Top 10 Beautiful Northern Areas of Pakistan to Visit
Pakistan is a country located in the South Asia region. It’s the 33rd largest country, spanning 881,913 square kilometers (340,509 square miles) by area, including a 1,046-kilometre (650-mile) coastline with the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Oman in the south region. Pakistan has four borders with different countries and territories, Afghanistan to the west, India to the east, Iran to the southwest, and China to the northeast. Pakistan is a country with multi-culture, multi-season, astonishing hill stations, fascinating mountain ranges, stunning deserts, scenic lakes, and breathtaking historical places in Pakistan. The northern areas of Pakistan are the most magnificent and attractive region of the country. In summer and winters, locals and foreign tourists plan to visit the stunning northern areas of Pakistan to enjoy the elegance of the majestic mountains and surprising lakes. These beautiful places are inclusive support of tourism in Pakistan because most of the attractive spots are in the northern areas. We have noted down the most adventurous Pakistan northern areas . Before going into depth, let’s take a look at how tourism in Pakistan impacts the economy.
Tourism in Pakistan
Pakistan is a geographically diverse country consisting of several beautiful places in northern areas to visit. For the last few years, Northern Pakistan has gained popularity in the tourism industry. The current Pakistan government has also declared to end the No Objection Certificates for international tourists endeavoring to visit the northern areas of Pakistan map. As we all know, tourism impacts a country’s economy and especially in development. In Pakistan, tourism contributes a significant proportion to the country’s GDP.
There is a long list of tourism impacts. We have listed down some of them. Have a look!
Impacts of Tourism
- The prerequisite of new infrastructure.
- The encouragement of trade, income, and entrepreneurship.
- Generate the foreign exchange.
- Increased the economy.
- Expand regional development.
- The opportunities of new jobs and employment.
List of Top 10 Beautiful Northern Areas of Pakistan:
|Place||Location||Elevation||Distance from Islamabad|
|1. Gilgit||Gilgit–Baltistan||1,500 m (4,900 ft)||517 km|
|2. Naran Kaghan||Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||2,409 meters (7,904 ft)||283 km|
|3. Fairy Meadows||Gilgit-Baltistan||3,300 meters (10,800 ft)||455 km|
|4. Skardu||Skardu District, Gilgit-Baltistan||2,500 meters (8,202 feet)||639 km|
|5. Chitral||Northern Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||4,900 feet (1,490 meters)||389 km|
|6. Murree||Pir Panjal Range in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab||2,291 meters (7,516 ft)||70 km|
|7. Kalam Valley||Northern upper Swat district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||2,001 m (6,565 ft)||327 km|
|8. Neelum Valley||West of the Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan’s Province||1,615 m||226.1 km|
|9. Hunza Valley||Hunza river in the northern part of Gilgit-Baltistan||2,438 meters (7,999 feet)||598.3 km|
|10. Swat Valley||Khyber Pakhtunkhwa||980 m (3,220 ft)||180 km|
With an area of 72,971 km2 (28,174 sq mi) covered with lush green mountains located at an elevation of 1,500 m (4,900 ft) Gilgit, is the capital of Gilgit–Baltistan. Having a population of 216,760, it’s the northernmost area of Pakistan. Gilgit-Baltistan is part of the greater Kashmir region and a part of a long-running dispute between Pakistan and India. It is home to five of the “eight-thousanders” and has more than fifty peaks above 7,000 meters (23,000 ft).
According to WorldAtlas, three of the longest Non-Polar Glaciers in the World, Biafo Glacier, Baltoro Glacier, and Batura Glacier are found in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. Gilgit is famous for its unique culture, natural beauty, and hospitality. It is also one of the most attractive hill stations in Pakistan.
2. Naran Kaghan
Naran is a small town in the Mansehra District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. At an altitude of 2,409 meters (7,904 ft), it is located 119 kilometers (74 mi) from Mansehra city. Kaghan is an alpine valley located in the Mansehra District and 23.0 km away from Naran. Both are always written together because whoever visits Naran can’t go back without visiting Kaghan. There is just one hour drive from Naran to Kaghan. It is one of the most famous domestic places for local tourists. More than 2 million foreign and local tourists visit Naran Kaghan each year, and this ratio is increasing every year. There are various attractive locations in Naran Kaghan, most interestingly the Lake Saif ul Malook, Siri Paye Meadows, Besal & Jharkhand Shogran, Siri Paye, Babusar Top, Lulusar Lake. These beautiful places in Pakistan offer sublime attractions in the northern areas in Pakistan. The highest point of Naran is Babusar at an elevation of 13600 feet, and Kaghan’s highest point is Babusar Pass at an elevation of 4,173 meters or 13,691 feet. From there, you can see a glimpse of Rakaposhi Peak, 280 km away from there. These two valleys are playing a massive role in promoting tourism in Pakistan.
3. Fairy Meadows
For foreign tourists, another popular traveling destination in Pakistan is Fairy Meadows. With an altitude of about 3,300 meters (10,800 ft) above sea level, it is located in Gilgit-Baltistan, under the shadows of the majestic Nanga Parbat peak (8,126 m), the Second Highest Mountain in Pakistan. The name Fairy Meadows was given by German climbers and was locally known as Joot. It’s a grassland near one of the base camps of Nanga Parbat – one of the beautiful mountains in Pakistan. It is the most favorite point for trekkers and hikers. The government of Pakistan declared Fairy Meadows a National Park in 1995. From April until the end of September, it’s the tourist season at Fairy Meadows. The ethereal beauty of this fairyland is mesmerizing for nature lovers. The dark alpine forest and lush green meadows in the surroundings are the reasons for its popularity.
Skardu is located between the River Indus and the River Shigar at an elevation of 2,500 meters (8,202 feet). It covers 77 km² (30 sq mi) of a total area and serves as the capital of the Skardu District. The name “Skardu ” is derived from the word Balti – low land between two high places. These two high places are Shigar city and the high-altitude Satpara Lake. There are many beautiful lakes in Pakistan that exist in Skardu. Skardu was the cultural sphere of Buddhist Tibet in the mid 7th-century CE. The Skardu, one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan, is the point of attraction for hikers, mountaineers, and climbers. As it offers the most challenging hiking routes and the world’s highest peaks. Some of these highest peaks and treks are mentioned below:
- Broad Peak
- Snow Lake
- Gasherbrum 1
- Gasherbrum 2
- Trango towers
- Haldi Cones
The best time to visit Skardu is the Cherry Blossom, Spring, and Golden (Autumn) Season. The spring season has pleasant weather, so travelers can explore more. There are many attractive places in Skardu to visit. Some of them are Shangrila Lake, Upper Kachura Lake, Khaplu valley, Deosai Plateau, Basha Valley, and Manthoka Waterfall.
Chitral is situated on the Chitral River in the northern Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. It is famous among people for its rich culture, traditions, festivals, and scenic views. Until 1969, it was a princely state that encompassed the region. It’s surrounded by the beautiful mountain ranges in Pakistan, the Hindukush mountain. Chitral covers a total area of 57 km2 (22 sq mi), at an elevation of about 4,900 feet (1,490 meters) above sea level. There are a lot of places that should be visited while traveling to Chitral. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Kalash Valley
- Ayun Valley
- Shandur Top
- Shandur Lake
- Shahi Qilla
- Chitral National Park
- Bamburat Valley
It’s at the feet of Tirch Mir Peak, which is the highest peak of the Hindukush mountain range. Chitral has also played a contributory role at the time of the Kashmir war. If you are planning a tour in Pakistan, a visit to Chitral is a must-visit to enjoy the scenic view from the top of Tirch Mir Peak.
Murree is in the Galyat region of the Pir Panjal Range in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab. It is also one of the most visited hill stations in Pakistan. It’s about 30 km (19 mi) northeast of Islamabad, with an average altitude of 2,291 meters (7,516 ft). It takes almost 40 minutes to get there from Islamabad. The majority of the tourists visit this beautiful place from the twin cities – Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Murree is spread in a total area of 434 sq kilometers. The Margalla Hills, a part of the Himalayan Mountain Range, is also in Murree. Murree is known for its weather as it remains pleasant almost the whole year, excluding January – March because heavy snowfall occurs in these months. But still, people visit it to see the stunning view of snow-covered mountains. There are a lot of attractive points in Murree. Some of them are mentioned below:
- Kashmir Point
- Nathia Gali
- New Murree
- Pindi Point
- Mall Road
Murree is always cherishing and joyful amongst domestic and foreign travelers. The most attractive point for the visitors and especially for children to visit Murree is the chairlift.
7. Kalam Valley
Kalam is located at a distance of 99 kilometers (62 mi) from Mingora in the northern upper Swat district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northern pakistan. It has become one of the top tourist destinations at a distance of 2,001 m (6,565 ft). It is known for its snow-capped mountains, dark and wild forests, and breathtaking lakes. It is also called a sub-valley of Swat and land of rivers and stunning waterfalls. If you are a climber, trekker, or camper, then Kalam is a place you have to visit at once in your life. A famous lake, the -spelling-remark”>Mahodand Lake, is just 35.4 km from Kalam. On the way to Mohdand lake, you can also visit the USHU Jungle and Matiltan areas – one of the biggest waterfalls. The whole year the weather remains chilled and snowy in Kalam. Some of the most attractive tourist spots in Kalam are written below:
- Ushu Forest
- Kundol lake
- Mahodand Lake
Some of the famous mountains of Pakistan are also in Kalam, including Mount Falaksar. It is also the highest peak in Kalam.
8. Neelum Valley
Neelam Valley, the second name of heaven, it’s one of the most charming, divine, and beautiful places in Pakistan. Located in the west of the Mansehra District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa- Pakistan’s Province has taken all the attractions. It is one of the most attractive places in Azad Kashmir and is known because of the blue water river that flows with curves like a snake. It gives an exceptionally magnificent expression that creates an outstanding scenic view. By the locals, it’s known as the Paradise of Kashmir. There is a rumor that this name was taken to define it as a precious stone called Neelum. Before the partition of Pakistan and India, the valley was called Kishanganga. The river flows from Gurez Valley in Indian-administered – Jammu and Kashmir then follows first westward and a south-western direction till it meets the Jhelum River at Muzaffarabad. It covers a total area of 3,621 km2 (1,398 sq mi) with an elevation of 1,615 m. The people often speak five different languages, Urdu, Hindko, Kashmiri, Shina, Gojri, and Kundal Shahi. It is also the most attractive spot for domestic and international tourists that supports tourism in Pakistan.
Some of the attractions points near Neelam Valley are:
- Banjosa Lake
- Ratti Gali Lake
- Kutton Jagran
- Kutton Valley
- Sharda Valley
If you want to explore northern Pakistan, then you need to visit Neelum Valley at once in your life.
9. Hunza Valley
If you are living in Pakistan, you must have heard about Hunza in northern pakistan. It’s one of the most popular, stunning, and beautiful northern areas of Pakistan. Hunza is a delightful sight for the eyes that gives an exceptional picturesque view. This mountainous valley is in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The valley is bordered to the northwest of Ishkoman, southeast of Shigar, north of Afghanistan, and northeast of Xinjiang. Located at an elevation of 2,438 meters – 7,999 feet it covers a total area of 11,660 km2 – 4,500 sq mi. Geographically, Hunza is divided into three regions, Upper Hunza – Gojal, Central Hunza, and Lower Hunza. The valley is wrapped with spontaneous snow-covered mountains, lakes, and fruit-loaded orchards. The Altit Fort, Baltit Fort, Attabad Lake, Passu Cones, Eagle’s Nest, and Ultar Glacier are also situated in this stunning valley. Several surviving Buddhist archaeological sites are located in the valley, such as the Sacred Rock of Hunza. The surrounding peaks rise more than 7,000 m in the Hunza Valley. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Hunza to see the magic of nature.
Some of the attractions points of Hunza Valley are:
- Attabad lake
- Hussaini Hanging Bridge
- Altit Fort
- Passu Glacier
- Eagle’s Nest
10. Swat Valley
Swat Valley, located in the northwest mountains of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is one of the most visited northern areas of Pakistan. With Green trees everywhere, forests, green surroundings, flowing rivers with colors of rich blue water, it looks like an exact out of a fairy tale. Kalam is the most famous place in Swat Valley. It’s also the 15th-largest district of the KPK, one of the provinces of Pakistan. It covers a total area of 5,337 km2 – 2,061 sq mi with an elevation of 980 m – 3,220 ft. Before 1969, the swat was considered to be a rich autonomous and self-governing state called the Yousafzai State of Swat. After that, it became a part of Pakistan. In the past, Swat Valley was a significant hub of Hinduism and Buddhism, following the old kingdom of Gandhara. The valley was famous for having an exceptionally stunning and picturesque view which supports tourism in Pakistan.
Some of the most attractive points of Swat Valley are:
- Marghazar White Palace.
- Kalam Valley
- Kandol Lake
- Boyun Village
- Jarogo Waterfall
So these were the top 10 beautiful places in Pakistan. Hence, Pakistan is a country rich in culture and having beautiful places. We have mentioned a few of the northern areas of Pakistan. If you are planning a trip to visit Pakistan, then this article might be helpful to you. You can also read our blog on places to visit in Islamabad.
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