Arguably the world's most famous peak, Everest is considered by many the ultimate trekking challenge. With the combination of an impressive summit height of 5643m, the stunning alpine scenery and the 360-degree panorama view of the Himalaya as a reward, this is one trek not to be missed! At a staggering 7314 m high the peak of Bhutan's Chomolhari also offers stark, dramatic views of the Himalayan ranges. This less-trodden path also offers rare sightings of musk deer and blue sheep for lucky trekkers.
The star hike: Everest Base Camp
The iconic Himalayan trek to the world’s most famous campsite. The route runs from Lukla along the Dudh Kosi Valley to the busy little bustle of Namche Bazaar, then up the Khumbu Valley to Base Camp. That bare description does little to convey the majesty of your surroundings every step of the way, with a constant diet of extraordinary panoramas being regularly fed to trekkers, not least the close-up of Everest from the summit of Kala Patar. Base Camp itself makes for a fitting highpoint, shining with history, camaraderie, anticipation and excitement.
The lesser known: Bhutan Sacred Summit Trek
The background: at 7314 metres, Chomolhari is Bhutan’s second highest peak, and arguably the most beautiful. Few visitors see Bhutan, even fewer make it to the country’s wild northwest, where soaring peaks, traditional communities and Buddhist monasteries await.
Why go: for the chance to follow trails that few have walked. Trekking is not a free-for-all activity in Bhutan – the trails you can trek are few and controlled by the government. Foreigners have not been able to walk the route to Chomolhari until recently, and numbers remain low. That means several things – you have some of the world’s most spellbinding mountain scenery virtually to yourself, you get a real feel of pioneering adventure as you explore the Bhutanese Himalaya, and you’re immersed in pristine wilderness. Or, to put it simply, trekking heaven.
The highlight: Chomolhari forms the perfect backdrop to its base camp, suitably imposing as it looms over the huddle of tents on the valley floor. It’s easy to see why the climber George Mallory found the sacred mountain so impressive: broad of beam and rising to a rounded summit of gleaming ice and dark, striated rock, it’s a beautiful sight, either at day under a bright cobalt sky or during nights, when its glaciers glow white as a full moon.