Karakoram Highway Tour
What's it all about?
Driving the Karakoram Highway is one of the ultimate road trips in the world. We’ll travel from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad to the highest border in the world. During this trip, you will travel from the foot of the Himalaya’s across the mountains of the Karakoram. Not a trip for the faint-hearted!
The trip starts in Islamabad. Pakistan’s capital city isn’t like any other city in the country. It’s relatively new and looks well organized.
Then we’ll hit the Karakoram Highway. This highway was constructed in the 1960s and 70s and is a symbol of the friendship between China and Pakistan. For a few days, we will be making our way up towards the mountains.
We’ll be driving past lush green hills, raging rivers, deep ravines and incredible high peaks. Along the way, we will make stops for photos and to take in the breath-taking landscape. We’ll then take a relaxing day in the Hunza Valley to experience the local culture here.
From the Hunza Valley, it’s a few more hours to the border, along the way we’ll make multiple stops at glaciers, peaks and the iconic Passu suspension bridge. Cross it if you dare!
Join us this Spring for an incredible road trip. If you are planning on spending more time before and after in Pakistan then get in touch and we’ll help you organise it!
Islamabad - Besham - Gilgit - Hunza - Besham - Islamabad
April 10 - 18th, 2021
We will apply for a letter of invitation on your behalf and then you can either apply for the visa at the nearest Pakistan embassy or online
Where the Himalaya meets the Karakoram
Saturday - April 10th
- Our Karakoram Highway tour kicks off an Islamabad tour at 10am
- First off we’ll visit Saidpur Old Village. The village is 500 years old and situated at the foothills of the Himalaya. Its famous hindu temple has been out of use since the partition of India in 1947
- Shah Faisal Mosque. South Asis’s largest mosque and the 5th largest in the world.
- Shakarparian hills. A beautiful picnic spot overlooking the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi
- See the Pakistan monument.
- Dinner and overnight in Islamabad.
- This morning, we will start our journey towards the mountain kingdom of North Pakistan on the famous Karakorum Highway.
- En route we will visit the town of Taxila and its famed Museum. For over 1000 years, Taxila remained a centre of education and Buddhism. There are over 50 archeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 km around the town.
- After our visit we will continue our drive of around 6 hours to Besham, stopping for many tea breaks along the way.
- Dinner and overnight in Besham.
- A long day of driving today but the incredible scenery en route more then makes up for it.
- We’ll venture further north along the Karakoram highway where some of the world’s tallest peaks will come into view.
- Before reaching Gilgit, we’ll stop at some pre-historic rock carvings at Shatial
- Stop at the view point of Nanga Parbat (the 9th highest mountain in the world). This location offers a breathtaking views, it’s also the point where three mountain ranges meet – The Karakorum, Himalayas and Hindu Kush.
- Arrival in Gilgit and check into our hotel
- Dinner and overnight
- Gilgit tour. We’ll be visiting the mountain bazaar, suspension bridges and walk along the Gilgit River.
- After lunch we will drive north along the picturesque Hunza river, stopping en route at the collision point of the Indian & Eurasian Plates.
- Stop at the viewpoint of the historical Silk road and a view point of Rakaposhi peak (7788m).
- As we approach Karimabad town Rakaposhi dominates the sky line to the east. Also above Hunza valley stands the prominent spire like peak – ‘Ladyfinger’ (6000m).
- Overnight in Karimibad.
- Today we’ll tour the Hunza Valley. The valley lies on the ancient trade route to Kashgar in the Chinese province of Xinjiang.
- These days the Karakoram Highway runs along this route with Karimabad being the main town of Hunza.
- Hunza is famous for the longevity of its people, due to their natural diet, the unpolluted mountain air, and relaxed lifestyle. Tibetan traders once referred to the beauty of this humble paradise as ‘Shangri-La’.
- We take 4×4 jeeps to drive to Hopar glacier. Short hike on the glacier
- Baltit fort – for many years this was home to the rulers of Hunza. It is perched centrally above the town. It is now a museum administered by the Aga Khan foundation
- Dinner and overnight in Karimabad
- Today will be a full day excursion to the Khunjerab Pass (4744m). This is the border between Pakistan & China and highest border crossing in the world.
- The route has amazing views of the Karakoram and the distant Pamir Mountain Ranges.
- At Khunjerab we can see native Ibex and marmots along the roads. We will spend an hour at Kunjerab border before driving back to Gilgit.
- On the way we will stop at the viewpoint of Batura glacier (the longest glacier outside the polar region)
- Passu Cathederal Peaks & Passu glacier
- Walk along the incredible Passu suspension bridge (200m long). Not for the faint hearted!
- Dinner and overnight in Gilgit
- After breakfast we start our journey back south. It will be a 10 hour scenic route to Besham.
- Many tea breaks along the way!
- Dinner and overnight in Besham
- Continue south along the Karakorum highway for around 6 hours until we reach Islamabad
- Arrival in the afternoon, check into tour hotel
- Head straight out to wander through the bustling markets
- Dinner at the lively traditional restaurant
- Overnight in Islamabad
- Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
- End of tour
You’ll be in the vastly experienced hands of our English speaking local guides & fixer as well as your Rocky Road Travel guide. We visit northern Pakistan regularly, so we know the best spots and have perfected the itinerary accordingly. The itinerary may change slightly, but we will always go above and beyond with added extras to the itinerary such as stops at local cafe-bars, shisha lounges and more. We are also in constant communication with our local partners on the ground who advise the safest routes to take.
Before & after each tour we will add you to dedicated email and social media groups so you can share photos easily with your travel mates. Just let us know is you want to opt out of this.
To book simply hit the button below and start the conversation today.