Pakistan holiday, Summer Mountain Explorer
Optional Single Supplement: from £865.
Please note some itineraries are reversed.
Description of Pakistan holiday, Summer Mountain Explorer
This itinerary has the capacity to enthrall even the worldliest of travellers. From mountain scenery that will make your heart leap to lively markets and azure lakes, absorbing cultural encounters and historic forts. While every day offers something to fire your imagination, there are several gems worth dwelling on in detail.
You’ll spend a few days hiking around the mountainous Hunza Valley, with a backdrop of cathedral peaks, pristine lakes and the Hoper Glacier, and staying in a clifftop hotel offering dramatic views. Later in the trip you’ll arrive in the otherworldly Kalash Valley, and take part in the celebrations around the Uchao Festival. And in Ayun you’ll visit the home of one of the princes of Chitral, and take a stroll through his elegant gardens.
Then of course there is Fairy Meadows, known locally as Joot, a pristine national park at the foot of Nanga Parbat. These alpine grasslands and forests overlooked by snowy peaks are an absolutely stunning place to walk.
Other moments to treasure – the open-top jeep ride through the Hushe Valley to meet the children at a local school; crossing the famous Indus River, and driving across the Dosai Plateau with the Karakoram Mountains in the foreground.
The communities you’ll visit will often be remote, rarely encountering western travellers, but no less the welcoming for it. Staying in homestays and family-run guesthouses, and using local guides, this tour brings vital income to areas of Pakistan that are still well beyond the main tourist track. It feels pretty good to be a trailblazer, right?
Please note that we have two festival departures - the Shandur Polo Festival starting in June, and the Kalash Uchaw Festival in August. The durations of the tours may vary so please see individual itineraries for details.
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3 Reviews of Pakistan holiday, Summer Mountain Explorer
Reviewed on 24 Jul 2023 by Carl AtkinsonVery probably the best trip I've been on with the tour operator (of over ten) - alongside their Bejing to Tehran Silk Road adventure. Read full review
Reviewed on 02 Oct 2015 by Vladislav CharniavskyWonderfu! Read full review
Reviewed on 27 Aug 2015 by Vladislav CharniavskyWonderful Read full review
PlanetWe are very aware of the economic, ecological and ethical impact tourism can have on ancient cultures and fragile environments. We realise that taking clients through such a region can have a negative impact on the environment if not handled responsibly and as such, on all of our trips we go to great lengths to minimise the negative and accentuate the positive… after all, there are also many good things that the traveller can bring.
We have a strict environmental policy to make sure that the environments we visit are not damaged or spoilt in any way. All our guides are trained to uphold this policy and all clients are fully briefed on appropriate/responsible behaviour whilst in wilderness areas. Our “Leave No Trace” ethic is applied to all trips in all regions and, as tour operators, is something we are careful to promote.
By keeping the group size to a maximum of 12, we can also minimise the human impact on the fragile sites we visit – particularly important as this trip visits some delicate ecosystems.
We are proud to support the Adopt-A-Minefield project, an NGO that saves and improves lives by raising funds to clear landmines and help landmine survivors. With more than 830 square kilometres of land left to clear in neighbouring Afghanistan, we feel that this organisation makes a huge difference to the quality of life for people in this area.
PeopleIn Pakistan we pride ourselves on working directly with as many local hotels, drivers, guides and cooks as possible, thereby putting money directly into the local community; to put this into perspective, a jeep driver, like Muktar Alam, that earns 30,000 rupees for one trip can with these wages educate two sons for a year and feed his family for 4 months. We also employ jeep drivers on a revolving basis and different ones in each area to ensure that the money we bring in is distributed evenly. With the small local guesthouses and home stays we use – like Saifullah’s in the Kalash Valleys – the money goes and stays in these pagan valleys rather than being siphoned out to rich, down-country hoteliers.
On each part of the trip we employ local guides – like Dost Mohammed in the Peshawar bazaar – which again places funds directly in the pockets of local families. With our travels we also help support a number of educational trusts, and directly educate two boys from the Kalash Valleys.
In 2005 Pakistan was hit by a devastating earthquake that shattered the lives and homes of thousands of people. We contribute to the Pakistan Earthquake Fund that helped not only with distributing aid at the time, but also with helping people rebuild their lives after the event.
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