Pakistan – a land of fairy tales on the roof of the world 14 days

Asia
|
14
days | 3 - 12 people in a group
tour description

nature, history, culture, sightseeing

We invite you to take part in the tour to mountain regions of Pakistan during which we will see one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes on the Earth, at the junction of Hindu Kush, Himalayas and Karakoram. We will take a ride on one of the most famous roads in the world – the Karakoram Highway.

We will meet the inhabitants of mountain valleys – we will get to know their traditions and culture shaped over centuries by multiple religions and civilisations that were present in the territory of contemporary Pakistan. The rocky landscapes, picturesque valleys and extraordinary architecture of towns and villages located in this hardly explored area of Asia will stay for long in our memory.

itinerary

Flights arrive in Islamabad usually early in the morning or at night. After arrival, visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, a late breakfast and an organisational meeting. In the morning, we will start visiting the sister towns of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Islamabad has been the capital of Pakistan since 1963 but it is one of the earliest inhabited areas of the country. In comparison with Karachi, Hyderabad or Multan, Islamabad is a calm, green and clean city. We will visit the Faisal Mosque, the National Monument of Pakistan and the Lok Virsa Ethnographic Museum with its rich collection related to the material culture of the Pakistani people. In the afternoon, we will go to a vibrant bazaar in Rawalpindi, with its colourful kaleidoscope of people and goods spreading in all directions. Welcome dinner in the evening.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set out for a whole-day journey on one of the most famous roads of the world – the Karakoram Highway (500 km). Its actual name is the China-Pakistan Friendship Highway. Some fragments are located at over 4700 m above sea level. The construction of this road was extremely difficult and took more than 20 years. Taking a ride on route NR-35 is one of the experiences that you will surely remember for the rest of your life. There are magnificent views of the Nanga Parbat range and of the upstream part of the Indus River. For lunch we will stop in Basham, and then we will continue our journey to the town of Chailas. We will go for dinner and well-deserved rest there.

B. L. D.

After breakfast, we will set off to Karimabad – 250 km. En route we will stop at an exceptional place – the junction of three mountain ranges – Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram. Then we will take a break in Talichi with its viewpoint from which, in good weather conditions, the range and peak of Nanga Parbat, 8126 m above sea level, can be seen in its full glory. We will continue our journey through the Hunza Valley at over 2500 m above sea level. The Hunza Valley is famous for its long-living inhabitants and amazingly picturesque landscapes. Dinner and evening stroll around the town.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set off to visit the Baltit Fort that dates back to the 18th century. It houses a museum where showpieces related to the history of the Hunza Valley can be seen. Then we will go to the Altit Fort that has a spectacular location on the high bank of the Hunza River. Both forts used to be the seats of the local rulers. After lunch, we will start our drive to the picturesque Duiker Valley from which there is a splendid view of the nearby seven-thousanders. We will get to know the inhabitants of the valley, their traditions, and maybe we will also learn the secret of their longevity. The Hunza Valley was an important route connecting India and China. Dinner and night rest.

B.L.D.

On this day, we will visit areas around the Hunza Valley. At the beginning, we will go to the Attabad Lake which is over 20 km long and over 100 m deep. Then we will set off to the area of the Passu Glacier which we will see from up close during a short hike. We will have lunch near the glacier. On our way back, we will go to the Borith Lake which is an important resting place for migratory birds. In the evening, return to Karimabad.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set off towards the Chinese-Pakistani border. We will see one of the highest located border crossings in the world (4733 m above sea level). The construction of the road and border crossing was completed in 1982. En route we will stop at the most spectacular viewpoints. Return to Karimabad for dinner and night rest.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will drive to Gilgit (100 km). On our way we will stop at the Rakaposhi Viewpoint to take some photos and have a short break. The town of Gilgit has a very long and extraordinary history. Even today the customs and culture of its inhabitants have traces of old beliefs of Greek, Persian, Hindu or Buddhist origin. Gilgit is often referred to as the Jewel of Pakistan. The town and its surrounding valley are inhabited by a large group of Ismaili Muslims – we will learn their habits and the extraordinary history of this branch of Islam. In the evening we will observe a training session of polo players – polo is the most popular sport in Gilgit. Dinner and night rest in Gilgit.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set off to Skardu (250 km). We will drive on a road along the upstream part of the Indus River. The journey and the viewpoints at which we will stop will be a feast for photographers and lovers of mountain views. The Baltistan Valley is a place where the Indian subcontinent connects with Asia. Baltistan is also called Little Tibet because of the strong influences of the Tibetan culture and tradition. The town of Skardu is the most important base for Himalayan mountaineers, from which they start their climbs of K2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum I and II. In the evening, a stroll around the town, dinner and night rest.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will go to see the highest desert in the world, situated at over 2200 m above sea level. It is also one of the coldest deserts – it is covered with snow in winter. Then we will visit the Shigar Fort where local rulers resided for more than 400 years. The fort was restored in 2005, and then this exceptional place regained its ancient glory. In the afternoon, we will set off for the Satpara Lake known from its marvellous views, and then for a short hike to the Kharpocho Fort. The origins of the fort date back to the 16th century. On several occasions, the Kharpocho Fort played a decisive role during military campaigns in the region. In the evening, return to Skardu.

B.L.D.

In the morning, we will start our journey to the village of Khaplu (100 km). The village is one of the most picturesque places in Pakistan, located at 2600 m above sea level. We will visit a palace that belonged to local rulers and the Chaqchan Mosque from the 13th century, made of wood and stone, whose architecture resembles more a Tibetan temple than a classical Muslim building. We will also visit the surroundings of the village where we will be able to see cultivation terraces constructed by the inhabitants. It is one of rare examples of harmony between human activity and nature.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will go for a short hike to the nearby hills, from which we will be able to fully appreciate the panorama of this special place, unique even for Pakistan. Dinner and farewell to Khaplu. In the afternoon, we will start our return journey to Skardu (100 km). After arrival, dinner and night rest at the hotel.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will start our return journey to Chilas (300 km). The journey will take approximately 10-11 hours. We will travel along the Indus River, stopping at the most interesting viewpoints along the way. In the evening, dinner and night rest in Chilas.

B.L.D.

After breakfast, we will set off for the return journey to Islamabad (470 km). En route we will stop for a moment on the Babusar Pass, at 4173 m above sea level. In the evening we will arrive in Islamabad, have farewell dinner and stay for the night.

B.L.D.

Depending on the departure time, transfer to the airport and flight home. We will reach our final destination airport on the same or next day. B.

 

After breakfast, we will set off for a whole-day trip to one of the most important archaeological sites in Pakistan. It is a town whose origins date back to more than 4000 years BC. Information about the town of Taxila can already be found in Hindu poems. In Persian times, it was a fortress that was besieged by Alexander the Great. There are still many remains from the times when Buddhism flourished in the area of today’s Pakistan, during the reigns of Indo-Greek dynasties and the Kushan Empire. We will see cloister ruins with numerous stupas and the museum with sculptures and statues discovered during excavations. Moreover, we will visit other archaeological sites in Mohra Moradu. In the evening, we will arrive in Islamabad and go to the airport or stay for an additional night at a hotel.

Practical information

  • the length of the tour : 14 days in Pakistan;
  • start of the trip: Islamabad;
  • end of the trip: Islamabad;
  • the highlights of this expedition The tour will begin and end in Islamabad. The highlight of this tour will be the drive to the mountain regions of Pakistan, where we will be able to admire probably the most beautiful mountain landscapes on our planet. We will visit unique villages and towns located in picturesque mountain valleys. We will take the famous Karakoram Highway and visit the junction of three mighty mountain ranges: Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram. During the trip, we will have an opportunity to meet the inhabitants of this exceptional part of Asia where the local culture was shaped by multiple civilisations, religions and traditions.

Because of the special nature of the visited places and of the expedition features, the travellers are required to be physically and mentally fit. Long drives on mountain roads, frequent changes of altitude and considerable temperature fluctuations during the day may cause fatigue and discomfort. Accommodation is planned in hotels of different standards. The drives during our tour will be on minibuses and off-road vehicles. Short hikes are planned during the tour, which may be very tiring because of the high altitudes. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. Bear in mind that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is mostly inhabited by Sunni Muslims, which means the need to respect cultural differences and to adhere to the appropriate dress code.

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.

Before departure, you must obtain a tourist visa online https://visa.nadra.gov.pk or at diplomatic posts of Pakistan.

Furthermore, you should take with you for the trip a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.

  • Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
  • Malaria prophylaxis is recommended but an infection is rather unlikely because of the climate, the trip dates and the itinerary of the planned tour.
  • Vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B and typhus is recommended.
  • There is a risk of tuberculosis.
  • We recommend visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries.
  • During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods.
  • At the visited places, only private healthcare exists (a visit cost is approximately USD 50).
  • Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the country, good general health is necessary. Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country with relative political stability but there are still some armed conflicts in certain regions. This applies in particular to regions at the borders with Afghanistan and India. Moreover, there is a small but existing threat of terrorist attacks and a risk related to an unstable political situation.

However, trips to Afghanistan are possible and safe when conducted with the adequate precautions.

Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.

It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.

The official currency in Pakistan is the Pakistani rupee (PKR). Currency exchange is possible at the airport, in banks, in some hotels and at foreign exchange points in the street. During the exchange, you must thoroughly calculate the received money and make sure what exchange rate is used. Using payment cards is not always possible. The best foreign exchange rate is for US dollars and euros. Please note that dollars should be printed after 2006.

For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.com or install xe.com on your phone.

The official languages in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan are Urdu and English. Several dozen local languages are also spoken within the Pakistan territory. In the case of a group tour, the tour leader will speak English. For self-guided tours, you must speak basic English or hire a local guide with a command of English.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. Most of the inhabitants are Sunni Muslims. Because of cultural considerations and for safety reasons, it is advisable to learn about the recommended dress code. Women are not required to wear headscarves at public places. However, this is necessary while visiting mosques and Sufi tombs. Clothes that reveal too much flesh are frowned upon – both in men and women. During official encounters, women do not give their hand to a man, and men do not give their hand to a woman. Discussions about political subjects should be avoided. Pakistani people are curious about the world and tourists and are ready to take up such conversations.

It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.

The tour dates are proposed in periods of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for expeditions to Pakistan is the period between May and October. During the day, temperatures exceed +20°C in Islamabad  during the night +10°C. The temperatures in the north-eastern part of the country where we will travel depend on altitude and local conditions During the day in the main part of they are higher than +20°C.  during the day and may drop to +0°C at night. Rainfalls may be frequent in the north. H.

For detailed information see https://www.meteoblue.com/en.

Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages. However, it may not be present in many mountain regions and during our rides from town to town. It is possible to purchase a local SIM-card with an Internet package. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.

  • Wi-Fi is available at most hotels and restaurants.
  • Power sockets of type C, E and F. Voltage 240 V, frequency 50 Hz.
  • Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank.

For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. Wearing open sandals is possible. Hiking boots are not necessary.

The following are worth taking:

  • sachet for documents and money
  • lightweight sleeping bag
  • wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
  • polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse, especially useful at evening and night times in northern areas of Pakistan
  • head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
  • comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
  • light T-shirts/shirts
  • useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides

Price

Price depends on number of participants. Please refer to list below:

  • £ 3650  p/p  – group of 3
  • £ 3150  p/p  – group of 4
  • £ 2730  p/p  – group of 5
  • £ 2520  p/p  – group of 6
  • £ 2390  p/p  – group of 7
  • £ 2190  p/p  – group of 8
  • £ 1950  p/p  – group of 9 – 10
  • £ 1850 p/p  – group of 11 – 12
Price includes

During the expedition, we will travel by minibuses and off-road vehicles. Depending on the daily agenda in the itinerary and the current situation as regards traveller safety, we will spend 4 to 10 hours travelling every day.The speed and transfer times depend on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops.

We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in Pakistan. Our priorities are your comfort, safety and appropriate location. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.

Two overnight stays in hotels approximately corresponding to the 3- and 4-star standard are planned during the tour.

Meals are included in the tour price, as specified in the itinerary. B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner. Breakfasts will usually be offered in hotels. We will go for lunches and dinners to local restaurants. The Pakistani cuisine is varied, similarly as the culture and history of this exceptional country.

For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/.

Services of a tour guide,  local and special gudes in National Parks

All entrance fees and permits to visit national parks and reserves in the itinerary

The price includes the cost of tips and porters’ fees.

Trip preparation, visa mediation, the invitation necessary to obtain a visa

Price does not include

Costs of the main flight to Karachi and from Islamabad

Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.

Visa for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.

You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/.

BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.

Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.

Personal expenses and souvenirs.

Surcharge for a single room: 300 £

supplementary payment for the additional accommodation  In the case of  arrival or departure on a different date,

We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in Pakistan.

The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Pakistan.

We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through this little-frequented and extremely interesting country with a fascinating history.

Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.

We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.

It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Tajikistan or Iran.

With any questions please contact BTP ADVENTURE

dates & prices
12/06/2022 - 25/06/2022
19/07/2022 - 01/08/2022

1850 £ group of 11 - 12
  • We can arrange a self-guided tour – if you are interested, please contact the office.
  • It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Tajikistan or Iran.

 

 

 

 

you can find price for the group in description
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