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Everest Base Camp, Kala Patthar & Gokyo Lakes

Join us on our trek to the base camp of the world’s highest mountain is justifiably the most popular and perhaps the greatest of all the trekking itineraries around today. The trek is a magic blend of fascinating culture, stunning scenery and strenuous endeavour that never fails to impress. It will always be one of our most rewarding treks.

The trek follows a gentle acclimatisation regime with plenty of rest days. It allows us to enjoy the trek’s many unique places at our leisure. We start in the vibrant city of Kathmandu where our senses will be delighted by the vast blend of religions, cultures and scenic experiences. We stay in the relative tranquil haven of a centrally located hotel, so even though the city literally vibrates around us a relaxing time can be found by those wanting to recover from the ight or those wanting to explore the city a little at a time.

The next day we y to the spectacularly located mountain town of Lukla (2,800m) where our trek into the Khumbu valley begins. We follow an ancient route that will take us through tiny villages, remote valleys, impressive monasteries and over high mountain passes. The views grow more spectacular daily until we are rewarded with stunning views of Ama Dablam, Mt. Everest, Lhotse and the mountain scenery of the Khumbu.

After a strenuous few days our e orts will culminate in an ascent of the non-technical Kala Patthar (5,550m) from whose summit the world’s highest mountains lie, literally, at one’s feet.

Mt.Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and a distant Makalu the panorama is truly spectacular and provides unprecedented vistas as an awe- inspiring reward.

The next day we reach Everest Base Camp where we have a whole day to explore this important staging point for those heading for the summit. From here we proceed to the Gokyo Valley, a stunning area close to the Everest region but hidden away west from here and separated by a snowy pass. The Gokyo area o ers quiet contemplation and re ection, especially if you visit the serenity and beauty of the Five Lakes. Make it to the Fifth Lake and you are rewarded with magical views of Cho Oyu, the ‘Turquoise Goddess’ feeling as though it is within touching distance across the border into Tibet.

The majesty of Everest still graces this area and the journey to the top of Gokyo Ri offers a more western view of Everest, something which few others get to see and exemplifies the changing faces of the mountain. Enjoy these views whilst in the knowledge that the area you are in is set by the largest glacier in Nepal and possibly the whole of the Himalaya, the Ngozumpa Glacier, one which you have the opportunity to explore.

This is a stunning journey that combines breathtaking mountain vistas with exciting cultural experiences and the satisfaction of having achieved a physically demanding route.

For trek details and booking, please contact steve@geminioutdoor.com or call 07752567959.

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Cotswold Way Trek

Join us for the full or parts of our 5-day Cotswold Way Trek from Chipping Campden to Bath Abbey. Contact steve@geminioutdoor.com or 07752567959 for booking & details.

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Early Bird Fee – Tuscany Trails 2017

We are heading to the Garfagnana region of Tuscany again this June for more walking in this amazingly quiet part of Italy… These are the views of some of last years Nordic Walkers who joined us… Helen’s views of her “Tuscany Trails 2016” experience… Accommodation…..  “a stunning setting with beautiful views, fantastic food, warm welcoming hosts […]

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Tuscany Trails – Trekking Holiday

Tuscany Trails – 16-23 October 2016

Join us for our Tuscany Trails holiday from 16th-23rd October 2016…
A superb walking area and excellent accommodation set amongst the most stunning scenery…it doesn’t get much better! Braccicorti is not only the venue for our Tuscany Trails adventure, it is a place we have spent many happy weeks of walking in the local hills with friends and afterwards relaxing by the pool and enjoying great local food and wine.

Braccicorti, is classified as an Agritourisimo, meaning that in addition to providing excellent accommodation and food for tourism, it has to fulfil its agricultural commitments…and this it does in abundance, with rows of red and white grape vines for their own wine, acres of vegetables, spelt, pearl barley (faro), orchards of apples and cherry trees, walnut & olive groves; as well as wild strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants.

Situated in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany (about 2 hours from the Ligurian coastline), Braccicorti is located between Viletta less than a mile away and 5 miles from Castelnuovo di Garfagnana; the latter being a small town perched high above the river. Looking at the medieval stone walls, arches and spanning bride it is easy to imagine that Castelnuovo di Garfagnana has been around for over a thousand years; and its history is what makes it such a great place to visit, browsing the streets, piazzas and shops, stop for lunch, or just watch the world go by with a coffee or gelato.

As you look over the valley to the Alpi Apuane mountains from Braccicorti, it is easy to see where our adventures will take us…trails through forests of beech, rolling hillsides with well established paths, tracks above marble quarries that supply the highest quality stone for our homes, to beyond the tree-line and onto the higher ground with mountains adorned with crosses and possessing amazing views into lush valleys, local peaks as well as those of the Apennine range and out to the coast line towards La Spezia, the infamous Cinque Terra and Pisa. Behind Braccicorti are the Apennines, another range of mountains, again easily accessed and offering amazing views, flora and fauna.

On your day-off, you can either join us for another walk, relax by the pool, visit the local town of Castelnuovo di Garfagnana, or perhaps take the train to Lucca (around 1 hour away). Lucca is a great city to visit, famed for its old city within fortified walls, stunning architecture and characters; it’s a pace to relax and soak up the atmosphere whilst you wander around the piazza’s or enjoy lunch.

Tuscany Trails Itinerary…

Your itinerary for your Tuscan Trails week will look like this:

Day 1 – Arrival – Depart UK and arrive in Pisa, followed by a transfer to our venue at Braccicorti. You will be introduced to our hosts, shown to your rooms, have a local briefing with information, and time to relax before your 3-course dinner.

Day 2 – Orecchiella National Park – After breakfast we will take the transport for around 30 minutes to the start of our walk at Pruno (1000m) to the summit of Pania del Corfino (1610m) where we can enjoy our picnic with great views before descending. On our return you will have time to relax before dinner.

Day 3 – Valley walk in the Garfagnana – We will walk after breakfast from Braccicorti. The route will take us via small villages, through fields and pastures as we head into the valley for a bar stop. We will find a sheltered spot for picnic lunch, before heading to the medieval walled town of Castiglione di Garfagnana, followed by our return to Braccicorti, in time to unwind before dinner.

Day 4 – Alpi Apuane, Monte Forato – After collecting our picnic lunch we will have a 45 minute transfer to our start at Fornolovasco. From here we will
ascend Monte Forato, including short scramble section and walk to the limestone arch. This is a steeper walk than previously, but shorter distance. Before our return and dinner, we can visit a local bar and relax.

Day 5 – Cultural day / Rest & Relax – After breakfast you can either rest and relax at Braccicorti, take a walk down to Viletta and catch the train to Lucca, take the bus into Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. For those wanting another walk, we may take in the more challenging Monte Tambura or Pania della Croce. We will all meet later and have dinner out at a local restaurant.

Day 6 – Coastal Walk, Cinque Terra – Following an early breakfast and prompt departure, we will take a 20 minute drive to catch the train at Piazza al Serchio. Our walk on the Cinque Terra will link the 5 coastal villages on old trails passing vineyards and olive groves; however, there is an option to hop on a boat to see the villages from another perspective and finish further along the trail. On arriving back to Viletta we will dine out in a local restaurant before the short walk back to Braccicorti.

Day 7 – Monte Prado – After breakfast our journey to Casone (1300m) will take 35 minutes. We will walk onto the broad ridgeline towards the highest peak in Tuscany, Monte Prado (2045m). Before returning for dinner at Braccicorti, we will have time to stop for a drink in Casone.

Day 8 – Return to the UK – After breakfast we will depart Braccicorti and head to Pisa, stopping at the medieval bridge of Ponte del Diavolo, then onto Pisa Airport, where time allowing, we can leave bags in the ‘left luggage’, take a local bus and head to town to see the famous leaning tower of Pisa and have lunch, before returning for our flight home to the UK.

Notes:

  1. Please carry sufficient cash for a drink; we will be able to make a bar stop on most walk days.
  2. Whilst the weather may be hot, when walking at higher altitudes it may be significantly cooler, so please take appropriate warmer clothing.
  3. As with most mountainous areas, the weather may change during the day, so please ensure you carry waterproofs wih you on all walks.
  4. Most walks will have the opportunity to replenish water bottles; however, it is a good idea to carry at least 2 litres with you from the start of each walk.
  5. For each walk, you will need sun protection in the form of suitable clothing, sun hat, sun glasses and high sun protection factor cream.
  6. The walk programme and cultural day order may vary to accommodate weather conditions, public transport etc.

What is included in the full package cost…?

The cost of this trip is £1150.00 and includes:

  • Transport to/from UK Airport
  • Return flights – Luton to Pisa
  • 20kg hold luggage
  • Return airport transfer from Pisa to Braccicorti
  • Chalet accommodation (twin or double rooms)
  • Breakfasts
  • Picnic lunch (on walk days)
  • Evening meals at Braccicorti (except 1 evening meal, when we visit a local restaurant)
  • Flights and transport organised and led by Gemini Outdoor (when departing from Malmesbury)
  • Walks led by Steve Ellis, International Mountain Leader

Not included in this trip are:

  • Personal Insurance – we will advise on level of insurance required – a copy of your insurance will be required by us
  • Return travel to UK airport & parking (if not travelling from the Malmesbury area) – we encourage trip members to share transport and costs wherever possible
  • Food & drink at the airports
  • Single occupancy rooms – a supplement is available upon request if submitted early enough

What is included in the “Land Only” fee…?

In addition to the full package (£1150.00), we can also offer you a “Land Only” fee, whereby you join the trek at the accommodation; the cost of this is £900.00.

  • Chalet accommodation (twin or double rooms)
  • Breakfasts
  • Picnic lunch (on walk days)
  • Evening meals at Braccicorti (except 1 evening meal, when we visit a local restaurant)
  • Walks led by Steve Ellis, International Mountain Leader

Not included in the “Land Only” fee are:

  • Personal Insurance – we will advise on level of insurance required – a copy of your insurance will be required by us
  • Return travel to UK airport & parking – we encourage trip members to share transport and costs wherever possible
  • Flights
  • Return transport to/from Pisa to Braccicorti
  • Single occupancy rooms – a supplement is available upon request if submitted early enough
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Colours of poles may vary from the photographs on the website.