Chitral and Hunza Valley Tour
15 Nights 16 Days
Culture, History, Scenery, Hiking, Food
Hotels and Guest houses
Day by day itinerary
Day 1: Arrival Islamabad
On arrival at Islamabad International airport, you will be greeted by our guide and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, city tour of Islamabad followed by the Damn-E-Koh (view point), which gives us a panoramic view of Islamabad before driving past various modern streets and buildings graceful with a touch of Islamic Architecture & Folk Heritage Museum. Our tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque – Shah Faisal Mosque.
Overnight at hotel or Guest house in Islamabad. (BD)
Day 2: Islamabad – Peshawar visit
In the morning, we drive to Peshawar. Our city tour of Peshawar starts with a visit to the Peshawar Museum which was built in 1906-07 in the memory of Queen Victoria. The two-story building features an amalgamation of British, South Asian, Hindu, Buddhist and Mughal Islamic architectural styles. The Peshawar Museum has the most important and largest collection of Ghandhara Art in the world. Later in the afternoon explore the old city and the atmospheric and unforgettable Qissa Khawani bazaar. The old city is a warren of bazaars, where samovars dispense green tea into tiny, enameled pots, which are raced by eager boys to reclining merchants through an air thick with the smell of kebabs, rickshaws fumes and the cacophony of an endless parade of humanity. Visit Mohobat Khan’s Mosque the only Mughal era mosque in Peshawar which survived the depredations of the Sikhs, though the Top domes of the minarets were destroyed by the Sikh rulers, which were later rebuilt by Britishers. It was built in the seventeenth century (1670 AD) and it is named after Mohobat Khan Mirza Lerharsib who twice governed Peshawar under Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. It is a classic example of Mughal architecture with a central open courtyard and a prayer hall covered by the three fluted domes. Adjacent to the entrance to the mosque, an ancient doorway leads into a large courtyard surrounded by a three-storey gallery. You can climb to the roof of this three storied complex to get a superb view down into the courtyard of the mosque. Its open courtyard has an ablution pool in the middle and a single row of rooms around the sides. The prayer hall occupies the west side flanked by two tall minarets. The interior of the prayer hall is sheltered beneath three low fluted domes and is beautifully painted with various floral and geometric designs. It is a worthy visiting place in Peshawar especially for the ones having interest in Mughul Architecture.
In the evening enjoy dinner at one of the local restaurants at local Namak Mandi food street. Overnight at hotel in Peshawar. (BD)
Day 3: Peshawar – Takht-e-Bhai – Swat valley
In the morning drive to Swat valley en-route you will visit the world heritage site of Takht Bhai Buddhist Monastery. Later continue driving to Swat valley. The region full of dramatic scenery, Swat stands out as a particularly beautiful corner of northern Pakistan. A magnet for hippies in the 1970s it was known as the Switzerland of Asia due to its stunning mountain scenery. Overnight at hotel in Swat. (BD)
Day 4: Saidu Sharif (Swat valley)
In the morning visit the archeological sites and stupas of Butkara, Udegaram and Shingardar. Later, visit the excellent Swat Museum to learn about the history of the region, explore the bustling bazaar in Mingora. If time permits afternoon drive further toward the valley to enjoy beautiful scenery. Overnight at hotel in Swat. (BD)
Day 5: Swat – Kalash valley
In the morning we drive to Kalash valley.
The Kalasha Valleys are home to the waning and fascinating Kalasha people. They are known the world over for their pagan traditions and their love for dance and music.
Overnight at local hotel in Kalash valley. (BD)
Day 6: Chitral – Kalash valleys
Full day to explore around the beautiful villages of Kalash valley, Bamburet and Brir and learn about their unique culture. Overnight at local hotel in Kalash valley. (BD)
Day 7: Kalash Valley- Chitral – Mastuj
In the morning we drive to Chitral town, visit Shahi Masjid and Chitral Fort and local bazar. Later continue to upper Chitral Mastuj. Overnight at local guest house. (BD)
Day 8: Mastuj – Shandur pass – Ghizer
Today we drive over famous Shandur pass to Ghizer valley, along the way we stop at Shandur located between Chitral and Gilgit valley. It is famous for Polo match every year during the month of July there is completion held between Gilgit and Chitral valley teams. Our next stop will be at Phandar village which is popular spot for trout fishing, and beautiful landscape. Drive to Gupis.
Overnight at hotel in Gupis. (BD)
Day 9: Gilgit-Karimabad
In the morning, we drive to Gilgit city. Gilgit the administrative capital of Gilgit Baltistan and, perhaps, the most spectacular region of Pakistan in terms of its geography and scenic beauty. Here world’s three mightiest mountain ranges: the Karakoram, the Hindu Kush and the Himalayas – meet. The whole of Gilgit Baltistan is like a paradise for mountaineers, trekkers and adventure lovers. The region has a rich cultural heritage and variety of rare fauna and flora. Historically, the area have remained a flash point of political and military rivalries amongst the Russian, British and Chinese empires. Immediately after the end of British rule of the sub-continent in 1947, the people of this region decided to join Pakistan through a popular local revolt against the government of Maharaja of Kashmir.
Upon arrival visit the Kargah Buddha carved on the rock dated from 7th century AD. We visit Gilgit Bazar and after lunch continue driving along the Karakorum highway to Karimabad Hunza valley. Next stop will be at Chalt Nagar which is the main Karakorum Thrust; the collision point of Indo Pak and Eurasian plate. We will also make a tea stop at Rakaposhi peak (7788 m) view point for photography. Continue driving to Karimabad. Afternoon walk around Karimabad, including a water channel walk. Overnight at hotel in Karimabad. (BD)
Day 10: Duiker village Sunrise – Karimabad visit
Early morning wakeup for sunrise enjoy stunning view of surrounding Mountains, enjoy the stunning sunrise over the snow-capped mountains of Ultar (7388m), Rakaposhi (7788m) and Diran (7266m). Optional hike up toward Ultar glacier base camp. After breakfast return down to Altit village to visit Altit fort, Altit Fort is a spectacularly sited defensive work overlooking the Hunza river valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. Altit Fort was the first of these strongholds to be built with Altit Khun and the Fort being renowned as the original capital and birthplace of Hunza. However later as a result of a conflict between the two sons of the Mir of Hunza, Shah Abbas and Ali Khan, they shifted the capital to Baltit Fort. Ayasho II, Tham / Mir of Hunza in the early 15th Century married Princess Shah Khatoon from Baltistan. As part of her dowry she brought with her architects and tradesman from Kashmir and Tibet. At the time Baltistan (previously known as ‘Little Tibet’) had very strong cultural and ethnical relations with Ladakh in Northern India. The structure of Altit Fort was therefore influenced by the Ladakhi/Tibetan architecture, resembling elements of the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet.
Altit Fort was originally built as a palace, yet some time after its construction, in 1548 A.D a defensive watch tower was added transforming it into a fort. It is believed that the Fort was built in 6 different phases making the most of the various different levels of natural rock from the very high cliff top it is positioned on. Altit Fort was surrounded by the settlement of Altit Khun, once a bustling town for traders and caravans travelling along the Silk Route. The historic village forms an integral part of the core cultural enclave of Hunza. In the aftermath of far reaching socio-political changes in and since 1972 the Fort lost its glory of being the centre of traditional cultural festivals and village life. After this time the ruling family no longer had the power to collect taxes to support the up keep of the fort and it was abandoned and left to deteriorate. In the late 1990’s a prince of the former ruling family of Hunza donated Altit Fort to the Aga Khan Foundation who through the Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan spent the arduous task of restoring and rehabilitating both the fort and the surrounding settlement of Altit Khun. In 2007 the Fort opened as a tourist museum and culture centre for the community. Later visit Baltit Fort which is 700 years, but there have been rebuilds and alterations over the centuries. In the 16th century the Mir (King) married a princess from Baltistan who brought master Balti craftsmen to renovate the building as part of her dowry. The architectural style is a clear indication of Tibetan influence in Baltistan at the time. Overnight at hotel in Karimabad. (BD)
Day 11: Karimabad-Ganesh village, Hopper Valley, Upper Hunza Gojal
In the morning we drive to Borith Lake. Our first stop is Ganish village, we visit the world heritage site Ali Gohar’s old house, next we will do a side trip to Hopper valley which can be seen from Duiker is on the opposite, eastern side of the Hunza River. This is another fertile valley and is predominantly Shia Muslim. This is one of the world’s fastest moving glaciers at Hoper. Later drive to upper Hunza Gojal, we will stop by Atta Abad Lake for photography, afternoon drive to hike toward the Passu glacier viewpoint.
Overnight at Borith Lake hotel & Resort. (BD)
Day12: Day trip to Pak China border Khunjerab (4700 m)
Today you will be driving to the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point on the Karakoram Highway Khunjerab pass (4750 M). Along the way you will be able to see some wildlife at Khunjerab national park. Return back to Passu village, walk around the village, later visit Hussaini village, where we try to cross the hanging bridge, here you have chance to test our fear of heights and wobbly wooden plank walks while be mesmerized by the fast-flowing waters below. Overnight Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)
Day 13: Hike Ghulkin Glacier – Ghulkin village – Gulmit
In the morning we hike through Ghulkin glacier to Ghulkin village, after a picnic lunch with a local family, we continue our hike via Kamaris village to Gulmit. Gulmit is a peaceful and serene village that formerly served as a summer capital of the Hunza Kingdom. Here one will walk through the village, visit a 400 year-old house, and see local women weaving carpets and making several other traditional handicrafts. Visit local museum. (Those who do not wish to hike can drive to Ghulkin village instead)
Later return to Borith Lake for overnight.
Overnight at Borith Lake hotel and Resort. (BD)
Day 14: Borith Lake – Naran Kaghan valley
In the morning we drive along the Karakorum Highway toward Chilas from here we take a scenic route via Babusar pass to Naran Kaghan valley.
Overnight at hotel in Naran. (BD)
Day 15: Naran – Taxila – Islamabad
In the morning drive to Islamabad and en-route we will stop at Taxila, Taxila has a well-planned museum and many historic sites of the Gandharan Buddhist civilization. The area flourished from the Sixth Century B.C until the Fifth Century A.D. Later in the afternoon last minute shopping at local market. Evening farewell dinner at local restaurant.
Overnight at hotel or Guest house in Islamabad. (BD)
Day 16: Depart Islamabad
Our service will end with airport transfer. (B)
All private transfers by Jeep, Car, Van, Busses depend on the group size
Twin sharing accommodation at hotels mentioned above with private facilities, Two nights at Raikot Sarai in Huts with communal facilities.
Meals half board: Key (B) Breakfast (D) Dinner
All the sightseeing tours as described in the itinerary and entrance fees
Fully escorted by an experienced local English speaking guides in each country
Visa support letters if required
Expenses in hotels such as laundry, telephone and room service, etc.
Meals, not mentioned above
Tips for Guides and drivers
Early check in hotels and late checkout