Taking us to the most iconic base camp of all, at the foot of the greatest mountain in the world, Mount Everest (8848m), this is one of the world's classic treks. Walking through Sherpa country past cultivated fields and small villages, we have time to acclimatise before reaching spectacular high altitude scenery: the incredible monastery at Thyangboche, views of Ama Dablam, Everest and other mighty Himalayan peaks. As well as reaching Base Camp, we have the opportunity to climb Kala Pattar (5545m) for a magnificent view of the highest mountain on Earth.
The tour starts at our hotel in Kathmandu. There will be a full trek briefing this evening.
Day 2. We fly to the mountain airstrip of Lukla (2,800m), and set off on the first short leg of our trek, heading northwards up the valley of the Dudh Kosi (or 'milk river'). We descend from the small plateau, down into the forested valley. The trail offers some tantalising views before reaching the small settlement of Phakding (2,652m), where we spend our first night.
Day 3. Heading out of Phakding we follow the Dudh Kosi northwards. This day's walk takes us through magnificent forests of rhododendron, giant fir and magnolia trees, and both in spring and autumn the ground is bright with flowers. After Jorsale (2,805m) we cross the west fork of the river, the Bhote Kosi, and start the steep climb to Namche Bazaar. About 300m up this ascent we may get our first glimpse, cloud-permitting, of the summit of Everest appearing majestically behind the great ridge of Nuptse-Lhotse. Another 300m of climbing brings us to Namche Bazaar, administrative centre of the Khumbu region. Namche is a prosperous Sherpa village and an important trading centre with a weekly market selling fresh foodstuffs brought up from lower villages.
Day 4. We climb steeply out of Namche to the Everest View Hotel. Built by the Japanese this spectacularly situated hotel with wonderful views of Everest and Ama Dablam is an ideal place for a tea break. Continuing, we trek to the villages of Kunde and Khumjung set below Khumbila, the rocky peak sacred to all Sherpas. In Kunde we can visit the Edmund Hillary hospital, and there should also be time to visit the monastery in Khumjumg, where for a small donation we will be shown the only Yeti skull in the world! Descending to the main trail we spend the night at Kyanjuma (3,600m).