Pakistan has a long history of attracting tourists from around the world to see the marvels of nature in the northern areas. Come see for yourself! Early Muslim impact with Mughals heritage blended in ancient civilization. It is best to arrange tours through Pakistan Tourism and Development Corporation, although, private tour operators are almost equally professionals .You can pay both in dollars and local currency. It is recommended to have enough local currency for shopping spree.
Number of Days: 15.
Cost of tour: $1500
Exchange rate: $1= PKR 106.70
Services: Hotel reservations. Vehicle rental, Government permissions. Pick and drop services from and to the airport. Medical bills, meals and shopping not included.
Day 1: Arrive in Islamabad
Day 2: Fly to Skardu
Day 3: Visits in and around Skardu
Day 4: Drive to Khaplu
Day 5: Drive to Shangri La
Day 6: Shangri La to Gilgit
Day 7: Arrive in Sost
Day 8: Drive to Karimabad
Day 9: Drive to Chilas
Day 10: Arrive in Swat Valley
Day 11: Drive to Peshawar
Day 12: Visit places in and around Peshawar
Day 13: Visit Taxila and Khewra Range
Day 14: Sightseeing in Lahore and arrive in Islamabad
Day 15: Depart Islamabad
International flights land in Karachi-the commercial and economic hub of Pakistan, Lahore-historical and cultural hub or at Islamabad-the Capital of Pakistan.
Day 1: Domestic flight from Karachi or Lahore will bring you to Islamabad. You are transferred to your first class hotel. Fresh up! Tour of twin city Rawalpindi takes us to silver and Gold Street in Raja Bazaar (prince bazaar) with traditional craftsmanship of hand-made jewelry with eye-catching designs and styles. In Islamabad, visit to Margalla Hills- gardens, loaded with flowers. Daman-e -Koh 1100m above sea level gives a scenic view of twin cities. Traditional music and local foods in “Food Street” is a joy. It is your first day so stay soft on spices. Food is not expensive. On the average a hearty meal of choice costs only $10 to $15.
Day 2: Early morning, light breakfast is must because empty stomach flight can get you sick. We fly to Skardu. Air time 1 hour (weather permitting). PIA Boeing 737 takes through the winding Indus Valley. Hugging Nanga Parbet, it takes a lion’s heart to see through the flight with open eyes. 8000m altitude sets the tone for the holidays. Arrive at Skardu airport and 30 minutes drive in a jeep to Shigar. Check in at Shigar Fort Residency. Visits to 17th Century Palace, Fort Shigar (fort of rock). Local food is not spicy, altitude cooking is an art. Spend night in Shigar.
Day 3: After breakfast, 30 minutes drive to visit Karpachu Fort in Skardu, built in 1500 A.D. by Maqpan Bugh, ruler of Skardu. Next stop is Palace Mindoq (flower). Later, jeep drives you to Satpura Lake 8 km north of Skardu in 20 minutes, surrounded by sky kissing glacial mountains. In the evening, return to Shigar and spend night.
Day 4: After breakfast and 4 hour and 100 km drive check in at a hotel in Khaplu. Later, have an excursion trip to see the land perched on slopes of famous steep mountains. Driving through the steep and meandering narrow roads is a thrill and a life time adventure.
Day 5: 135 km and 5 hour jeep drive takes us from Khaplu to Shangri La Resort-heaven on earth- built around Kachura Lake, spread over 70 acres. Lush green lawns, cool breeze coming from Indus side envelops and gives heavenly feeling. Apricots, peaches, pears and grapes are sweet and juicy. In the afternoon, excursion trip of 6km to Kuchura Lake. This lake is full of brown trout. Relax and enjoy angling, swimming and boating .People are famous for longevity and friendliness. In the evening, go back to Shangri La resort to spend night.
Day 6: Do light shopping of local cultural handicrafts and embroidered clothes in Skardu bazaar. Leave on a 190 km 6 hour drive to Gilgit.
Day 7: Gilgit Baltistan is the most spectacular region in geography and scenic beauty. Amazingly, world’s top three mightiest mountain ranges meet here-the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas. Gilgit is the capital and administrative centre of Gilgit –Baltistan. The area is fed by three waters from Hunza, Ghizer and Indus rivers. It has been a trade center for centuries. Shina is local language. After lunch, drive to Gulmit to see snow-capped Karakoram mountains. In the evening, transfer to a local hotel.
Day 8: Drive to Karimabad. This beautiful valley lies at 2500m and its Green Wheat fields and shimmering poplars trees are set against a majestic backdrop of snow-clad mountains. In the afternoon take a walk to Small fort perched on the edge of sheer cliff that falls to the river 100m below. Structure of fort is in Tibetan style. Visit Hopper Glacier and the local bazaar for souvenirs.
Day 9: Driving a narrow track on a jeep, we cross a long suspension bridge and start the climb to Karakoram Range. Traditionally dressed men and women can be seen and children are chasing the jeep. We cross the international renowned old polo ground which is a narrow strip of grass surrounded by stone walls. This drive has taken us to Chilas. This land is rich in culture and excellent local food.
Day 10: Journey to Swat Valley via Shangri La Pass. Enjoy the Himalaya and Monkial Range. Jeep will take us to Bahrein and Kalam, enriched in scenic beauty. Return to Swat and go the Museum, Bukhara Stupa and Mangora Bazaar. Transfer to hotel.
Day 11: Leave for Peshawar via Malakand Pass a journey of 162 km.
Day 12: Peshawar is home to the proud Pathans. This city is a reminder of caravan traders of the past ages. After breakfast, travel through Khyber Pass, which has been used by both invaders and migrants from Central Asia to India visit the notorious “Smugglers Bazaar at Landhi Kotal 18 km west of Peshawar. Touch the Pakistan, Afghanistan border at Torkham. Return to Peshawar.
Day 13: After breakfast, visit Takht Bhai Bhuddist Monastry, dating back to 1 to 7 century A.D. Next stop is Kund Park located on junction of two famous rivers- River Kabul and River Indus. See the Attock Fort built by the Mughals across Attock Bridge and visit Mohabat Khan Mosque and eat your dinner at Qisa Khawani (story teller) Bazzar. You have to take your chance with chapli (slipper) kabab and end the evening with boiling hot Kawa in mini-cups. Transfer to hotel.
Day 14: Leave for Lahore, a cultural and historical city of Pakistan. Visit Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque and Museum. Do shopping at the historical Anarkali Bazaar and end your evening in a restaurant where excellent food is served. Lahorites are famous for their hospitality and food. Return to Islamabad late night. It’s a comfortable 4 hour journey. Check in hotel.
Day 15: Depart Islamabad.