Pakistan 16 days
North Pakistan Explorer
Prices from £2,199

This two week Pakistan tour to the country’s northern regions takes travellers to a near mythical land, where traditions have changed little in centuries and the scenery is among the best on the planet. Starting in the modern capital Islamabad we fly first to Chitral in the north west, pushed up against the border with Afghanistan and one of the most remote areas of the Indian subcontinent. The surrounding area is home the Kalash people, often described as ‘pagans’ with their own very unique set of traditions and cultural beliefs – this tour is timed to coincide with local festivals, a time of colourful celebrations and a great opportunity to see the ancient customs still adhered to here. From here we take a spectacular overland journey through the Hindu Kush to Gilgit, crossing the famous Shandur pass and accompanied by breathtaking views of some of the world’s highest peaks. From here we continue to Hunza, a truly beautiful region with welcoming people and sometimes touted as one of the places that inspired the legend of Shangri La. We explore old forts, see mighty glaciers and learn about the history of a wild and untamed land that is at odds with the common perceptions of Pakistan. We cross the newly formed Lake Attabad by ferry to reach the traditional settlement of Gulmit, once the summer capital of Hunza – a truly incredible journey. From Hunza we then make our way towards Baltistan, pushed up against the frontiers of India and China and more like Tibet than anything else. We cross the foreboding Deosai Plateau, home to bears, wolves and other wildlife, and stop to meet local people along the way. Finally we make our south along the Karakoram Highway, back to Islamabad, stopping at the ancient Buddhist site of Taxila on the way. Northern Pakistan is one of Asia’s highlights, with fascinating ethnic groups and landscapes to leave you speechless, and to travel here is one of the great adventures of the continent.