Mads Mathiasen

A veteran in the adventure travel business Mads has organized and led trips in Turkey, Morocco, Tibet, India, Cambodia, Bhutan, Australia and Sri Lanka but Nepal remains his true love, where he spends his time trekking, biking and guiding people through Kathmandu’s narrow alleys.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Anywhere off the beaten path in the Himalayas"

How did you get involved in travel?

"Born in Denmark with an unbroken lineage to the Vikings, Mads wasn’t the most likely person to become a mountain man of the Himalayas. After high school he spent a year traveling South Africa, then continued to Asia and fell in love with Nepal. What was to be a one-year trip turned into a new life and adopted home. He began his career as a mountain bike and hiking guide in the Kathmandu valley and the years flew by. Soon he found himself guiding and arranging trips across the Himalayas from Ladakh to Bhutan reveling in meeting local people and learning about their cultures."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"There are so many I don't know where to begin..."

Featured trips & expertise

Putha Churen Himal and Dhaulagiri Himal

Dhorpatan Trek - 11-Day Itinerary

The Dhorpatan trek is a seriously off-the-beaten-path experience that isn’t too challenging. The Dhorpatan Hunting Reserve lies a day’s drive west of Pokhara in the shadow of Mt. Dhaulagiri. Trekking here will give you the chance to spot some rare wildlife as well as views of Nepal’s Western Himalaya that few travelers experience.

Return to Langtang - 8-Day Trek

The Langtang Valley has long been a favorite trek due to its expansive views, interesting Tamang culture, relatively gentle pace and accessibility from Kathmandu. The 2015 earthquake and subsequent landslide had an enormous effect on the region, but aid and reconstruction have recently reopened this valley to trekking again. Not only is it still a beautiful trek, your visit will also provide vital support for local livelihoods.

Nar Ghedi Monastery

Nar Phu Valley Trek - 9 Days

The Nar Phu Valley trek is a real Himalayan wilderness experience that is as unforgettable as it is spectacular. Tucked between the more visited Annapurna and Manaslu regions, Nar Phu is a true hidden gem that offers trekkers a rare opportunity to explore unspoiled valleys that feature a mix of raw Himalayan nature and ancient Buddhist culture.

Photo by Mads Matthiessen

Balthali Village Trek via Namo Buddha and Panauti

This three-day trek starts just a short drive from Kathmandu city, on the edge of the valley rim. It passes through small farming villages, where you can experience the lifestyle of local people, along with lush green forests, ancient temples and terraced farmland. Add to this the stunning snowy peaks visible in the distance, and this is the perfect introduction to trekking in the Himalayas!

Switchback descent towards Lupra (© Dan Barham)

Mountain Biking in the Lower Mustang Region

Hit the trails made famous by the Anthill crew and Redbull Media in their two awesome mountain biking films from 2011 -12. Stark and stunning, the landscape is high altitude desert and your trails are on the ancient trading route from India to Tibet.

Recent trip reviews for Mads

Mountain biking in the lower mustang region, Nepal - Jun 19 - Jul 5, 2017

Traveler: Mark L. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Well, perfect is hard to achieve! Overall, the trip was once in a lifetime and an epic experience. The one critique we had was regarding the stay in Yara. Though we liked the austere tea houses along the way, Yara felt different. Not sure what the difference was from the others. One thing--the guest house was run by a teenage girl--the parent owners were on vacation, perhaps. She wasn't very helpful. They village vibe seemed much more unfriendly than all the rest. We understand that... read more

Well, perfect is hard to achieve! Overall, the trip was once in a lifetime and an epic experience. The one critique we had was regarding the stay in Yara. Though we liked the austere tea houses along the way, Yara felt different. Not sure what the difference was from the others. One thing--the guest house was run by a teenage girl--the parent owners were on vacation, perhaps. She wasn't very helpful. They village vibe seemed much more unfriendly than all the rest. We understand that the Yara stop is likely because of the distance to the next logical stop AND we understand that village conditions are NOT in your control. We were happy to get on our bikes and leave that village. We are not overly concerned with that situation--but that is my one kindly written critique!

There are many positives. Here are a few: Dawa is a very good guide and aided the ability to feel comfortable in a FAR away place. :) The stay in Lo Manthang was excellent--the guest house, the owner, the food, the hospitality were excellent.

An accommodations critique: .after staying in guest houses that we thought were comfortable...they Mum's Garden stay seems "expensive"--if that makes sense. Mum's Garden seems somewhat excessive compared to the other accommodations--VERY nice, but perhaps a cheaper stay makes the overall expense for us better? Again...this is NOT a complaint, just an insight. Last thing: the accommodations a Maison du Kathmandu are worth praising. The value for that place is very good--the owners, the food, the location...we thought, were excellent. It's a little paradise!

Overall...a trip of a lifetime.

thanks.

Mark

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Mark, thanks for your feedback, great to have been able to give you a trip of a life time. Shame the feeling in the Yara tea house wasn't as great as in the other places but as you say it is hard for us to control. Glad you enjoyed the company of Dawa he is one of my own favorite travel companions on foot and by bike :-) Hope we will see you again in the Himalayas one day.

Thanks,

Mads.

Pikey peak: a short trek with a great view of everest, Nepal - Mar 19 - Mar 28, 2017

Traveler: Chelsea W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Absolutely more than perfect!! 11/10 stars!! Mads, Amanda, Suman, Suson, Everyone(!) from Himalayan Trails was beyond knowledgeable, accommodating, patient and incredibly friendly. I'm a frequent domestic and international traveler and I honestly cannot speak more highly of our experience booking and in-country with Himalayan Trails/KimKim, the best trip yet!!

Again, 11/10 stars!! He was incredibly responsive and he has a TOP NOTCH team in country. It was very apparent that they sincerely... read more

Absolutely more than perfect!! 11/10 stars!! Mads, Amanda, Suman, Suson, Everyone(!) from Himalayan Trails was beyond knowledgeable, accommodating, patient and incredibly friendly. I'm a frequent domestic and international traveler and I honestly cannot speak more highly of our experience booking and in-country with Himalayan Trails/KimKim, the best trip yet!!

Again, 11/10 stars!! He was incredibly responsive and he has a TOP NOTCH team in country. It was very apparent that they sincerely cared about us and our experience. Amanda took the time to meet with us with Suman (our trekking guide) before our trekking portion of the trip and then again after our trek with our city guide to make sure everything went well and that we were comfortable, etc. Every associate was incredibly knowledgeable, patient and accommodating for my numerous cultural questions and my partner's specific site interests. It was like traveling with new friends vs. stuffy 'tour guides', we shared laughs and jokes with everyone we encountered and felt like we really saw a bit of true Nepal-not just the 'touristy' side. Absolutely incredible.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Chelsea, thank you so much for your kind words and great feedback. I have sent it to the entire team and everyone is very happy that we have been able to give you a trip that you are happy with and will hopefully remember for a long time.

We hope to see you again in Nepal some day and help you seen even more of the Himalayas.

Kind regards, Mads.

Short trek in nepal, Nepal - Apr 29 - May 3, 2017

Traveler: Erin M. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I know you can't give a detailed breakdown of the price, but it would have been nice to know a bit more about how the price per person was generated in an overall sense. Like our accommodation total, our food total, the guide and porter's accommodation/food/salary total, and any fees.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Erin, thanks for your positive feedback. In the case of you short budget trek, transport and the guide and porter (salary,food, insurance, accommodation) and your accommodation are the things that add up. Of course your food also make up a fair component. Thanks for traveling with us and we hope to see you back in Nepal some day. Mads

Three passes trek , Nepal - Apr 3 - Apr 21, 2017

Traveler: Christian W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I made a very good experience with kimkim.com. All my contacts were very friendly and helpful. I specially liked the quick and uncomplicated way to book a trip.

Mads answered all my questions and gave me always a good advice. He motivated me to go for the longer trek. I am very happy that I listened to him. I had a great time and made one of my best treks ever!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Christian, thanks for your review and feedback, I am really happy you had a great trek with Naresh on this epic long trek. Hope to see you back in Nepal sometime in the future. Cheers, Mads

Ghandruk trek - scenic 3-4 day trek through the annapurna foothills, Nepal - Apr 26 - Apr 29, 2017

Traveler: Peter A. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I can't say enough about Himalaya Trails. A custom trek to fit our short time. Great guide and porter, who were attentive, accommodating, helpful and friendly. And when our flight from Pokhara was cancelled because of weather, Himalaya Trails went above and beyond with quick on-the-ball travel rearrangements to make sure we made our flight home from Kathmandu the next day. A big thanks to them!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hello Peter, great to hear we succeeded in putting together a great little trek for you and Alice and making the flight home is of course always good! :-) Thanks for traveling with us and we hope so see you in Nepal again soon. Thanks, Mads

Cultural tour with festivals (bisket & sindure jatra), Nepal - Apr 10 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Michael F. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The two initial days walking around with Rajeev in Patan, his home town, were truly wonderful and a great introduction to the urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley. The two monuments and the cremation ghats were a nice taste of Kathmandu before going to Bhakhtapur, where our little hotel was perfect and the couple who own it incredibly warm and welcoming. Pokara was a great respite from the dust of the Kathmandu valley, and we enjoyed particularly the Gurkha museum and the Tibetan monastery... read more

The two initial days walking around with Rajeev in Patan, his home town, were truly wonderful and a great introduction to the urban fabric of the Kathmandu Valley. The two monuments and the cremation ghats were a nice taste of Kathmandu before going to Bhakhtapur, where our little hotel was perfect and the couple who own it incredibly warm and welcoming. Pokara was a great respite from the dust of the Kathmandu valley, and we enjoyed particularly the Gurkha museum and the Tibetan monastery on the outskirts. The day back in Kathmandu was great both the Darbar monuments and especially the bazaar area.

Mads is amazing, attention to every detail, incredible fast planning ahead of time, and great connections to people on the ground: Amanda, Rajeev, and Dipesh.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your feedback Michael, I am so glad you and Susann had such a good time in Nepal and that what we put together for you hit the mark. Thanks again for traveling with us and we hope to see you in Nepal again sometime in the future. Thanks, Mads

Cultural tour with festivals (bisket & sindure jatra), Nepal - Apr 10 - Apr 18, 2017

Traveler: Susann W. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

We were so pleased with how quickly you were able to put together the kind of itinerary and services to both meet our requests and to make the trip work smoothly.

I do shy away from using 'perfect' loosely but must say it was as close to perfect as things usually come.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Susann, it was a pleasure to put this together for you and Michael and I am glad you liked it. I know Rajeev really enjoyed traveling with you and showing you around. We all hope to see you again in Nepal sometime soon. Thanks, Mads.

Everest base camp trek, Nepal - Apr 2 - Apr 17, 2017

Traveler: Stephanie D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Our guide Dawa Sherpa was tremendous, can't imagine the trip without him. He speaks great english, was very friendly and knowledgable, and was an excellent manager of our expectations. He also helped out with photos / videos for the trip which was an excellent value add. I genuinely would give him the highest rating possible and would recommend him to anyone else in an instant. He made the trip for us!

Mads provided timely responses to all of our questions and was extremely helpful. Overall his customer service was excellent.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Stephanie, thank you for taking the time to give us this great feedback, I will make sure to pass on your praise to Dawa he deserves every little bit of it and I am really happy you enjoyed his company! Thank you for traveling with us! Mads

Mountain bike nepal, Nepal - Feb 11 - Feb 19, 2017

Traveler: david b. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

I was met at the Kathmandu airport by Raj as promised. He had a cab waiting for me, and I was taken quickly to my hotel. After I settled in, Raj introduced me to Dawa who was to be my guide for the trip.

Dawa proved to be an excellent guide. He was courteous and knowledgeable. Also, Dawa was very patient with me, as uphill riding is not my strong point. The next morning, our first ride was through parts of Kathmandu and up to the Shivapuri National park. I was able to see parts of... read more

I was met at the Kathmandu airport by Raj as promised. He had a cab waiting for me, and I was taken quickly to my hotel. After I settled in, Raj introduced me to Dawa who was to be my guide for the trip.

Dawa proved to be an excellent guide. He was courteous and knowledgeable. Also, Dawa was very patient with me, as uphill riding is not my strong point. The next morning, our first ride was through parts of Kathmandu and up to the Shivapuri National park. I was able to see parts of the Nepalese culture that most tourists don't see. The ride in Shivapuri was fantastic, and I actually saw some monkeys among the trees. That night we stayed in the Shivapuri retreat where we had a nice meal of Dal Bhat with tea.

The next morning, we rode back into the Shivapuri forest, and hit some awesome mountain biking trails, making our way to Bodinath. We spent time at the Stupa until the car came and picked us up to catch our flight to Pokarrah. On the following day, we flew from Pokarrah to Jomsom for the center piece of the trip...Mountain Biking the Lower Mustang region. Once we got to Jomsom, we rode our bikes up the Kali Gandaki river to the village of Kagbeni. We stayed in a tea house in Kagbeni for 2 nights and for two days rode bikes on through some amazing high desert terrain.

After the stay in Kagbeni, we turned our bikes down the river course to back to Jomsom. One night in Jomsom, and then back on our bikes to Kalopani. Riding down the river course took us through several small villages that reflect the real Nepal. Truly a great experience. After leaving Kalopani, there was one more big ride to a point some 25 km down stream where we were met by a Jeep to take us back to Pokarrah.

Through this entire trip, everything was well planned out and prepared. The hotels, the flights, the ground transportation, nothing was overlooked. I was well taken care of. My guides, Dawa and Tendu were superb, and basically just good people to be around. The coordination and professionalism of all of the guys who handled my trip made it a great success. I will be going back to Nepal, and I will use this crew again. Many thanks to Dawa, Tendu, Raj, and Mads!!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks David, it was a pleasure to show you some of the trails Nepal have to offer. Do get in touch when you want to come and see some more. Cheers, Mads.

Balthali village trek , Nepal - Feb 15 - Feb 19, 2017

Traveler: Julia T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The trip was well planned! Only thing is i wished that the porter and guide where treated more as guests than employees of the hotel. In our night at dhulikhel, the employees said that our guide & porter could only eat when they ate. While we had hot shower and luxuriously a heater, our guide and porter only had cold water. The disparity was not nice to witness

Mads was patient in answering my questions, proactive, had suggestions to my problems.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Julia, thanks for your kind words and for traveling with us. I appreciate your concern for our crew, I have spoken to Suman and he said the Dal Bhat he ended up getting with the staff was very good but we will speak to the hotel and make sure the guide and porter do have the option to join you the traveler at meal times. Thanks again for traveling with us and hopefully we will see you again in Nepal.

New adventure, Nepal - Mar 1 - Mar 31, 2017

Traveler: Christian T. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Immediate responses. Professional and knowledgeable. Listened to my wishes and added advice.

A pro. Friendly. Trustworthy.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for your kind words Christian, so glad you loved your trek and your Kathmandu tours. Hope to see you in Kathmandu next time. Cheers, Mads.

Nature and wildlife tour, Nepal - Nov 19 - Nov 30, 2016

Traveler: Daniela D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

The organization was superb. We do these kind of trips a lot and I can honestly say that we have never had one as well organized as this one. At every step, the drivers or guides were always ready for us and every aspect happened like clockwork. We live in Germany where you expect that kind of organization, but to enjoy it in Nepal hardly seemed possible. Our congratulations on a job well done! Also, the guides were all fantastic - friendly and knowledgeable. Most national parks in the world... read more

The organization was superb. We do these kind of trips a lot and I can honestly say that we have never had one as well organized as this one. At every step, the drivers or guides were always ready for us and every aspect happened like clockwork. We live in Germany where you expect that kind of organization, but to enjoy it in Nepal hardly seemed possible. Our congratulations on a job well done! Also, the guides were all fantastic - friendly and knowledgeable. Most national parks in the world have guides who know the big animals and birds of prey, but our guides in Chitwan knew every bird and butterfly as well.

We discussed the trip and made changes to his original concept several times but he never tried to force us into his plan and cheerily re-worked the itinerary until we were happy with it.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Daniela and Berry, it was a delight arranging this trip for you and I am so happy you enjoyed it! Matching German clockwork is not easy and I would be lying if I said we always pull it off, but I am really glad we managed to do so for you.
Thanks for traveling with us and next time I think we should try to get you out to Bardia National park in West Nepal. Happy New Year! Thanks, Mads.

Agata’s nar phu and kathmandu explorer, Nepal - Oct 28 - Nov 12, 2016

Traveler: agata o. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

This was our first time in Nepal and we fell in love with it. Our little adventure was perfect. Our guides, Chhiri and Birbol were amazing.
We truly felt like a little team over the few days we spent together in the mountains. The trek was out of this world. Staying in the little villages of Nar and Phu valley was a special experience, experience that we will never forget.

Our retreat in Pokhara was such a treat, so were the last couple days in Kathmandu.

Before the trip, Mads... read more

This was our first time in Nepal and we fell in love with it. Our little adventure was perfect. Our guides, Chhiri and Birbol were amazing.
We truly felt like a little team over the few days we spent together in the mountains. The trek was out of this world. Staying in the little villages of Nar and Phu valley was a special experience, experience that we will never forget.

Our retreat in Pokhara was such a treat, so were the last couple days in Kathmandu.

Before the trip, Mads demonstrated so much patience with us with our constant questions and changes to the plans but it all came out absolutely perfect. We couldn't have asked for a better experience :)

Thank you Mads, Chhiri, Birbol and the rest of Kimkim team for making our Nepalese experience so special!

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Dear Agata, thanks for your kind words, it was a pleasure to put this trek and your stay in Pokhara and Kathmandu together for you. I am really glad you enjoyed Chhiri's company his is such a good guy with a lot of experience, glad you hit is off and had a good time on the trek. thanks for taking the time to provide this lovely feedback and hopefully we will see you in Nepal again. Kind regards, Mads.

Manaslu and the tsum valley, Nepal - Oct 2 - Oct 22, 2016

Traveler: Rohan D. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Early notice that Tsum valley was closed eas very helpful, so that we had the right passes to go to Nar-Phu. Guide was excellent, very attentive, spoke fluent English, and accommodated our changes tho the itinerary.

Really responsive to our pre-trip questions and the face tho face meetings were also really helpful.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Rohan, glad all went well and the Nar-Phu was a good alternative to the Tsum valley. Good that you had a good time with Gelu and that everything was flexible enough for you. Hope to see you in Nepal again some day. Thanks, Mads.

Manaslu circuit trek, Nepal - Sep 6 - Oct 1, 2016

Traveler: Michael F. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Very easy to book, great system to ask questions and get answers. The system flows creating a great overall experience.

Mads and team were fantastic and made us feel taken care of from start to finish. We had obstacles come up which required adjusting our itinerary , Mads and team were able to accommodate and offer alternative recommendations that fit what we wanted.

Mads Mathiasen, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Michael, I am just back from trekking as well. Super happy you enjoyed your trek with us! It was no sweet to make the adjustments for you, just glad we could make it all work so you had the best possible holiday. Hope you see you in Nepal again sometime. Cheers, Mads.

Khopra danda community trek, Nepal - May 21 - Jun 1, 2016

Traveler: Natalie C. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Had a wonderful experience. The trip was everything we could have asked for.

Alex Buri, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Glad to hear, Natalie. Great that you were able to do the Khopra trek... one of my favorite in Nepal!

Custom family trek, Nepal - Apr 11 - Apr 16, 2016

Traveler: Melinda B. - Local specialist: Mads Mathiasen

Sherpas were extremely kind, patient and helpful. Trail was perfectly adapted for our group age (family travelers). The view and landscape was stunning. Teahouses were welcoming and friendly.

Reactive, helpful and super professional. Before traveling, Mads exactly understood our needs and expectations, and suggested the best trek for our family. On site, we had weather condition that needed our trek to be changed. It was rescheduled and re-planned for us to enjoy as much as possible without... read more

Sherpas were extremely kind, patient and helpful. Trail was perfectly adapted for our group age (family travelers). The view and landscape was stunning. Teahouses were welcoming and friendly.

Reactive, helpful and super professional. Before traveling, Mads exactly understood our needs and expectations, and suggested the best trek for our family. On site, we had weather condition that needed our trek to be changed. It was rescheduled and re-planned for us to enjoy as much as possible without missing trek length. At all time, he was reachable through kimkim conversation, and he was liaising with his people on site (office with Angkit and our guide Pasang) who took really good care of us.

Joost Schreve, kimkim staff, responded to this review:

Hi Melinda,
I am very happy to hear that you and your family had such a great trip to Nepal! We look forward to helping you with your future trips.
Happy travels,
Joost

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