Annapurna Skyline trek is one of the most fabulous medium level trips available in the Annapurna region of Nepal. The Annapurna Skyline trek is also popular for the whole range of experiences rather in a shorter period of time. The trek has stunning close-up views of the three of the popular peaks namely Machhapuchhare or Fishtail (6,997m/22,957ft), Annapurna (8,091m/26,546ft) and Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,796ft). Therefore, Annapurna Skyline trek also refers to as Annapurna Panorama trek.
The trail follows through the lush green and rhododendron forests and typical settlements of Thakali, Gurung and Magar ethnic tribes. Poonhill is the major highlight of this trek for the panoramic views of snow-capped mountains. The views are simply amazing from Poonhill. Going down to Tatopani from Ghorepani makes the trek tremendous where we can enjoy with the natural hot water spring. Finally, the trek ends at Beni and we take a scenic drive back to Pokhara.
- Typical Gurung settlement at Landruk and Chhomrong
- Stunning Sunrise views from Poonhill
- The panoramic views of the Annapurna Himalayan range
- The natural hot spring pond at Tatopani
- Terrace farming, impressive landscapes, rivers and streams along the trail
- The Rhododendron forest
Today we have a 200km (124 miles) drive (6-7 hours by bus or car) from Kathmandu to Pokhara. We take a tourist bus that leaves at 7am from Kantipath, near Thamel. This is a scenic drive along the bank of the Trishuli River with great country side. Alternatively one can also fly between Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Today we travel by bus or taxi to the small settlement of Phedi – which literally means “foot of the hill” (1,130m/3,707ft) where our trek starts by climbing steps through forest and then continues steeply to reach some small Lodges where the gradient eases and the paved trail leads round rice terraces. About two hours from the road we reach the strung-out village of Dhampus (1,650m/5,413ft) which has an ACAP check-post. From this point the way becomes a stone-paved trail through a rhododendron forest, climbing steeply to reach our overnight stop, the village of Pothana, with a superb view of Mt. Machhapuchhare “Fishtail”. From a clearing in the wooded ridge above the village there are also great views of Mt. Dhaulagiri and Mt. Annapurna South. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
Today’s trek starts on a stone-paved trail and reaches Bhichok Deurali (2,080m/6,824ft) on the crest of a ridge and then descends the north slope, still in rhododendron forest, passing several teahouses before arriving at Bheri Kharka, with more of the same. After crossing a stream the trail then emerges on to a broad terraced hillside and comes to the small village of Tolka (1,700m/5,577ft) with lodges and a school. We cross a suspension bridge below Tolka, then rise over a wooded ridge to catch our first sight of the larger village of Landruk also known as Landrung. This is a Gurung settlement, with a paved street and a number of circular thatched houses and it is set on a steeply sloping hillside, from which there are magnificent views of Annapurna South (7,219m/23,685ft) and Hiun Chuli (6,331m/20,771ft). Trekking time 4-5 hours.
After our overnight stay in Landruk, we proceed north up the east bank of the Modi Khola (River) via Himalpani, Namildung and Siuli and arrive at the settlement of New Bridge (1,340m/4,396ft), so called because of the adjacent suspension bridge constructed in the mid-1980’s. We now cross the bridge continue north to the west bank of the river through an area of huge boulders and then carry on to reach Jhinu Danda (1,780m/5,840ft), where there is a natural hot spring pool. We then continue our trek uphill (steep trail) to arrive at Chhomrong. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
From Chhomrong, we turn south-west to start our our trek to Tadapani “far water” and go through the village of Kimrong (1,880m/6,168ft) and trekkers to the Annapurna Base Camp continue towards north. The name of the village Tadapani “far water” should not to be confused with the village of Tatopani “hot water”. The “far water” title dates back to times before a piped supply came to this remote lodge settlement and water had to be carried here from afar by locals and porters. The seven fairly large lodges provide spectacular views across the Kimrong Khola valley to Annapurna South and Machhapuchhare. Trekking time 5-6 hours.
Today, heading for Ghorepani, we start off by descending a steeply winding trail through woodland and then proceed via Liui Kharka, Thulo Odar Kharka and Banthanti (3,180m/10,433ft). On the approach to this point the route ascends through hillside forest. From Banthanti, we continue our trek passing through rhododendron forest and reach our overnight stop Ghorepani. This is a bustling village with shops, lodges and camp grounds and because of the attraction of nearby Poonhill the route is the most heavily traversed in Nepal. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
We have an early morning start to catch the sunrise at the summit of Poonhill - a unique trekking experience. We start out on a path from the centre of Ghorepani village and climb for about one hour before sunrise and climb through rhododendrons to the top. There is a lookout tower on the highest point and below it is a very welcome teahouse. We will take in the stunning view of the sun rising above the whole Annapurna range and the Dhaulagiri massive, a truly spectacular event. After taking many photo’s we return to Ghorepani and after breakfast set off for Tatopani, first arriving at Chitre (2,390m/7,841ft) which has several lodges and also refreshment facilities. Then we continue to Phalante (2,270m/7,448ft), with its large school, one shop, a teahouse and two lodges. Proceeding downhill we will reach the small settlement of Ghopte Kharka, from which point one can get a sighting of distant Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,796ft). Continuing on downhill, we will reach the village of Shikha (1,935m/6,348ft) which is built on ascending levels with teahouses and lodges in the lower part and a few simple shops and a school in the upper region (there is a 15-20 minute walk between the two levels). This part of the village commands superb panoramic views of the big mountains and of the glorious landscape of the lower terraced countryside. Now continuing downhill, we first arrive at the village of Ghara (1,700m/5,577ft) which has several teahouses and shops and then the settlement of Birauta and follow on to Santosh Hill (1,500m/4,921ft) from which there are excellent views to both the north and the south. Before reaching our overnight stop Tatopani, we will pass through just one more village, Gharkholagaon (1,175m/3,855ft), aptly named because it straddles the Ghar Khola tributary of the Kali Gandaki River which we will cross on a long suspension bridge. From here we will descend a stairway of stone steps and arrive at Tatopani. The name Tatopani literally means “hot water” which is appropriate as down by the riverside there are two pools of steaming hot water in which one can relax but not bathe or do laundry, the water must be kept free of soap. In addition to a street lined with shops, the village has a post office, a telephone facility, a police check-post and a health post. Trekking time 7-8 hours.
We start today by retracing our steps across the Kali Gandaki River suspension bridge, passing through Garkhob then re-crossing the tributary bridge we take the right fork and proceed down the east bank of the river. Incidentally when crossing the Kali Ghandaki bridge it pays to look back and take in the up valley view of the magnificent South Face of Nilgiri South (6,839m/22,438ft). Heading on south, the way climbs to a steep exposed section of trail from which one can see the village of Doba high up on the west side of the valley. It was once noted for its quality tobacco. Now we descend a stone stairway, pass a solitary teahouse, climb steeply once again and descend more steps to enter Mahabhir with its teahouses. We should reach this point about 2 hours from Tatopani. Beyond Mahabhir the way continues between rice paddy fields until we cross to the west bank of the river on a suspension bridge at the Magar village of Tiplyang (1,040m/3,412ft) which has several lodges and two or three teahouses. The path then works its way across steep cliffs and crosses a suspension bridge over the Beg Khola tributary. The next stretch to the small settlement of Baishari (960m/3,150ft) consists mainly of landslides and forests. Just over an hour after leaving Baishari we cross yet another suspension bridge over the Rahughat Khola tributary and enter our overnight stop, the attractive village – with good views – of Galeshwor (1,170m/3,412ft) which has a post office, telephone facilities and a Hindu temple. Trekking time 4-5 hours.
Today we start with an hour’s walk along the west bank of the river, to the busy township of Beni which has plenty of shops and teahouses. It also has a hospital, pharmacies, banks, telephone facilities and a police station. To contact our road transport for the drive to Pokhara we will cross to the east bank of the Kali Gandaki River over our trek’s final suspension bridge. In about 3 hours drive, we arrive in Pokhara. Interestingly Pokhara is the third largest city, population-wise in Nepal, but second largest in tourism terms and it is situated on the eastern shore of the gorgeous Phewa Tal (Lake Fewa) and the skyline is dominated by the perfect pyramid of Mt. Machhapuchhare (6,997m/22,957ft). In the north of the city is located the British Gurkha Camp, which is the recruitment site for Nepalese men hoping to join the Gurkha regiments.
We are more relaxed in Pokhara with the beautiful morning and later we drive or fly back to Kathmandu. Regular tourist buses leave at 7am.
Option available for extending your trip with Jungle Safari adventure, white water rafting or a trip of your choice.
- Annapurna Conservation Area (ACAP) permit and TIMS (Trekkers' Information Management System)
- A City Hotel in Pokhara for two nights
- Three meals (B/L/D) a day on trekking from teahouse/lodge
- Accommodations at teahouse/lodge in the mountains
- An English speaking Trekking Guide
- A porter shared between two trekkers
- Staff insurance, salary, food, accommodation and their transportation
- Land transportation from Pokhara-Phedi and Beni-Pokhara by private vehicle
- Kathmandu-Pokhara-Kathmandu overland transfers by Tourist bus
- First aid kit box
- A farewell Nepali dinner with live culture program
- Bar and beverages bills, bottled water
- Nature of personal expenses
- Personal cloths and equipment such as sleeping bag, jacket, boots etc.
- Insurance for accidental, medical and evacuation
- Tips to the staff
- International Airfare and Taxes
- Kathmandu City Cultural Tour
- Mt. Everest Flight
- Jungle Safari in Chitwan or Bardia National Park
- Bird Watching in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve
- White Water Rafting in Nepal
- Bungy Jumping / Canyoning / Paragliding / Ultralight Flight
- Shopping Tours