This incredible trek takes place along the natural border between India and Nepal, offering majestic mountain scenery, including dramatic
views of many of the 8000m Himalayan peaks. Discover the local culture as you pass small villages, while following the trail through lush forests
of bamboo, rhododendron and magnolia, and looking out for the rare and elusive red panda, barking deer, wild boar and many bird species.
A highlight will be the breath-taking sunrise views which unfold from Sandakphu Peak (3,636m), the highest point on the trek, where you will be awed by the snowy peaks of the Eastern Himalaya including Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu and even Everest if the weather permits. Staying in locally-owned teahouses each night during the trek is also a fantastic opportunity to learn more of the culture of the region and support the local economy.
After completing the trek you transfer back to Darjeeling for the next two nights where will learn about the fascinating culture and history of the town, while you take in the sights and perhaps enjoy some shopping in the bustling markets. A highlight will include the superb Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Subject to operation, you will take a short journey on this historical steam train, taking in the views and enjoying the romance of a bygone era.
Day 1-2 (Friday 1 - Saturday 2 October 2021): London to Delhi
Depart for Delhi on an overnight flight. Upon arrival you will transfer to your hotel and freshen up before a short city tour of Old Delhi. You return to the hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight stay. Meals: Dinner
Day 3 (Sunday 3 October 2021): Delhi to Bagdogra to Darjeeling
After breakfast we transfer to Delhi airport for the short domestic flight to Bagdogra. From here we transfer for approx. 90km/4 hours to Darjeeling, stopping for lunch en-route. Upon arrival we check into the hotel and the rest of the afternoon is free to relax, rest and take in the sights before dinner. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 4 (Monday 4 October 2021): Darjeeling to Rimbik (2256m) to Gumbadara (2300m)
This morning we transfer to Rimbick (approx. 70km/4 hours' drive) and commence the trek. We follow the trail uphill through the forest, passing small villages and terraced farmland with on the way to our teahouse in the small town of Gumbadara (2300m) which means 'hilltop monastery'. Approx. 5km trek / 2 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 5 (Tuesday 5 October 2021): Gumbadara (2300m) to Gurdhum (2800m)
Today we will gradually gain more altitude as we walk for about 5 hours on gradually uphill terrain through dense alpine forests to Gurdhum (2800m), a small village nestled in the lap of the Himalaya. Approx. 10km trek / 5 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 6 (Wednesday 6 October 2021): Gurdhum (2800m) to Sandakphu (3636m)
After an early breakfast we trek uphill through alpine and bamboo forests, then stunning rhododendron and magnolia forests to our teahouse at Sandakphu. Sandakphu is a great basin set amidst the hills, with slopes covered in rhododendron and silver fir trees and offers one of the best views in the Himalayan range, spanning the Eastern Nepal Himalaya and the Sikkim Himalaya; from Everest in Nepal and Kangchenjunga in Sikkim to Chomolhari in Bhutan. Approx. 15km trek / 7 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 7 (Thursday 7 October 2021): Sandakphu (3636m) to Phalut (3600m)
We wake up before dawn and walk to Sandakphu peak viewpoint to watch the sunrise over Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain on the planet at 8586m, as well as the distinctive profiles of Everest (8848m), Lhotse (8512m) and Makalu (8462m), if weather permits. These magnificent giants represent four of the five highest mountains on earth; a truly inspiring sight that will stay in your memory long after the trek is over. After returning to our teahouse for breakfast we start the trek to Phalut. The walk today is fairly gradual, heading east across the most scenic and stunning part of the entire trek. A long, fairly level hike follows the ridge, taking in the towering slopes of the Kangchenjunga once more. Approx. 14km trek / 6 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 8 (Friday 8 October 2021): Phalut (3600m) to Gorkhey (2200m)
After breakfast we descend to the small alpine village of Gorkhey on a long downhill path that passes through an ancient forest where countless species of birds make their home. The ridges and hills are often covered in a profusion of colour, as winter approaches and the trees become ablaze with dazzling autumnal hues. Approx. 15km trek / 5 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 9 (Saturday 9 October 2021): Gorkhey (2200m) to Srikhola (1800m) to Darjeeling
Today we set off for the last day of our trek. The first half of the route takes us uphill to Rammam village (2560m) before the trail meanders downhill through forests filled with flowers and moss laden trees, gentle streams and picturesque villages to Srikhola where the vehicles will be waiting to take us back to Darjeeling (approx. 4 hrs. drive). Approx. 8km trek / 4 hours. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 10 (Sunday 10 October 2021): Darjeeling
After a well-deserved night in our hotel, we have full day of sightseeing in Darjeeling, one of the most beautiful hill stations in India. Our first stop is the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Subject to operation, we will take a journey from Darjeeling to Ghoom and back, watching the spectacular landscape unfold as the 2-foot gauge Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, which opened in 1881, transports you at about 10mph, crisscrossing the landscape. It has tiny 4-wheel locomotives (some over 100 years old) and is a work of genius and technological achievement as well a great social and cultural importance. This afternoon we will visit a number of Darjeeling's highlights such as St. Andrew's Church, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and Tenzing Norgay mausoleum, and the Tibetan Refugee Centre. Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner.
Day 11-12 (Monday 11 - Tuesday 12 October 2021): Darjeeling to Delhi to London
Today we transfer to Bagdogra airport for the return flight to Delhi. Depending on the time of your international flights back to London you will either check in for your flight home, or you will stay at an airport hotel in Delhi and depart on Tuesday 12, arriving late the same day. Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner (depending on flight times).
N.B. This itinerary has been prepared far in advance so while we do not anticipate changes, this itinerary may be subject to alteration due to flight schedules, hotel availability and other factors outside our control. During the trip itself the itinerary will depend on the group ability, weather and the daily circumstances. Any changes in the itinerary will be made in the interest of group safety and enjoyment. In-country, your guide and tour manager will have the final say in the interest of the health and safety of the group.
What is included
- Return flights from London (inc. airport taxes)
- Return domestic flights
- Local transfers and transport in India
- 2-3* hotels, teahouses on the trek
- English-speaking local guides and support crew
- Trek permits and National Park fees
- Different Travel UK tour manager
- All meals as per itinerary
What is not included
- India e-visa
- Travel insurance
- Drinks, tips and personal expenses
- Transport to/from UK airports
- Personal kit and equipment
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