The Royal Trek - Follow In The Footsteps Of Royalty

The Royal Trek – Follow In The Footsteps Of Royalty


On this page you will find a comprehensive and impartial guide to the Royal Trek.

As this is a very long and detailed article on the Royal Trek, we recommend using the quicklinks below to navigate to the sections that interest you most. Alternatively, bookmark this page for future reference.

Route Overview

The Royal Trek in Nepal is so named because Prince Charles and his 90 camp followers explored the route in 1981 shortly before he married Princess Diana. It is also used by Nepal’s royal family, making it a very royal route indeed.

The trek commences at the beauteous lakeside city of Pokhara and passes through the Gandaki zone, an attractive region of hamlets inhabited by people of the Gurung ethnic group. It takes in astounding views of hillside rice terraces and the highly-impressive Annapurna mountains that include Machapuchhre (fishtail) and Langtang Mountain before terminating at the scenic Begnas Lake. Machapuchhre is sacred and has never been climbed.

Gurungs are a martial race whose members have served with distinction in the Nepalese, British and Indian armies. Gurungs tend to live high up on steep slopes, cultivating maize, millet and rice. Buffalo is the principal form of cattle. Pastures can reach as high as 12,500 feet. Gurungs are Buddhists. They have mongoloid features and are usually short and stocky.. While Gurungs have their own language, most speak Nepalese. At lower altitudes, many younger people work in offices.

The lifestyles of the people who reside here have been unchanged for thousands of years. The Royal Trek is certainly ‘off the beaten path’. The route is less crowded than is the case for other treks in the region, allowing you to get closer to nature and the local culture. Generally, bridges are good and paths are well-maintained by the locals who depend upon them. Weather is unpredictable, so warm clothing should be taken.

Apart from the cultural sites and mountainscapes mentioned above, there might also be opportunities to see fantastic fauna and flora.

Where the environment is upper sub-alpine steppe, rare snow leopards and blue sheep can be seen. Other areas feature protected bird species such as the multi-coloured impeyan, kokla and blood pheasant. Butterflies and other insects also abound. There are 100 varieties of orchid and the largest rhododendron forest in the world.

Regional Map

The Royal Trek is situated in the Annapurna region, just north of Pokhara (see map below).


Recommended Map


In terms of a single detailed map we recommend the Around Annapurna 1 : 125 000 Map.

We also provided recommendations to new guides below.

Around Annapurna 1 : 125 000

Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable the Royal Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!


Please note that there are several Royal trek itineraries that can be done.

Below we have laid out the most popular version – 5 days, leaving from Kathmandu. If you want to make your own way to Pokhara then you could probably organise this with your operator or guide.

Click each day to

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Video Overview

Sadly, there are very few videos of the Royal Trek. This one was the best we could find, however, video quality and sound are not great. It does give you a flavour as to what to expect though. Video by David Hinam.

Recommended Guidebook


There is no guidebook exclusively dedicated to the subject of the Royal Trek, however Annapurna: A Trekker’s Guide by Sian Pritchard-Jones and Bob Gibbons provides very detailed route information.

The Royal Trek earns some mentions in many guides. For a good general guide of Nepal and this trek we recommend Insight Guides: Nepal or Lonely Planet Nepal by Bradley Mayhew.

You are also welcome to have a look at our recommended list of Nepal books and guidebooks Library for more options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the trek cost?

Are permits required for this trek?

When is the best time to trek?

Is altitude sickness a risk?

How difficult is the trek?

What gear do I need?

What travel insurance do I need?

Insurance Information


Climbing insurance is vital for the Royal Trek. If an accident or incident should occur that requires immediate medical assistance and evacuation you will most definitely want adequate trekking insurance that can cover the costs of air ambulance and treatment.

Make sure you have insurance that covers you for any travel related risks, like lost, stolen, damaged or delayed baggage; interruptions and flight delays and tour operators default.

Please read our article on travel and trekking insurance in Nepal. The article provides great information on what type of insurance you'd need.

Other Routes


Everest Base Camp Trek

The Everest Base Camp Trek is one of the most popular and iconic treks in Nepal. Trekkers get to retrace the early footsteps taken by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on their historic Everest expedition in 1953. Discover the Everest Base Camp Trek.


Langtang Valley Trek

The Langtang Valley Trek is a relatively easy trek and is often far less busy than other popular treks in the Everest and Annapurna region. The trek can be done in seven days, however, it usually takes 10 to 12 days. Discover the Langtang Valley Trek.


Manaslu Circuit Trek

Robin Boustead, author of Nepal Trekking & the Great Himalaya Trail: A route and planning guide, pronounced, “Many would argue that the Manaslu Circuit trail is the best general trek in the country.” Discover the Manaslu Circuit Trek.

Did you find this article useful?

Please share it...

Tour Recommendation

If you are unsure about how suitable the Royal Trek is for you and your group, please leave a comment below with your enquiry, and we will try to help you choose the most suitable option. 

We always reply within 24 hours!

Related Articles

Alan Arnette Interview: Climbing Island Peak
Alan Arnette is well known in the mountaineering community for his epic blog, The site is a tome of[...]
George Mallory Everest Images – Newly-Discovered Photos From Reconnaissance Expedition
Newly-discovered images of World War I veteran's, George Mallory’s, 1921 expedition reveal the beautiful details of his first attempt to climb[...]
Best Adventures For Solo Females Around The World
It is no easy task to narrow down the top seven adventures for solo females, but we have done it.[...]
10 Best Hikes In Asia
For those who love exploring culture and enjoy a physical challenge, hiking in Asia is the perfect activity. This guide[...]
Best Time To Trek To Everest Base Camp
Mount Everest is not only the tallest mountain in the world, but the most iconic. It’s dizzy heights are renowned[...]
Top 10 Everest Base Camp Trek Tips
If you have a trip to the tallest mountain in the world planned, you’re undoubtedly looking for insight on Everest[...]

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Rosie Thompson says November 4, 2018

Hi, I am in Nepal with two others and want to do a 4 – 5 day trek some time between 18th November and 23rd. Would you please let me know which trips are available and the costs?
Thank you

Add Your Reply