The Annapurna Circuit route
Planning to cross the Annapurna Circuit off your bucket list? Cool! Indeed, for us what the Annapurna Circuit was one big highlight and an experience never to be forgotten. It took us a total of 13 days. You can read more about our route in this article.
Planning the route
Buy a large map in Pokhara or Kathmandu and plan your own route. This is so incredibly fun to do. We decided to make a rough schedule taking into account the altitude we were allowed to climb per day, because to avoid altitude sickness it is wise to sleep no higher than 500 meters than the place you left that day. Although you can decide the route all by yourself, you will soon find that almost everyone walks the same route. This is due to the number of hours you want to cover in a day and the height you need to consider.
Although we had made a schedule, we had agreed with each other that we would determine along the way whether we could continue or if we preferred to sleep somewhere else, for example. Thus, we changed our route several times along the way. I was also bothered by the altitude when we arrived in Manang. Many people go from Manang to Tilichio lake first. This seems to be a tough but very beautiful hike. We decided to go straight to Basecamp. We also decided to do the first part by jeep. This is not recommended. The jeep ride is really terrible and the scenery is far too beautiful to skip.
We found the trek a lot harder than expected. After 12 days we reached Johmsom and decided that we would take the bus back to Pokhara. We also found the road down a lot less scenic than up, but this appears to get better later on the route. So you can also walk down for a few more days and even add Annapurna Basecamp to your trek.
Fun to read for later
Annapurna Circuit route overview
After this overview you will find a detailed description of our route per day incl. accommodation, distance and altitude.
- Pokhara to Chamje (1300m)
- Chamje to Tachi Bagarchhap (1900m)
- Bagachap to Chame (2600m)
- Chame to Uper Pisang (3300m)
- Upper Pisang to Manang (3590m)
- Manag Rest Day
- Manang to Yak Kharka (4018m)
- Yak Kharka to Thorung Pedi Basecamp (4450m)
- Thorung Pedi Basecamp to Muktinath ( 3800m (highest point Thorong La 5416m)
- Mukltinath to Kagbeni (2804m)
- Kagbeni to Jomson (2743m)
- Jomson to Pokhara
Annapurna Circuit route by day
Day 1 Pokhara to Chamje
From Pokhara, we first left by bus for Besisahar. The bus ride took about 4 hours. Most people start their hike here. You can also choose to skip part of it and take the jeep directly to Chamje. The advantage then is that you can complete the circuit in fewer days. We chose the latter. The jeep ride was really hell and took almost 6 hours where we were in the back of a jeep! Should I do it again, I would have preferred to hike this section and add 2 days to the hike.
- Time: About 10 hours by bus and jeep
- Accommodation: Tibet Lasha
- Altitude: 1300m
Day 2 Chamje to Tachi Bagarchhap
A beautiful walk. The road to Bagarchhap is very green with an awful lot of bridges and waterfalls. Right at the beginning you have a beautiful viewpoint where you can have a cup of tea. It was our first hike and it was pretty tough. Some sections were very steep, but at the same time one of the most beautiful routes.
- Time: +/- 8 hours
- Accommodation: First guesthouse on the right. Very nice man, but accommodation was very basic.
- Altitude: 1900m
Day 3 Bagachap to Chame
The hike was a lot less strenuous. The road to Chame was again very green with lots of water. Occasionally some tricky sections. It got a lot colder along the way and it even started to hail at the end of the day. Chame is pretty big and you even have little stores with hats, gloves, walking sticks, etc.
- Time: +/- 7 hours
- Accommodation: Royal Garden (incredibly good with private bathroom and hot shower)
- Altitude: 2600m
Day 4 Chame to Uper Pisang 3300 meters
Not an easy hike, but definitely doable. You will encounter the first yaks here. At the end of the day it began to snow which created a beautiful picture. You can also choose to go to Lower Pisang. Which does come highly recommended, because it’s a little lower. In fact, the risk of altitude sickness already increases here, so it is wise to stay a little lower. In fact, I got incredibly sick the following day, probably because we went directly to Upper Pisang.
- Time: +/- 7 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel hilltop view (very cozy crowded, beds are a little hard but bathroom attached to the room)
- Altitude: 3300m
Day 5 Upper Pisang to Manang
For me, this was the toughest day. In fact, if you take the hiking trail you will go from 3300 meters to 3900 meters in one go. It is a gigantic climb right at the beginning of your hike, but you will be rewarded with stunning views. The most beautiful view we saw during the entire trek. Moreover, at the top you have a wooden hut where you can really order the most delicious hot chocolate and apple pie. Only after this terrible climb, you still have a few hours to go. Unfortunately, I became very sick on this day. While this is really one of the most beautiful parts during your trekking. You really encounter the most beautiful landscapes and you can really see the landscape changing now. It is beautiful, but also very tough. Normally people take 8 hours, but unfortunately we took almost 11 hours.
- Time: +/- 11 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Yak (fine, but there are nicer accommodations in Manang).
- Altitude: 35190m
Day 6 Manang rest day
Yes! Rest Day. How nice this was. We took it nice and easy. To acclimate, we did decide to do a small hike to a viewpoint and the lake. We spent the rest of the day sitting in the sunshine at the nearby Tilicho bakery. Which really comes highly recommended. The apple crumble and coffee are truly horrific.
Day 7 Manang to Yak Kharka
From Manang, you can also do a hike to Tilichio Lake. This seems to be very beautiful, but also tremendously heavy. After all, you are already climbing to 4900m. Good for your acclimatization, but also very tough. Again, the chances of getting sick are higher.
- Time: +/- 5 hours
- Accommodation:Gangapurna hotel
- Altitude: 4018m
Day 8 Yak Kharka to Thorung Pedi Basecamp
This is not a long but intense day. You start getting more and more bothered by the height and every step becomes swords. At Thorung Pedi Basecamp, you have 1 large accommodation where almost everyone stays overnight. Although it is a fun tent, you can feel the tension. Many people leave from Thorung Pedi Basecamp directly to the Thorung la pass. You can also choose to stay an extra night at High Camp. The main disadvantage of this is that there is a chance that you will get altitude sickness and still have to go all the way back. Since I had already been sick for a day, we decided to try to do the trek in one go.
- Time: +/- 5 hours
- Accommodation: There is only 1 accommodation here, so at least that choice is nice and easy.
- Altitude: 4450m
Day 9 Thorung Pedi Basecamp to Muktinath
We left at 3 a.m. for High Camp. This stretch was already very steep and tough. It took us about 3 hours and we decided to have a quick tea at high camp first. After warming up a little we left for Thorung la pass the highest point of the circuit. The journey is very intense Every step is hard and takes so much effort. The air, the cold, the climb everything is intense. Also, it is mostly a lot of turns, making it an eternity before only the end is in sight. But as soon as you see the flags you don’t know what you are experiencing. For me (and many people with me) a very emotional moment. After days of hiking, not showering, hard work, you finally reach the summit. A delightful moment. Only down now. Perhaps the toughest of all.
- Time: +/- 12 hours
- Accommodation: Hotel Bob Marley. A great place. We built a little party here. The pizzas here are really top notch. Especially after 12 days of dal bhat.
- Altitude: 3800m (highest point Thorong La 5416m)
Day 10 Mukltinath to Kagbeni
After quite a few beers in Muktinath, we decide to hike on immediately the next day. We have read that Kagbeni is a very cozy and cute village to stop in and decide that this will be our next stop. The muscle soreness from yesterday’s trek is quite present. Especially the brisk trek downhill after reaching the summit was not so nice for the hamstrings. We are taking it nice and easy. We immediately notice that the infrastructure here is much better than on the other side of the mountain. There are continuous jeeps driving by and hiking is a little less enjoyable because of this. Although the scenery is still amazingly beautiful, it does not compare to the first few days. Because they are building a road here, idyllic is a bit off. Kagbeni, by the way, is indeed a cute village to stop in.
- Time: +/- 6 hours
- Altitude: 2804m
Day 11 Kagbeni to Jomson
The next day we hiked on to Jomson, one of the larger villages in the area. Although this area is also beautiful, even during this hike we are often disturbed by the many jeeps passing by. When we arrive in Jomson, we decide that this will be our final destination and will catch the next bus back to Pokhara. At first we wanted to hike back, but we ran out and the route is a lot less scenic than the first half of the trek. For non-experienced hikers, we did pretty well. Once we arrived in Pokhara, we did hear from several people that the route beyond Jomson becomes very beautiful again and is definitely worth hiking. If you have some strength and days left, we still recommend you hike the route out. The bus back to Pokhara was nice and bumpy but just fine. Don’t look out the window too often, though, because riding along the edge on a giga mountain is not something they find very special in Nepal.
Jomson, by the way, we thought was really terrible. Accommodations are gargantuan and the place is quite crowded.
- Time: +/- 6 hours
- Altitude: 2743m
Holy crap how beautiful Nepal is. This was one of the most arduous and at the same time impressive travel experiences to date. It was tough at times, but really every second was worth it. We wouldn’t have missed this for anything and will definitely do another similar trek in Nepal. Not only is the setting amazing, but the experience is so beautiful. Along the way, you will meet the most extraordinary people. If you are in Nepal, I say do it! Even if you’re not really a hiker. We are anything but experienced hikers and never thought we would enjoy 13 days of hiking through the mountains so much. If you have any questions about the trek or about Nepal or a great tip for Foedsie, let us know in a comment or send a message on Instagram.