Epic roads and mysterious tribes
Islamabad – Peshawar – Chitral – Karakoram Highway – Hunza Valley – Kalash Valley
This tour is offered on a regular monthly basis. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the learn-more button below: we will match your preferences with the next relevant scheduled group departure. If you are still unsure about your desired departure date, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with more than 4 friends, you can set your own departure date: we will arrange a bespoke tour just for you for the same price per person advertised below. If you are travelling solo or with less than four companions, we will then 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 exotic bazaars and modernist architectures.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Islamabad.
DAY 2 - Peshawar
After an early breakfast we'll transfer to Peshawar, a large Pashtun city close to the border between to Afghanistan.
Peshawar is a fascinating and at the same time intimidating gargantuan frontier town of ancient Islamic architectures, fading colonial grandeur, eternal tribal feuds and smugglers’ markets.
Besides touring the de-rigueur sights of Peshawar (such as the Mahabat Khan Mosque and the Qissa Khawani Bazaar), we’ll also take some time to truly go off the beaten path (as if the mere fact of being a tourist in Peshawar wasn’t odd enough) and visit the notorious Badaber neighbourhood, where an heroic Soviet-led uprising took place during the dark days of the Soviet-Afghan War.
Dinner and overnight in Peshawar.
DAY 3 - Swat
We’ll leave Peshawar in the morning and move north to the legendary Swat Valley.
We'll drive towards 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 4/5/6 - Chitral
We'll start early in the morning and drive towards Chitral via the Lowari Pass.
We'll then devote three entire days 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 rumoured to be the descendants of four Greek soldiers of Alexander the Great's army.
We'll visit several traditional Kalash villages and enjoy relaxing mystic hours sipping tea, reading books, hearing stories, feasting on mountain staples and admiring the stunning beauty of our surroundings.
Meals and overnights in Chitral.
DAY 7 - Mastuj
In the morning we'll transfer to Mastuj, a picturesque village north of Chitral.
The unpaved track carves its way through a stark and rugged mountainscape: 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 completely covered with snow during the wintertime: only nomadic herders inhabit this forgotten land moving around with their flock of goats in constant search for green pastures.
In the afternoon we'll then reach the otherworldly settlement of Gupis on the southern bank of the Gilgit river.
Dinner and overnight in Gupis.
DAY 9 - Hunza Valley
Today 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, two of the highest mountains in the entire region.
Once in Karimabad we’ll take a short tour around town and spend the rest of the day in the company of the gentle and proud local dwellers.
Dinner and overnight in Karimabad.
DAY 10 - Nagar Valley
We'll spend the entire day exploring the areas inhabited by the Hunza, an isolated group of Indo-Aryan people mostly adhering to the Ismailism, a moderate Sufi branch of Islam.
We'll begin our tour by visiting the Baltit Fort and the Ganesh Watchtower, simple yet overpowering historical sites immersed in a nature of mastodonic shapes and sublime beauty.
We'll then tour several hamlets dotting the green pastures of the Nagar Valley, before eventually heading back to Karimabad via the marvellous Hopper Glacier.
During your time in the valley you'll also have the unique chance to meet with Hunza farmers and herders, who will share with you their food, their home and the mystic secrets of their endangered culture.
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 in 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. Contact us for more details about this option.
Dinner and overnight in Gulmit.
DAY 12 - Gilgit
We'll drive southwards and reach the ancient silk road town of Gilgit, the administrative centre of Northern Pakistan.
We'll enjoy an afternoon city tour of Gilgit and pay a visit to the local polo grounds and the photogenic 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, 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 and visit the lost petroglyphs at 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 its Buddhist stupas and monasteries, and in Rawalpindi, Islamabad's lesser known twin city.
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: transfer to Islamabad International Airport for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: transfer to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 2460 € per person
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.
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
Baluchistan and/or Afghanistan