Epic roads, majestic landscapes and mysterious tribes on the top of the world
Islamabad – Peshawar – Chitral – Karakoram Highway – Hunza Valley – Kalash Valley
Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will give you a wide range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Warning: entry to Pakistan will be refused to Israeli passport holders and travellers with any evidence (stamp, visa, permits) of visiting Israel.
DAY 1 - Islamabad
Our tour guide will meet you in the arrival hall of Islamabad International Airport (exact meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email in accordance to your flight schedule).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Pakistan.
We'll spend the day touring Islamabad, a city where the country's past, present and future bump into each other amid the colourful chaos of its crowded streets and exotic bazaars.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Islamabad.
DAY 2 - Peshawar
After an early breakfast we'll transfer to Peshawar, a predominantly Pashtun city in the northwest close to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Peshawar is not only the fascinating and at the same time intimidating gargantuan frontier town of drug trafficking, tribal feuds and black markets: this is also a place of ancient Islamic architectures and fading colonial grandeur and its intricate network of crowded streets and narrow alleys is the epicentre of all the different aspects of Pakistan's society, history and culture.
Highlights of our walking tour around town include: Yadgar Square, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Qissa Khawani Bazaar and the Peshawar Museum, which houses a rich treasure of art, sculpture and historical relics dating from the Gandhara period.
Dinner and overnight in Peshawar.
DAY 3 - Swat
Today we'll move north to the legendary Swat Valley.
We'll drive toward the picturesque Malakand Pass and visit the magnificent ancient Buddhist monastery of Takht-i-Bahi en route.
We'll then continue to the enchanting slopes of the Swat Valley and stop at the world-famous Churchill's Picket along the way.
Dinner and overnight in the Swat Valley.
DAY 4 - Chitral
We'll start early in the morning and drive towards Chitral via the Lowari Pass.
We'll devote all the day to the exploration of this almost mythical land of impervious roads, towering mountains and secretive valleys inhabited by infidel and polytheist Indo-European tribes, the Kalash, who are rumored to be the descendants of four Greek soldiers of Alexander the Great's army.
Dinner and overnight in Chitral.
DAY 5 - Chitral
We'll spend the day immersed in the mystic atmospheres and the historical charm of Chitral.
We'll visit some more traditional Kalash villages around the city and then enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the city to be spent sipping tea, reading books, meeting with the locals or simply admiring the stunning beauty of your surroundings.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Chitral.
DAY 6 - Birir and Rambur Valleys
Today we'll reach some of the remotest Kalash settlements hidden up in the Birir and Rambur Valleys.
We'll drive along scenic mountain roads and visit places that are completely cut off from the modern world.
In the afternoon we'll head back to Chitral.
Dinner and overnight in Chitral.
DAY 7 - Mastuj
In the morning we'll transfer to Mastuj, a picturesque village north of Chitral.
The unpaved tracks carve their way through stark and rugged mountainscapes: this traditional route has been used for centuries by traders between Chitral and Gilgit and en route we'll have magnificent views of Tirich Mir and Buni Zom, two of the highest peaks in the Hindukush.
Dinner and overnight in Mastuj.
DAY 8 - Gupis
We'll continue our odyssey across Pakistan's untamed borderlands and enter the Karakoram range: wilder sceneries will greet us during the drive as this route is visited by much less people and is snow covered during the wintertime: only nomads inhabit this forgotten land moving around with their flock of goats in constant search for green pastures.
In the afternoon we'll reach the otherworldly settlement of Gupis on the southern bank of the Gilgit river.
Dinner and overnight in Gupis.
DAY 9 - Hunza Valley
We'll driver further east and head to Karimabad, a glorious settlement of the higher Hunza Valley, set against a backdrop of peaks towering above 7000 metres.
On the way we'll have excellent views of Rakaposhi and Ultar, yet two more of the highest mountains in the region.
We'll als stop for tea at a viewpoint to see Rakaposhi in its all glory from summit to its glaciers.
Dinner and overnight in Karimabad.
DAY 10 - Nagar Valley
We'll spend the entire day exploring the areas inhabited by the Hunza people.
We'll begin our tour by visiting the Baltit Fort and the Ganesh Watchtower, simple yet overpowering historical sites immersed in a nature of mastondical shapes and sublime beauty.
We'll then tour several hamlets dotting the green pastures of the Nagar Valley and meet with the local Hunza.
Before heading back to Karimabad we'll pay a visit to the Hopper Glacier and enjoy some fine views of some of the highest peaks in Hunza and Nagar.
Dinner and overnight in Karimabad.
DAY 11 - Karakoram Highway
Today we will travel along the mythical Karakoram Highway north to the border of China, known as Khunjerab Pass, which at 4700 metres is the world's highest border crossing between two countries.
Along the way we will be able to admire the unique flora and fauna of Khunjerab National Park.
We'll then head back south and stop in Gulmit, the second biggest town of the Hunza region.
Please note: on this day you'll have the option to travel further north to China and/or Tajikistan instead of heading back to Gulmit. See below for details.
Dinner and overnight in Gulmit.
DAY 12 - Gilgit
We'll drive southwards and reach the ancient silk road town of Gilgit, the administrative center of Northern Pakistan.
We'll enjoy an afternoon city tour of Gilgit and pay a visit to a local school, some altitudinous polo grounds and the very typical mountain bazaar.
Before dinner we'll also have the chance to admire the impressive Buddhist rock carvings near Kargah.
Dinner and overnight in Gilgit.
DAY 13 - Besham
Today we will continue our journey along the legendary Karakoram Highway and head south to Besham.
Dinner and overnight in Besham, a rapidly developing commercial town and a major stopover along the commercial routes connecting Pakistan to China and Russia.
Along the way we will stop for pictures at the confluence of the Indus and the Gilgit as well as making a break at the unique point where three mountain ranges, Karakoram, Himalayas and Hindukush meet.
We'll also pause at the Nanga Parbat viewpoint, which offers breathtaking panoramas.
Our journey will be then crowned with a visit to the lost petroglyphs of Chilas.
Dinner and overnight in Besham.
DAY 14 - Back to Islamabad
In the morning we'll leave the northern regions and head back to Islamabad.
Besides the routine pauses for food, toilet and random landscape pictures, we'll break the long haul in Taxila, famous for the rare specimens of stucco from the Gandhara as well as for its several Buddhist stupas and monasteries, and in Rawalpindi, Islamabad's lesser known twin and a place full of British colonial heritage.
Dinner and overnight in Islamabad.
DAY 15 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Pakistani breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 2460 euros
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 20 euros/night), private transport in the region (jeep or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
XINJIANG - TAJIKISTAN
On the 11th day of the tour you'll have the option to travel further north to China and/or Tajikistan instead of heading back to Gulmit. After having crossed the border into China we'll reach the town of Tashkurgan, a surreal frontier outpost with a mixed Tajik and Chinese population and a 14th century Chinese fortress overlooking flat-bottomed Tashkurgan river. From here you can either choose to travel with us to Kashgar and across Xinjiang or head west crossing into Eastern Tajikistan at the Kulma Pass. Please contact us for more info.
where the heck am i travelling to?
BELOW you can see the different tour stages marked on a map of the region you are going to explore with us
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE