I’ve done a lot of walking, climbing and trekking, and it’s fair to say that the Annapurna Circuit trek is up there with one of my favourite trips of all time.
Sure, it probably doesn’t come with the same kudos as something like Everest Base Camp, or even Kilimanjaro, but there’s just something absolutely magical about Annapurna, which puts it very close to top spot (if not the top; I’m still trying to decide).
If you’re considering Annapurna, here are five reasons why I’d recommend it:
1. The variety is ridiculous
There are pretty views all over the world, and if that’s all you’re after, head to Austria or Switzerland, or take the train up Snowdon.
Annapurna provides truly stunning views, but it really is multi-dimensional – you’ll experience genuine jungles, beautiful rice fields, incredibly deep canyons and dense, lush forests.
And that’s before you even consider the mountains. Of which there are A LOT.
Once you get high enough (and when I say ‘high enough’ I mean nearly 18,000ft, you’ll get more mountains that you can shake a stick at, and the view and experience when you’re up that high is other-worldly, a little bit eerie, but totally unmissable.
2. You’ll have amazing food
Michelin Star service, it ain’t, but in all my treks over the years, the food on the Annapurna Circuit is pretty much my favourite, and it’s dal bhat that forms the staple diet during the trek.
If you prefer tastes a little closer to home, you can get those too, but dal bhat really is the quintessential Nepalese taste, and fills you up beautifully after a long day’s trekking.
I’ve always found that context plays a key role in food – a cheese and ham sandwich at the top of Scafell Pike is more delicious than anywhere else in the world, and its no different here – stopping after a strenuous day, and having dal bhat served to you is a very difficult feeling to beat.
If you enjoy a tipple, you’ll probably enjoy raksi too – a bit like sake, it’s very strong, will make you laugh long into the night, and lull you off to sleep!
3. It’s a social route
I’ll level with you: Annapurna isn’t uncharted territory. Since the 80s, when they opened the route up and allowed foreigners to join in with the fun, the popularity has grown exponentially, with 40,000+ travelling to Annapurna each year.
If sharing your trail with others isn’t your thing, then Annapurna isn’t for you, but one thing I’ve learnt over the years is that travellers and trekkers tend to enjoy spending time with people from other cultures and countries.
If that’s you, you’ll love Annapurna.
Not only are you in a completely new environment, but you’re getting to experience it with other people from other environments, and the result is a beautiful melting pot of different thoughts, experiences, and languages.
4. You can’t second guess anything
A knock-on impact of the melting pot I mentioned above is that you’ll get more random moments on the Annapurna Circuit than most other treks, more of the unexpected, and lots of it is either very funnt, or very beautiful.
A mishmash of cultures, and various appropriations and misappropriations of those cultures makes for a pretty eclectic trek; with ancient Buddhist temples nestled among hawkers selling trinkets and porters blasting Western chart music.
It’s strange, it’s funny and it’s memorable.
5. It’s not just for tourists
Many trails and treks are there for historic reasons; they used to function as trade routes, or they were a convenient way of getting from A to B.
But the Annapurna Circuit is STILL that – locals use the route to move goods from village to village; villages that continue to work as they have done for hundreds of years.
As a result, you really are able to experience true Nepalese mountain culture, and see how the locals live.
The Annapurna Circuit continues to be the trek I measure most other treks by – it’s hugely enjoyable, massively diverse, and when you finally scale the peak, the feeling of achievement is utterly momentous.
If you love variety, you can’t go wrong with Annapurna, and if you want to get to the top of a ‘top 10’, then book it up now and make it happen!
Interested to know more about an Annapurna Circuit trek?
At the Bucket List Company, we exist to make it as easy as possible for trekkers to get on their trip of a lifetime.
We run Annapurna Circuit treks once a year, which you can book on for as little as £109.09 a month
To check out our trip and download our brochure, just click HERE.
And if you’ve got any questions, or you want to talk anything through, give us a call on 0176 930 9007, or email [email protected].