The 17 Days Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek is an exciting trekking excursion that covers several climate zones, striking topographical variations, and above all, distinctive cultures and populations, which makes the Annapurna Circuit the best long-distance trekking journey globally. Ideal for both experienced and novice hikers, this Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek provides an unforgettable experience. You may take in up-close views of the massive Himalayas, which rise to a height of over 7000 meters, as well as small, historically significant communities nestled at the foot of these massive peaks and a variety of harsh, verdant landscapes.
With views of Dhaulagiri (8,167 m) and Annapurna (8,091 m), the seventh and tenth highest mountains in the world, respectively, this elegant journey leads you along some of the most breathtaking trekking trails in the world. The world's deepest gorge of the Kali Gandaki River makes the trek even more captivating. Landmarks like the Thorung La Pass, Muktinath Temple, Poon Hill, and the peaceful village settings of Manang, Jomsom, and Ghorepani add icing on the top.
The Classical Annapurna Circuit trekking route gradually grew in popularity since Manang welcomed its door to hikers in the 1980s. Now, it is one of the most popular trekking routes in, not only Nepal but the entire world. Wandering around the Annapurna range will offer you dreamlike views of the surrounding mountains, which is why, trekking lovers worldwide have a dream of completing the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek at least once in their lifetime.
Traveling through the Annapurna region is interesting because of its many climatic zones and scenery, which range from the lush green forests of the sub-tropical region to the arid stony regions of the alpine region. Every day of the hike offers something new to view. In addition to being a natural experience, trekking in the Annapurna Circuit also possesses great cultural exposure. You get a taste of the renowned culture and way of life of the ethnic people from Gurung, Manange, Thakali, and Magar communities, living in the little villages along the trail.
This expedition differs from the traditional 20 days Annapurna Circuit as you will use road transportation wherever feasible, which will cut down on the overall amount of hiking days. The development of roads to the isolated settlements along the circuit, which were undeveloped only a few years ago, has allowed for a shorter schedule of just 17 days. It's a shorter trip, but you won't miss anything significant. We take you from Kathmandu to Chamje on a bus, then trek through Dharapani, Chame, Pisang, Manang, Thorong La, Muktinath, and Jomsom. From Jomsom, we take a jeep ride to Tatopani and again resume the hike to Shikha, Ghorepani, Poon Hill to Hile, where we catch a local jeep to Pokhara. We end the trip with a picturesque drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu.
Our Outfitter Nepal professionals have put together everything you'll need to successfully finish your Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek in 17 days. We handle everything, including lodging, meals, and transportation, so you can hike stress-free. Moreover, your trip will be safe and enjoyable, thanks to our qualified trek guides and skilled potters.
Best Features of the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek
- Trekking excursion at high-altitude central Himalayas with rugged terrain
- Picturesque drive from Kathmandu to Chamje, Jomsom to Tatopani, and Pokhara to Kathmandu
- Wandering through the lush green woods of Rhododendrons, oak, birch, and juniper
- Surround yourself with 7000+ meters of mountain peaks
- Getting to know the locals of Manang village while acclimatizing
- Savoring the breathtaking view of Gangapurna Glacier from Manang
- Reaching the challenging Thorung La Pass, the trek's highest point at 5416 meters
- Visiting Muktinath Temple in Mustang, a sacred Hindu and Buddhist shrine
- Relaxing your tired muscles at Tatopani Hot Spring
- Enjoying the glorious sunrise view of the Annapurna range from Poonhill
“If you can only trek once in your lifetime, make it the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek.” Why do people say this?
As we said earlier, The Annapurna Circuit is considered the most beautiful trekking route in the world. There are various reasons for that! First and foremost, the trekking trail offers outstanding natural beauty featuring verdant forests, traditional Himalayan villages, terraced farmlands, vibrant flora and fauna, roaring waterfalls, enormous snow-covered mountains, and the list goes on. Secondly, the landscape of the Annapurna region is so diverse that you’ll get to witness something new each passing day during the trek.
Likewise, the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek is not only naturally beautiful but also culturally rich. The various ethnic groups living in the remote villages of the Annapurna region is the proof of that. Furthermore, it’s a difficult trek in the rough Himalayan terrain but also provides all basic amenities for fooding and lodging on the way making the trek comfortable. The 17-Day Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek is unique among other trekking routes due to its unrivaled natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diversity of landscapes within a condensed time frame. That’s why one must trek to Annapurna Circuit if they can only go on one trekking journey in their lifetime.
What is so unique about the landscape of the 17 Days Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek?
The Classic Annapurna Circuit differs from other trekking routes because of its constantly shifting climatic zone, vegetation, and weather patterns. The trekking adventure begins in a lush subtropical setting where, in the pleasantly warm weather, you cross numerous terraced farms and fields. Hikers see several Himalayan communities built in a conventional manner. Then, among chilly deciduous forests, you approach the Marsyangdi River Valley. You will find subtropical plants such as birch, oak, juniper, and rhododendron thickly forested in most of the woodlands you traverse.
After a few days, the Annapurna Range will come into view which has the highest mountain in the area, Annapurna I (8,091 m), and the tenth-highest peak in the world. Once you get over the tree line, you will see desolate ravines and parched slopes surrounded by snow-capped summits. The Manangis, or people of Manang, live in a sparsely populated location where there is sometimes a fierce wind in an area of the Himalayas that resembles a desert. The Khatung Kang and Yakawa Kang mountains meet at the mountain pass known as Thorong La (5416 m), which is the highest point of the Annapurna Trek.
Thorung La Pass offers views of the magnificent, desert-like Himalayan slopes, that are distinguished by their unusual purplish hue. The remainder of the journey is mostly a decline till Jomsom. Once again, you will leave the alpine setting and pass through a profusion of subtropical vegetation going uphill and downhill before reaching Pokhara's stunning Valley of Lakes.
How does the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek highlight the cultural significance of the region?
In addition to offering a breathtaking view of the highest mountain peaks in the world, the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek offers an enthralling glimpse into the customs, culture, and rituals of the region. Along the way, we will experience both natural and cultural splendor, such as up-close views of some of the tallest mountains on Earth and the exceptional hospitality, customs, and religion of the local people. The walk through the Annapurna Region is an enjoyable experience for mountaineers and many others who appreciate the grandeur of the landscape and the warmth of the culture.
You will witness authentic culture during the Annapurna Circuit hike while staying in guest houses run by locals and eating local delicacies in multiple villages along the way. This trip will allow you to observe the customs, values, and age-old practices of ethnic groups, which are primarily dominated by Gurung, Brahmins, Manangis, Thakalis, and Magars. The significant religious and cultural history of the area is exemplified by the numerous Buddhist stupas, gumba, and chortens that you'll visit. In addition, you'll pay a visit to Muktinath Temple, one of the holiest Hindu temples.
Major Attractions of the Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek
Magnificent views of the Annapurna range and other tall mountains
Since you will be encircling the entire Annapurna range, it is evident that you will witness its mountains from the start to finish of the trek. Numerous peaks can be found on this 55-kilometer-long massif, such as Tilicho Peak (7135 m), Nilgiri Himal (7061 m), Mt. Gangapurna (7455 m), Mt. Machhapuchhre/Fishtail (6993 m), the 10th highest peak, Mt. Annapurna I (8091 m), and others. Aside from these, you'll also be able to see other mountains including Dhaulagiri (8167 m), Mt. Manaslu (8163 m), Mt. Lamjung Himal (6986 m), and summits rising to heights of 7000 meters and higher. You will be encircled by mountains covered with snow all around you.
Gorgeous Himalayan scenery with a variety of vegetation
The 17 days Classic Annapurna Circuit Trek begins in a subtropical area with tumbling rivers and thick woods. The weather is nice as you go across endless paddies and terraced fields. After a few days, one may observe the alpine vegetation with its arid slopes and lonely ravines surrounded by mountains covered in snow. You will cross Thorung La Pass and enter the desert-like landscape with parched soil and no flora. You'll descend to the tropical forest once more before the adventure ends. All things considered, the hike becomes increasingly fascinating as each day goes by with continuous changes in the surrounding landscape.
Passing across challenging Thorung La Pass, a high mountain pass
Standing at 5416 meters, the formidable Thorang La Pass is situated between the peaks of Khatung Kang and Yakwa. The steep, upward approach to the top of the pass, along with the thin, high-altitude air that has limited oxygen, makes this section of the hiking adventure the most difficult. Your persistence and hard work will seem well worth it when you eventually reach the summit and enjoy the magnificent view of the surrounding mountains. It's impossible to put into words the feeling of accomplishment you get from seeing the breathtaking vista from the top of the pass. You must witness it for yourself.
The charming village of Manang and its surroundings
At an elevation of 3519 meters, Manang is a stunning alpine town located to the north of the Annapurna Range. Manang is home to descendants of Tibetans who follow Buddhism and speak Manange, a Sino-Tibetan language spoken in Nepal's northern Himalayas. They are modest people who make their living from yak herding, tourism, and a small amount of agriculture. You will be spending a full day in Manang to acclimate, which is an excellent chance to take in the surroundings, engage in conversation with the locals, and discover their distinctive, long-standing customs and culture. The view of Gangapurna Lake and Glacier is plenty for those who enjoy the natural world.
Healing your sore muscles in Tatopani's hot spring
In Nepali, tapo pani translates to "hot water". Tatopani, named after a natural hot spring in the vicinity, is a highlight of this 17-day classic trek over the Annapurna Circuit. It's said that the spring water has a special ability to ease pain and promote recovery. Hot spring baths are said to have the power to purify the soul as well. So we suggest that you have a little soak in the hot spring before starting your uphill climb to Ghorepani. It will undoubtedly ease discomfort and help to relax your muscles, but we cannot promise soul purification.
Visiting the revered Muktinath Temple
Situated at the foot of Thorong La Pass, Muktinath Temple is a highly esteemed site for Hindu and Buddhist pilgrimages. Bathing in the sacred taps within the Muktinath temple precincts is believed to wash away all sins and provide good fortune. The temple is also known as Mukti Kshetra (place of freedom). From all over India and Nepal, thousands of pilgrims come to this temple to bathe under the taps, believing the water will atone for their sins. While on your adventure tour across the Classic Annapurna Circuit, you have the unique opportunity to seek blessings for yourself at the Muktinath temple.
Meet modest locals from various ethnic backgrounds
The hike offers a stunning perspective of some of the highest mountain tops in the globe, as well as an insightful glimpse into the customs and cultural traditions of the region. You will have the opportunity to witness the primitive lifestyles of the Gurungs, Brahmins, Manangis, Thakalis, and Magars while on the hike. The hospitable inhabitants will assist you in learning the long-standing customs, beliefs, and traditions of the area. The various ancient temples, stupas, gumbas, and chortens that are still standing strong demonstrate the cultural richness of the region.
Beautiful sunrise view over the Annapurnas from Poonhill
The Ghorepani-Poonhill trekking route, which is a separate trek in itself, is also a part of the Annapurna Circuit. Poonhill is well-known for its breathtaking sunrise views of the Annapurna range and the neighboring mountain ranges. The Annapurna Range, Mt. Machhapuchre, and Mt. Dhaulagiri all seem to be glowing in golden rays during the spectacular Himalayan sunrise. The hike from Ghorepani to Poonhill is a short stroll uphill in the early morning and offers some magnificent views.