Welcome to the Northern Areas of Pakistan, a region often called a paradise on earth. Spanning over 210,954 square kilometers, the Northern Areas of Pakistan is a popular destination for tourists worldwide. This region is known for its stunning landscapes, which include snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear lakes, and verdant valleys. Pakistan’s Northern Areas are a natural wonder and a cultural hub with a rich heritage and friendly people.
Here we will take you on a journey through the area’s beauty. We will guide you through this enchanting region and help you discover the hidden gems with Pakistan’s northern area maps. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a cultural enthusiast, the area has something to offer for everyone. So, fasten your seatbelts and embark on an unforgettable journey through breathtaking landscapes and rich culture.
Section 1: Getting to the Northern Areas of Pakistan
Pakistan’s northern areas share borders with Afghanistan, China, and India. To reach the north side of the country, you can take either road or air transportation.
The Karakoram Highway, also known as the KKH, is the main road connecting the country’s north side to the rest of the part. The KKH is considered one of the highest paved roads in the world and offers breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. The journey can take up to two days, depending on your starting point.
The easiest and quickest way to reach the northern area of Pakistan is by air. You will find several airports on the north side, and choose one wisely.
Once you arrive in the northern side of Pakistan, you can use local transportation, such as taxis, jeeps, and buses, to travel around the region. It’s important to note that the country’s northern part is not as well-equipped as the bigger cities. So, planning your trip carefully and ensuring you have all the necessary supplies and equipment is essential.
Section 2: Top Tourist Spots in the Northern Area of Pakistan
The northern areas of Pakistan are a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers. From stunning valleys to majestic mountains, the region has something for everyone. Here are some of the top tourist spots in the area:
Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza Valley is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Pakistan. With its breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, beautiful lakes, and traditional culture, it is no wonder that Hunza Valley has become a favorite among tourists.
Known as the “gateway to the Karakoram,” Skardu is a picturesque town in Gilgit-Baltistan. It is the starting point for many treks and expeditions to the surrounding mountains, including K2, the second-highest peak in the world.
Naltar Valley is a hidden gem in Gilgit-Baltistan known for its stunning lakes, lush forests, and pristine landscapes. It is also home to some of the world’s highest ski slopes, making it a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
Located in the Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, Fairy Meadows is a lush green meadow surrounded by towering mountains. It is a popular base camp for trekkers and climbers looking to summit Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest peak in the world.
At 4,693 meters, Khunjerab Pass is the world’s highest paved international border crossing. It connects Pakistan with China and offers stunning views of the Karakoram Mountains.
Known as the “Roof of the World,” Shandur Pass is in the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is home to the famous Shandur Polo Festival, which attracts thousands of tourists annually.
Deosai National Park
Located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Deosai National Park is one of the most extensive high-altitude plains in the world. It is home to various flora and fauna, including the Himalayan brown bear, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
Nathia Gali is a picturesque hill station in the Abbottabad District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is a popular tourist destination known for its mild weather, scenic beauty, and serene environment. Visitors can enjoy hiking, trekking, and sightseeing in the area, and many accommodation options are available, from guest houses to luxury hotels. And if you wish to own a luxury apartment in Nathia Gali, Zen Apartments is one of the best options in the area.
These are just a few top tourist spots in the country’s north. With so much natural beauty and adventure, it’s no wonder the region has become one of Pakistan’s most popular tourist destinations.
Section 3: Hidden Gems in Pakistan’s Northern Areas
While the top tourist spots in the northern region of Pakistan are well-known and frequently visited, several hidden gems are equally breathtaking but relatively undiscovered by tourists. Here are some of the best-hidden gems we have shortlisted:
Ratti Gali Lake
Ratti Gali Lake is a hidden gem worth visiting in the Neelum Valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Surrounded by mountains and lush greenery, the lake’s crystal-clear waters reflect the stunning landscape that surrounds it. The area is also home to diverse wildlife, including brown bears, snow leopards, and Himalayan black bears.
Fairy Meadows, located in the Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan, is a picturesque meadow surrounded by towering mountains, including the famous Nanga Parbat. It is only accessible by a strenuous trek, but the reward is well worth it. Visitors can camp in the meadow and enjoy breathtaking views of the Milky Way at night.
Chitta Katha Lake
Chitta Katha Lake, located in the Shounter Valley of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, is a hidden gem still relatively unknown to tourists. The lake’s emerald-green waters are surrounded by mountains and provide a serene atmosphere perfect for a peaceful getaway.
Rama Meadow, located in the Astore District of Gilgit-Baltistan, is a vast and tranquil meadow surrounded by dense forests and snow-capped mountains. The meadow is also home to diverse wildlife, including snow leopards, ibex, and brown bears. Visitors can camp in the meadow and explore the nearby Rama Lake and Rama Valley.
The Ghanche District in Gilgit-Baltistan is a hidden gem worth exploring. The district is home to several scenic villages, including Khaplu and Hushe, which offer breathtaking views of the Karakoram Range. Visitors can also explore the historic Khaplu Fort and the ancient Manthal Buddha Rock.
Exploring the hidden gems of Pakistan is an adventure worth taking. These places offer a unique, serene atmosphere perfect for a peaceful getaway. Visitors can enjoy the natural beauty of these hidden gems while experiencing the local culture and hospitality.
Section 4: Helpful Maps and Tips
If you are planning a trip to the northern side, it is essential to have a good understanding of the area’s geography and topography. To help you with your journey, we have compiled a list of helpful maps of the northern areas of Pakistan.
Map of the Northern Areas of Pakistan
When discovering the north side, it is essential to have a detailed map of Pakistan’s northern areas.
There are several northern areas maps available online. We recommend using the official map of northern areas of Pakistan printed by Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC). It is detailed and accurate, highlighting all the major tourist destinations, roads, and highways.
Tips for Road Trips
- Road trips are the best way to explore Pakistan’s northern areas. However, it is essential to keep in mind the following tips before embarking on a journey:
- Always carry a first-aid kit, water, and snacks for emergencies.
- Check the weather conditions and road accessibility before starting your journey.
- Ensure your vehicle is in good condition and has enough fuel for the trip.
- Drive carefully and stay within the speed limit.
- Take frequent breaks to rest and enjoy the scenery.
- Respect local customs and traditions and be polite to locals.
The area has many accommodation options, from budget guesthouses to luxury hotels. Some of the most popular options include:
- Guesthouses: Guesthouses are affordable and offer a comfortable stay. They are ideal for budget travelers and backpackers.
- Camping: Camping is popular for adventurers who want to experience the area’s natural beauty. There are several campsites available, including those organized by tour operators.
- Hotels: Several hotels are available in the northern areas of Pakistan, ranging from budget to luxury. Most hotels offer comfortable rooms and basic amenities.
- Luxury Apartments: You may also buy your own vacation home and visit these beautiful places any time of the year. Zen Apartments is one good example where you can invest now for a luxury home tomorrow.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the country’s northern region is from April to October when the weather is mild and the roads are accessible. However, the peak tourist season is from June to August. It is essential to book your accommodation and transportation in advance when planning a tour during the peak season.
Trekking and Hiking
The north side of Pakistan is a paradise for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. There are several trekking routes available, ranging from easy to complex. Some of the most popular trekking routes include:
- K2 Base Camp Trek
- Baltoro Glacier Trek
- Fairy Meadows Trek
- Nanga Parbat Base Camp Trek
What to Pack
When traveling the north side, it’s essential to pack the right gear. Here are some items to consider:
- Warm Clothes: Even in the summer, the Northern Areas can get chilly, especially at higher elevations.
- Comfortable Shoes: There will be lots of walking and hiking, so bring comfortable shoes with good grip.
- Sunscreen and Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from the sun and bugs, which can be a nuisance in some areas.
- First Aid Kit: Having a basic first aid kit with you is always a good idea.
Pakistan is a safe country to visit, but taking some precautions is essential. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Respect the Culture: Pakistan is a conservative country, so dress modestly and respect local customs and traditions.
- Stay Alert: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas known to be unsafe.
- Don’t Travel Alone: It’s always safer to travel with a group, especially when hiking or trekking.
- Follow Local Advice: If locals advise against traveling to a specific area, listen to them.
Before embarking on a trek, hiring a local guide and ensuring you have the right equipment and gear is essential.
In conclusion, the Northern Areas of Pakistan are a treasure trove of natural beauty, rich culture, and warm hospitality. This region has breathtaking mountain ranges, crystal-clear lakes, lush green valleys, and scenic hiking trails. Pakistan’s northern areas are a perfect destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those who seek peace and serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
From the majestic peaks of K2 and Nanga Parbat to the serene beauty of Hunza Valley, this region has something to offer everyone. The locals are friendly, and their culture is unique, making the northern area of Pakistan a must-visit destination.
Planning your journey carefully is essential to make the most of your trip. Check the weather forecast before setting out, and pack accordingly. It is also advisable to hire a local guide to help you navigate the area’s diverse terrain and recommend hidden gems that may not be visible on the map.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for a destination off the beaten path full of natural wonders, the Northern Areas of Pakistan should be at the top of your travel list. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore the beauty of this magical region.