If you think that a trek in the Himalayas is only for men with burly beards and frostbitten noses, then think again! Nepal is a wonderland for nature-lovers big and small and trekking this gorgeous country is a wonderful way to spend a holiday with the family. The Annapurna Circuit, a section of Nepal’s Himalayas, is considered one of the great walks of the world, guiding trekkers of all ages on “tea-house treks” through picturesque mountain trails and colorful villages. Prepare to be inspired…big time!
A "tea-house trek" is a guided hike on scenic paths connecting mountain villages and quaint, modest lodges, called tea houses. A typical trek begins with an early breakfast of eggs, toast, and cereal (or the local breakfast which we love), coupled with stunning mountain views of snow-capped peaks and vibrant blue skies. Depending on the ages and abilities of your children, your daily trek can range from 3-6 hours, weaving on wide, safe trails through terraced rice paddies, temples, monasteries and prayer flags and stopping mid-way for lunch at another tea house. After a day of trekking, kick off your hiking boots and relax with a cold beer and a plate of momos while your kids play soccer or cricket with the locals. For those traveling with younger children and babies, you can arrange porters to carry your kids in baskets along the route making the hiking trip "less daunting" for little legs worried about the long hike. Little Steps did a 6-day trek with kids ages 6 and 8 along the Annapurna circuit to Ghorepani with Poonhill being the highest point at 3210 meters. They loved it! Short treks and longer treks can be arranged.
Adventurous families wanting to have "their best vacation ever!" can enjoy various routes in Nepal throughout the year. While March-April and October-November offer the clearest skies and the least rain, your vacation will be memorable at any time of the year and for almost any age. Porters can carry kids up to age 12 (depending on size of course) but are recommended for kids 4-8. Nepal is also an excellent choice for families looking to bond with their pre-teens and teens as there is plenty of talking opportunities and not as many WiFi ones! It is a place to get away and enjoy life, family, and fresh air.
Sleeping arrangements along the trek are rustic, quaint, and oh-so-wonderful in spirit. Run by local village families, the tea houses attract an eclectic group of global trekkers daily. Rooms can be small with toilets and showers either inside the rooms or outside in a shared area. It's like glamping in the midst of some of the best views you could ever imagine. Kids will enjoy feeding local animals, sipping on hot chocolate, and playing cards into the early evening with mom and pop. Every night is a real bonding experience complete with a delicious meal (either prepared by your guide or the tea house).
One thing is for sure - you will not go hungry on this trek! Raj's team (see below) are one of the few guides in Nepal known for going above and beyond when it comes to food along the trails. The Himalayas is a hotbed for superfoods and Raj and team make sure you taste it all and experience the healing properties too. Every morning, your family will be woken up with a special Nepalese morning drink (honey, warm water, turmeric, ginger, apple cider vinegar, and lemon) followed by a gorgeous breakfast choice between the local breakfast or a more Western option. Raj brings along his own coffee press and organic Nepalese coffee beans. He firmly believes in drinking good coffee and we can all agree to support him there! Lunch is served on the trail typically by a river, on a cliff overlooking a few of the largest mountains in the world, or near a hot spring. Dinner is always a surprise with Raj's team cooking everything from subtle luxurious like the hard to find hummus to goji berry salad. The team caters to diets of all kinds including gluten-free, vegetarians, and special allergies. Special requests - they have you and the kids covered.
The quality of guides can range significantly in Nepal and it is important that families are careful (especially when getting quotes off the internet). When traveling with kids, it is extra important that you travel with a safety-first mentality. Responsible Adventures is known as a family-friendly and environmentally-friendly guide partner which is why we can recommend them to other families looking to explore Nepal. We also loved that they cater to special diets and explained in detail the route (including altitude choices and eco-friendly elements) for the trip. Raj can plan family treks from 4 days on up and for families traveling with any aged child. He can also lead treks to Base Camp and around Tibet, Bhutan, and India.
Full Review Of Trip, https://www.responsibleadventures.com/blog/family-annapurna-trek-during-winter/
What do I need to pack?
Depending on when you travel to Nepal, your guide will let you know what you need to bring along. Typically, you will need a pair of hiking pants, tops (think layers), hiking shoes/socks, a hat, sunscreen, and a warm jacket. You will also want to bring a sleeping bag, a paid or slippers (or warm boots for post-hike), toiletries, and a water bottle. Your guide will make sure you have water throughout the trek. Pack light and strategic!
Where does the trek start?
* Fly into Kathmandu, then take another flight (Responsible Adventures can arrange) to Pokhara.
What family-friendly hotels are available in Kathmandu?
* Yak And Yeti, https://www.yakandyeti.com/
* Dwarika's, http://www.dwarikas.com/
* Hyatt Regency Kathmandu, https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/nepal/hyatt-regency-kathmandu/kathm
* Fairfield By Marriott Kathmandu, https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/ktmfi-fairfield-kathmandu/
* Tiger Tops, http://www.tigertops.com/kathmandu/
* Dalai-La Boutique Hotel, https://dalailaboutiquehotel.com/
* Kantipur Temple House, http://www.kantipurtemplehouse.com/
What family-friendly hotels are available in Pokhara?
* The Pavillions, https://www.pavilionshotels.com/himalayas/
* Hotel Borahi, https://www.barahi.com/