Karakoram Highway Tour
What's it all about?
This is one of the ultimate road trips in the world. Our Karakoram Highway tour will take you from Pakistan’s capital Islamabad all the way to the Chinese border area high in the mountains.
The trip starts in Islamabad before hitting 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. The highlight will surely be spending plenty of time at the famed Fairy Meadows. We’ll also spend a relaxing day in the Hunza Valley to experience the local life here.
From the Hunza Valley, we’ll head north again to Passu and the famous rope bridge – cross it at your own risk! We’ll then head south to the colourful and vibrant city of Peshawar making stops at Gilgit, Besham and the Swat Valley.
The tour will finish where it started in Islamabad (with an optional extended tour to Afghanistan).
Islamabad – Naran – Fairy Meadows – Gilgit Hunza – Passu – Gilgit – Besham – Peshawar – Islamabad
September 2 – 13th, 2023
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
September 2nd | Islamabad
- Arrival at your own convenience in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad. Airport transfers are provided for all arriving flights.
- In the afternoon we’ll visit the enormous Shah Faisal Mosque as well as the Pakistan Monument & Museum.
- Dinner and overnight in Islamabad.
September 3rd | Islamabad - Naran
- Early start for our drive along the Karakoram Highway.
- Stop for a tea break near Abbottabad, the city where Osama Bin Laden was killed.
- We’ll take a detour from the Karakoram Highway, to see an even better part of this specific area. Driving past incredible peaks, right next to Indian Kashmir, we’ll make our way to Naran.
- Overnight in Naran.
September 4th | Naran - Fairy Meadows
- After breakfast, we set off for another day of winding roads along the Karakoram highway.
- En route we’ll see the stunning Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest mountain in the world.
- From Railkot bridge, we’ll take an off road jeep to Tatto village where we’ll start the trek towards the famed Fairy Meadows – according to most people the most beautiful part in Pakistan, and maybe even in the world!
- After arrival we spend the night in a camp (tent or a hut).
September 5th | Fairy Meadows
- We have a full day around Fairy Meadows to explore the magnificent mountains and do some trekking.
- Overnight in Fairy Meadows at our camp.
September 6th | Fairy Meadows – Hunza Valley
- Trek back down to Tato village, take a jeep transfer to Raikot bridge and drive to the Hunza valley via Gilgit,
- En-route stop at junction point of three great mountain ranges meet, The Korakorum,
Himalya and the Hindukush.
- Stop at the Rakaposhi view point.
- On arrival in Karimabad, Hunza – visit Baltit Fort which overlooks the entire valley
- Overnight in Karimabad.
September 7th | Hunza Valley
- We will have a full day in Hunza to explore life in the valley.
- Visit the ancient Altit fort (900
- Walk on the high irrigation channels cut into the rock which gives amazing views
over the valley.
- Evening drive to Duikar to enjoy the sunset over Hunza.
- Dinner and overnight in Karimabad.
September 8th | Khunjerab - Gilgit
- After breakfast continue along the Karakoram Highway from Karimabad to Khunjerab.
- En route visit Attabad Lake – the 30 km
long lake was only formed in 2010 after a massive landslide dammed the mighty Indus river.
- Make a stop at Passu where you can cross the famous rope bridge near the village of
- Walk from Gulkin village to Borit Lake onto the Gulkin Glacier.
- Lunch at Borit Lake then drive to the viewpoint of Passu Glacier.
- Evening drive back to Gilgit and overnight.
September 9th | Gilgit - Besham
- After breakfast drive from Gilgit to Besham, en route we’ll stop at numourous places for snacks and photo ops.
- Arrrive in Besham. Dinner and overnight.
September 10th | Besham - Swat - Peshawar
- Morning drive from Besham along a different section of the highway to Peshawar city.
- Lunch on the way in the Swat Valley – an area once controlled by the Pakistani Taliban.
- Continue our drive to Peshawar – a richly Afghan influenced city
- Photo stop at Bala Hissar Fort.
- Dinner and overnight in Peshawar.
September 11th | Peshawar
- After breakfast it’s a full day of sightseeing in Peshawar.
- Visit to Ghanta Ghar – the iconic clock tower which was presented by Queen Elizabeth.
- Explore Mahabat Khan Mosque – named after the former governor of Peshawar, it was built in 1630 AD during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan – the ruler of the
Mughal Empire in India from 1628 until 1658.
- Wander the Qissa Khwani Bazaar for lunch.
- Visit the many street markets and soak up the atmosphere and character of the place.
- Dinner and overnight in Peshawar.
September 12th | Peshawar - Islamabad
- Drive from Peshawar to Islamabad.
- On the way, stop at the Taxila museum, the Sirkap and jualian archeological sites.
- On arrival in Islamabad, we’ll visit the Fatimah Jinnah Park, Saidpur village, Rawal Lake, Jasmine Gardens as well as the outside view of
Pakistan Parliament and Presidential house.
- Final group dinner in the Margallah hills overlooking Islamabad
- Overnight in Islamabad.
September 13th | Islamabad - Departure
- Transfer to airport and end of the Karakoram Highway tour.
- **Optional tour combo** Continue your journey onto Afghanistan on our 10 day epic journey directly following this 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 the tour we will add you to dedicated WhatsApp group so you can chat about the tour and share photos easily with your travel mates. Just let us know is you want to opt out of this.
To book the Karakoram Highway tour, simply hit the button below and start the conversation today.