At Mountain Kingdoms, we’re absolutely passionate about the Himalaya. Spanning five countries – India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet – the Himalayan range contains not only nine of the ten highest mountains on the planet but thousands of smaller peaks, fertile valleys, sparkling rivers, dramatic glaciers and azure lakes. Alongside the endlessly stunning scenery is a wealth of cultural interest, evidenced by the variety of language, dress, customs and beliefs of the people that call the Himalaya home.
We wanted our 10 favourite trekking holidays to reflect this great scenic and cultural diversity, to include both classic treks and remote trails and to offer something for novice walkers and hardened trekkers alike. The only problem was, keeping it to just 10! So, after much discussion, here’s our top 10, in no particular order…
13 or 14 day trip | 5 days on trek, walks on 1 day | Moderate grade
If you enjoy spending time under canvas, but not too long, take a look at our Druk Path Trek. This ancient trail traverses gorgeous mountains between Bhutan’s two main cultural centres of Paro and Thimphu. Highlights of the trek include a haunted monastery, sacred lakes and wonderful views of the eastern Himalaya. With ample time for sightseeing before and after the trek this holiday really does showcase the very best of Bhutan in just two weeks. If you’d prefer to spend a little longer in the mountains, then take a look at our Chorten Path Trek which continues on from Thimphu to the old capital of Punakha.
19 day trip | 14 days on trek | Strenuous Grade
A trek to Everest Base Camp is high on many people’s ‘bucket list’. Whether to enjoy the breathtaking landscapes, to savour the iconic history or simply to say ‘I was there’, it remains one of the great objectives for the walking enthusiast. Starting with the exhilarating flight from Kathmandu to Lukla and ending at the foot of the world’s highest mountain, it’s never less than a thrilling and inspiring experience. And yes the trails are popular and the tea houses often busy but you’ll enjoy the company of fellow trekkers and have someone to share your sense of adventure and achievement with.
We offer two accommodation alternatives for trekking to Everest Base Camp – Everest Base Camp in Style which uses luxury lodges and some first-rate tea houses or the traditional Everest Base Camp Trek staying in tea houses throughout.
14 day trip | 7 days on trek | Vigorous grade
In the rain shadow of the Himalaya, Ladakh offers both summer trekking and a very different landscape. An arid, desert-like land it is characterised by deep gorges, contorted rock strata and dramatic cliffs set against a backdrop of towering, snow-capped peaks. The Markha Valley epitomises the best of this scenery and is Ladakh’s most celebrated trek. Taking only two weeks London to London, it provides a superb opportunity to enjoy a great value Himalayan trek in the summer months.
17 day trip | 12 days on trek | Moderate/Vigorous grade
Looking for something away from the main trekking trails of Nepal but not too strenuous, then our Ganesh Himal trek could be just for you. Situated in northern central Nepal, the region of Ganesh Himal is home to four peaks over 7,000m yet the trek itself is relatively low altitude by Himalayan standards – staying below 4,000m. Camping for the most part, you will wake each morning to glorious mountain views and spend each day trekking through verdant terraces, beautiful forest and traditional villages populated by either Tamang or Gurung people. And the chances are you’ll have the trails entirely to yourself with not another trekker in sight – a rarity indeed.
21 day trip | 16 days on trek | Strenuous grade
We couldn’t have a top 10 list of Himalayan treks without the Annapurna Circuit. Rightly considered one of the classic treks of the world, the Annapurna Circuit has been wowing trekkers for years with its spectacular, varied scenery and fascinating cultural interest. Crossing the fabled Thorong La pass at 5,414m is the undoubted high point of the trek but trekking into the deepest gorge in the world – the Kali Gandaki – and peeking into mysterious Upper Mustang are equally unforgettable experiences. If you have less time to spare, but still want to discover the magic of the Annapurnas, then take a look at our Mini Annapurna Circuit