- Trek through the beautiful rhododendron forests of the lower Annapurna Region
- Visit the Gurung village of Ghandruk, with views of Annapurna and Fishtail
- This is one of Nepal's best short treks, taking you through picturesque villages while offering epic Himalayan views
|Day 1||Welcome to Kathmandu!||Kathmandu|
|Day 2||Explore Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 3||Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek to Pothana (1,860 m / 6,102 feet)||Pothana|
|Day 4||Trek from Pothana to Ghandruk (1,940 m / 6,365 feet)||Ghandruk|
|Day 5||Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul, Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu||Kathmandu|
|Day 6||Depart Kathmandu|
The trailhead of the Ghandruk Trek is located in Phedi, a less than 1-hour drive from Pokhara. The trail takes you through dense rhododendron forests, paddy fields and up steep stone-slab steps through picturesque villages of the lower Annapurna region, while snowy mountains are towering over you.
The main attraction of this 3-day trek is the bustling heritage village of Ghandruk, with its a relatively prosperous Gurung population. Staying in Ghandruk is a wonderful experience, as the village has a friendly vibe to it and offers amazing views of Himalayan giants Annapurna, Hiunchuli and Machapuchare (Fishtail).
The Ghandruk trek is typically done in 3 or 4 days. Here we describe the 4-day itinerary which will give you plenty of time to stop to enjoy the scenery, chat with locals and take your time to explore the picturesque villages.
Day 1: Welcome to Kathmandu!
As you fly into Kathmandu, you'll have beautiful views over the valley, the Himalaya, and of the terraced fields below. After going through customs, a representative will be waiting to guide you through the initial culture shock of Kathmandu’s narrow, winding streets and get you settled into your hotel. Once you've settled in, head out and visit one of Kathmandu's cultural highlights. In the evening, the tourist hub of Thamel is a good place to grab your first meal, with a variety of restaurants to chose from offering both Western and local Nepali dishes.
Day 2: Explore Kathmandu
Kathmandu has a special atmosphere during the early morning hours when the city is slowly coming to life yet not too chaotic. It's a great time to walk and explore the streets or have a chai overlooking one of the local courtyards or durbar squares. There are a number of ways you can spend the day given the many incredible sights around the Kathmandu Valley. Later in the evening, head out for dinner at one of the city's great eateries, or your specialist can arrange a home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Day 3: Fly from Kathmandu to Pokhara, Trek to Pothana
After an early breakfast, you'll be driven to the airport to catch your flight to Pokhara. Upon arrival, a jeep will be waiting to drive you to Phedi where the trek begins towards Pothana. The trail ascends through forests of rhododendron, magnolia, oak, sandalwood, and pine until you reach the village called Dhampus. This is an authentic Gurung village, which gives you an opportunity to look at the magnificent views of the Annapurna ranges, as well as notable peaks like Lamjung Himal.
From Dhampus, the trail continues to ascend along a stone-paved path through more forests and mossy trees (keep an eye out for orchids). Once you get to the small village of Pothana, you’ll find a range of trekker facilities including shops, teahouses, and eateries. Relax and enjoy the magnificent mountain views.
Day 4: Trek from Pothana to Ghandruk
Set out for the larger Gurung village of Ghandruk. The early part of the trek is a gradual ascent for almost an hour until you get to Deurali, which passes through lush forests with splendid views of the Annapurna ranges, Manaslu, and Mardi Himal.
Leaving Deurali, you'll begin a steep trek downwards to reach Tolkha, a beautiful ethnic Gurung village. To reach the next destination, Landruk, another ethnic village, the trail is a more gradual descent passing through terraces and few settlements.
From here, continue a steeper descent that moves downwards to the Modi Khola river. You'll cross an iron bridge leading you to a steep uphill that finally reaches Ghandruk with spectacular panoramas of the Himalayas. You'll stay overnight in this trekker hub with its many lodges, eateries, and shops to stock up on sundry items. Take some time to visit the Gurung museum, a tiny exhibit in an old traditional house made of stone slabs where you can learn about the history and the local way of life.
Day 5: Trek from Ghandruk to Nayapul, Fly from Pokhara to Kathmandu
Start today with an early morning breakfast in Ghandruk and then trek past small villages and picturesque rice fields to reach Nayapul. Once you arrive, you'll meet your private jeep transfer waiting to take you back to Pokhara where you'll catch a flight back to Kathmandu.
The rest of the afternoon and evening is yours to enjoy at leisure. You can shop for souvenirs or explore the capital's streets on foot, bicycle, or rickshaw, seeing anything you may have missed at the beginning of your trip. As for eats, here are some ideas for how to spend your last dinner in Nepal, including French, Vietnamese, and Middle Eastern options.
Day 6: Depart Kathmandu
Time to say farewell to Nepal. Enjoy your last moments in Kathmandu with breakfast in a café, a city stroll, and/or souvenir shopping. A representative will meet you at your hotel and drive you to the airport for your return flight home. It's good to be at the airport at least two hours prior to departure.