We share our top 5 experiences for you to consider whilst holidaying in the Himalayas. We’ll run you through what they are and where you can find them …
The Himalayan region is perhaps the best in the world for hiking and trekking. It has 8 of the 14 highest summits in the world that exceed an altitude of 8,000m, including Mount Everest (8,848m).
Our favourite Treks
One of the most popular treks in the Himalayas; the Mount Everest Base Camp Trek takes you through the Dudh Kosi Valley up to the Sherpa capital of Namche. Continuing up, you’ll have various stops along the way, highlighting the remarkable landscape en route to Everest Base Camp (5,357m).
The trek to Annapurna Base Camp (4,130m) provides remarkable views of picturesque landscapes. You can expect stunning panoramic views of snow-capped mountainous peaks as well as diverse Himalayan cultural settings hidden beneath the southern slopes of the Annapurna ridge.
The Ghorepani trek is one of the most popular of the Himalayan treks. Taking you across dirt paths and enchanting forests, this trek emerges to high altitudes revealing unsurpassed views of the Himalayas. Take in the exceptional views of the Machhapuchhare Mountain. The day you hike to the top of Poon Hill (3,200m) is truly a highlight; witnessing uninterrupted views of Himalayas as you watch the sunrise over the mountains.
The Kathmandu Valley in the Himalayas provides the perfect location for exciting mountain biking trips. There’s a range of day and multi-day trips you can do exploring this diverse region.
While there are many options to choose from, a typical mountain biking adventure usually involves crossing through the breathtaking landscapes and the mountainous peaks of the Kathmandu Valley, visiting areas like the Shivapuri National Park. You’ll also have the opportunity to journey through the local villages and experience local culture. Furthermore, witness the changing landscapes from the city to the lush greenery of the forests as well as monasteries and World Heritage sites.
If you’re looking for something a bit different in the Himalayas, horse riding is definitely a great option. Instead of trekking on foot, you’ll be trekking on horseback. It’s a fairly unique experience, and offers a very different perspective of the Himalayas compared to a standard trek.
Because the roads and paths are so narrow and many areas aren’t accessible by road, you don’t see many, if any vehicles in the region. Many locals have adopted horse riding as an easier way of getting around especially when carrying food and other necessities.
One of the many advantages of horseback adventures is that you can experience the wonders of the Himalayas even if you aren’t able to walk for long periods of time. Furthermore, you can combine horseback treks with on foot treks. This way you get to experience the Himalayas from two different perspectives.
Truly an exhilarating experience, there’s nothing quite like rafting through swirling waves of the various rivers of the Himalayas.
Formed by melting glaciers, the rivers that flow through the Himalayas make up part of the largest network of rivers in the world. Being able to cruise through the rapids and fast moving water proves to be one of the most memorable experiences for many that have travelled to the Himalayas.
Definitely something for the adrenalin junkies; however, this adventure sport isn’t limited to the professionals. If you’re an amateur rafter, the more gentle rivers are ideal. Rivers in Ladakh offer fairly calm waters suitable for everyone, no matter what your rafting ability is.
If you’ve got a bit more experience, you might want to check out rafting in Himachal Pradesh. A popular tourist destination, the white water rafting here is a bit more intense and really gives you a thrilling adrenalin rush.
Another exceptional but slightly more challenging river is the Ganges (Ganga). Experience adrenalin rush as you navigate through the fast moving river currents or relax as you gently float past the gorgeous forests and hills.
A vast contrast to the adrenalin filled experiences listed above; a Toy Train ride through Darjeeling is a relaxed way of experiencing the remarkable scenery of the Himalayas.
In operation since the 1880’s, the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway track takes you through the Himalayas and is still the highest railway in India. The track itself is very unique in the way that because of the steep terrain, the only way to get higher was to build part of the track in a zigzag formation.
On December 2nd 1999, the Toy Train became the second train route in the world to gain UNESCO World Heritage status. While today there are many mountain railways that are higher, the engineering marvels of the DHR make it the most remarkable example of a hill passenger railway. If you’re visiting the Himalayas, you simply cannot miss this heritage experience.