and Annapurna ranges. We are met on arrival at Pokhara Airport and taken by vehicle (1 hour) to the start of our walk.Together with our new local team, we then follow a trail through the lower foothills of the Annapurnas with surrounding views of the Pokhara Valley. Finally we descend to the very comfortable Ker and Downey Sanctuary Lodge in the valley of the Modi Khola. Lunch is at the lodge and there is the option in the afternoon to walk to the nearby village of Birenthanti (1025m). Alternatively, you can rest at the lodge and do a bit of local exploration.
Day 9 : Trek beside the Modi Khola to Landruk (1565m). Optional afternoon guided village tour.
After breakfast at the lodge, we have a pleasant morning of trekking alongside the Modi Kola (the river that flows out of the Annapurna Sanctuary). There are great views ahead of us of the Annapurna peaks and of the sacred 'Fish Tail' peak. We cross a suspension bridge to the opposite side of the river and from here it's about an hour's trek on a combination of a switchback trail and stone steps to reach the village of Landruk (1565m). Landruk affords more glorious views of the Annapurna range. We arrive at the Ker and Downey La Bee Lodge in time for lunch. After lunch, there is the option to accompany the guide on a sightseeing tour of this pretty mountain settlement.
Day 10 : We trek south-eastwards across the grain of the country to Majhgaon (1400m).
Leaving Landruk and the valley of the Modi Khola, today's walk contours the valley-side to the east and heads south, with fairly minor undulations, passing through picturesque villages and farmland with great views looking back to the Annapurnas. We will reach the Ker and Downey Gurung Lodge near to Majhgaon in time for lunch. The lodge is built to resemble a traditional Nepalese village and every room has spectacular views of the surrounding valley and mountains. The afternoon can be spent in the lodge gardens or we can opt to do some exploration to nearby villages with our guide.
Day 11 : Trek to Dhampus (1525m) with great views of the Annapurnas.
This morning we start out trekking through the unspoilt village of Patlekhet. Our walk takes us through sub-tropical forests that include tree orchids, rhododendrons and magnolias. Along the way, we will stop at the village of Pothana where many Tibetan traders live and sell their souvenirs. Once again, we aim to reach our next lodge in time for lunch. Our accommodation for the night is at the small, but splendid Ker and Downey Basanta Lodge, where we are treated to
sweeping views of the entire Annapurna Range. After lunch at the lodge there will be an optional walk through the old
village of Dhampus.
Day 12 : Trek out to the road, return to Pokhara and overnight in a hotel.
After a leisurely breakfast at our lodge, we have a short downhill walk of about an hour and a half along a scenic ridge to the farmland and scattered houses of the broad Yangdi Khola Valley. Here, we meet the road and our waiting vehicle and make the 30-minute transfer to Pokhara, where we check in at a luxurious resort hotel. The afternoon is free for independent exploration of this friendly, lakeside town, before returning to the hotel for dinner.
Day 13 : Fly to Kathmandu. Afternoon free to relax by the pool or to do some independent sightseeing.
We take the morning flight to Kathmandu. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines. This evening we will have a dinner in one of Kathmandu's excellent restaurants.
Day 14 : A free day in Kathmandu.
Today we have a day, free to relax in the hotel gardens or beside the pool, or for further independent sightseeing. One of the attractions of any visit to Nepal is the chance to walk the streets of Kathmandu, which presents a fascinating mosaic of shops, cafes and restaurants, food markets and street vendors, as well as a bewildering array of colourful temples and shrines. Kathmandu is a very safe city (provided you watch out for the traffic) and exploring on your own is great fun. This evening we will have a celebratory dinner to mark the end of a most excellent trip.
Day 15 : Departure day. Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided.
Transfers to Kathmandu Airport are provided for international flight.