ISLAMABAD to ISLAMABAD (21 days) Karakorum Highlights & Chitral Valley

ISLAMABAD to ISLAMABAD (21 days) Karakorum Highlights & Chitral Valley

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21 Days
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ISLAMABAD to ISLAMABAD (21 days) Karakorum Highlights & Chitral Valley

21 Days Starting and ending in Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan

Visiting: Islamabad, Chilās, Deosai National Park, Skardu, Serena Shigar Fort, Gilgit, Karimabad, Passu, Gupis, Shandur Pass, Chitrāl, Kalash Valley, Bumburet Valley Bridge

Tour operator:

Oasis Overland

Tour code:

566

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 10

Physical rating:

Fit

Age range:

12-85

Special diets catered:

Please advise requests

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

History

From:
$3729
$3542 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186
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Tour Overview

Get a true taste of Pakistan with our 21-day tour which takes you in small groups, with local guides, into the heart of this stunning country. Travelling in groups of three in open top jeeps, this stripped back experience gives you the chance to get a true sense of the culture and landscape. Beginning the tour in Islamabad, we will travel up the Karakorum highway which cuts through the mighty peaks of the Himalaya, Karakorum and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. This is a route seldom travelled by foreign tourists, and gives you jaw dropping views. Stretch your legs with a trek to the base camp at Nanga Parbat and receive a traditionally Pakistani warm welcome at Kalash Valley before hiking to the Passu Glacier. Channel your inner dare devil as you cross the death-defying suspension bridge before heading over the Shandur Pass to Chitral and back to Kalash Valley. This tour is one that will really change your life

Highlights

  • Travel the highest paved international road in the world the Karakorum Highway

  • Trek to the base camp of the 8125 metre peak of Nanga Parbat

  • Hike over the glacier, and through small settlements to Herrlikoffer Base Camp

  • Drive through the magnificent plains of Deosai National Park to Skardu

  • Walking through the picturesque Shigar valley and visit the historic fort

  • Crossing the Hussaini hanging bridge - made from rope and planks of wood

  • Enjoy the breathtaking alpine meadows and turquoise rivers of the Shandur Pass

  • Wander the amazing bazaar in Chitral with merchants from Punjab and Afghanistan

  • Day trip to Garam Chashma hot springs

  • Meet the fascinating Kalash people in the Kalash Rumbur Valley

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 - 3 : Islamabad To Chilas
Location: Islamabad, Chilās
Accommodation: Cabin
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Welcome in Pakistan at Islamabad airport. We take a rest before driving the Karakorum Highway (KKH) to Naran. This photogenic, 160km long valley embraced by forested peaks of the lesser Himalayan range, is one of the Pakistan's most popular summer holiday spots, and famous for its colourful panorama.

We continue on the KKH and cross the mighty Babussar Pass (4175m) and continue our journey to Chilas, situated on the bank of the Indus River. At Raikot bridge we transfer to purpose built jeeps to tackle the narrow and nerve testing track to Tato village. From here we walk up to Fairy Meadows, well named with unsurpassed views of Nanga Parbat (8125m).

We spend 2 nights in wooden cabins.We have a free day to either relax in your cabin and take in the views or there is the option of trekking to a fabulous viewpoint of Nanga Parbat at 3400m or for the more adventurous, to Nanga Parbat base camp, we are well looked after here with food served in the camp kitchen.

Day 4 - 6 : Chilas To Skardu
Location: Chilās, Deosai National Park, Skardu
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We walk back down the valley to Tato where our jeep will take us back down to Raikot Bridge. We drive on through the Astore Valley, a magnificent pine forested valley reminiscent of Austrian scenes. The roads become smaller and narrower and eventually we reach the remote village of Tarashing on the opposite side of Nanga Parbat. The following day we trek up to Herrlikoffer Base Camp, a day hike which takes us over the glacier, through small settlements and past herds of yaks and cattle. We may meet mountaineers waiting to climb to the summit and if we are lucky with the weather we'll see Nanga Parbat at close proximity. Back at Tarashing, there will be free time in the village to chat to friendly locals and see how life is lived in these remote areas where glacial water supply is vital and ever decreasing.

We enter the area known as Little Tibet (Baltistan) and cross the Deosai Plains - 3800m (second in area and height to the Tibetan Plateau!) During the summer months the wild flowers are truly stunning giving colour to this wild landscape. If we are lucky we may see a fleeting glimpse of Brown Bear, Marmot or Markhor (wild goat). Stopping off for our daily afternoon tea stop, we marvel at the magnificent Satpara Lake and the Buddha image carved in to the rock. Overnight in Skardu on the banks of the Indus River.

Day 7 - 9 : Skardu To Karimabad
Location: Skardu, Serena Shigar Fort, Skardu, Gilgit, Karimabad
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Shigar Valley is a very fertile area through which the Indus River flows and where fruit orchards thrive along the banks. We take a trip out to Amborik Mosque and Shigar Fort where we can see the Tibetan influence in the architecture. A short drive away is the stunning Katchura Lake where we can take in the views over the crystal clear water.

The evening is free to explore and maybe take another hike up to Khorpocho Fort (8th Century) where we can get an impressive view over Skardu.

We take an alternative, but equally impressive, route to Gilgit where we spend some time in the lively bazaar. Gilgit is surrounded by lofty peaks, the most impressive being Rakaposhi (7788m). If we are lucky we will see a Polo Match - Pakistan is where it all began!

Back on the KKH we travel north in to the Hunza Valley and the scenic town of Karimabad. It is a fairytale land, surrounded by 7000m plus peaks! We take a guided tour around the forts of Altit and Baltit (700 and 900 years old) which are both perched high up in the mountains. Altit Fort was not only used for defence, but it served as the seat of power before the political centre moved in to modern day Karimabad.

Day 10 - 11 : Karimabad - Passu - Karimabad
Location: Karimabad, Passu, Karimabad
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We follow the KKH further north towards the Chinese border and the small town of Passu. We hike up to a stunning viewpoint alongside the huge, icy Passu Glacier before returning to our hotel for hearty meal. Here we get to feast on some of the best food of the trip with both Indian and Chinese influences creating mouth watering dishes!

A short drive and walk brings us to Hussaini Suspension Bridge. A few wooden boards and some wire ropes are all that is between us and the gushing river below. Cross if you dare!

Back in Karimabad we take a guided walking tour of the town, visiting the main channels which divert melt water from the glaciers in order to irrigate crops. We will see life as it really is in this harsh environment and there will be some fantastic photo opportunities of both people and landscapes.

We watch sunset at Duikar View Point, where at 3000m we get stunning vistas of the valley and peaks.

Day 12 - 14 : Karimabad To Chitral
Location: Karimabad, Gupis, Shandur Pass, Chitrāl
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We head south and then west in to the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. The road from Gahkuch to Gupis has breathtaking views along the Gupis valley where people go about their everyday lives farming the fertile land. Our hotel offers an amazing view down the valley to Phander Lake, which is famous for trout fishing

Our journey continues through alpine meadows, weaving our way through turquoise rivers and streams to take us over the mighty Shandur Pass(3720m), which is also home to the highest Polo ground in the world. Here every July, Chitralis and Gilgities fight it out on the Polo field for the coveted trophy. Driving on, we catch a glimpse of snow capped Tirich Mir mountain and reach the quiet village of Mastuj where we spend the night.

After our 2 days' driving we arrive at our main destination, Chitral. Here we have time to look around the old bazaar where traders journey from as far as the Punjab and Afghanistan with semi precious stones, old medals and woven articles.

Day 15 - 17 : Chitral To Bumburet Valley
Location: Chitrāl, Kalash Valley, Bumburet Valley Bridge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we visit our main point of heading west - the Kalash Rumbur Valley. The exact origin of the people who inhabit this area is lost in antiquity, but some say they are the descendants of Alexander the Great's soldiers, after he retreated from Asia. Whatever the story, they have lived in the area for over 1500 years. The Kalash women wear black gowns of coarse cloth in summer and of hand-spun wool in winter, with picturesque headgear made of woven wool, adorned with cowrie shells and buttons.

We spend two nights in Rumbur Valley where we can explore the village, walk up to the main dance area where festivals are held and visit Bumburet Valley and the impressive Kalash Museum. If we are able to gain permission, we also have the option to take a walk to a Nuristani village.

Day 18 - 20 : Bumburet Valley To Islamabad
Location: Bumburet Valley Bridge, Chitrāl, Islamabad
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

We take the short drive back to Chitral, where we visit the Summer Palace, situated at a height of 2743m. Here the Mehtar, the former rulers of the region, would stay for the summer season. We also have time to visit the Old Mosque, the construction of which started in the 1800's.

We intend to fly back to Islamabad, but due to the mountainous region, weather may not allow us this luxury. If this is not possible, we shall make the journey by road. Payment for the flight would be made locally if it is available.

Islamabad is a city of many contrasts with green avenues, splendid views of the surrounding hills and busy city life. We have a full day's guided tour around the major sights, including the old city of Rawalpindi, Daman e Koh view point and the huge and impressive structure of Shah Faisal Mosque.

A short drive away is the museum of Taxila and the remains of Jaulian Monastery. We have time to browse in the museum at the artefacts, many dating back over 2000 years.

Day 21 : Islamabad
Location: Islamabad

An early start to the airport ends in a sad farewell to our guide and to Pakistan, but the memories are sure to live on.

What's Included

  • Accommodation - twin share - simple hostels/hotels/cabins

  • Islamabad city tour

  • Taxila museum

  • Shan Faisal Mosque

  • Hike to Nanga Parbat Viewpoint

  • Hike to Herrlikoffer base camp

  • Deosai Plains National Park

  • Shigar Fort

  • Amborik Mosque

  • Kargah Buddha

show more

What's Not Included

  • Visas

  • Optional Excursions as listed in the Pre-Departure Information

  • International Flights

  • Flight from Chitral to Islamabad (weather allowing) - paid locally

  • Travel Insurance

  • Drinks

  • Tips

  • Airport Taxes & Transfers

More Info

Get a true taste of Pakistan with our 21-day tour which takes you in small groups, with local guides, into the heart of this stunning country. Travelling in groups of three in open top jeeps, this stripped back experience gives you the chance to get a true sense of the culture and landscape. Beginning the tour in Islamabad, we will travel up the Karakorum highway which cuts through the mighty peaks of the Himalaya, Karakorum and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. This is a route seldom travelled by foreign tourists, and gives you jaw dropping views. Stretch your legs with a trek to the base camp at Nanga Parbat and receive a traditionally Pakistani warm welcome at Kalash Valley before hiking to the Passu Glacier. Channel your inner dare devil as you cross the death-defying suspension bridge before heading over the Shandur Pass to Chitral and back to Kalash Valley. This tour is one that will really change your life

Mode of Transport

In Northern Pakistan our transport is mainly by 4x4 jeep with some transfers in either a car or Land Cruiser. In Southern Pakistan we prefer to use a car or 4x4 (Land Cruiser or similar) with air conditioning.

Accommodation

In both areas we use basic hotels, almost all with en-suite facilities. We do offer an upgrade to a single room – please enquire before your departure.

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Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • What is the maximum group size?

    Maximum 16 people.

  • Are flights included in this tour?

    We recommend arriving on Day 1 in your departure city, most flights arrive very early in the morning. Day 1 of your trip will either take you on a city tour if you are booked on the Domes & Deserts of the Indus trip OR you will head off late morning if you are on the Karakorum Highlights trip.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Airport Transfers are included in the cost of your adventure (provided you request these via the UK office or your account six weeks before your departure). On arrival into Islamabad airport you will be met by a local representative who will take you to the group joining Hotel. The driver will have your name on a sign with Oasis Overland.

  • Is there any free time to explore places during the tour?

    As detailed in the itinerary.

  • Where does the trip start?

    The trip starts in the morning of Day 1 of your trip. You will be advised on specific details on booking. We stay in basic locally owned hotels, on a twin share basis. Almost all of the rooms are en-suite. Air conditioning is virtually unheard of, but most rooms do have a fan. Standards are very different to the Western World, and you cannot always expect simple things such as regular hot water. Trip Joining Point: Islamabad Start Time Day 1: 08:00

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes, if you are travelling solo. On our Overland Adventures and Ultimate Expeditions, we will pair you up with a tent buddy of the same sex when we camp and the same goes for twin & shared rooms in hostels, so there is no need to go it alone! If you specifically would like to request your own single room whilst on the trip, this may be requested subject to availability and additional fee.

  • How many people do you take on your Trips?

    On most of our Overland Adventures and Ultimate Expeditions our vehicles can carry a maximum of 24 travellers, the average however is around 16-20 on any one trip. Our Small Group Adventures have a maximum of 18 people per Tour Leader, although again the average is around 10-14 people.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Katarina  

ISLAMABAD TO ISLAMABAD (21 DAYS) KARAKORUM HIGHLIGHTS & CHITRAL VALLEY

Oct 2019

This trip has definitely exceeded my expectation. The scenery is absolutely stunning, people curious, very friendly and hospitable, food amazing. Driving on the hair rising roads just added to the whole adventure . If you are prepared roughing it a bit, prepared for having showers in cold water occasionally, then this trip is for you. Oh and spare toilet paper roll always comes in handy:)

Lynn  

ISLAMABAD TO ISLAMABAD (21 DAYS) KARAKORUM HIGHLIGHTS & CHITRAL VALLEY

Oct 2019

Amazing scenery, kind and friendly people, excitement every day, and terrifying roads.

Kevin Dunne  

ISLAMABAD TO ISLAMABAD (21 DAYS) KARAKORUM HIGHLIGHTS & CHITRAL VALLEY

Oct 2017

The trip to Pakistan lived up to all my expectations. I knew the scenery would be fantastic by researching images on internet. I was really struck by the friendliness of the people and normality of life in Pakistan. North Pakistan is heaped in history from Alexander the Great to the Great Game and beyond.We were looked after by expert drivers and guides. The food was tasty and nourishing and for the first time in over forty years of travel I put on a little weight. All in all a fantastic holiday.

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Saturday

Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

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Aug 04, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

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Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 21, 2024
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Sep 22, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

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Jun 08, 2025 - Jun 28, 2025
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Jul 06, 2025 - Jul 26, 2025
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

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Aug 03, 2025 - Aug 23, 2025
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Aug 31, 2025 - Sep 20, 2025
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

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Sunday - Saturday

Sep 21, 2025 - Oct 11, 2025
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$186 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Oasis Overland requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of oasis overland charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 33% of booking price.

    At 45 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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