Northern areas of Pakistan are tourists’ main destinations in Pakistan. Pakistan is a multi-culture and multi-season country. Land of rivers, snow peaks, lush green meadows, and cultural places of great value. That is Pakistan which has been the victim of terrorism for the past few years due to many factors, but this one factor has caused significant issues for habitants of our holy land.
Pakistan offers a diverse landscape to its visitors. The language changes after 15 miles and cultural changes are also evident if you move from one area to another. Our rich cultural values are deeply rooted in our system. We will give you complete details about the most famous places in the Northern Areas of Pakistan along with the best time to visit there and how to get there. Without further ado, let’s get started with the top places in the Northern areas of Pakistan.
Hunza is a wonderland in the northern areas of Pakistan. Hunza has always been famous in Northern areas of Pakistan as it has been frequently listed in international Magazines. During the late 90s, Hunza grabbed global attention when it was featured on the book cover of National Geographic Magazine as “Hunza Road to Heaven.”
Since then, it has lived up to its reputation of being mysterious in all weather, colorful like a majestic painting carefully crafted by God. Hunza is just 102 kilometers away from the City of Gilgit. Gilgit is getting one flight daily from Islamabad Airport via Pakistan International Airlines. Though the flight is weather dependent, the weather in northern areas of Pakistan is unpredictable.
Hunza has too many places to visit, and you need ample time when you decide to touch this part of Pakistan. Some notable areas are mainly Karimabad, Duiker, Naltar, Chalt, Nagar Valley ( not part of Hunza but near Hunza), Gojjal, Passu, Sost Dry port, and Khunjerab Top ( Pak China International Border).
Hunza has famous Baltit and Altit forts which are preserved nicely by the Agha Khan Foundation to preserve the rich culture of Hunza, and the habitats of Hunza are always friendly, lovely, and caring. The top places to visit in Hunza Valley are:
How to reach Hunza? There are two ways to reach Hunza Valley from Islamabad. The first one is you can take a flight either to Gilgit or Skardu. Or you can drive to Hunza via N-15, time travel around 10 hours.
The best time to visit Hunza Valley is from March to October. If you have a chance to visit Hunza then plan your trip to Hunza in Cherry Blossom Season or Autumn Season to witness the majestic colors of nature.
Skardu is 763 Kilometre away from the capital city of Islamabad. Skardu is another remarkable place offering an abundance of sightseeing places. Skardu is primarily known for climbers toward the world’s highest peaks are approached from here. During the summer, you can always see the expedition tiding their shoes and luggage towards K2 and other neighboring peaks. Skardu does possess an airport, and daily flight comes from Islamabad.
Skardu has various lakes that invite visitors to see their beauty and fall in love with them. The most famous lake is Shangrila lakes in the Khachura valley which is an artificial lake but has gained fame due to the world-famous Shangrila resort.
Just a few minute’s walks from Shangrila resort can take you towards the green lake of Upper Khachura, a natural lake, and its warm waters welcome swimmers to enjoy it here. The Sadpara Lake is one other lake in the heart of Skardu city. This blue color lake is the biggest in the Skardu region, with an extensive stock of clean water.
Skardu also possesses a few forts. One of them is present in Skardu city up high on the mountain. This fort has lost its past glory and could not be preserved on a very high cliff. Few people reach there and see all Skardu beneath. The other two famous forts are Shigar Fort and Khaplu Fort. Shiger fort is near 40kilometre away from Skardu city on the banks of the Shyok river.
If you go towards Shiger fort, you must be able to see Cold Desert, which is also very famous among tourists. Khaplu Fort is also quite famous and has a rich history. This fort has been preserved and is now converted into three start hotels managed by Serena Group of Hotels. However, rates are very, very high. Khaplu Fort is an ancient fort that was built 800 years ago. Near Khaplu Fort, one famous mosque is known mainly as Mosque Chanqchan.
Skardu’s journey never completes if we don’t visit Deosai National park. Deosai National park is just 50kilometre from Skardu city. The Deosai national park is the second-highest plateau in the world. Deosai national park is famous for its natural life, Himalayan brown bears, and incredible Sheoshar Lake near the Astore region. The top places to visit in Skardu Valley are:
How to get Skardu? You can take a flight to Skardu from Islamabad which takes almost 1 hour to reach. On the other hand, you can drive to Skardu via S-1 which takes 13 hr 40 min (636.9 km).
Naran is a famous domestic location for tourists. It is part of district Mansehra and has so much to offer. Naran has been fetching more than 2 million visitors annually, and this growth ratio is improving with each passing year. However, there is a number of places in Naran Kaghan that are fascinating yet enriching in history and culture.
The most mesmerizing is Lake Saif ul Malook which is one of the top lakes in the world. Moreover, this lake is the most visited in Pakistan. Saif ul Malook offers sublime beauty in the Northern areas of Pakistan. However, it is half an hour Jeep ride from Naran Baazar.
The road is bumpy and only accessible by 4×4 Jeeps. During the summer season, Naran is full of tourists. You won’t find more tourists in other parts of Pakistan than in Naran. Naran’s top point is Babusar Top, at an elevation of 13600 Feet. From there, you can see a glimpse of Rakaposhi Peak, 280km away. Some other famous places in the Naran region are Shogran, Sharan, Siri Paye Meadows, Lalazar Meadows, and Nori Top. Lulusar Lake is one other lovely lake in Naran Region. The top places to visit in Naran Kaghan are:
How to get Naran Kaghan? you can reach Naran Kaghan from Islamabad via Mansehra – Naran – Jalkhad – Chilas Rd/N-15 and Hazara Motorway/M-15 in 5 hr 59 min (281.2 km) approximately.
The best time to visit Naran Kaghan is from March to October. In winter, the road is usually closed because of the heavy snowfall.
Kalam is a land of rivers, towering mountains, waterfalls, and lovely people. Kalam is one of the top-visited places in the northern areas of Pakistan. Kalam has all ingredients to be termed the top tourist destination in Pakistan. Kalam has great forests for camping, lovely mountains for trekking and climbing, lakes for boating, and various excellent resorts to stay in. Mohdand lake is one of the most refreshing lakes in northern Pakistan. Mohdand Lake is 2 hours jeep drive from Kalam Bazar.
You can visit the Ushu Jungle and Matalan areas have one of the biggest waterfalls in Pakistan. The climate always remains chilled there, and you need a warmer outfit to stay accessible. The road structure is being improved as the road from Madyan towards kalam is not refined, but it is being carpeted.
There are some other areas in Swat that need worth visiting. Murghzar is exceptionally green and has an excellent location in the swat area, which is 30 minutes drive from Saidu sharif, the capital of Swat. White Palace is also in Swat, offering great cultural value. It was built in the 1940s with the same marble used in the Taj Mahal. There are ancient places in Swat as well. Malam Jabba is the highest point in Swat, most famous during the winter season for skiing. The top places to visit in Swat valley are:
How to get to Swat valley? You can drive through the Swat Motorway which would be a 5-hour drive from Islamabad. Or you can take a direct flight to Swat, that land at Saidu Shareef Airport.
The best time to visit Swat is the whole year, but you can enjoy the most from March to October. But if you are a chionophile then you must visit in winter for some majestic views.
Chitral is part of Kyber Pakhtunkhwa province and was a princely state until 1969. The Chitral is at the foot of Tirch Mir Peak, the highest peak of the Hindukush range. It was first scaled in 1950 by a Norwegian team. Tich mir can be seen from the central Bazar of Chitral. Additionally, Chitral has a famous Badhshai mosque. Chitral also possesses an airport that offers one daily flight from Islamabad and Peshawar.
The most famous area of the Chitral Region is Kalash ( Kafiristan) which has a population of 2000 Kalashi People. These people are non-Muslims and have their religion. These people are different from other people of Pakistan with their unique culture and different beliefs. Their language, food, and way of life are foreign. Chilham Joshi is their main festival when visitors from other parts of the world and domestic tourists come to Pakistan. However, the top places to visit in Chitral KPK are:
How to get to the Chitral Valley? You can a direct flight from Islamabad to Chitral which is almost one hour flight thrice a week. Or you can drive to Chitral via N45, travel time to Chitral from Islamabad is almost 8 hours.
The best time to visit Chitral is between March to October. During this time you will get a chance to witness the amazing festivals of Chitral.
Fairy Meadows, Pakistan, is one of the most fantastic tourist attractions, attracting tourists and travelers worldwide. Still, its treacherous mountain roads add to the excitement of the place. Pakistan’s many dangerous roads take travelers to the most beautiful places, and the Ferry Meadows trail is one of them. The exciting Fairy Medows ride starts from the Rakhiot Bridge on the Karakoram Highway and takes travelers to the village of Tato. Rocky Mountain gravel roads are dangerous and only open to locals. Locals are responsible for providing transportation for travelers.
More precisely, the Fairy Meadows Trail was declared the second most dangerous and deadly road in the world by the World Health Organization in 2013. After passing through the village of Tatu, a difficult five-kilometer road requires drivers to walk travelers through to reach it. Fairy Meadows, this hike only takes three to four hours. Fairy Meadows is a meadow in the Rakhiot Valley, to be precise, at the end of the Rakhiot Glacier. Rakhi Glacier starts from Nanga Parbat and has a beautiful stream that flows into the Indus River. Fairy Meadows’ night views are beyond imagination, and locals have begun camping in the area. The top places to visit in Fairy Meadows are:
How to get Fairy Meadows? Now Fairy Meadows is easily accessible because of paved roads. You can drive to Fairy meadows via Gilgit or take a direct flight to Gilgit and then move to Fairy Meadows. The flight takes 2:30 hours, on the other hand, the drive to Fairy Meadows lasts for 10:30 hours but is worth seeing.
The best time to visit Fairy Meadows is from March to October. But it is advisable to avoid traveling to Fairy Meadows during the monsoon season.
Gilgit-Baltistan, known to Pakistanis for its northern region, is home to some of the highest mountains in the world. Combining endless green grasslands, deep valleys, beautiful waterfalls, and steep roads, Gilgit-Baltistan is a haven for every nature lover and a paradise for every explorer.
Gilgit is the administrative capital of the region. Before the split of the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent, it was also an essential stop on the Silk Road. This is where Buddhism took root in India. One of the other major towns here is Skardu, which has some of the most beautiful glaciers, museums, forts, and resorts, making it a top tourist destination.
The Gilgit-Baltistan district became a separate administrative unit in 1970. It contains three districts, each with more partitions. The three major districts are Gilgit District, Baltistan District, and Diamir District. Gilgit District includes Hunza District, Nagar District, Gilgit District, and Jize District. The Diamer region has Astore and Diamer as its subdivisions. Meanwhile, the province of Baltistan includes Shigar, Ganchi, Skardu, and Kharmanj as additional sub-districts. The top places in Gilgit Baltistan one must visit are:
There are many beautiful places in Azad Kashmir, and choosing the best one is the hardest. People are often unsure where to go and which valley is closest. Azad Kashmir is truly a paradise on earth, where you will find blue water lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and lush green pastures. Azad Kashmir is one of the few places where nature shows men at their absolute best.
With so many hills, mountains, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes, Azad Kashmir is definitely one of those places that tourists want to return to again and again because the beauty of this place is not enough to experience in a lifetime. As the only obstacle to tourism in Azad Kashmir, which is the safety and security aspects, is firmly handled by the government, it is undeniable that more and more tourists will travel to Pakistan to experience the tourist attractions of Azad Kashmir for themselves. The top places in Azad Kashmir one must visit are:
Located 34 kilometers from the central Gilgit Valley and at 15,348 feet above sea level, Naltar is a barren canyon that offers visitors a beautiful view. This beauty is far from the hustle and bustle of Gilgit-Baltistan towns. It’s an all-weather destination, known as a summer and winter destination, offering peace away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. For those visiting Naltar in winter, it offers superb skiing and is the best place to stay in summer. It has lush green landscapes and stunning lakes, all of which describe it as a true paradise. The top areas of Naltar Valley one must visit are:
The Deosai Plain is one of the greatest natural wonders of northern Pakistan. It can be described in many ways: wild, desolate, lush, surreal, etc., but one word best sums it up. Deosai is an example of breadth.
Once you come here, all you can see is the grassland and the endless sky. The farthest landmark is the city wall of the four sides of the mountain, and the alliance in the distance guards the plain. To any visitor, the whole region is like a universe microcosm, as if the mountains hide the idyllic plateau from the curious world.
When translated, the name Deosai means “shadow of giants.” However, Deosai weather is so unpredictable that the nights in Deosai are chilled. And it starts raining from nowhere. Plus, the top places of Deosai one must visit are: