Bella’s Magic Mountains: Hike Your Way to Happiness

Bella’s Magic Mountains: Hike Your Way to Happiness

In partnership withBella’s Magic Mountains

no secret that today’s generation of travellers want to
come back from a holiday with more than just a tan. We’re
travelling with purpose, often linked to personal growth and
development (both physical and mental) that we hope will outlast
any bronze hue. While fitness retreats are nothing new, placing
just as much importance on psychological well-being has taken
longer to kick off, reflecting a western attitude that has long
placed greater emphasis on physical health.

Keen to discover those changing the way we travel by looking at
both our physical and mental needs, we went in search of the
world’s best all-encompassing wellness getaways. This was how we
stumbled upon Bella Somerset, a woman leading transformative
wellness treks that challenge people to reassess their habits (and
themselves) on life-changing adventures with like-minded

Aptly named, Bella’s Magic Mountains takes the
redemptive nature of travel to new heights through a series of
hikes across notoriously challenging terrains, from the French
Pyrenees to the Atlas Mountains and the Nepalese Himalayas. The
camaraderie of this shared experience leaves participants with
lasting friendship and deep connections; she echoes Into The Wild’s
ethos that “happiness is only real when shared”.

So often, we know what we need to do to be happier and healthier
but our actions aren’t aligned with these goals. No matter which
trek you choose, this will be explored through a combination of
hiking, meditation and holistic health coaching. The latter is
designed to put perspective on destructive habits, helping to
reduce perfectionist tendencies and encourage more satisfaction in
relationships and your career, while learning to manage stress more

Bella draws on her own struggles and journey to inform
all of her treks, which revolve around:

1) Holistic wellness, goals and intentions, identity
development, primary food and happiness 2) Relationships, career,
exercise and spirituality 3) Stress, the power of self-care, sugar,

We picked out three of our favourite hikes to happiness with
Bella, from Nepal to Morocco.

This image is on holiday

The Annapurna Circuit


This 16-day trek (21-day round trip) through the Himalayas peaks
at Poon Hill and is suitable for those with some hiking experience
and a good level of fitness.

Mornings start at 7AM with a 10-minute guided meditation
followed by breakfast. After packing up, hikers hit a daily trail
which lasts for about six hours and includes 15-minute rests every
45 minutes to maximise weight loss and minimise joint/muscle

Come 5PM, the walking portion of your day wraps up and dinner is
served; expect traditional food such as daal bhat (curry with rice
and lentils) paired with some Western comforts like vegetarian
burgers. Hunker down for the night at a local guesthouse – the
legendary Bob Marley Guesthouse is a highpoint – and then hit
repeat the following morning. Be sure to pack a swimsuit for the
inevitable hot springs soaks, while the post-hike relaxation in
Pokhara is a weary wanderer’s delight. The trek is suitable for
those with some trekking experience and a good level of fitness;
reaching the 5400m Thorong La Pass will leave you with an ultimate
sense of achievement.

Toubkal Circuit Trek


Six days of hiking in the Atlas Mountains might sound less
intense than the Nepal expedition, but this is a seriously
strenuous hike. Its exertive modus does make relaxing in Marrakech
post-trail all the more rewarding, but trust us when we say you
will have earned that hammam downtime tenfold.

It’s all about hard work and reward on this one. Day three is
tough due to loose scree but as the sun sets you’ll get your first
glimpse of the Toubkal Massif – the highest peaks and holy grail of
the Atlas Mountains – before a long descent into the village of
Azib Likemt to set up camp for the night. At the end of each day,
relax with a cup of mint tea while your camp is set up for you,
explore Berber villages or paddle along cascading rivers and the
turquoise waters of Lake Ifni.



A scenic march from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic, the GR10
in the French Pyrenees is no walk in the park. Roughly paralleling
the French-Spanish border, it’s the more popular route than Spain’s
mid-altitude alternative, GR11.

The split personality of the trek makes it a bit of a gemini. On
day two you’ll board The Little Yellow Train through the Pyrenees
and be treated to awe-inducing views before embarking on a
picturesque walk to a remote mountain refuge. On day three, expect
a five-hour walk from thunderstorm-prone La Caranca to the valley
village of Mantet, while day five will see you stray off the GR10
to continue your trek via the Mount Canague summit. This detour
makes for a tough hike (and an exhilarating afternoon) that
climaxes in a near climb at the top. Take plenty of pictures (and
deep breaths) of Pyrenees panoramas before descending into Les


Visit @bellasmagicmountains, or email
[email protected] to begin your journey. With treks
starting at £795, it’s an affordable transformative adventure.

Trek dates 2018:

The Annapurna Circuit, Nepal: 30 September – 20 October; 4-24
November, £1250 Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal: 21 October – 3
November, £999 Toubkal Circuit Trek, Morocco: 16-23 September, £795
GR10, Pyrenees: 30 July – 5 August, 6-12 August, £150 (coaching and
organisation fee)

Private luxury Nepal treks of 10-12 days available through
including luxury hotels, spa indulgences and a
Helicopter trip in the Everest Region.

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