Mountain Bike the Annapurna Circuit
Nepal, Bike - Fat Tyre, 15 days - from £1,395 (land only) - from €1,885 (land only) - from $2,165 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Kathmandu in the morning. Airport transfers are provided. Time in the afternoon to reassemble bikes or pick up hire bikes. KE Land Only package services begin with the evening meal. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: An early start for the long drive to Besishar (823m). We drive across country on the busy Pokhara road, stopping for an early lunch along the way. Then, following the course of the Marsyangdi River northwards, we arrive at our overnight lodge accommodation in Besisahar, the official starting point of the Annapurna Circuit, and have a final check of our bikes to make sure they are in good order.
Day 3: A relatively easy day to start our journey, following the lush sub-tropical valley of the Marsyangdi River and climbing gently on a jeep road. Passing the villages of Syange, Bhulbhule and Ngadi, we start the final climb to our overnight lodge in Chamje (1410m). Ride distance 26 km (16 miles) with 930 metres of ascent and 260 metres of descent.
Day 4: Leaving Chamje, the road climbs on a trail spectacularly cut into the cliffs, with views of waterfalls and villages. Prayer flags and chortens show that we are entering the Buddhist territory of the high mountains. Arriving at our lodge in Dharapani (1860m), we are close to the point where the Manaslu circuit meets the Marsyangdi. Ride distance 11.5 km (7 miles) with 430 metres of ascent.
Day 5: Leaving Dharapani the scenery changes to a more alpine landscape as we follow some steep, testing sections of trail with amazing mountains unfolding around us. Riding via tea-house stops and fragrant pine forest, we reach our lodge in bustling Chame (2710m), administrative centre of the Manang District. Ride distance 19 km (11 miles) with 870 metres of ascent.
Day 6: Today we climb on forest trails to a stunning plateau area with jaw dropping views of the Annapurnas and the villages of Bharatang and Pisang. Off the main drag we cross the Marsyangdi and follow a trail to the delightful village of Braga where we can visit its 500 year old monastery, before continuing to Manang (3540m). Ride distance 23.5 km (14.5 miles) with 760 metres of ascent.
Day 7: A day for rest and acclimatisation. We are now above 3000 metres and must take care not to ascend too quickly. To help acclimatisation we can cycle or trek on the trail towards Tilicho Lake, back-track to Braga to have another look at its stunning monastery or simply chill out in Manang. We spend a second night in our Manang lodge.
Day 8: After an initial, short section of riding, the trail becomes narrow and rocky and we are back to pushing and carrying to the top of the hill at Gunsang. A fantastic section of fast flowing trail then takes us to a lunch stop at Churi Lattar (4000m), where we prepare for the final push of the day on the climb up to Letdar (4200m). Ride distance 12 km (7.3 miles) with 780 metres of ascent.
Day 9: We ride most of the first 3 kilometres, before dropping down to the river. A mix of riding, pushing and carrying then takes us to Thorong Phedi (4450m). After a break, we make the final ascent to our lodge accommodation at High Camp (4800m) pushing and carrying our bikes, with fantastic views. Ride distance 6.5 km (4 miles) with 735 metres of ascent.
Day 10: Today we cross the Thorong La (5416m). This is the epic day, with a 3 hour push up to the pass. As dawn breaks the mountain vistas are unsurpassed. From the summit, we have an amazing 1600 metres of descent on a mix of terrain to the wild, frontier-style village of Muktinath (3800m). Ride distance 15 km (9 miles) with 530 metres of ascent and 1600 metres of descent.
Day 11: After exploring the temple in Muktinath, one of the holiest sites in Nepal, we have a mostly downhill ride on jeepable road (with singletrack options) to the Kali Gandaki. We then continue to the attractive village of Marpha (2670m) where we overnight and also have the chance to sample the famous apple pie! Ride distance: 27.5 km (17 miles) with 1250 metres of descent.
Day 12: We have a downhill/rolling ride on a wild and rugged section of jeep trail between the monster summits of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri. Passing many tea houses, there's ample time to stop for a drink and to admire the mountain scenery, before our arrival at Tatopani, famous for its hot springs. Ride distance 48 km (29.5 miles) with 1630 metres of descent.
Day 13: For our last day of riding, we continue beside the Kali Gandaki, passing through several villages en route to Beni. The distance is short, but the route still demands respect and the terrain is still fairly wild. From Beni, we transfer to our hotel in the lakeside town of Pokhara. Ride distance 22.5 km (14 miles) with 250 metres of ascent and 640 metres of descent.
Day 14: We transfer to the airport at Pokhara and take the spectacular flight along the Himalayan range to Kathmandu. After checking in at the group hotel, there will be time for sightseeing or souvenir buying before going out for a final celebratory meal. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 15: KE Land Only package services end after lunch. Airport transfers are provided.
This holiday involves going to very high altitude. During the course of your trip you will be spending at least one night above 4000 metres and/or trekking to 5000 metres or above. This is not something that you should worry about; the human body is quite capable of adapting to a very wide range of altitudes, but it is important that we follow some simple rules in order to acclimatise successfully. Before coming on this holiday you should read the advice on trekking at high altitude.
GPS Trip Data
Click on the link below to view the detailed stats for this holiday via Garmin Connect. You can see detailed mapping of the route, daily distances travelled, the total ascent and descent each day and maximum altitude.