The highlights of this journey through northern Pakistan are the picturesque regions of the Hunza Valley, Chitral, and the Kalash Valley. We will begin with a scenic flight from Islamabad over the Himalayas and Karakoram to reach Gilgit. Our first stop will be Karimabad, the administrative center of the Hunza region. The people of the Hunza Valley are known for their high level of education and culture, with many having fair skin and blue eyes. Along the way, we will travel on the famous Karakoram Highway, visit the blue-green Attabad Lake, and experience an adventure crossing the Hussaini Suspension Bridge.
In the Hunza Valley, we will make stops in villages to meet and interact with the local people, immersing ourselves in their culture and traditions. We will pay special attention to the beautifully dramatic village of Passu. Additionally, we will visit the Baltit (12th century) and Altit Forts, significant cultural and historical sites with unique architecture.
Our journey will then take us to Chitral, the northernmost region of Pakistan, where we will explore the valley and visit the main attractions of the city of Chitral. We will also take a stroll through the Phander Valley and along the blue Phander Lake.
Finally, we will reach the Kalasha Valleys - Bamburat, Rumbur, and Birir. This region is home to the Kalash people, a religious and ethnic minority in Pakistan with a distinct culture and language. To conclude our journey, we will fly back to Islamabad, and from there, we will fly back home.
Dates: 17-26 July 2024;
Duration: 8 nights/9 days;
Group: 6/8 participants;
Price of the program in Pakistan WITHOUT international flights: 1,860 euros/person.
The price includes:
Guides: company guide; local guide;
Transportation: transfers with air-conditioned bus throughout Pakistan; transportation with 4x4 jeeps in the Chitral and Kailash regions; two domestic flights - Islamabad-Gilgit and Chitral-Islamabad. If the return flight is canceled due to bad weather, the transfer will be done by minibus.
Food: all breakfasts and dinners.
Accommodation: 8 nights in the best hotels in the regions, in double rooms with bathrooms and toilets in the rooms; Supplement for a single room - $245/person.
Entrance tickets: entrance tickets to archaeological sites and museums, as well as fees for national parks;
Documents/Visa: Special letters required for obtaining a Pakistani visa;
The price does not include: international airfares; all lunches; visa for Pakistan (2); travel insurance (if you do not have one, we can arrange it for you); other personal expenses.
Note: The group will fly from Sofia, Bulgaria to Islamabad via Istanbul, Turkey. We can arrange airfare from your home country to Istanbul or directly to Islamabad. If you choose to fly separately from the group, we will also arrange a transfer to the hotel in Islamabad. Please contact us to explore the available options.
Departure: Istanbul 20.15 - Islamabad 03.35;
Islamabad 05.05 - Istanbul 09.00;
(2) Visa requirements for Pakistan depend on your nationality. Please contact us for more details.
Day 1 Arrival in Islamabad, Pakistan; Flight to Gilgit and transfer to Karimabad
Today, we will arrive in Islamabad and then take a short domestic flight (1 hour) to reach Gilgit, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan province in northern Pakistan. The flight itself is especially remarkable as it passes over towering peaks and majestic mountains. From there, we will transfer to Karimabad, the capital of the Hunza Valley. After a brief rest, in the afternoon, we will visit the Baltit Fort and explore the city of Karimabad on foot. We will spend the night in Karimabad.
Day 2 Karimabad, Village of Hyderabad, Altit Fort
In the morning, we will take a leisurely walk along the Babar canal from Karimabad to Hyderabad, which will last approximately two hours. Along the way, we will engage in conversations with people tending to their gardens and working.
Next, we will proceed to Altit Fort and the Duiker observation deck. The fort is perched on a cliff, towering about 300 meters above the Hunza River. Its unique architecture was built in stages over a span of more than 800 years. Duiker is a small village situated above Altit at an elevation of approximately 3000 meters. From there, we will enjoy a breathtaking view of central Hunza, the surrounding peaks, and the Hoper Glacier. We will return to Karimabad for an overnight stay.
Day 3 in the Hunza Valley
Today, we will explore the upper Hunza Valley. Our journey will take us along the Karakoram Highway that connects Pakistan and China. During our drive, we will have the opportunity to admire the stunning Attabad Lake, known for its vibrant blue-green color. We will pass through Hussaini, where we will encounter an intriguing suspension bridge with noticeable gaps between the planks. While there are other suspension bridges in the area, this particular one is located in a picturesque setting, offering a thrilling adventure as we cross it.
We will continue to the village of Pasu, which is one of the most picturesque in the area. It offers magnificent views of Tupopdan Peak (6,106 meters), also known as Pasu Cathedral. You can check out a gallery of photos, text, and videos from our trip in the area here. On the way back, we will also visit the village of Gulmit.
Day 4 Hunza - Phandar
Today, we will travel to the Phandar Valley, known as "Little Kashmir" and considered one of the most picturesque valleys. Phandar Lake, a popular tourist spot in the region, offers a beautiful setting for walks, photography, and exploration. We will spend the night in a basic hotel.
Day 5 From Phandar to Chitral
Today, we will continue our journey to Chitral, the northernmost region of Pakistan, which is not frequently visited by tourists. We will enjoy light walks and hikes in the lush and fertile valley, which stands out among the Karakoram and Himalayan valleys. In Chitral town, situated at an elevation of 1500 m, we will explore the main attractions such as the bazaar, the fortress, the riverside mosque, the museum near the playground, and the Chitral Gol National Park.
Day 6 Kalash Valley and the surrounding villages
Today we will travel to the Kalash Valley, which includes the Bumburet, Rumber, and Birir valleys. They are located on the edge of the monsoon belt, so the vegetation is dense, with giant walnut and fruit trees. Wheat, vegetables, and fodder are grown in the low fields of the valley, while the steep ridges between the valleys, reaching up to 3000 m, are covered in evergreen forests.
Day 7 Kalash Valley
Today, we will continue exploring the area. Kalash Valley is home to the Kalash people, a religious and ethnic minority in Pakistan with a unique culture and language. We will visit various villages in the region and stay overnight in the area.
Day 8 Kalash - Islamabad
Today, we will be flying from Kalash to Islamabad. In the event of a flight cancellation due to bad weather, we will have a ground transfer to the capital, which will occupy most of the day. However, if the flight proceeds as planned, we will have additional time to explore Islamabad, with a particular focus on visiting the impressive mosque, which is the main attraction of the capital. Even if we end up with a ground transfer, we will still have the opportunity to enjoy this location in the evening before checking into the hotel.
Day 9 Flights back home
Transfer to the airport for departure back home..
Please email us if you would like information about this trip or to sign up. We will respond as soon as possible and keep you updated on the organisation and all other details of the trip. If you are a ready-made group of at least 5 or 6 people (maximum 8), we can discuss dates that work for your group. You can also sign up for future organised and planned trips. To join the list, please send us your names. That's it!