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Bikepacking the roof of the world – Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

Bikepacking the roof of the world – Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

Mountain Biking Collection by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan



72:50 h

239 mi

26,625 ft

The Annapurna Circuit is one of the most impressive hiking trails through Nepal’s lofty mountains. Parallel to the hiking trail, slightly above in places, a gravel road lies in the shadow of the world’s highest peaks. The route winds around the Annapurnaberg massif in the Nepalese Himalayas. At 8,091 metres (26,545 feet), the Annapurna I is the highest mountain en route and the ninth tallest mountain in the world. At a dizzying 5,416 metres (17,769 feet) above sea level, the Thorung La Pass is an absolute highlight too.

The route takes you through a wide variety of incredibly beautiful landscapes. The first leg stretches through subtropical lowlands with rice terraces and jungles. Next, the dusty dirt road leads along deep cliffs where a river swirls hundreds of metres below, cutting the valley in half. Slightly higher up, green alpine meadows and pine forests backdrop your ride. Finally, you admire the spectacular Himalayan landscape with impressive rock formations, snow-covered peaks, and brightly coloured prayer flags. Hot springs, glaciers, birds of prey, yaks, Buddhist temples and Tibetan culture – this is the Annapurna Circuit.

Although the route itself is anything but easy, it is one of the easier mountain Tours to plan in terms of logistics. Along the route, there are many mountain villages where you'll find a comfy bed and a hot meal. Don't expect luxurious hotels; the rooms of the tea houses are very simple. The ice-cold wind sometimes blows right through your room. The higher you get, the lower the comfort level. Hot water, electricity or clean blankets are scarce from 3,000 metres (9,842 feet). The tea houses offer an amazingly extensive menu. The meal is, of course, dal bhat, a dish consisting of rice, lentils and curry. The food is nourishing and helpings are unlimited – important for a hungry cyclist!

Because the route is a round trip around the Annapurna Mountains, you can choose to ride the Annapurna Circuit clockwise or anticlockwise. I chose to ride anticlockwise as this allows you to climb the Thorung La Pass more gradually. With an altitude of 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), you might suffer from altitude sickness but climbing slowly reduces this risk. If you cycle the route the other way around, you'll get a few more stretches of 'flowy single trails' under your wheels on the descents.

The hiking trail officially starts in Besisahar and ends in Jomsom. You can reach these towns by bus, which will even carry your bike on the roof. Of course, you can also choose to cycle the entire Tour from Pokhara. You apply for the required permits for the region in Pokhara and Kathmandu. Enjoy this epic ride on the roof of the world!

On The Map


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Annapurna Circuit Trek

238 mi

32,450 ft

32,450 ft

Last updated: May 25, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Dag 1: Pokhara naar Sundar Bazar — Annapurna Circuit Trek

    37.5 mi
    5.0 mph
    3,350 ft
    4,050 ft

    Start your first day of the Annapurna Circuit Trek with a hearty breakfast. Feel free to take an extra generous portion of samosas, sel rotis, curries and other Nepalese specialties. You will need these extra calories.


    The first kilometers were on the main road to Kathmandu and through the outskirts of

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 08:04
    27.3 mi
    3.4 mph
    3,125 ft
    1,575 ft

    An early start, the sun is still struggling to break through the thick layer of fog. The legs still feel strong, with more than 1,000 vertical meters on them, but still more than 7,000 meters to go. As soon as the sun rises a little higher, a glorious moment occurs. For the first time you will see the

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

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  • 07:43
    12.7 mi
    1.6 mph
    2,900 ft
    650 ft

    On the third day, the mountains around get higher and higher. The climbs will be even steeper than on previous days. Directly from the departure from the tea house in Syange is a climb that is so incredibly steep that cycling is impossible. Later in the day there will be more parts where you may have

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 05:05
    11.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,800 ft
    400 ft

    On the fourth day, another spectacular change of landscape takes place. The tropical vegetation and dusty canyons are gradually giving way to mountain pastures and traditional mountain villages. The first memories of Buddhism soon become visible. Prayer wheels and brightly colored prayer flags decorate

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 06:06
    19.0 mi
    3.1 mph
    3,350 ft
    500 ft

    The fifth day of the Annapurna adventure is relatively easy, or rather; less heavy than the previous ones. This ride takes you over the flat plateau around Pisang and Manang, one of the larger villages on the route. Just before Manang, the Nepalese even managed to find a flat piece of land where a runway

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 02:47
    6.23 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,675 ft
    100 ft

    Manang is a suitable place for a well-deserved rest day. It is also a good base for an acclimatization hike to 4,000 meters or higher. Rising above this point and then descending again prepares your body to proceed safely. The start of the trail runs through the narrow streets of the old part of Manang

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 03:21
    4.51 mi
    1.4 mph
    1,650 ft
    75 ft

    Day seven again promises to be a somewhat shorter day, at least in terms of distance. To climb no more than 500 meters, I could only cover 7.3 kilometers. From Thorung Phedi, tonight's place to sleep, it is also wise to make an acclimatization hike to an altitude of 5,000 meters. You can make good use

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 09:28
    13.3 mi
    1.4 mph
    2,750 ft
    5,775 ft

    Day eight is D-Day. Today the crossing of the famous Thorung La pass is on the program. Because the weather at the top can be quite haunted with heavy gusts of wind and heavy snowfall, you will leave early in the morning. The chance is more stable again in the morning is a bit higher.


    The first part of

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 02:57
    13.0 mi
    4.4 mph
    150 ft
    3,200 ft

    The ninth stage between Muktinath and Jomsom contains pieces of asphalt. Finally no bouncing and bouncing, but diving hairpin bends at high speed. With the victory of the pass still fresh in the memory, it feels like you can actually fly. Muktinath is a fairly busy place among tourists, mostly local

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 08:21
    30.7 mi
    3.7 mph
    450 ft
    5,600 ft

    On day ten you can finally make a good number of kilometers again. The route follows the dirt road that runs parallel to the river. The first part you will find yourself between the honking buses, but after a while a suspension bridge will take you to the other side of the river, away from traffic.



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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 06:58
    36.3 mi
    5.2 mph
    2,000 ft
    2,600 ft

    Ride eleven from Tatopani to Nayapul felt a bit like coming back to civilization. Along the way there are again plenty of shops and restaurants selling masala tea and samosas.


    The environment again looks a bit like at the beginning of the route: tropical warm, dusty and even with the necessary climbing

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

  • 04:35
    27.0 mi
    5.9 mph
    2,450 ft
    3,150 ft

    The last leg of the Annapurna Circuit Trek takes you back to Pokhara, which is also the starting point. This completes the circle around the Annapurna Mountains. But before you arrive in the country's second city and get a well-deserved rest, one last climb awaits you.


    The route is mostly on asphalt

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    by Robin Patijn - Farawayistan

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    239 mi
  • Duration
    72:50 h
  • Elevation
    26,625 ft

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Bikepacking the roof of the world – Annapurna Circuit in Nepal

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