Fancy a curry supper with the Gurkhas?

12 best Himalayan holidays


1 White-water rafting

1 White-water rafting

Adventure Whitewater's (tel: 01992 712006; net: www.adventurewhitewater.com) 180-mile white-knuckle ride along the Sun Kosi - "River of Gold" - in the Nepalese Himalayas is a white-water rafting classic. The 15-day trip costs £750 per person, based on two sharing, including transfers, room-only accommodation in towns and all meals when camping, equipment and guides. Flights extra.

2 Photography course

A 16-day photography workshop is offered by Himalayan Kingdoms (tel: 0117 9237163). Centred on Dharmsala and the Kangra Valley, professional photographer Dr David Bathgate will pass on tips for taking better pictures. The course starts on 7 October and costs £1,665 per person, including flights, private transfers, half-board accommodation (b&b in Delhi) and workshops.

3 Adventure expedition

A 31-day high-level expedition over the Sherpani Col, culminating in the ascent of the highest trekking peak in Nepal, Mera (6,461m), is being offered by Spirit of Adventure (tel: 01822 880277). The first of two departures in 2001 leaves on 24 March and costs £2,399 per person, including all transfers, full-board camping on the trek, equipment and services of a support team. Return flights to Nepal cost extra. A reasonable level of fitness is required.

4 First-time trekkers

Ramblers Holidays (tel: 01707 331133) offers two-week holidays in the Annapurna range for first-time trekkers. The price is £1,298 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, transfers, full-board accommodation and guides. The next departure with availability is on 14 February, 2001.

5 Explore Bhutan

Steppes East (tel: 01285 810267) organises trips to Bhutan for its tsechus, or monastic festivals. A 15-day trip in October costs £3,125 per person, based on two sharing, and includes flights, transfers, full-board and guides.

6 Mountain biking

The High Himalayas is the scene of a mountain-biking adventure covering 550 miles between Lhasa and Kathmandu. KE Adventure Travel (tel: 017687 73966) runs this 29-day trip, including four days beneath the north face of Everest, for £2,495 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, transfers, full-board hotels and camping, and guides. Next departure on 17 September.

7 Raj revisited

Summer palaces, the hill station of Shimla, and the world's highest cricket ground at Chail are highlights of a visit to Himachal Pradesh offered by CTS Horizons (tel: 020-7836 9911). The 15-day trip costs from £1,685 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, private transfers, b&b accommodation and guides.

8 Holy mountain

World Expeditions (tel: 020-8870 2600) runs a 25-day trip to Tibet's Mount Kailas - revered by Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and Hindus. The trip follows the pilgrims' route and includes the Saga Dawa festival. Next year's trip, (May/June), depends on Saga Dawa's dates. The price is £2,980 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, transfers, full-board accommodation (b&b in Lhasa and Kathmandu) and guides.

9 Jeep safari

Explore the Karakoram range on a 21-day jeep safari with KJTI (tel: 020-8650 0539). The 21-day tour costs £995 per person, based on two sharing, including full-board accommodation, Jeep transfers, and a guide/driver. Return flights to Islamabad not included.

10 Hidden Himalayas

The Himalayan state of Arunachal Pradesh in north-east India was first visited by Himalayan Kingdoms (tel: 0117 923 7163) in 1998 following centuries of isolation. Its 18-day tour costs £3,095 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, transfers, full-board accommodation (except in the cities) and guides. Next tour departs on 13 November.

11 Yoga workshops

Chanderthal Tours (tel: 01323 422213) hosts yoga courses at the new Eagles Nest centre at Dharmkot, India. The 15-day trips cost around £900 per person, based on two sharing, including transfers, full-board accommodation and yoga tuition. A package with return flights costs around £1,300.

12 Gurkhas at home

Holts Tours' (tel: 01304 612248) 10-day trip to Nepal aims to teach visitors more about the Gurkhas, who have fought in the British Army for more than 180 years. Drinks and a curry supper at the Gurkhas' Mess in Pokhara is one of the highlights of the tour, lead by Major Corrigan MBE. The price is £2,030 per person, based on two sharing, including flights, transfers, full-board accommodation and guides.

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