Annapurna Heli-Hike - Awesome Experiences

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Annapurna Heli-HikeNepal

From £2,616 per person for 7 nights (based on 2 adults sharing)*
Snow-scattered peaks segueing to rhododendron forest and prayer flag-strewn villages: the foothills of the Annapurnas are home to the kind of jaw-dropping scenery that it often takes dedication to reach – but a combination of comfortable lodges, clear trails and good infrastructure means you can access this range easily and enjoyably. Immerse yourself in an unforgettable region, before ending your adventure on a high – with a helicopter trip to Annapurna Base Camp.

Perfect for:

Fitness Level 2Must-do Outdoor Experiences Extraordinary & Secret Places
Summary

Nepal

The Annapurna range is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Himalayas, and this express trekking experience offers the perfect balance of adventure and comfort. You’ll hike through beautiful valleys where prayer flags flutter in the breeze, stopping off in remote villages and staying in lodges with spectacular views of some of the tallest mountains on earth.   

AWESOME ELEMENTS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE:

  • Hike through the foothills of the Annapurna range, past remote villages and dense forest towards soaring, snow-capped peaks
  • Stay in perfectly-situated Ker & Downey lodges, where ensuite bedrooms have knock-out views of the surrounding mountains
  • Visit the houses and monasteries of the Gurung people, and gain a fascinating insight into their everyday life
  • Journey to Annapurna Base Camp by helicopter, for jaw-dropping views of the range from on high
  • Explore the colourful backstreets and Buddhist temples of Kathmandu

Mountain trekking needn’t mean aching limbs, altitude sickness and dodgy bathrooms. On this trek through the Annapurna region, you’ll see spectacular peaks and incredible villages, while staying in Ker & Downey’s charming mountain lodges – each a comfortable day’s hike apart within the Annapurna Conservation Area, and with all mod-cons including ensuites. Your adventure begins in Kathmandu, with free time to explore Nepal’s colourful and often chaotic capital. From there it’s a short flight to Pokhara, where you’ll set out with your guides and porters through a stunning landscape of rolling forests, rice paddies and hulking mountains, many of which thrust past the 7,000-metre mark. 

The highlight of your trip is your visit to Annapurna Base Camp, but without the hardcore hike that this usually entails. Instead, we’ll get you there by private helicopter, for jaw-dropping views from 4,130 metres above sea level. This is a photo opportunity unlike any other! Afterwards you’ll head back to the Kathmandu Valley and the former medieval city state of Bhaktapur, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll have the option of joining a Nepalese cookery class with a local family, giving you some fantastic new recipes to take home along with your memories of this amazing trip.

Annapurna Summary


Please click the Full Itinerary tab for the full daily itinerary, details of what's included and information about children and solo travellers.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £500 per person and take approximately 13 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. Please check the current prices and availability using the ‘Search for Flights’ link below and ensure that your flight arrival and departure times and dates align with the start and end dates and airport locations shown on the Experience itinerary. Please do not book flights until your Experience booking is confirmed.

Experience start point: Tribhuvan Airport Kathmandu (KTM).

End point: Tribhuvan Airport Kathmandu (KTM).


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Map
Full Itinerary

Itinerary

Nepal

Day One: Find Your Feet in Kathmandu

Arrive at Tribhuvan, Kathmandu’s international airport, where you will be collected and transferred to your hotel and briefed on the week to come. You could choose to relax, ready for your adventure tomorrow, or you could get out and see the chaotic capital of Nepal. Wander through its colourful backstreets, crammed with bright clothes and craft shops, to Durbar Square and the old Royal Palace. Or escape the chaos on a trip to Swayambhunath: This Buddhist temple on a hill just outside the city draws visitors with resident monkeys, stunning city views and a golden stupa. Then return to your hotel for the evening, ready to start your trek in the morning.

Overnight in Kathmandu

Premium - Gokarna Forest Resort/Crowne Plaza Soaltee Hotel

Meals included: None

Kathmandu


Day Two: Lakes, Mountains and More

After breakfast, it’s back to the airport for your 25-minute onward flight to Pokhara, the stunning town surrounded by lakes, mountains and lush greenery that’s a starting point for treks in the Annapurna region. After a briefing, you’ll meet your guides and porters and then drive for an hour to the start of your trek, in the lower foothills of the Annapurna. Following the ridgeline, you’ll see incredible views of the Pokhara Valley, where the town of Pokhara tumbles towards a clear lake hemmed by dense forest. You’ll break for a picnic lunch and then drop to the Modi River Valley, where your lodge awaits. You’ll arrive by late afternoon, in time to savour the magnificent views towards Machapuchare, otherwise known as Fishtail Mountain due to its strangely-shaped double summit. This mysterious mountain is considered sacred by locals and so remains unclimbed.

Overnight in Birethanti

Premium - Ker & Downey Sanctuary Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Trekking time: 3 to 4 hours

Lake Pokare


Day Three: Into the Clouds

Have breakfast, then it’s time to catch a glimpse of local life on a half-day long walk. On this trek, you’ll start by crossing the terraced fields of the Modi River Valley, where farmers pick produce to fill their wicker baskets, before you climb out of the valley towards the mountains. On the way, you’ll pass remote hamlets and tiny villages, seeing daily life in this remote region (home to the Gurung people, who served in the British Gurkha regiment). You’ll admire incredible vistas as you wander dense forest, snacking along the way before arriving at your lodge for an afternoon lunch and incredible views of the Annapurna range. Your home for the night, Ghandruk, is a large village that tumbles down the forested mountainside, backed by snow-tipped peaks. It was once a lively recruitment centre for Gurkhas, and is home to a busy community of Nepalese rug-weavers.

Overnight in Ghandruk

Premium - Ker & Downey La Bee Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Trekking time: 5 to 6 hours

Modi Valley


Day Four: Towards the Peaks

Wake up to incredible sunrise views over Annapurna 1 and the rest of the imposing range. Then it’s an undulating trek, first steeply down and then up again, to the village of Landrung. Leaving Ghandruk, you’ll notice the old grindstone in a little stream, before journeying onwards to criss-cross the aquamarine waters of the Modi Khola river by gently swaying suspension bridge. You’ll carry on towards Landrung, a village sandwiched between peaks, arriving at your hotel in time for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll spend time exploring the village’s monastery and sleepy sidestreets.

Overnight in Landrung

Premium - Ker & Downey Himalaya Lodge 

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Trekking time: 3 to 4 hours

Annapurna Base Camp


Day Five: Village Life

You’ve earned a leisurely breakfast and a shorter walk to your next destination, the village of Majhgaon. Passing kids playing on the hiking paths and busy villagers carrying food and firewood , you’ll make your way to your home for the night – a lodge designed to resemble a typical Gurung-style village, with pretty gardens backed by stunning views of Annapurna 1 and Annapurna South. You’ll arrive and check-in with plenty of time for lunch, then visit a village house that’s been transformed into a museum. During a talk here, you’ll learn more about the daily life and customs of the Gurung people. You’ll then go on to explore the village with your guide, visiting houses and farms and peeking into kitchens and onto verandas, and witnessing just how different life is here than in Kathmandu.

Overnight in Majhgaon

Premium - Ker & Downey Mala Lodge

Meals included: Breakfast; lunch; dinner

Trekking time: 2 to 3 hours

Gurung People


Day Six: On Top of the World

You’ve seen those distant snow-capped peaks – now it’s time to get up close. After breakfast, you’ll be transferred to Pokhara in order to take a once in a lifetime helicopter trip over the Annapurna Massif. Flying high above Annapurna’s trekking trail, you’ll land at Base Camp to take photos of the incredible scenery, from 4,130m up. You’ll stay between 15 and 30 minutes (any longer could mean severe altitude sickness). Then you’ll helicopter back to Pokhara, and take an onward flight to Kathmandu.  

Overnight in Kathmandu

Premium - Gokarna Forest Resort/Crowne Plaza Soaltee Hotel

Meals included: Breakfast

Annapurna Heli


Day Seven: Bewitching Bhaktapur

After breakfast, you’ll travel nine miles east of Kathmandu to Bhaktapur – the ‘Place of Devotees’. Populated since the 9th century AD, this UNESCO Heritage Site city is a beautifully-preserved glimpse into medieval life. Though a few of its monuments were destroyed in the tragic earthquake of 2015, there is still so much to see. On a morning exploration with a private guide, you’ll notice buildings decorated in the intricate wooden sculptures that Bhaktapur is famous for, as you wander streets where goats rest in the shade, artists workshops open onto the cobbles, and men in traditional dress carry produce high on their heads. You’ll see Durbar Square, packed with intricately-decorated temples and monuments including the shining Golden Gate and Palace of 55 Windows, as well as the five-storied Nyatapol Temple – renowned for its beautiful 16th-century decorations. Then you’ll return to your hotel for a well-earned afternoon of rest and relaxation. Alternatively, there’s the option of mastering the art of Nepalese cooking, with a local family in their home (please see the Extras tab). Book this optional extra, and you’ll be taught how to prepare dal bhat (rice and lentils), momo dumplings and chicken curry, before settling down to eat your feast for either lunch or dinner. 

Meals included: Breakfast

Bhaktapur Temple


Day Eight: Home Time

After breakfast, you’ll be transferred back to the airport for your flight home.

Meals included: Breakfast


Accommodation

Your hotel category for this experience is: 

Premium ★★★★

Premium hotels are typically upper mid range (usually four star), with more amenities than our classic choices. They all have comfortable rooms with private facilities and have received good client feedback. 

Please note that the actual hotel selection will be driven by availability at time of booking.


Overall meals included: 7 Breakfasts; 4 lunches; 4 dinners

What's included:

  • Private English-speaking guides unless stated otherwise
  • Private transfers and internal flights, unless stated otherwise
  • Meals as listed
  • Mandatory taxes and service fees
  • Entrance tickets and permits unless stated otherwise
  • Helicopter flight over Annapurna Base Camp

What's not included:

  • International flights to/from the start/end point of our experiences
  • Optional extras listed
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel and restaurant staff
  • Any visa, customs, airport taxes or similar charges before or after the tour
  • We cannot guarantee the included hotel breakfast for early departures
  • Drinks during meals unless stated otherwise
  • Personal expenses, such as laundry

Be sure to bring: Hiking boots; warm clothes; sunscreen and sunglasses


For Home Office travel advice to this country, read more here

Children: This experience is not suitable for children.

Please note: Due to the passenger capacity of the helicopters, this experience can only be booked in units of 2 adults. Please use the tailored tab to for any enquiries you have.

Additional Information: You can hire sleeping bags and other hiking equipment in Kathmandu.


GETTING THERE

Typical return Economy flights from London cost around £500 per person and take approximately 13 hours depending on exact flight configurations and layover times. 

Experience start point: Tribhuvan Airport Kathmandu (KTM).

End point: Tribhuvan Airport Kathmandu (KTM).


All tour departures up to 31st December 2018 are part of our Pioneers Club promotion. Click here for more information about the Pioneers Club.

Extras

Awesome Experience bonuses

Many of our experiences have optional features available at an added cost. Please see below for available extras for this experience. Please continue to checkout to select any optional extras and to see pricing information.

Optional Extras

To customise your experience, you can select any of theses extras at an additional cost during the basket stage.

Nepalese Cooking Session

Cook with a local family in their home where you’ll be taught how to prepare dal bhat (rice and lentils), momo dumplings and chicken curry, before settling down to eat your feast for either lunch or dinner.

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