Swat is the most beautiful and historical valley in Pakistan, which is often referred to as the Switzerland of our country. In lower Swat, the basin is broad, the fields on each side of the river are full of Wheat and Lucerne, and the towns are flourishing and enclosed by fruit trees. In Upper Swat, the river falls through pine forests edging in by snow-capped mountains. For the chronological and archaeologists, Swat presents several hundred archaeological places spanning 5,000 years of history. For the trekker and sportsman, it offers good hiking and fishing.
Sites to visit in Swat: Mingora, Swat Museum, Butkara Stupa, Kabal, Upper Swat, Miandam and Malam Jabba.
Galyat consists of seven hill stations situated in the Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is known for its scenic beauty, hiking tracks and pleasant weather and is easily accessible from both Murree and Abbottabad. Drive time from Islamabad is usually about two hours. It is a popular tourist resort in summer. It is forested with pine, cedar, oak walnut and maple trees. It is too much peaceful and attractive for tourists concerning its beauty as compared to Murree. Accommodations are admirable here, hotels and resorts offer excellent accommodations complete with all facilities. The most popular hotels here are Green Retreat, Elites Hotel, Amore Hotel amongst many other hotels and rest houses.
Sites to see in Galyat: Dunga Gali, Mashkpuri, Ayubia National Park, Khaira Gali, Dunga Gali Ayubia Walking Trek and Changla Gali.
3. The Beautiful Khanpur Lake
The Beautiful Khanpur Lake is situated at about 25 miles from Islamabad near Khanpur in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. On River Haro it is a reservoir which supplies drinking water to some areas of Hazara division, Islamabad and Rawalpindi and irrigation water to many of the agricultural and industrial areas in surroundings of these cities. Khanpur Lake is also the venue for Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s annual airborne and waterborne sports festival. Boating facility is available for visitors here. Cliff hanging has become a popular practice here and hundreds of tourist visits this site on a daily basis.
Thandiani is a pristine scenic place for the visitors, Thandiani means cold and is one of the highest locations of the Abbottabad District. It is situated at an altitude of 8,858 feet, a 31 kilometers drive from the Abbottabad city takes one to Thandiani. The drive takes approximately 80 minutes from Abbottabad with beautiful sights on both sides of the way. The road ascends more than 4,000 feet on top of Abbottabad. On the way back from Abbottabad (23 kilometers), the main settlement is the town of Kalapani (black-water in Eglish). Hullah is approximately 2 kilometers east of Thandiani.
5. Lake Saiful Muluk
Lake Saiful Muluk is situated at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley near Naran. It is in the north east of Mansehra District of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. At an elevation of 10,578 meters (3,224 feet) above sea level, it is among one of the highest located lakes in Pakistan. The lake is accessible by a 14 kilometers road from Naran throughout Summer. On foot, the trek from Naran Lake to the Saiful Muluk takes about 1-2 hours. The stream is crystal clear with a slight green tone. The clearness of the stream comes from the various glaciers all around the lofty basin which nourish the lake which is why it is often known as Lake of Fairies.
6. Lake Lulusar
Lake Lulusar is located in the Kaghan Valley at an elevation of 11,190 feet. In Shina (language of Gilgit) word “Lulu” means Red and “Sar” means Lake and in Pashto the word “Sar” means “top”. The Lulusar is also a group of mountain peaks and the highest peak in it has a height of 11,200 feet above sea level. It is a popular tourist’s attraction site. Lulusar Lake, is the key headwaters of the Kunhar River. It flows southwest through the whole length of Kaghan Valley and the Naran Valley, passing Jalkhand, Kaghan, Jared, Paras and Balakot until its convergence with the River Jhelum. The lake is much larger than other lakes in the Kaghan Valley.
Chitral is located in the North West of Pakistan and is a beautiful valley in the Hindukush range of Mountains. It has always been a very important route for many invaders to south east Asia, Including Alexander the great Scythians, Mangol Changez Khan and numerous others. Chitral is a small town with a one single street bazaar and a few tourist class hotels. At the end of bazaar on the right (River side) there is the Chitral Fort and Palace of Mehtar (Mir Or King), In front of the Fort is the Jami Mosque of Chitral an impressive architecture with beautiful inlays and decorations. You can get to Chitral from Peshawar or Swat via Dir through the Lowari tunnel. From Gilgit you can get a Jeep to take you to Phan der (Below Shandur Pass).
Sites to see in Chitral: Kalash Valley, Tirich Mir, Shahi Masjid, Shahi Qila, Chitral Fort, Gharam Chasma, Chitral Polo Ground, Rock Climbing, treks and Walks around the city.
For More Information Contact the following offices:
- Tourist Information Centre, Peshawar 091-9213762, 091-9210009
- Tourist Information Centre, Royal Hotel Manshera Road, Abbottabad 0992-335876, 0992-335877
- Tourist Information Centre, Dunga Gali, Main Chowk, Murree Road 0992-355173,0992-355174
- Tourist Information Centre, Near Mountain Inn Chitral 0943-413540, 0943-412800
- Tourist Information Centre, SIDP Plaza, Opposite Hill View Hotel, Jinnah Super Market, F-7/4 Islamabad. 051- 2655614, 051-9102606
- Tourist Information Centre, Suite #1, Ground Floor, Trade Tower Abdullah Haroon Road, Karachi. 021-35681211, 021-35684123