From unique Himalayan treks to in-depth cultural tours and wildlife rich cruises, the adventure holiday experts, Mountain Kingdoms, have introduced 26 new exciting holidays to appeal to the keen traveller, with a range of thrilling experiences and inspiring destinations. Among the many highlights are a grand trek across the Annapurna Mountains in Nepal, a unique textile tour through Gujarat in India and an ascent of Monte Rosa, the second highest summit in the Alps.
Grand Annapurna Traverse, Nepal
27 days | Strenuous Trek
Destined to become a classic, this magnificent new trek crosses three high passes over 5,000m to traverse the mighty Annapurna Massif in three sublime weeks. With roads and crowds now marring the traditional Annapurna Circuit, this route offers a superb alternative with spectacular views, cultural interest and a true sense of wilderness.
Five High Passes – Dolpo to Mustang Trek, Nepal
23 days | Strenuous Trek
This challenging and remote trek crosses five of Nepal’s finest 5,000m passes taking the intrepid trekker from the fabled turquoise lakes and isolated villages of Lower Dolpo, through the wild, untamed landscape of Upper Dolpo to reach the high-desert scenery of Mustang. A breathtaking trek that takes you far from civilisation and delivers an immense sense of achievement.
Makalu Base Camp Trek, Nepal
22 days | Strenuous Trek
Mountain Kingdoms are the first company to offer the trek to the foot of Makalu with tea house accommodation rather than camping. These simple tea houses offer a welcome touch of comfort as you climb from 700m to over 5,000m, through ever-changing scenery and across numerous high passes, before making the stunning approach to Makalu Base Camp.
Dhaulagiri Sanctuary Trek, Nepal
16 days | Vigorous Trek
A brand new trek, on a little-known trail, to reach the southern base camp of the world’s seventh highest peak. With relatively low altitudes by Himalayan standards, and magnificent mountain scenery, this two-week trekking holiday offers an experience similar to the classic Annapurna Sanctuary but far away from the other western trekkers.
Langtang Valley Trek, Nepal
16 days | Vigorous/Strenuous Trek
Making the most of the accessible Langtang region of Nepal, this rewarding trek offers sensational mountain views and high trails reaching almost 5,000m but without the crowds of the more popular Annapurna and Everest regions. Excellent acclimatisation, tea house accommodation and two days to absorb the incredible vistas at Kyanjin Gompa, make for a classic Himalayan experience in just two weeks from start to finish.
Ancient Kingdoms of Tibet
22 days | Moderate Trek
Unique to Mountain Kingdoms, this trekking holiday discovers the mysterious cave dwelling kingdoms of Guge and Shangshung in the remote, far west corner of Tibet. Flying to the small town of Ali, there is ample time to explore these long-abandoned desert kingdoms with their incredible, crumbling castles and atmospheric temples. There is excellent acclimatisation with a short trek in the Nepalese foothills plus time in Lhasa, whilst an exciting drive past sacred Mount Kailash across the Tibetan Plateau, ends this remarkable adventure.
Highlights of Bhutan in Style
13 days | Tour
Heading many of the must visit lists for 2020, Bhutan is rightly attracting a lot of attention for its environmental credentials and unique cultural appeal. And what better way to experience its imposing dzongs, Himalayan scenery, village life and fabulous festivals than on this two-week tour that uses some of the most indulgent accommodation in the kingdom. With an Everest sightseeing flight and time to explore the ancient cities of the Kathmandu Valley, this is a wonderful introduction to the Himalaya’s most impressive sights.
Ultimate Kangchenjunga Trek, Sikkim
22 days | Vigorous/Strenuous Trek
A new trekking holiday combining the best of Sikkim’s cultural delights in Darjeeling with a two-week trek in the shadow of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest peak. Following little-trekked yak herder’s trails before joining the famed Singalila Ridge, Kangchenjunga remains a near constant companion. Waterfalls, rhododendron forests and holy lakes provide the picture postcard scenery, whilst stunning, sunrise views of Kangchenjunga deliver lasting memories.
Colours of India – Gujarat Textiles
15 days | Tour
A unique and specialist tour led by acclaimed textiles artist, Sue Lawty, to discover Gujarat’s rich artistic and cultural heritage. From village markets and local museums to artisan workshops and demonstrations of age-old techniques, this tour gives an in-depth insight into the central role that textiles have played in Gujarat’s history. A visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashram, a jeep safari across the Little Rann of Kutch and the flamboyant Navrati festivities complete this joyful exploration.
Hyderabad, Hampi & Kerala Backwaters Cruise
16 days | Tour
Akin to Angkor Wat in its scale and splendour, but without the tourist hordes, Hampi is becoming one of the world’s must-see sights for the more discerning traveller. This incredible ruined city is a vast complex of palaces, forts and temples, many remarkably intact, and provides a fascinating insight into the ancient Vijayanagara civilisation. Together with time to explore the ‘Pearl City’ of Hyderabad and a seven night cruise along Kerala’s captivating waterways, this tour is a splendid introduction to southern India’s cultural and historic treasures.
Kerala Backwaters Cruise & Maharajas’ Express
17 days | Tour
Rail journeys and river cruises are proving increasingly popular holiday options and this indulgent tour combines both for the ultimate way to discover two of India’s best-loved destinations; serene Kerala in the south and Rajasthan’s Golden Triangle. A seven-night cruise through Kerala’s palm- fringed backwaters on a well-appointed converted rice barge is followed by three nights of unashamed opulence on one of the world’s leading luxury trains. Excursions include the exquisite Taj Mahal, a tiger safari at Ranthambore and the cultural delights of India’s ‘pink city’, Jaipur.
Silk Road Mountains & Monuments, Uzbekistan
15 days | Gentle/Moderate Walking Holiday
With an explosion of interest in the cultural treasures of the Silk Road, this timely walking holiday provides a thorough exploration of the ancient Silk Road cities contrasted with delightful day walks in two scenic mountain regions. Highlights include the architectural jewels of Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand, the traditional Uzbek villages of the Nuratau mountain region and the beautiful alpine-like scenery of the Chimgan Mountains.
Definitive Cultural Tour of Japan
16 days | Tour
This dream tour ticks off all the must-see sights and cultural experiences, and is the perfect trip for the first-time visitor to Japan. Highlights include: Matsumoto and Himeji Castles, the famous snow monkeys of Yudanka, the cities of Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima, views of Mount Fuji and the Nakasendo Trail. Along with bullet trains, tea ceremonies, sumo wrestlers, hot spring baths, ryokans and temples – this truly is an immersive journey packed full of natural, cultural and scenic interest.
Dragon Kingdoms of Burma & Bhutan
19 days | Gentle Walking
This easy-paced walking and sightseeing holiday is a fascinating introduction to two of the world’s most remarkable Buddhist kingdoms. Starting with a week-long tour of Burma, the temple-filled plains of Bagan, the artisan workshops of Mandalay and the floating villages of Inle Lake are the key photo ops. Whilst in Bhutan, Taktsang Monastery and Punakha Dzong provide the architectural marvels whilst gentle walks in the Paro and Punakha valleys give a sense of the bewitching beauty of the Thunder Dragon Kingdom.
Cultural Cycling Tour of Burma
16 days | Cycling Tour
Deserted backroads, quiet village lanes, rolling hills and dazzling cultural sights make Burma the perfect destination to discover on two wheels. Taking to the saddle gives a different perspective of the key cultural sights of Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake. It also takes you further afield to the old British hill station of Kalaw, and gets you close to the curious locals in their village homes. The cycling is fully supported and designed to be enjoyed by all levels of cyclists.
Inca Trail Trek to Machu Picchu, Peru
11 days | Moderate/Vigorous Trek
High on many trekkers wish list, the Inca Trail is rightly one of the most celebrated treks on the planet. Starting out from the Urubamba River, the trail leads through mystical cloud forest, passes ancient Inca sites and crosses challenging high passes to reach the famed Sun Gate of the Incas for a first glorious view of Machu Picchu. To reach such dizzying heights, this trip includes good acclimatisation in the Sacred Valley and also gives a further day of exploration at Machu Picchu at the end of the trek.
Easter Island & Patagonia, Chile
17 days | Moderate Walking Holiday
Mountain Kingdoms offers one of the most comprehensive walking tours of Easter Island. Not only do they explore all the main sites of the enigmatic Moai on foot, they also hike to the top of extinct volcanoes, walk the rugged coastline and seek out hidden caves and abandoned villages. And, to complete this Chilean adventure, they combine the attractions of Easter Island with the iconic sights of Torres del Paine National Park. By day there are walks and boat trips to take in the most celebrated views, and nights are spent in the award winning EcoCamp, right in the heart of the action.
Walking in the Grand Canyon & American Wild West, USA
16 days | Moderate Walking Holiday
There’s no better way to absorb the immense beauty of the national parks of the American West then to take to the trail. On this holiday there are good walks every day through the sculpted, rock landscapes of Bryce, Zion, Arches and Canyonlands. There’s also two days hiking the awesome trails of the Grand Canyon plus time exploring the tribal lands of Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly in the company of native guides. Ending in Sedona – a place familiar from a hundred western movies – this is the ultimate way to experience America’s Wild West.
Wild Alaska Cruise – Bears, Whales & Glaciers, USA
13 days | Active cruise
Whilst many cruise ships sail serenely on by, this active adventure cruise takes you to the heart of the action with a week-long circumnavigation of wild and remote Admiralty Island. Humpback whales, grizzly bears and bald eagles are abundant here in the summer months and you can expect to get up close to the wildlife with daily Zodiac rides, kayak tours and bushwhacking walks plus a day cruising spectacular Glacier Bay National Park in the company of an expert park ranger. Sailing on a small, replica steam ship with good facilities and great food, there’s no better way to discover the natural wonders of southeast Alaska.
Sahara Camel Trek, Morocco
9 days | Gentle Trek
A unique trek to the wild, uninhabited landscapes of the world’s largest desert, escorted by camels and led by local guides. Palm groves, tamarisk oases and deep-cut wadis provide the classic desert scenery whilst towering sand dunes offer the perfect vantage points to enjoy spectacular Saharan sunsets. For a final flourish the return drive to Marrakesh takes in the saffron fields at Talouine and the thrilling twists and turns of the Tizi n’Test Pass.
Monte Rosa Ascent, 4,634m/15,203ft, Switzerland
9 days | Trekking Peak
As Mont Blanc becomes less accessible, Monte Rosa offers a superb alternative for the keen alpine adventurer. To maximise the chance of attaining the summit of Monte Rosa’s mighty Dufourspitze the trip has been carefully designed to include a day of alpine skills training and two climbs of 4,000m plus peaks before summit day itself. The trip is also led by expert mountain guide, Kevin O’Neale, and accommodation is a combination of a comfy hotel in picturesque Saas Grund and cosy mountain huts.
Walking in Andorra – the Coronallacs Pyrenees
5 days | Vigorous Walking Holiday
A long weekend of high mountain walking along some of the best sections of Andorra’s new long-distance walking trail. Based in a hotel, rather than using dormitory huts, there are three full days of walking taking in the isolated Madriu-Perafita-Claror Natural Park – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – the glacial lakes of the Pessons Valley and the bewitching alpine beauty of the Incles Valley.
Cappadocia & the St Paul Trail, Turkey
8 days | Moderate Walking
This new walking holiday is a rare combination of two of Turkey’s most captivating and contrasting regions; the remarkable rock-hewn, fairy-tale landscapes of Cappadocia and the beautiful rural, mountains through which the long-distance St Paul Trail passes. Alongside the bewitching scenery, cultural and historic interest abounds with hidden monasteries, ancient underground cities and impressive Roman ruins. Accommodation is in small family run hotels giving a taste of the great hospitality of the local people.
Western Taurus & the Lycian Way
8 days | Moderate Walking Holiday
For those who love walking on both mountains and coastal trails, this is the perfect week-long break. Starting on the western end of the mighty Taurus range there are village walks, high mountain paths and a visit to the impressive ruined city of Termessos. Descending to the coast, the blue waters of the Lycian Way provide stunning walking with hidden coves, summer meadows and ancient ruins littering the trail. And an ascent of Mount Tahtali, with its magnificent, far reaching views, is the fitting finale to this fabulous twin-centred holiday.
About Mountain Kingdoms:
Mountain Kingdoms is an independent, UK based, small group holiday specialist with over 32 years’ experience. Now offering worldwide walking holidays, pioneering and classic treks, trekking peaks, cultural tours, cycling holidays, walking safaris and adventure cruises. Mountain Kingdoms is committed to responsible tourism and offers value for money with an emphasis on quality.
Visit http://www.mountainkingdoms.com for all of our new holidays for 2020 and updates on all our worldwide adventures.