Monday, 30 January 2012 11:26 AM
Many people who head to Nepal do so to take advantage of the unique hiking opportunities they can find in this majestic country. If you're one of these intrepid adventurers keen to go trekking in Nepal, the Annapurna region could offer everything you've been looking for.
Nepal is home to the Himalayas, which boasts some of the tallest mountain peaks on Earth. This is why trekkers come from far and wide to this central Asian country in order to push themselves to the limits and have a go at scaling some of these summits.
However, you don't have to prepare yourself for climbing Mount Everest – the highest summit in the world – as there are plenty of other routes you can take that will enable you to see the best of Nepal's breathtaking mountainous scenery, as well as allow you to stretch your legs!
You might wish to head to the Annapurna region and enrol on a trek on the Annapurna Circuit. If you want to explore the Himalayas' sub-tropical forests, take a look at awe-inspiring gorges, and give yourself a challenge, this could be the ideal tour for you.
Typically beginning in Kathmandu, this trek will last up to 24 days, during which time you can expect to scale great peaks, clamber through luscious valleys and experience life in the mountains where you get to see how villagers survive on these steep mountain slopes.
Even though this circuit isn't as arduous as hiking to Everest Base Camp, it is by no means an easy stroll. Some of the main peaks you will see include Manaslu and Dhaulagiri, which are two of 14 mountains over 8,000 m tall, and Machapuchre, which stands at just under 7,000 m.
As well as the feeling of accomplishment as you travel higher and higher up the mountaintops, something that will keep you going during this physical challenge is sure to be the cheerful smiles and greetings you receive from villagers on your way.
Children will look on at your feat in amazement, while locals will shout 'Namaste' as you pass through. A trip like this will certainly be an excellent opportunity for you to immerse yourself in village life – and you might even choose to stay with locals in the evenings as you progress along the circuit.
There are other tours you could opt for if you want to explore the Annapurna mountain range, such as the Annapurna Sanctuary Lodge Trek.
This trip will allow you to visit the Annapurna Sanctuary, set at the base of Annapurna I, the tallest of the mountains in the range at 8,091 m. Here, you will be able to explore the glacial basin that is surrounded by the Annapurna peaks, giving you unparalleled views of the magnificent summits.
As this journey isn't as long as the Annapurna Circuit, it could be ideal for holidaymakers who are limited on time but still want to see the best of Nepal's Himalayan scenery.
As you make your way to the Annapurna Sanctuary, you will be able to pass terraced rice fields and venture through bamboo forests and rhododendron woodlands, soaking up the beautiful vista as it continues to change during your walk.
No matter which location you make your trekking goal, you are sure to find every step of your journey is just as rewarding and fulfilling as passing the finishing line itself.