- The historic cities of Lahore and Peshawar
- UNESCO world heritage sites of Taxila and Takh-i-Bahi
- The beautiful Swat Valley, a very important historical location with a history going back to 1700BC.
- Kalash Valley: The Kalash people practice a 3,000-year-old religion and culture. Our itinerary coincides with one of the Kalash Festivals.
- Shandur Pass, the “rooftop of the world” is a high altitude plateau that connects
- Ghizer and Chitral valleys. Shandur is famous for the Polo festival.
- In Hunza Valley, we will visit the historic sights of Hunza valley, including an 1100-year-old castle and a 1000-year-old village, along with accessible Borit and Attabad lakes.
- Fairy Meadows were you with breathtaking views of Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest mountain in the world and the western-most peak of the 2,400km (1,500miles) long Himalayan range.
- Desosai National Park, the second-highest plateau in the world. 3,000 square kilometers of uninhibited, rolling grasslands surrounded by high peaks and dotted by small streams and alpine lakes.
- Skardu, the gateway to Karkoram’s peaks and glaciers. The Karakoram mountains rise like a wall; 500km long,150km wide with over 100 peaks above 6,100m (20,000 ft).
- This region represents the highest concentration of high peaks in the world.
22-Days of Pakistan Tour
Day 0 – Arrival in Lahore
We recommend taking a flight arriving in the evening the day before your tour starts. This will give you some time to rest and recover from Jet lag. If you choose this option, we will provide a hotel for the night along with transfers from Lahore International Airport.
Day 1 – Lahore 4 or 5-star hotel
The morning is free to recover from your journey. In the afternoon we will have a lunch reception where your guide will brief the group about the tours. Later we will visit the Lahore Museum passing through the Mall where you will be able to see many buildings in Gothic architecture from the British period. We will then visit the Wagah Indian Border to where the marching ceremony, known as the “Silly Walk ceremony”, is conducted each evening along with the flag ceremony. You will learn about the history of Pakistan. We will return to dinner and you will have a chance to visit a fabric shop and have a Pakistani dress made overnight.
Day 2 – Lahore 4 or 5-star hotel
Today we will visit historic Lahore starting from the 17th century Wazir Khan Mosque made with glazed tiles in the Mughal style and considered to be the most beautiful mosque in Pakistan. Our next stop is the restored Shahi Hammam (Royal bathhouse) a 17th-century Persian-style hammam and the only remaining one in Pakistan. We continue on to the Lahore Fort complex, which includes the 16th century Fort, the 17th-century Badshahi Mosque, and the 19th century Tomb of Ranjit Singh the Sikh ruler of Punjab.
We exit the mosque to the food street which used to be the red-light district, where we will have a late lunch. Later this evening we will have a cultural event including classical ghazal music and dance.
Day 3 – Lahore 4 or 5-star hotel
We continue our exploration of Lahore’s historic past, starting from the Shalimar Gardens built-in 1642 is the only Mughal garden left in the sub-continent. We will then visit the tombs of Mughal Emperor Jahangir and his queen Nur Jehan and continue to the Mughal hunting reserve complex of Hiran Minar highlighted by the fortress and minaret built for Emperor Jahangir’s pet deer.
The afternoon is free for you to relax or do some shopping. In the evening we will have a Qawwali Night. Qawwali is a form of Sufi devotional singing.
Day 4 – Lahore to Peshawar 4 or 5-star hotel
After breakfast, we will start our journey to the 2,000-year-old city of Peshawar. Along the way, we will stop at the Katas Raj Temple complex. The legend says that the pool which is at the center of the complex was created by a teardrop of the Hindu God Shiva when he wept over the death of his wife Sati. According to tradition, the Pandava brothers, central characters of the Mahabharata lived here during exile; that would have been 5,000 years ago. The primary set of building in this complex, however, is from the 7th century (built on top of a Buddhist temple), there is a 15th-century temple, a 17th century Haveli from the Sikh period, and a smaller Shiva temple with a newer building but a very old Shiv Lingam.
In the evening we will visit the historic Qisa Khawani Bazar (storytellers Bazar), you will have an opportunity to roam the streets before we settle in for a meal before returning to our hotel.
Day 5 – Peshawar to Swat 4 or 5-star hotel
Today we explore the historic sites of Peshawar. Starting with the Peshawar Museum, known for one of the largest and most extensive collections of Gandhara art of the Buddhist period one of the biggest collections of Buddhist objects in the world. We continue to the 17th century Mahabat Khan Mosque built using white marble in the Mughal style. Finally, we will visit Bala Hissar Fort, which has existed since the 7th century and has been in continuous occupation ever since.
After lunch, we continue our tour with a visit to the Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and the neighboring city remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol. Our day ends in Swat.
Day 6 – Swat 4 or 5-star hotel
In the morning will visit the Swat Museum with its collection of Gandharan statuettes and treasure from the valley of Swat. You have the evening to relax in the hotel.
The area of Swat was a major Buddhist center and Buddhist and Ghandhara sites are littered all over the valley. We will visit the important archeological remains of Butkara stupa, one of the most important Buddhist shrines dating back to the 2nd century BC and believed to contain the ashes of Buddha. We continue to visit Shingerdar stupa and stop at Udegram village where you will have the option to hike to Raja Gira’s castle, a site with a history stretching from 1,000 BC to the 14th century. The evening is free to relax.
Day 7 – Swat to Kalash Valley – Boutique Hotel
We start our day by visiting the Chakdara Museum with its collection of first to seventh-century Gandhara Art. We continue our drive through the lowari pass tunnel into the ancient kingdom of Chitral. The drive will take us through villages and small towns and we will reach our destination in the evening, where our first stop is Kalash Valley. We will stay at a hotel close to the valley.
Birbir, Bumborete and Rumbur valleys are locally known as Kafiristan (the land of the infidels). These valleys are home to the 3,000-year-old civilization of Kalash people who are spread in about 20 villages. The Kalash practice their own religion and their cultural practices are unique from all other ethnicities.
Day 8 – Kalash Valley to Chitral – Boutique Hotel
We are here in time for a Kalash festival. The celebration is a huge party, with lots of dancing, wine, and feasting. We will witness the celebrations and you have an opportunity to wear traditional Kalash attire and participate in the festivities.
In the evening we will continue to Chitral Valley.
Day 9 – Chitral Valley to Mastuj – Boutique Hotel
Today we head to Chitral town. You will have time to explore the Bazar, and the Chitral fort before lunch after which we will continue to Mastuj. This is one of the most beautiful and dramatic drives as we wind our way up the Mastuj Valley, passing Tirich Mir and Boni Zong, before finally entering the Yarkand Valley at the top of which lies Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor. We will stay within the ruins of an 18th-century fort.
Day 10 – Mastuj to Gahkuch – Boutique Hotel
We continue past Mastuj to Shandur. Shandur is known as the rooftop of the world and is the birthplace of Polo which is still played amongst villages during the Polo festival. We will stop for tea and for those interested, there will be a chance to walk in the beautiful meadows before getting picked by the jeep.
We stop at Phandar Lake for a lunch with local fish and continue on to Gakuch where we will spend the night.
Day 11 – Gahkuch to Hunza Valley – 5 star or Boutique Hotel
We drive from Gakuch to Hunza Valley, stopping along the way to see the 7th-century carving of a large standing Buddha known as Kargah Buddha. We continue to Gulmet for views of Rakaposhi before reaching Hunza where we will spend the night.
Day 12 – Hunza Valley – 5 Star or Boutique Hotel
We will visit the 1,000-year-old Ganesh village. This village is the oldest settlement on the ancient Silk Road; the original layout of the village remains, along with three of the original watchtowers and seven 500-year-old richly carved mosques. Our next stop is the 700-year-old Baltit Fort where the Mir (title of the Hunza ruler) resided until the 1950s.
In the afternoon we will visit the 1100 years old Altit Fort, the original seat of the Hunza state and the oldest monument in Gilgit-Baltistan. For those interested, there will be an option to take a cooking class in Pakistani cuisine.
Day 13 – Hunza Valley – 5 Star or Boutique Hotel
Today we head to “Passu Cones” also known as Cathedral Ridge a series of pointed 6,000 m peaks that are located next to the Karakoram Highway. After a short break on the Passu glacier, we will continue towards Khunjerab Pass, the land route to the Chinese border, and at 4,934m(16,187ft) the highest border crossing in the world. The scenery is beautiful, with high peaks all around and if we are lucky we will get to see herds of Yaks and Ibex roaming in the grasslands below as we drive through the mountains. Due to the dramatic change in altitude, we will only take a brief stop at the top before heading back. Our last stop for the night is Attabad Lake, formed in 2010 after a landslide that blocked the flow of the river. We will take a boat ride and then head back to Hunza.
Day 14 – Hunza to Fairy Meadows – Mountain Lodge
We start early today and head to Raikot bridge from where we will travel to Fairy Meadows. We will see views Nanga Parbat Massif (the 9th highest peak in the world). Nanga Parbat is a colossal mountain, the peak can be seen from miles away and forms a glacial amphitheater at the head of Raikot Gah. It is here at Raikot bridge that we take Jeeps over a 17km steep and narrow dirt road to Tattu village, where the hiking trail to Fairy Meadows begins. This is a well-established trail and we walk through the forest on a gentle climb for about 2-3 hours.
Day 15 – Fairy Meadows – Mountain Lodge
Fairy Meadows is one of the more frequented tourists sites in Pakistan, however, as we travel to Nanga Parbat basecamp, we leave the crowds behind. The trail passes through pine and fir forest along a stream, for about 5km. This section of the trek is a steady gentle climb of about 200m(656ft). The vista finally opens up as we reach the small settlement of Beyal, there are great views of the Indus Valley and Rakaposhi. We will rest here for some time, have lunch. You will have an option to return to our lodge or continue and then continue onward to the base camp.
Day 16 – Fairy Meadows to Deosai – Glamping
Our day starts with views of Nanga Parbat. After a leisurely morning retraces our steps, taking an easy descending path back to Jhel where we continue the drive to Raikot bridge. We will switch transports at the bridge and drive to Deosai Plains. Due to its location, Deosai gets more rainfall and channeled water making it the highest elevation freshwater wetlands in the world. With rolling pastures, beautiful alpine lakes, and remarkable biodiversity. We will stop at the beautiful Shausar lake and you will have an opportunity to walk in the area. We will camp or stay at Deosai Park.
Day 17 – Deosai to Shigar – 5 Star Hotel
We will cross Deosai and pass Sadpara Lake on the way to Skardu. In the afternoon we will visit the historic Kharpocho fort. The current fort was built on the foundation of an earlier 15th-century fort. According to some accounts, this location has always had a fort and during Buddhist times a monastery. At the top, we have views of the surrounding area.
We will have time to walk around before we head over to Shigar, where we will spend the night at the historic Shigar Fort. In the evening you will have the option to visit the private hot springs and relax before dinner.
Day 18 – Shigar – 5 Star Hotel
In the morning we will visit the 14th-century Amburiq Mosque in Shigar Village, a UNESCO award-winning site, and continue on a beautiful drive to Khaplu. We will stop at the 18th century Khaplu Khanqah and the Chaqchan Mosque and stop for lunch at a beautifully restored palace before heading back to Shigar.
Day 19 Khaplu to Kachura – 5 Star Hotel
We drive from Khaplu to our resort at lower Kachura Lake. Katchura Lakes are two beautiful alpine lakes We will have an optional hike to upper Kachura lake, for those interested it is possible to go boating and fish for Trout in these lakes.
Day 20 Islamabad – Taxila – 5 or 4 Star Hotel
We take an afternoon flight to Islamabad. Our first stop is the UNESCO world heritage site of Taxila. The origins of Taxila as a city go back to 1500 BC and it was an important Buddhist Centre from the 5th century BC to the 6th Century AD. Taxila Museum is famous for its magnificent collection of Gandhara Art.
After Taxila, we will head over to our hotel in Islamabad. The afternoon and evening are free to relax or join an organized shopping trip.
Day 21 – Islamabad – 5 or 4 Star Hotel
After a relaxed morning, you will have a chance to visit some of the sights in Islamabad, including the Faisal Mosque and the national institute of folk heritage. You will have an opportunity to buy local handicrafts and we will arrange a tour of carpet shopping.
After relaxing at the hotel, we will head to the Margala hills for a celebration.
Day 22 – Fly out.
Our private transport will take you to the airport.