9 Days karakoram Highway and ancient Silk Road Southbound
Join us on an adventure on the modern day Silk Road through the Karakoram Highway–the highest paved road in the world. After you enter Pakistan from Tashkurgan, China, we will travel south through awe-inspiring mountain ranges and pristine natural beauty, witnessing ancient cultures and world heritage sites that had flourished on the caravan route that links Central and South Asia.
Our southbound journey starts with in town of Sost, the first town after entry from China. This dry port is two hours away from the Khunjerab border, and remains frozen throughout the year except for a few months in the summers. After welcome greetings and a fresh up with a cup of tea and snacks, we will head down to Passu, viewing the Hunza River and small villages by the roadsides. We will have chance to view the Passu Cones before the sun sets, and check into our lodgings snuggled between mountains for a warm first night’s stay.
Rising early, we will set out for a walk to cross the Passu suspension bridge, challenging your nerves over the wide gaps between the wooden planks that hang over the Hunza Riverbed. After this exciting adventure, we will settle back in the minibus to explore the Passu glacier view, valley view and a take breather at the high mountain Borith Lake, not far from the hotel between Gulkin village and Passu Glacier. We then stop at the next crossing point, Hussaini suspension bridge, and Gulmit for some food. After lunch, we will travel down to the icy blue Attabad Lake and listen to the story of its recent formation. We will reach Karimabad in the evening for our stay and spend the night exploring its colorful bazaar.
We will start our day walking up to the magnificent 8th century Baltit Fort, then hop over to Altit village to marvel at the 11th century Altit Fort, perched on the precarious rocks high above the Hunza River. After this, we will go up to the Duiker viewpoint for basking in the sunset view of the valley surrounded by beautiful snow capped peaks. You will have some more time to visit the tourist street in Karimabad before or after dinner for buying local souvenirs and dry fruits.
After an early breakfast we will continue our road trip south along the KKH. We will pass through Gilgit city and visit the Kargah Nala Buddha carved high up on the mountain walls. Back on the KKH, we will get a chance to view the mighty Nanga Parbat (Killer Mountain), the junction of the three great mountain ranges and the junction of Gilgit, Hunza, and Skardu Rivers, which join to form the River Indus. Driving along Indus, we will take night’s rest at Besham/Naran.
Leaving the mountains today we will be reaching to the plains to reminisce the Gandhara empire at Taxila, an ancient site of Buddhist and Hindu learning between the 2nd to 5th century, now an UNESCO heritage site. The Taxila museum contains collections of Gandhara art dating back between 1st and 7th century. Then we will head toward the charming city of Peshawar for its famous BBQ dinner.
Peshawar is the gateway to Afghanistan from Pakistan, a fascinating city full of stories. We will hear some of them in the famous bazaar known as Karkhano Market, and experience the genuine hospitality of the people and this city with a cup of Kehwa green tea. After leaving Peshawar, we will gear up for Takht-i-bahi, the renowned Buddhist monastery founded in 1st century listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. On our way toward Islamabad will visit Ranighat, another 2nd century Buddhist ruins that is spread over four kilometers on a hill. We then reach Islamabad, the capital city, for our night’s stay.
After we leave Islamabad In the morning, we will visit Rohtas Fort, an UNESCO world heritage site known for its impressive defensive walls and several monumental gateways. Then we will proceed to the Khewra salt mine, part of the outer Himalayan range and the world’s oldest salt mine. We will see exquisite pink colored salt walls inside the deep tunnels, which has healing properties as well. After this, we continue on to Katas Raj Temple, a unique complex of many Hindu temples surrounding a pond that legend has it was created by the tears of the Hindu god Shiva. Finally, we will reach Lahore for a taste of its dazzling glamour by the evening.
Today we will take in the opulence of the Mughal Empire at the height of its power in the 17th century. We start from the UNESCO heritage, Lahore Fort, an outstanding architectural complex of artistic splendour, including the Naulakha Pavilion, Sheesh Mahal (“Palace of Mirrors”), and glazed mosaics and scenes on the Picture Wall. The formidable Alamgiri Gate of the Fort faces the iconic Mughal-era Badshahi Mosque, as well as the Hazuri Bagh and Gurdwaras built during the 19th century Sikh Empire. We will walk through select areas of the historical Walled City of Lahore, to wonder at the breathtakingly beautiful colored frescos at Wazir Khan Mosque and Shahi Hammam (“royal baths”), wander through dense bazaars, spot ornate haveli mansions in the winding lanes, and exit through the Shahi Guzargah (“royal passage”) at the Delhi Gate. We finish off our tour on British-era Mall Road at the renowned Lahore Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Gandharan Buddhist art, as well as relics from the Indus civilization, Graeco-Bactrian periods, Mughal and Pahari painting, Sikh woodwork, an artistic and cultural culmination of our travels through the history of the Indus Valley.
Farewell at airport to fly home having experienced life afresh.
Tour at a Glance
Day-01: Welcome in Sost town an check in hotel in Passu
Day-02: Hike to passu suspension bridge, Passu glacier,Passu cone and Attababd lake
Day-03: Excursion of tourist bazar, visit Baltit, fort Altit and Duiker view point
Day-04: Excursion of Gilgit bazaar Kargah nala Buddha Nanga parbat view point and junction of Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush overnight in Swat
Day-05: Excursion of Swat and drive to Peshawar and overnight in Peshawar
Day-06: visitng of Takh bai, Rani gat and kaarkhano bazaar. Overnight in Islamabad
Day-07: Drive to Lahore on the way visit of khewra salt mines and overnight in Lahore
Day-08: Visit Badashai mosque, Lahore fort ,Wazir khan mosque and Shahi Hamam
Day-09: Tour ends and transfer to airport
Notes for trip:
- We will provide clean drinking water throughout the trip. However, to conserve the environment, we will not provide plastic water bottles, so please bring your own water flask.
- Road conditions vary in this part of the mountains. This may result in longer travel times. In case of unavoidable road blockage that prevents travel, we will be responsible for managing your lodging and food during this extra time. However, you will need to cover the expenses for the extra days.
- Weather conditions vary in the mountains, be prepared with layers of short and long sleeve tops and trousers
- Seasonal fruits: mulberries and cherries are ripe mid-June to July; apricots are ripe end-July; apples are ripe in August
- We can arrange trips for 2-10 persons per group (can be multiple groups), costs will vary depending on the number of person per transport, dates, and exchange rates. Please contact us directly for the price quote and discuss possible tour dates (see cost below for groups of 10-16 people).
- We can customize and combine itineraries according to your interests, please contact us to discuss feasibility.
- Operating season: late march to late november
- After signing up, booking will be complete with payment of 50% advance fee, to be paid 30 days before start of trip.
Cost [for groups of 10-16 person]
[$1700 USD/per person]
- All road transportation by mini-bus/car
- All night stays in 3 star hotels (will have wifi, hot water from tap, plush rooms, room service, restaurants in hotel), 2 persons per room (if you want to stay in your own room, additional charges will be charged)
- Professional tour guide accompanying throughout your trip
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner, drinking water, fresh local fruits depending on season
- Tickets to historical monuments in the tour
Does not include:
- Travel insurance
- Visa to Pakistan (we will help provide supporting documents)
- Tips for guides