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While Kathmandu is the main gateway for trekkers in Nepal, many of the best treks start from Pokhara in the west of the country, which basks in a stunning location at the foot of the Annapurna Massif, on the shores of gently lilting Phewa Tal lake. The snow-capped, pyramid summit of Mt Machhaphuchhare — actually one of the smaller peaks in the Annapurna range at 6993 meters (22,943 ft) — looms above the town and walking trails stagger up the steep ridges that flank the lake to even loftier viewpoints. The serious walks start to the north of town, climbing high into the Annapurnas and over the 5416 meter (17,769 ft) Thorung La, one of the ...

While Kathmandu is the main gateway for trekkers in Nepal, many of the best treks start from Pokhara in the west of the country, which basks in a stunning location at the foot of the Annapurna Massif, on the shores of gently lilting Phewa Tal lake. The snow-capped, pyramid summit of Mt Machhaphuchhare — actually one of the smaller peaks in the Annapurna range at 6993 meters (22,943 ft) — looms above the town and walking trails stagger up the steep ridges that flank the lake to even loftier viewpoints. The serious walks start to the north of town, climbing high into the Annapurnas and over the 5416 meter (17,769 ft) Thorung La, one of the highest navigable passes in the world. While Pokhara is undeniably a tourist town, complete with backpacker bars, yoga centers and budget guesthouses, at its heart is a traditional Nepali village of tiered temples and brick Newari houses. For travelers, the restaurants that flank the lakeshore are a famous place to celebrate the end of a trek with an Everest beer and a yak steak. The road journey from Kathmandu to Pokhara takes a grueling seven hours — it's easier to fly, on a route that offers grandstand views of the Himalaya.

Joe Bindloss
About the Expert

Joe Bindloss has written more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet, Time Out and other publishers, with a focus on Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent and island nations.

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Joe Bindloss for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to November and February to April. Avoid June to September, when the mountain views vanish behind monsoon clouds.