Annapurna Adventure: A 10-Day Itinerary Through Majestic Peaks and Enchanting Heritage in Kathmandu
Discovering the majesty of the Himalayas in Nepal seemed like an unreachable dream for a non-hiker like myself. However, fate led me to the Annapurna circuit during a work trip, and the experience left me awe-inspired. Nestled just a short flight away from Pokhara, the Lower Mustang region proved to be not only accessible but a unique adventure for families, non-hikers, mountain bikers and travel enthusiasts alike. This revelation prompted me to plan diverse trips, including a memorable girls' getaway, a scenic hiking adventure with family and numerous solo expeditions for myself. If you're seeking recommendations for any version of Annapurna exploration, feel free to reach out – I've got you covered!
The Fora Difference
Book with Raihana to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay
Oms Home Jomsom
Your Himalayan retreat, where mountain views, tranquility and Nepalese hospitality unite for an authentic stay in the heart of Jomsom.
Lodge Thasang Village
Your Himalayan refuge, where mountain vistas, serenity and Nepalese warmth converge for an immersive stay in the heart of Thasang Village.
Pavilions Himalayas is a tranquil and eco-friendly luxury resort located in the serene foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal. Nestled amidst lush green landscapes, this resort offers guests an opportunity to connect with nature and experience authentic Nepalese culture. The resort features beautifully designed pavilions, each with its own unique character and stunning views of the Annapurna mountain range. Visitors can enjoy organic farm-to-table dining, rejuvenating spa treatments, and a variety of outdoor activities, including trekking and cultural excursions. Pavilions Himalayas is the ideal destination for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of nature.
Unlock perks by contacting Raihana to book your trip.
Day 1: Arrival in Kathmandu
Upon your arrival in Kathmandu, immerse yourself in the rich cultural tapestry of the city. Check in to the enchanting Swotha, a historical boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Patan Durbar Square. This unique location provides the perfect base to explore the labyrinthine alleys, art workshops and the Heritage Museum.
Experience the warmth of traditional hospitality at Swotha before venturing out for a delightful evening. Consider indulging in evening tea or dinner at Yala Madala, a charming garden café inside Patan. Don't miss the opportunity to explore its three-story art gallery and an enchanting jewelry store. If you're lucky, you might catch live music performances during the weekends.
As the night unfolds, take a leisurely stroll to the nearby Forum mall, offering options for movies and diverse dinner choices, ensuring your first day in Kathmandu is filled with cultural exploration and culinary delights.
Day 2: Kathmandu to Pokhara
Embark on an early morning flight to the picturesque city of Pokhara, where tranquility meets breathtaking landscapes. Upon reaching Pokhara, check-in to the Pavillion Himalaya Farm for an overnight stay. This eco-friendly gem is nestled amidst lush rice paddies and stands out as a pioneer in sustainable tourism practices. From recycling initiatives to providing training and jobs for the local community, the Pavillion Himalaya Farm offers a unique blend of comfort and responsible tourism.
Take advantage of the property's amenities, including a refreshing pool and spa. For a more immersive experience, consider a stroll to the nearby river for a dip or engage a hiking guide to explore the charming villages in the vicinity.
Alternatively, if you're in the mood for a leisurely day, rent a car to explore the vibrant shops around Fewa Lake. This popular strip is adorned with a myriad of shops, bars, and cafes. For a delightful culinary experience, Roadhouse Café is highly recommended for its delectable pizzas or you can savor local flavors at the Moon Dance Café & Bar. Whether you choose relaxation or exploration, Pokhara welcomes you with open arms.
Day 3: Pokhara to Thasang Village Resort via Jomsom
Embark on an early morning flight from Pokhara to Jomsom, a gateway to the enchanting Mustang region. Upon landing, make your way across the street to the small Himalayan Java Café at Om's Home, where you'll meet your guide for the day.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at Om's Home and take a moment to freshen up before setting out on an adventurous day. Begin with a scenic drive to Marpha, a charming village renowned for its apple orchards and a picturesque monastery. Take a leisurely stroll around the village, soaking in the serene atmosphere.
For lunch, indulge in local flavors at one of Marpha's restaurants or cafes. Afterward, continue your journey to Thasang Village Resort, where you'll be treated to dinner and an overnight stay. The resort offers a unique experience with a hot bath that can be booked, providing a perfect way to unwind. Don't forget to relish the breathtaking 360-degree views of the Annapurna range on a clear day, making your stay at Thasang Village Resort a truly memorable one.
Marpha is a charming village located in the Mustang district of Nepal. Nestled amidst the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges, Marpha is part of the Annapurna Circuit trekking route.
Apple Orchards: Marpha is famous for its apple orchards, producing some of the best apples in the region. The village is known for its apple brandy and various apple-based products.
Monastery: Explore the ancient monastery in Marpha, which adds a spiritual and cultural touch to the village. The monastery is often adorned with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the wind.
Traditional Architecture: Marpha features traditional whitewashed buildings adorned with wooden window frames and narrow alleys, creating a picturesque setting.
Local Cuisine: Sample local delicacies at Marpha's restaurants and cafes. The village is known for its apple pie, local apple brandy, and traditional Tibetan dishes.
Local Handicrafts: Marpha is known for its skilled Tibetan artisans. Take the opportunity to explore local handicraft shops and witness traditional craftsmanship.
Thasang is a village in the Mustang district, situated along the Annapurna Circuit trek. It offers a tranquil setting with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
Thasang Village Resort: The village is home to the Thasang Village Resort, a welcoming accommodation option offering not only comfortable stays but also a hot bath experience. The resort is strategically located to provide stunning 360-degree views of the Annapurna range on clear days.
360-degree Views: Enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Annapurna range, creating a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere. The village's elevation and location make it an ideal spot for panoramic mountain views.
Local Hospitality: Experience warm hospitality from the local community. Engage with the residents to learn about their culture and way of life.
Both Marpha and Thasang offer unique experiences, blending cultural richness with the natural beauty of the Himalayan region. These stops on your itinerary promise to provide memorable moments and a deeper connection with the local culture and landscape.
Day 4: Explore Thasang Village, Head to Jomsom via Tukuche
Start your day with a refreshing morning walk or hike to nearby trails and villages guided by the hotel's knowledgeable guides. This provides an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and witness the natural beauty surrounding Thasang Village.
Indulge in a delightful breakfast at the Thasang Hotel rooftop, before embarking on your exploration of the village. Take in the serene atmosphere and capture the stunning mountain views that make Thasang a unique destination.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at Thasang Hotel, savoring local flavors and possibly learning more about the region's culinary traditions.
After checking out from Thasang Hotel, embark on a scenic drive to the heritage village of Tukuche.
Tukuche is a picturesque heritage village located along the Kali Gandaki River, between Thasang and Jomsom. It is renowned for its historical significance and traditional architecture.
Traditional Architecture: Wander through the narrow alleys of Tukuche and admire the traditional stone houses with intricately carved wooden windows and doors. The village offers a glimpse into the architecture of the past.
Drive or Hike to Jomsom:
Depending on weather conditions and your preference, you have the option to either drive or hike to Jomsom from Tukuche. Both options offer unique perspectives of the landscape and ensure a memorable journey.
Arrive in Jomsom and check in at Om's Home. Unwind and relax in the comforting atmosphere of the guesthouse. Enjoy an evening of live music at the Himalayan Java Café at Om's Home, sipping on local beverages and reflecting on the day's adventures. The cozy ambiance and live music make for a perfect conclusion to your day in Jomsom.
Day 5: Explore Dhumba Lake and Kagbeni
Embark on an exciting morning adventure by choosing to either drive or hike to the nearby Dhumba Lake. This pristine lake, situated in the Lower Mustang region close to Jomsom, offers a perfect setting for a picnic and panoramic views of the majestic Annapurna range.
Dhumba Lake is a hidden gem surrounded by picturesque landscapes. Nestled against a backdrop of rolling hills and flanked by the Annapurna range, the lake provides a serene escape. Enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings, and if you opt for a hike, relish the scenic beauty along the trail.
After a delightful morning at Dhumba Lake, continue your journey by driving to Kagbeni, a charming village in the Mustang district.
Unique Landscape. Kagbeni is known for its distinctive landscape, characterized by dramatic mountain ranges and iconic hanging bridges that span the Kali Gandaki River. The scenery is both breathtaking and surreal, offering a visual feast for nature enthusiasts and insta-worthy photography.
Explore the Heritage Village:
Wander through Kagbeni's narrow streets and marvel at the unique architecture featuring red and grey buildings. The village exudes an ancient charm, with traditional mud-brick houses adorned with prayer flags. Take time to explore the local museums, providing insights into the rich cultural history of the region.
Stunning Views of the Kali Gandaki River:
Kagbeni offers stunning views of the Kali Gandaki River, surrounded by towering cliffs and rugged terrain. The river holds cultural and religious significance, adding to the allure of the landscape.
Conclude your day with an overnight stay at The Red House in Kagbeni. This cozy accommodation provides a comfortable retreat after a day of exploration and local cuisine. Immerse yourself in the unique ambiance of Kagbeni, where history, culture, and nature come together to create an unforgettable experience.
Indulge and book a overnight at the Shinta Mani Mustang in Jomsom (better choice since you will need to catch very early morning flight back).
Day 6: Flight Back to Pokhara, Connect to Kathmandu
Bid farewell to the mesmerizing landscapes of Mustang as you take an early morning flight back to Pokhara and connect to Kathmandu. Once in Kathmandu, check in to the luxurious Dwarika Kathmandu for a truly indulgent experience.
Dwarika Kathmandu is a pinnacle of luxury, embodying the rich cultural heritage of Nepal. This 5-star hotel is a masterpiece of traditional Newari architecture, featuring intricately carved woodwork, exquisite craftsmanship, and a serene courtyard. The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a refreshing pool and a spa that beckons with the promise of relaxation. Treat yourself to the Hiker's Massage, designed to rejuvenate weary muscles. In the evening, consider indulging in the culinary delights of the Dwarika with a 6-10 course meal, an epicurean experience that reflects the hotel's commitment to excellence.
If you're inclined to explore beyond the hotel, venture into the vibrant districts of Thamel and Babar Mahal Revisited.
Thamel is the bustling heart of Kathmandu, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse offerings. Wander through its narrow streets lined with shops, boutiques, and street vendors. Thamel is a shopping haven, offering everything from traditional handicrafts to modern clothing. It's a vibrant district that captures the essence of Kathmandu's dynamic energy.
Babar Mahal Revisited:
Babar Mahal Revisited is a restored complex that seamlessly blends history with modernity. This precinct houses an array of cafes, bars, and restaurants in a setting that exudes colonial charm. Explore the unique architecture and indulge in diverse culinary experiences within this cultural enclave.
Day 7: Flight Back Home
Conclude your unforgettable journey with a flight back home, carrying cherished memories of the Himalayas and the cultural richness of Nepal. Reflect on the diverse experiences, from the tranquil villages of Mustang to the vibrant streets of Kathmandu, as you head back with a heart full of adventure and discovery.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, 7 Day Girls Trip: A Blissful Getaway from the Himalayas to Sri Lankan Shores.
Get in touch with Raihana
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Raihana within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).
This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Nepal.