Arrive Kathmandu, transfer to hotel and evening free.
Free day for sightseeing in Kathmandu. You may wish to visit the monkey temple at Swayambunath, one of the largest Buddhist Stupas in the world at Bodnath, or the most important Hindu temple in the valley at Pashupatinath, visit Durbar Square in the heart of the old city where the old Royal Palace, with its intricate woodcarving is located. Outside is Kumari Chowk, home of the Kumari, the young girl who is revered as a living goddess. The whole area is a maze of temples and images. Leading away from the square in all directions are narrow alleys, full of the most amazing variety of shops and stalls. Sightseeing tours can be booked locally. Today there will full trip briefing in the morning.
After breakfast we drive to Arughat Bazaar. The road leaves the Kathmandu Valley over a low pass and drops down to the Trisuli River. We follow the river to the Dading Bridge, and head north into the hills. Past Dading the road gets bumpy and dusty as we continue on to Arughat in the Buri Gandaki Valley.(Occasionally the road to Arughat is blocked so we may have to vary the route slightly for the first few days of our trek).
Our route begins by following the Buri Gandaki Valley north. Today is a fairly easy walk passing several small villages and cultivated fields. After a short climb up to Kyoropani we drop down to the Soti Khola. Continuing we camp near Liding. Approximately 6 hours walking.
We continue following the Buri Gandaki as we climb high above the river through fairly dense forest. Throughout the day the trail undulates, passing several small hamlets and farms. We camp at Machha Khola (fish river), which is a tributary running into the Buri Gandaki. There are a few tea shops in the village selling cold drinks. Approximately 5 hours walking.
Day 6 We cross a bridge at The Machha Khola and follow the rocky trail to Tatopani. The water for the natural hot springs here is funnelled through a few taps in the centre of the village. Crossing the river at an undulating section of the trail brings us to Dovan, where there are a few tea houses. Above the village the Buri Gandaki descends in an impressive series of rapids. After some steep sections the river and trail level out until we cross a suspension bridge at Lauri. The trail climbs up on to a high path and then drops down into the valley, taking us to the well-kept village of Jagat, where we camp. Approximately 5-6 hours walking.
From Jagat the trail continues up the valley to Sirdabas, offering great views of the Sringi Himal ahead. Here we drop down to the river and at Gata Khola cross a long suspension bridge and climb steeply up to Philim. The trail now undulates along the hillside with impressive waterfalls on either side of the valley. We pass Eklabatti as the valley veers to the right. Heading to the river we pass a gorge before crossing the river twice on suspension bridges. Finally we reach Euwa, where we camp for the night. Approximately 5-6 hours walking.
Climbing up to Deng, our route crosses the river before scrambling steeply up onto a spectacular trail high above the river. We pass through some small settlements as we ascend the impressive valley. We will see mani stones (prayer stones) carved into wayside rocks, a sign that we are now in a Buddhist area. Dropping down once more to the river there is a short climb to Ghap (2165m). Approximately 4 – 5 hours walking.
As we gain height we walk through alpine forests, home to white-faced monkeys. From Ghap we have a long climb to Namrung, a large village with a tea shop. From here the valley becomes wider and there is extensive farmland all around where we may see the occasional look-out platform, built to ward off bears. Climbing steadily now, we pass the Tibetan village of Sho and just above the village we get our first view of Manaslu ahead. A little further on we come to our camp in Lho (3180m) where the Tibetan influence is strong. There are mani walls, chortens, prayer flags and a large monastery. Approximately 5-6 hours walking.
A short day as we continue up the valley. The trail climbs out of Lho and follows the valley with great views of Peak 29 ahead. As we pass through Shala village, Manaslu, Himalchuli and Phungi all come into view. Soon we reach the fields and stone houses of Samagaon (3525m), where our campsite is located. Across the valley there are magnificent views of Manaslu. As we should arrive at Samagaon by lunchtime we will have time to explore the village and visit the monastery in the afternoon. Approximately 3-4 hours walking.
We spend the day at Samagaon acclimatising. Those who are feeling energetic can take a packed lunch and walk up to Manaslu Base Camp. Alternatively there is also the village and nearby glaciers close to explore.
The trail crosses grassy grazing areas and climbs gradually up the valley. We have fantastic views of the mountains with Manaslu looking particularly impressive. We finally reach Samdo (3860m), the last permanent settlement in the valley. This remote village is only a day's walk from the Tibetan border. There will be time in the afternoon to look round the village and explore the surrounding hills. Approximately 3 hours walking.
Day 13 Leaving the village we cross a stream to a deserted village called Larkya Bazaar which years ago lived and thrived off trade with Tibet. Climbing steadily we reach a small lodge at 4450m, which is the last campsite before the pass.
Day 14 A long day as we cross the pass. The trail climbs onto the moraine of the glacier with views of Larkya Peak. The ascent is gradual at first with a final steep climb to the top of the Larkya pass (5213m). This is the highest point of the trek and the views are outstanding - a wonderful panorama of peaks including Annapurna 2, Himlung Himal and Kang Guru. Descending carefully steeply over snow and scree the trail eventually eases off onto a path which takes us down to Tanbuche. Further down the valley is Bimthang, where we camp tonight at 3590m. Approximately 7 – 8 hours walking.
Day 15 - 18
We descend through Tilje and several other small villages before we join the main Annapurna Circuit trail at Dharapani. We now follow the Marsyangdi River south, passing a broad, flat area at Tal before continuing steeply down to the village of Chyamje. Further down the Marsyangdi Valley, we will see other trekkers and teahouses along the main Annapurna Circuit trail. A leisurely descent of this impressive valley brings us to our last night's camping at Bhulebule.
We complete the circuit at Khudi or Besisiahar, depending on where our bus has access to. We then drive back to Kathmandu, arriving late afternoon.
After breakfast depart transfer.