8 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek

Duration: 8 Days   |   Trip Photos  |  
  • Destination: Nepal
  • Trip Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trip Style: Lodge to Lodge Trek
  • Transport: Public Vehicle
  • Food: Breakfast + Lunch + Dinner
  • Accommodation: Hotel + Teahouses + Lodges
  • Group Size: 2-20 Pax Max
  • Max Elevation: 5416 meters

Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek is one of the most rewarding and fascinating adventures in the Himalayas that takes you around the tenth-highest mountain in the world, Mt. Annapurna [8,091 meters]. This 8 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek is the abbreviation of the classical trekking adventure, specially designed for trekkers who want to experience the magnificence of the Annapurna region but have a short period on hand.

Despite being a shorter version of the iconic classical route, you won’t miss out on any major highlights of the Annapurna region; instead of starting your adventure at Ngadi or Bhulbule, you will directly drive to Chame from Kathmandu. From there, you will follow the same classical route across the diverse landscapes (sub-tropical forests to alpine pastures and glacial moraines), the protected area of the Annapurna Conservation Area, religious landmarks, and culturally enthralling route, enjoying the spectacular views of the Himalayan massifs. On top of that, you will also take on one of the highest Himalayan passes, Thorung La Pass [5,416 meters/ 17,769 feet] in this adventure.

Even if you are a trekking beginner or veteran looking to build up Himalayan prospects, 8 Days Annapurna Circuit is an ideal package that lets you immerse in the cultural and natural exploration of the second most popular trekking region in the country.

Best Time for 8 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek

Annapurna Circuit Trek | 15 Day Cost, Itinerary, Guide

If you want to experience a truly immersive and enjoyable trekking adventure in this classical route, the best time for the 8 Days Annapurna Circuit would be during the peak seasons like autumn, September to November (autumn), and March to May (spring ). The climatic conditions of the Annapurna region are favorable during the peak seasons; the days are warm and clear, the landscapes of the region are lush, and the panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks are simply magical.

However, even among the peak seasons, the autumn season is considered to be the ‘number one’ season for Himalayan trekking and mountain expeditions. The temperature of the autumn season is mild, averaging between 12°C to 18°C, making it a perfect period for outdoor adventures. Similarly, the lush landscapes nourished by the monsoon rain, the unique shades of the colors of the fall season, unobstructed views of the Himalayas, cultural prospects, and wildlife exploration make it one of the most favored seasons for trekking adventures in the Himalayas.

As for the spring season, it is slightly warmer than the autumn season, with temperatures hovering between 16°C to 21°C. Thus, you can expect to enjoy a comfortable trekking experience even at the alpine altitude. Similarly, the trekking trails are covered with different species of wildflowers, including the rhododendron, the national flower. Besides the clear days and incredible Himalayan vistas, you will also have more chances to explore the endangered birdlife and wildlife of the Annapurna Conservation Area in this season, as they are more active during the peak season of nature.

Read also: Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek

If you're want an extended trek to experience the breathtaking beauty of Annapurna region, we also offer a 12 days Annapurna Circuit Trek, allowing you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the Himalayas in a slightly longer timeframe.

Highlights

  • An epic Himalayan adventure that explores the foothills of the tenth-highest peak in the world, Mt. Annapurna [8,091 meters/ 26,545 feet]
  • Traversing across the scenic landscapes, from cascading rivers and waterfalls to sub-tropical forest, pasture and glacial moraines
  • Incredible views of the Himalayan massifs like Annapurna, Lamjung Himal, Pisang Peak, Chulu Peak, Tilicho Peak, Gangapurna, Dhaulagiri, Himalchuli and other adjacent peaks
  • Traversing across one of the highest and most fascinating Himalayan passes, Thorung La Pass [5,416 meters/ 17,769 feet]
  • Opportunity to explore endangered species of flora and fauna of the Annapurna Conservation Area (est 1985)
  • Religious landmarks of the region, like Braga Monastery (900 years old) and Muktinath Temple (over 2,000 years old)
  • Immersive culture, traditions, lifestyle, and hospitality of the Gurung, Thakali and Magar communities along the trail

Day to Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 Drive from Kathmandu to Chame

    Kathmandu Elevation: 1,400 meters/ 4,593 feet

    Chame Elevation: 2,670 meters/ 8,759 feet

    Elevation Gain: 1,270 meters/ 4,166 feet

    You will commence your iconic 8 Day Annapurna Circuit Trek with a scenic drive from Kathmandu to Chame. After breakfast, you will board a comfortable vehicle from Kathmandu and drive along the trails of the Trisuli and Marsyangdi Rivers, enjoying the views of the rich biodiversity this Himalayan nation has to offer.

    About a six-hour drive northwest from the capital will take you to the vibrant town of Besisahar. Then, you will drive around 3 to 4 hours past the charming settlements of Sange, Bhulbule, Ngadi, Dharapani, Baggarchhap, Timang, and Koto to arrive at Chame. From here, you will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, and Lamjung Himal as you settle in for the night.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Chame
    • Altitude: 2,670 meters
  • Day 2 Trek from Chame to Pisang

    Chame Elevation: 2,670 meters/ 8,759 feet

    Pisang Elevation: 3,300 meters/ 10,498 feet

    Elevation Gain: 630 meters/ 2,066 feet

    On the second day of the trip, you will commence your trekking quest, following the charming forested trails alongside the Marsyangdi River. After breakfast, you will head toward Bhratang Village. Proceeding further in this day’s trekking route, you will then head toward Chemyau Kharka; there is a memorial ground for the Japanese mountaineer Akira Ochiai.

    Then, traversing across the lush green forested areas and apple orchards, you will cross a suspension bridge to reach the small village of Dhukur Pokhari; you will stop here to enjoy your lunch surrounded by the enthralling natural terrains. During the last stretch of this day’s trekking route, you will trek past the Swargodawari Hill, enjoying the epic views of Annapurna II, Annapurna IV, and Pisnag Peak to reach Pisang. The Marsyangdhi River separates the Lower Pisang and Upper Pisang; exploring both sides, you will ascend to Upper Pisang for an overnight stay.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Pisang
    • Altitude: 3,300 meters
  • Day 3 Trek from Pisang to Manang

    Pisang Elevation: 3,300 meters/ 10,498 feet

    Manang Elevation: 3,519 meters/ 11,545 feet

    Elevation Gain: 219 meters/ 718 feet

    Moving further in your trekking route, you will ascend even higher on this day’s adventure. You will follow the steep climbing section from Manang, which will offer you stunning views of Manang Valley and Tilicho Peak. After arriving at Humde, the airstrip for Manang, you will be greeted with the incredible northeast face of Annapurna III, and your trail further ahead in the Sabje Khola Valley also includes the breathtaking views of Annapurna IV in its vista.

    From here, you will cross a wooden bridge over the Marsyangdi River to push for the small settlement, Mungji. Then, you will head to the Tibetan village of Braga; this beautiful Himalayan village is popular for its distinctive Tibetan culture-inspired architecture and houses. You can also visit the Braga Monastery in this village, the largest monastery in the Manang that was built about 900 years ago. During the last leg of this day’s adventure, you will traverse across the steep pine forested area and cross several suspension bridges over the Marsyangdi River to reach Manang.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Manang
    • Altitude: 3,519 meters
  • Day 4 Acclimatization day at Manang

    Manang Elevation: 3,519 meters/ 11,545 feet

    You have so far ascended to a significant altitude of over 2,500 meters, so this day in your iconic Himalayan adventure will be an acclimatization day. You are recommended to do some short hikes for an effective acclimatizing process; there are several hiking options that you can choose from, like Bhojo Gumba, Gangapruna Lake, Ice Lakes, Chongkar Viewpoint, or visit the Himalayan Rescue Association (HRA).

    From the incredible hiking points of these high-altitude settlements, you will be able to enjoy the magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks, like Gangapurna Peak, Tilicho Peak, Annapurna III, Pisang, and Chulu Peak. In the evening, you can just stroll around the town, immersing in its Tibetan culture-influenced lifestyle and traditions. Overnight stay at a teahouse in Manang.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Manang
    • Altitude: 3,519 meters
  • Day 5 Trekking from Manang to Yak Kharka

    Manang Elevation: 3,519 meters/ 11,545 feet

    Yak Kharka Elevation: 4,120 meters/ 13,517 feet

    Elevation Gain: 601 meters/ 1,971 feet

    After acclimatizing properly to the rising altitude on your Himalayan adventure, you will push for an even further elevation point of this adventure. After breakfast at Manang, you will ascend through the pine forest to reach Tenki Village; from here, you will leave the trails of the Marsyangdi Valley behind, moving north toward Jar Sang Khola Valley.

    Then, moving past the juniper forests and several yak pastures, you will push for the village of Gunsan; from here, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking views of Annapurna II and Annapurna IV. The route up ahead is relatively easy; you will cross a wooden bridge over a stream during the last leg. Enjoying the enchanting views of Gangapurna, Tilicho, and Annapurna II, you will make your ascend to Yak Kharka.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Yak Kharka
    • Altitude: 4,120 meters
  • Day 6 Trek to Thorung Phedi from Yak Kharka

    Yak Kharka Elevation: 4,120 meters/ 13,517 feet

    Thorung Phedi Elevation: 4,560 meters/ 14,960 feet

    Elevation Gain: 440 meters/ 1,443 feet

    It is another day of exciting trekking adventure, traversing across the scenic pasture lands amidst the grazing farm animals; you will reach the suspension bridge leading to the opposite side of the valley. Then, moving along the narrow trail on the mountain, across the rock-strewn path, you will make your ascend to Thorung Phedi. 

    This day’s trekking is relatively short; you will reach Thorung Phedi in about a 4-5 hour trek from Yak Kharka. After your arrival, you will use the remaining day to acclimatize properly to this altitude to prepare for crossing one of the highest Himalayan passes on tomorrow's adventure.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Thorung Phedi
    • Altitude: 4,560 meters
  • Day 7 Trek to Muktinath from Yak Kharka via Thorung La Pass

    Thorung Phedi Elevation: 4,560 meters/ 14,960 feet

    Muktinath Elevation: 3,760 meters/ 12.335 feet

    Thorung La Pass Elevation: 5,416 meters/ 17,769 feet

    Elevation Gain: 856 meters/ 2,808 feet

    Today is an exciting day’s adventure; you will ascend over one of the highest Himalayan passes, Thorung La Pass Elevation [5,416 meters/ 17,769 feet] adventure as you make your way down to Muktinath. You will start your ascend on the pass early to avoid the late afternoon high winds; from the top of this pass, you will be able to enjoy the dramatic views of the Himalayan massifs like Annapurna II, IV, Gangapurna, Himalchuli, Tilicho, Dhaulagiri and other adjacent peaks including the head of the Gandaki Valley below.

    After enjoying the views and immersing in the magical Himalayan ambiance, you will then move forward with your descending journey from the pass. Descending across the steep sections and Kali Gandaki Gorge, you will then make your way toward Muktinath, one of the religious landmarks in the Hindu and Buddhist religions. This temple is famous for its 108 water sprouts and an eternal flame that has been burning continuously for more than 2,000 years.

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Muktinath
    • Altitude: 3,760 meters
  • Day 8 Drive to Pokhara from Muktinath

    Muktinath Elevation: 3,760 meters/ 12.335 feet

    Pokhara Elevation: 820 meters/ 2,690 feet

    Elevation Loss: 2,940 meters/ 9,645 feet

    This will be the final day of your remarkable Annapurna Circuit Itinerary 8 Days; today, after breakfast, you drive down all the way to Pokhara from Muktinath in a comfortable vehicle. You will enjoy a scenic driving experience for about 7-8 hours, passing through the diverse landscapes of the region and enjoying the breathtaking views of the Himalayan peaks. Before reaching Pokhara, you will travel down to the Kali Gandaki River and drive past the beautiful settlements of Jomsom, Tatopani, and Beni as you descend to Pokhara.

    Upon arriving at Pokhara, you will be dropped off at your hotels; after getting refreshed, you can stroll around the lakeside, immersing yourself in the vibrant environment of this tourist hub. Thank you for trekking with Marvel Adventure; we hope to see you again! Have a safe Journey!

    • Meals: BLD
    • Accommodation: Tea Houses/ Lodges
    • Place: Pokhara
    • Altitude: 820 meters

What to Expect

  • Airport pickup and drop by private vehicle
  • Standard meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) during the trek
  • Government license holder guide 
  • Strong and helpful porter with proper equipment (1 porter for 2 people)
  • Salary, food, accommodation, and insurance for guides and porters 
  • Tea house/lodge accommodation during the trek
  • All land transportation as per itinerary
  • TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) card
  • Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) entry permit
  • Comprehensive first aid kit with an oximeter to measure your oxygen level daily
  • Government taxes and official expenses
  • International airfare and taxes
  • Nepal entry visa fee
  • Your Travel Insurance (compulsory)
  • Lunch and dinner whilst in Kathmandu
  • Entrance fee in the heritage sites during city tour.
  • All the expenses of personal nature
  • Any kind of drinks and desserts during the trek
  • Tips for guide and porter (Tipping is expected)

Useful Information

Annapurna Circuit Difficulty Level

Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek

The Annapurna Circuit Trek has been graded as a ‘moderate’’ Himalayan adventure. Even if you are a complete beginner who doesn’t have any previous high-altitude trekking experience, you will be able to easily do the Annapurna Circuit trek after making the necessary preparations. However, regardless of its moderate difficulty level, Annapurna Circuit is still a Himalayan adventure and nothing like hikes in the backyard, so you shouldn’t slack off during the preparation part.

You will have to overcome several challenging factors as you move along your Annapurna Circuit route. Here are some of the major hurdles of this iconic trekking route that you have to be on the lookout for.

Altitude Sickness

Altitude gain and altitude sickness are considered to be different sides of the same coin; as you gain altitude, the risk of altitude sickness proportionately rises. In this 8 Days Annapurna Circuit Trek, starting your journey from Chame (2,670 meters), you will move along high elevation points like Pisang (3,300 meters), Manang (3,519 meters), Yak Kharka (4,120 meters), Through Phedi (4,560 meters) and the highest altitude jump point of this adventure Thorung La Pass (5,416 meters).

So, as you gain a significant altitude above 2,500 meters (above which there is a risk of altitude sickness), you will have to pay proper attention to the symptoms of altitude sickness.

Trekking Distance

8 Days Annapurna Circuit is an extensive trekking adventure that covers an approximate distance of 160 to 230 km. Although the overall trekking distance depends on the route taken, highlight exploration and side detours to the popular landmarks in the region. You will still cover a significant trekking distance of 6-7 hours on average during each day’s trekking adventure. What elevates the difficulty level of this factor is that long hours of trekking at rising altitudes can be demanding due to the thin air and low oxygen saturation level.

Unpredictable Weather

Although the peak seasons are considered to be the best period for the Annapurna Circuit Trekking due to their favorable weather, the climatic conditions of the high-altitude environment are not always predictable. The high-altitude alpine environment has a climatic zone of its own; it doesn’t take much time for the clear sunny days to be covered by rain and snow clouds. So, you should be prepared for any challenges the climate throws your way.

Similarly, if you are doing the trek in the off seasons like winter (December to February) and monsoon (June to August), the unfavorable weather conditions add further challenges to your hike. Winter season covers your trekking route in snow, the temperature is freezing, and even if the views are rewarding, you have to carry heavy gear and clothes to keep yourself comfortable. Monsoon, on the other hand, is risky due to its slippery trails and natural disasters like flooding and landslides.

Remoteness

This is one of the less talked difficulty factors in the 8 Days Annapurna Circuit. Although many trekkers are excited to undertake one of the most remarkable and iconic Himalayan trekking adventures, what many need to realize is that Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you across to remote and isolated sections of the Himalayas. There aren’t start hotels along the trekking trails, and the accommodation facilities are pretty much basic; electricity and technological development are pretty much limited, and for any kind of health emergency, helicopter rescue is the only viable option. So, ensure you are prepared on every front; it is better to take time with preparation than regret it later.

Is Annapurna Circuit Suitable for Me?

Annapurna Circuit Trek Cost

Annapurna Circuit is one of the most rewarding trekking experiences that takes you across the second most popular trekking route in the Himalayas. It is natural for you to wonder if this trek is right for you, considering the difficulty factors. However, the overall trekking difficulty of this iconic route is on the milder side compared to other remote high-altitude adventures. It doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make any preparations for this trek, but an adequate amount of training will be enough.

If you have a basic level of fitness and good health conditions, you will be able to complete this trek without any hassles. But, the comfort level of this remarkable adventure will depend on how much effort you have put into the preparation part. The success rate of the 8 Days Annapurna Circuit is 98%; in the past, even elderly trekkers and children have successfully completed this classical trekking route. So, in the end, it all boils down to how determined you are to do Annapurna Circuit and how much effort you are willing to put into making your journey comfortable and memorable.

How to Tain for This Trek?

Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek

For a truly immersive and comfortable experience during your 8 Days Annapurna Circuit, it is recommended that you should prepare at least 4-6 weeks before your trek. Preparing in advance for your Himalayan trekking adventure will get your body accustomed to physical activities; it is especially beneficial if you don’t work out routinely.

For the most effective preparation, you can first assess your physical abilities with some practice hikes or consult a trainer and guide. As you will be trekking for long hours carrying your backpack during each day of your adventure, strength, and endurance exercises will help you buff up your stats. Similarly, cardiovascular training will improve your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to muscles, which also increases your stamina and helps you to acclimatize more efficiently during your trek. Here are some exercises that you can include in your training regime for the Annapurna Circuit.

Strength and Endurance Exercises

  • Push up
  • Pull up
  • Deadlift
  • Squat
  • Bench press
  • Lunge
  • Bicep curl
  • Plank
  • Calf raise
  • Overhead press
  • Set up
  • Broad jump
  • Leg extension

Cardiovascular Exercises

  • Jogging
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Jumping rope
  • Power walking
  • Aerobics
  • Lateral shuffle
  • Burpee
  • Mountain climber
  • Cardio

Mental Preparation

Besides the physical preparation, it is also important to mentally prepare for the trek. This is especially important if you haven't done any high-altitude remote adventures previously. Mental preparation will keep you motivated, help you stay positive, and deal with the minor discomforts that you may face during your journey. Here are some helpful tips for mental preparation.

  • Learn to stay positive regardless of the situation
  • Practice meditation
  • Stay calm and composed to assess the circumstances properly
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Practice getting out of your comfort zone
  • Have low expectations
  • Visualize your journey
  • Positive self-talking

Food and Accommodation

Annapurna Circuit Difficulty Level

During the Annapurna Circuit Trek, you will be able to savor tasty delights in your trekking journey. From mouthwatering regional delicacies to Tibetan- Indian culture influences cuisines and popular continental dishes with a Nepali touch, the food exploration prospects are limitless during this trekking adventure. You can expect the following menus at the teahouses during your Annapurna Circuit Trek.

For Breakfast

  • Teas, coffee, fresh juice
  • Eggs
  • Bread or toast with jam, butter, and honey
  • Tibetan bread
  • Paratha
  • Pakoda
  • Chapati
  • Cornflakes
  • Oats
  • Pudding
  • Fruits
  • Muesli
  • Pancake
  • Pudding

For Lunch and Dinner

  • Dal, Bhat, Tarkari (lentil soup, steamed rice, vegetables, and other side dishes)
  • Dhido, Gundruk
  • Momo/ dumpling
  • Chowmein
  • Pizza
  • Spaghetti
  • Pasta
  • Macron
  • Sandwich
  • Fries
  • Steak
  • Thukpa
  • Shyaphale
  • Rilduk
  • Sherpa stew

**Note: Vegetarian and vegan options are available at the teahouses in the Annapurna region**

Accommodation

The accommodation facilities in the Annapurna circuit trekking route range from moderate to luxurious levels, depending on your trekking package. As this is the second most popular trekking region in the country, the accommodation facilities here are more developed than those of other remote explorations. During your stay at teahouses in this classical route, you can expect a well-furnished room with 2-3 adjacent beds. As for the basic amenities, you will receive a clean sheet, pillow, and warm blanket; the beds are well-patted with comfortable mattresses.

The communal areas like lounges and dining halls are heated at the higher altitudes, and you can share your stories while socializing with other trekkers in the region. As for the bathroom facilities, some teahouses have attached bathroom facilities, while others don’t; in any case, the bathroom will be on a shared basis. For a more personalized experience, you can go for the luxurious or custom-tailored trekking packages.

Packing Checklist

Best Time for Annapurna Circuit Trek

It is important to make sure that you have packed everything that you need for the occasion for a comfortable experience. You will be traversing across different climatic zones during your Annapurna circuit trek, so you need to make sure you have packed all the necessary layers for this classic trek. Although it is recommended to pack light, you don’t want to miss out on the most essentials. Check out the following packing check-list for cross-reference:

For Head and Body

  • Sun hat, headscarf
  • Wool hat
  • Neck gaiter, muffler
  • Light, heavy, and waterproof gloves
  • Windproof/ lightweight jacket
  • Inslualeted/ fleece jacket
  • Thermal layers
  • Heavy down jacket
  • Full sleeve/ half sleeve t-shirts
  • Fleece trousers/ pants
  • Hiking shorts
  • Waterproof/ windproof heavy trousers

For Foot

  • Trekking boots
  • Waterproof gaiters
  • Sports shoes (for short hikes)
  • Sandals/ slippers (for resting destinations)
  • Different pairs of socks (woolen, thin, thick)

Personal Care/ Hygiene

  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, and facewash
  • Soaps, shampoo, hair products
  • Small mirror and nail clippers
  • Lip balm, body lotion, sunscreen protection
  • Body deodorants
  • Tissues, wet wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Hygiene products
  • Quick drying towel
  • Bug repellent
  • Personal medication
  • Small first-aid kit

Accessories

  • Sleeping bags (four seasonal)
  • Duffle bag
  • Packing sacks
  • Trekking poles
  • Ankle support
  • Rain cover
  • Hydration bladder
  • Headlight and extra batteries
  • Solar charger, power bank
  • Universal charging cord
  • Water bottles/ thermos
  • Journals, pens
  • Card/ board games
  • Entertainment set

**Note: Convert the cash to local currency as there are no ATMs on the trekking route. Exchange enough for you to enjoy snacks throughout the trek and in case you might want to buy souvenirs**

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