Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights Overview
Discover with us Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights, known for its exquisite natural beauty, with the iconic Himalayas, Hiindukush and Karakoram meets. Pakistan’s Northern Areas are a place of highly diverse and rich geography, culture, and seasons.
This part of the country is famous all around the world because of sky high mountains, lush green valleys, mighty rivers, beautiful lakes, and amazing wildlife. Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights covers Mini Switzerland ‘Swat Valley’ and Mountain Kingdom ‘Hunza valley’ are the major tourist attractions in Pakistan. All these places are real natural beauty of the world.
Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights
- we can get to the heart of our destination
- visit places that other tours miss, and get to know the locals
- Drive past the junction of three greatest mountainous regions of Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalya
- See the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Travel to the spiritual swat with its extraordinary scenery and striking monasteries
- Drive to Lowari pass, Shandur pass, pausing to view the astounding snow-clad peaks of Hindukush
- Travel to the cross-cultural villages
Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights Itinerary
ARRIVAL in ISLAMABAD
One of our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or (depending upon your arrival time) you can enjoy an exploratory walk in he old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You will then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities – Murree Road – before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas – a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian to catch a bird’s eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad.
TAKHT BHAI – malakand pass - Dir
After breakfast we leave today for Swat, a picturesque northern Pakistan valley towards north east. It has a rich historical past, too. The “Udayana” (Golden) of the ancient Hindu epics; the land of enthralling beauty, where Alexander of Macedonia fought and won some of his major battles before crossing over the plans of Pakistan. This is the “valley of hanging chains” described by the famous Chinese pilgrim chronices, Huain Tsang and Fa-Hian in the fifth and sixth centuries. Swat was also the historical land where the Muslim conquerors, Mahmud Ghaznavi, Babar and Akbar fought their battles preparatory to conquest of South Asia. En route we visit the Bala Hisar mound at a distance of 28 kilometers dating back to 2500 years old and the capital of Gandhara from sixth century B.C to second century A.D. According to Herodotus , the Greek historian writing in about 460 B.C Darius sent the explorer Scylax of Caryanda to sail down from here and find the sea. Gandhara remained with Achaemenid Empire for next 200 years until its overthrow by Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C.
Our next stop will be at Takht e Bahi Buddhist monastery of first century A.D. It has 38 votive stupas and the largest statues must have been 33 feet high donated by rich pilgrims, supposed to enshrine the ashes of Lord Buddha and surrounded by the chapels. Then we will see the cells of Monks in the Monastery Court. These cells are believed to be originally plastered and painted in different colours.
The next part of our journey is to Chakdara passing through the Malakand Pass. Photo stop at the top of this pass will allow admire superb panoramic views over the valley. There is also a Fort built by the British. There are also a few Churchill Piquets all along the Pass. These security check posts were used by the British army to watch the movements of local Pathan tribes who fought against them. Despite the heavy fights that lasted years, the British army never succeeded in defeating local tribes who posed them fierce resistance. In fact, British controlled the whole subcontinent except this zone which is now known as Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw. Next is Chakdara Fort, which was built by Emperor Akbar in 16th century and now in use of Army.
Drive: 6-7 hrs
Lowari pass/Lowari Tunnel - Chitral
From Dir it takes six to seven hours drive via Loweri Pass to reach Chitral Valley. This drive to Chitral via the pass is spectacular and you will enjoy each moments of our drive long drive. The Lowari Pass at a height of 3,100 meters with zigzag descend with breathtaking views of Chitral Valley are as fascinating g as any other alpine valley.
Today after arrival in Chitral we visit Chitral Fort, standing on the bank of Kunar River beside a 1000 years old Shahi mosque rounded by many chinaar trees. From here we proceed towards polo ground and after that to Chitral Bazaar.
Drive: 4-5 hrs
Leave for Garam Chasham(hot spring. On the way visit beautiful villages, with beautiful terraced fields, wild flowers, studded slopes and fruit laden trees.The last destination of latoh valley in Chitral, which is ideal for hiking, trekking and trout fishing as well as for swiming and bathing.
Drive: 6-7 hrs
Garam Chashma free day
free day at Garam Chasma
Today we leave to the most exciting part of our tour is visit to Kalash Valley, the home of the Kafir-Kalash or “Wearers of the Black Robes”, a primitive pagan tribe. Their ancestry is enveloped in mystery and is the subject of controversy. A legend says that five soldiers of the legions of Alexander of Macedonia settled in Chitral and are the progenitors of the Kafir-Kalash.
The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and hand-spun wool dyed in black in winter. Their picturesque headgear is made of woolen black material decked out with cowry shells, buttons and crowned with a large colored feather.You can also visit a typical Kalash house to observe their life style and Kalasha Museum in Bumboret.
Drive: 6-7 hrs
KALASH - FREE DAY
Today is reserved for a day hike over to the other village of Kalash Valley, for our lunch we will be having packed light lunch with us with some juices and biscuits. It’s a magnificent short trek into the beautiful Birrer.
mastuj- Shandur pass(3700m) - PHaNDeR
Today morning from Kalash valley we will drive to Chitral and continue drive on Chitral Mustuj road passing through the scenic Booni villages, stopping enroute for rest and visiting local village house to upper Chitral Mastuj village. after a breif stop there we will drive via Langar, Barsat, Shandur Pass, world highest polo ground. At Shandur Pass we will take a tea break and then continue our drive through to phander lake.Visit Phander lake and optional trout fishing activity there. Visit Phander village and a home there for clutural insight of Wakhi culture.
Drive: 10-11 hrs
Ishkoman- gilgit - Naltar
Drive to Khalti lake, Ishkoman valley, and back to Gahkoh and drive onward to Gilgit. Visit Kargah Nala, Old Gilgit town home visit for cultural insight. Evening drive to Naltar valley.
Drive: 6-7 hrs
Drive to scenic Naltar lakes and after lunch drive onward to Hunza valley, enroute stop at Rakaposhi base camp view point and visit Diran view point for glimpse of Diran peak. Main attraction of this road journey is Rakaposhi Base Camp and Altit and Baltit Forts. Baltit Fort is an ancient fort in the Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Founded in the 1st CE, it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative list since 2004.In the past, the survival of the feudal regime of Hunza was ensured by the impressive fort, which overlooks Karimabad. The foundations of the fort date back to 700 years ago, with rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the local prince married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. Visit around the area, you would feel as if you’d stepped back in time in past period.
After Baltit Fort you go to Ganish village. Ganish is the oldest and first settlement on the ancient Silk Road in Hunza, and is the site of various ancient watch towers, traditional mosques, religious centers, and a reservoir.The Ali Gohar House in Ganish, is located next to one of the iconic shikaris (watchtowers) of the town. The 400-year-old house was awarded the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2009
Then we proceed to Altit Fort. Altit Fort is an ancient fort at Altit town in the Hunza valley,It was originally home to the hereditary rulers of the Hunza state who carried the title Mir.Altit Fort and in particular the Shikari tower is around 1100 years old, which makes it the oldest monument in the Gilgit–Baltistan.
Then go up to the highest observation place at Duikar to enjoy 360-degree panoramic view and sunset reflections on peaks of lady finger, Haramosh peak, Rakaposhi and many others. This is one of the best elevated way to fully enjoy a sunset. Spiritually and physically, we would like you to feel the air as well. It will be unforgettable experience.
Attabad lake- Husaini - Passu - Sost
After breakfast we proceed to Attabad lake, Husaini suspension bridge and Passu. Glacier. The glaciers are really eerie, almost alive, as they creak and melt in the sun. Rocks continually fall down as the ice melts.Experience the passu glacier cracking and spikes from the view point.
The valleys of Hunza and Nagar are some of the most beautiful valleys in the northern parts of Pakistan. The people of this area are known for their legendary good health, longevity and hospitality.
Drive: 02- hrs
Khunjerab Park and back to Gilgit
Today’s drive will take us to Khunjerab Pass, Khunjerab Pass, the gateway to China via the Karakoram Highway, is at 4,934m.which half of the park is above 4,000m. Khunjerab National Park is Pakistan’s third largest national park. It is adjacent to Taxkorgan Natural Reserve (1,400,000ha) in China. You will enjoy a short trip up to Khunjerab Pass on Karakoram Highway; it gives some of spectacular sceneries for photographers of wild life. where you may have a sighting of endangered Marco Polo sheep, which is only found in this area in Pakistan. The park is also famous for its snow leopards. Some reports say that it might contain the highest density of these beautiful cats in the total Himalayan ecosystem, which is the natural habitat of these cats. Over 2,000 Siberian ibex, widely distributed and abundant in the park but absent from neighbouring China, are also present here.
Other animals of this park are in the park include:
Snow leopard (T), Himalayan ibex (C), Brown bear (T), Tibetan red fox (C), Tibetan wolf (T), Blue sheep, Marco Polo sheep, Tibetan wild ass or kiang , Ermine (C), Alpine weasel, Stone martin (C), Golden marmot (C), Lynx (unconfirmed reports), Large-eared pika (C), Dhole (unconfirmed reports), Cape hare (C), Common field mouse (C), Royle’s mountain vole (C), Lesser shrew (C), ,Migratory hamster (C)
Common birds in the park are:
Lammegier vulture, Golden eagle, Himalayan griffon vulture, Eurasian black vulture, Marsh harrier, Eurasian sparrow hawk, Eurasian kestrel, Lesser kestrel, Saker falcon, Peregrine falcon, Himalayan snow cock, Snow partridge, Chukar, Grey heron, Common sandpiper, Hill pigeon, Snow pigeon, Northern eagle owl, Eurasian cuckoo, Common swallow, Magpie, Alpine chough, Raven
Drive: 6-7 hrs
Rondu & Skardu
Today early morning departure for Skardu via Rondu valley through Indus Gorge. Enroute short breaks at Taloo and Stak streams. Time permitting visit Basho valley in Rondu for alpine scenery.
Skardu is the administrative capital of Baltistan and gateway to the high peaks of Northern Pakistan. Sightseeing in Skardu and surrounding areas during the day. For those seeking a good overview of Skardu, or a place from which to photograph the sunset, Kharfocho Fort is an ideal spot.
Drive: 06-07 hrs.
Early morning drive to Khaplu valley, visit Khaplu Palace, Saling point and Khaplu view point.
Today after breakfast drive to the beautiful valley of Shigar vally, which lies at the trail heads of world five top walks.visit Shigar fort, Shigar Bazar, Khanqah Moalla, Amobrik Mosque, drive through untouched several small villages to Choutron (hot spring). Evening drive back to Skardu.
Drive: 06-07 hrs
Today we will visit Lower kachure(shangrila) and upper kachura lakes and in the evening we will visit sand dunes, Manthal Big Rock buddha and satpara lake.
Today early morning departure for Deosai, Located in the Great Himalayan Range, conveniently placed between the western massif of the Himalayas and the central Karakoram. It’s stunning scenic views of the snow-clad mountains and streams, natural beauty and impressive grandeur have made it world famous. Spread over an area of 3,000 square kilometres, at an altitude of 13,500 feet above sea level, the plains are home to unique species of plant and animal life, of which the Himalayan Brown Bears are the most famous. In the words of Aleister Crowley, “In front of us lay the Deosai, an absolutely treeless wilderness of comparatively level country framed by minor peaks. It gives a unique impression of desolation. I have never seen its equal in this respect elsewhere.” To the south of and visible from both the Burji and Satpara approaching areas is a 700-foot hill, on top of which is a 500 foot-high-rock cairn. This unnamed hilltop in the northern deosai region produces a clear panorama of the Himalayan Kangri Range and sections of the Karakoram. As you ascend its gentle, grass covered slopes, Nanga Parbat will come into view far to the west of you. In ‘Gypsy Davy’s’ words, “It was such an expanse of immensity as I have hardly imagined…It seems you cannot talk in a matter-of-fact way in a place like that…I thought the Sierras were large, but here, where we could see three or four score miles north, south, east and west, and see only mountains, and most of them above twenty thousand feet, the Sierras seem like sand dunes”. Shaucer lake (3-4 hours from Skardu), Shatong nala (2 hours) , Bara Pani (two and half hours) and Kala Pani (3 to 3-30 hours) are the most visited spots in Deosai. Deosai is one of the best trout fishing spot in the North.
Drive: 6-7 hrs
Early morning we will drive to Rama lake, for a beutiful view of Rama alpine scenery and Nanag parbat view.
Drive: 3-4 hrs
Today after breakfast drive to Riakot on Astore Road, Then further drive by jeep to Tato & hike to Fairy Meadows.
Tato: The steep and difficult ascent on a rocky trail will lead the group to a small hamlet of Tato which is comprised of few clay lofts scattered around. This village is inhabited by the upright and fierce yet very hospitable Chilasi people whose origin is Kohistan.
Fairy Meadows: The traditional base camp of Nanga Parbat, known as Fairy Meadows. The local people believe that this beautiful place is an abode of fairies and ghosts. The lush green plateau presents some of the most spectacular sights one can ever witness. One forgets the tiring walk up to this magnificent site when one beholds a landscape of rushing torrents with a panoramic back – drop of the mighty Nanga Parbat.
Drive: 04-05hrs Hike, 3-4 hrs Maximum Altitude (3200m).
Rest day or hike to NANGA PARBAT BASE CAMP & Back
Free day for sightseeing, nature watching and hiking. Optional hike to Nanga Parbat BC and back to Fairy Meadows.
Walk: 3-4 hrs
babusar pass (4145m) - Naran
Today after breakfast trek down to Tato and jeep to Raikot Bridge then leave for Naran on the Karakoram Highway and Naran Chilas Road through captivating and enthralling landscape of zigzag road winding through terraced filed, fruit laden orchard and above Babusar pass at a height of 4145 m. The Valley extends for 155 km rising from an elevation of 2,134 meters to its highest point, the Babusar Pass, at 4,145 meters. Before Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978, the only road access to Gilgit was through Kaghan Valley.Kaghan valley is a very beautiful & attractive valley. That’s why it is called virtual paradise, unbelievably in pristine state and still unspoiled by the human. You’ll find the Himalayan peaks hidden with clouds or snow, somewhere you’ll find the beautiful fairy tale lakes, which will attract you toward them, and you might decide not to leave this at any cost.Take a rest at the pass enjoying the scenic beauty around before descending down to Lulusar lake.
Lulu Sar Lake which is wreathed in blue and gold wild flowers, and is the main source of river Kunhar. Near Gittidas is the 11,000 feet high Lulusar Lake out of which river Kunhar issues anew with redoubled strength to flow down the valley first as placid blue stream and then a roaring torrent until it joins the Jhelum. Lulusar has very enchanting beauty and its view remains in the mind of tourist for a long time. The is surrounded by snowcapped hills whose purple and white forms are reflected in the green-blue waters of the silent lake, making it one of the most beautiful spots in the valley. Take a rest at Lulusar lakes and drive down to Naran stopping at Gittidas, Batakundi for scenic photo ops. These are numerous scenic places, sheer, snow capped mountains ascending from deep valleys, lush alpine meadows are carpeted by colorful wildflowers and dazzling fruits. Terraced villages dot this monumental terrain, supported by traditional farming methods and lifestyles that have changed little over the centuries.
Drive: 10-12 hrs
sailful maluk lake- Shogran
Naran to Lake Saiful Muluk dusty jeep track is approximately 9 km in length with hiking tracks difficulty level ranging from easy to medium. It can be traveled by jeep in one Hour. Net elevation gain is around 700m (2300 feet).
It is almost impossible to describe the beauty of this lake, which is like mirror at the altitude of 3200 meters. The Queen of the Mountains is standing in the east and looking her image in the mirror of Lake Saiful Maluk. You can spend few days here to monitor the guards of lake, which are towering peaks and spread all around the lake.
In the evening drive down to naran and drive to Shogran
Drive: 4-5 hrs
Sari Paya - Galyat - Islamabad
Drive in the morning to the top of shogran valley, amidst clouds and natural beauty and drive down to Balakot. Aftter a brief stop at Balakot, drive onward to mansehra stopping at scenic points for photo ops and also in Manserha to visit Ashoka Rock Eddicts.
Mansehra Rock Edicts are fourteen edicts of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka, inscribed on rocks in Mansehra. The edicts are cut into three boulders and date back to 3rd century BC and they are written in the ancient Indic script of Gandhara culture, Kharosthi. The edicts mention aspects of Ashoka’s dharma. This site is World Heritage Sites tentative list.
After Manserha rock edicts visit, we will pass through the alpine scenery of Galyat and Murree towards Islamabad.
Evening back to Islamabad, proceed to airport for onward flight.
Northern Pakistan Incredible Highlights Departures Dates
No minimum passengers required, 100% guaranteed departures. Small groups. All our itineraries are fully customizable with flexible departure dates.
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From early childhood a place somewhere beyond the horizon was where I wanted to be and in the passing years since, I have made it my goal to satisfy that yearning! growing up in Baltistan gave me a great love for that part of the world, from K2 to Nanga Parbat to makin the first venture on Gondogoro la and much in between.
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Video Credit: Ali Ahmed
Extend your holiday
There are many ways you can extend your holiday with us: book extra hotel nights, take a warm-up/accalamatization trek,relax at a beautiful resort, arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as paragliding or a history and culture tour.
We’re happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +92 (0) 342 9767 963 or email email@example.com and we will be glad to help.