Nepal is a country which in itself embodies the very essence of hiking, adventure. Nestled between India and China, Nepal stretches along the Himalayan range. Eight of the fourteen summits of more than 8000m are located there in particular the most known, Everest (8848m) but also Annapurna (8091m). Annupurna is nestled in the heart of its eponymous massif; there are six main peaks, all over 7000m. It is around this massif that the Trek of the Annapurna Tour is carried out.

Lasting 10/12 days (for the full tour), the trek evolves between 900m and 5416m with the passage of the famous Thorong pass. It is a must for anyone who loves hiking and the great outdoors. We go from the rice fields to the high Himalayan peaks, taking the time to discover the country.

This trek is the first that I realized, in 2012. Unfortunately at the time I did not keep the notebooks which I use today to keep track of impressions, memories accumulated on the way, this return will be a light story mainly based on photos taken during the trip. In addition at the time I wanted to discover “serenely” this practice and not have to complicate my life to organize everything (which is a shame in hindsight), so I had gone through an organization for this trek but it did not in no way distorts the landscapes and the experience.


Kathmandu is the obligatory passage for the start of the trip. The city is regularly served by air from India or the Emirates. We went through Abu Dhabi on our side for a relatively long trip (6 hours stopover) but it was an opportunity to discover the other members of the group.

Kathmandu is a city steeped in the imagination, especially with the hippie movement in the 60s. Today it is a strong city of more than 800,000 inhabitants. The experience in town is complete in terms of sensation: sight, hearing, smell, everything is stimulated. Kathmandu is a real anthill.

The city is rich in monuments, religious in particular, and in history. Note in particular Durbar Square and Swayambunath which were unfortunately partially destroyed during the earthquake of 2015.

First Part of the Trek: The Low Altitudes

The start of the Annapurna Tour trek is towards Besisahar. Six hours of bus on mountain roads with Nepalese driving style … an experience in itself.

The first part of the trek is done in the rice fields. We are at 1000m above sea level the weather is good and beautiful. The path, well marked, evolves from village to village in a superb setting, there are many religious monuments along the road including the famous chorten which must always pass by the left.

Ngadi (950 m), Jagat (1310 m), Dharapani (2000 m), Chame (2700 m), Pisang (3200m), the path climbs quietly. The stages are well proportioned and allow time to acclimatize.

The references in terms of altitude are to be reviewed in comparison to the Alps. Here no snow or mineral landscape at 3000m, there are still quite a few trees (especially conifers).

Part Two of the Trek: High Altitude

The altitude begins to be felt gently from 2500-3000m but it is at 4000m that I started to really feel the effects. It started with a slight headache, but it got worse. The heart beats fast constantly, even when sleeping, which tires. I started to experience a slight loss of appetite but it was still fine. Learn about Mountain Sickness before leaving because you have to know what to do if you are affected.

The landscape was getting drier and the vegetation sparse and sparse. We made a day break in Manang to acclimatize. The city is nice, there are day hikes to do or a bakery / pastry shop to recharge your batteries; you can even go see a movie in the local mini cinema. In any case, this break was good.

Above 4000m we find ourselves in a truly mountainous environment accompanied by increasingly cool temperatures and sometimes snow. Dzos, hybrid yak, cow, are also appearing. The villages at these altitudes are mainly made up of dry stone house “typical” of what we can also see in Tibet, we will also visit some Buddhist temples on the road highlighting the strong spirituality of the local populations.

The two days before the pass will be hard due to the altitude. We also all start to have Dal bhat ie rice / lentil that we eat every day. In the evening it is really cold in the shelters but the prospect of crossing the pass motivates us.

The last climb is done in the snow but it goes pretty well on the day of the attack. There are a few hundred meters of elevation down which we slowly swallow. The heart beats very hard in the chest, each step requires a lot of effort (even if you are not that high after all).

5000m … another 416m. The slope is gentle that facilitates the climb. Overloaded Nepalese pass us without difficulty sending us back to our small condition. The landscapes are beautiful, we feel the strength of the Himalayas; we are surrounded by peaks at more than 6000, 7000 or 8000m.

After these efforts we finally arrive at the pass. All the fatigue dissipates to make way for the joy of being there. We were talking about it from the airport over a week ago now. We take the classic photo break in front of the tag at 5416m! A nice moment shared with the group.

Last part of the trek: descent and return

Once the pass is reached we start the descent. The landscape changes immediately, it’s much drier. Indeed the clouds are stopped on the other side of the mountain, here no rain …

The path leads us to Muktinath, a high place of Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimage. We take the time to visit the temple before settling down for the night in a guest house. We will celebrate our pass from the pass based on “Mustang Brandy” with our local guides. A great evening …

We will continue our road until Jomoson through these arid and dusty regions. Lots of wind and sand in the eyes.

The “real” Annapurna Tour continues for a few more days but we will stop there. Back to Kathmandu but before that we reach Pokhara by plane for a short day of visit, including a temple in the middle of the lake. The city is very nice, I would have liked to spend more time there.

We will spend the last day in Kathmandu to visit the city and especially Durbar Square. This city is definitely worth visiting and spending some time there.


It’s already the end of the trip and the return to France. Nepal will have kept its promises by offering us magnificent landscapes and contact with a rich culture. The Annapurna Tour is perfect for tackling long treks. The physical difficulty is moderate and constant, only the altitude can be a little complicated to manage. I went through an agency as it was my first long hike but this trek is completely achievable alone, you just have to manage the few administrative formalities.

Small negative point: a road is being built towards the pass, so it is now necessary to go there before the road is finished (if it is not already the case) and that streams of tourists disembark in 4×4 …

Nepal has an infinite number of trekking and hiking possibilities, in particular the Everest base camp trek (a great classic) or the Manaslu tour (more wild). I don’t know when yet but I’m sure to go back …