Hunza Region, Northern Pakistan: 15 Days Itinerary
Day 1: Lahore Arrival
Arrive into Lahore airport where you will be met by the EBT team (if you are arriving within 24 hours of the start of the tour); we’ll ferry you to HQ where you can chill out and freshen up. We recommend arriving into Lahore one day early so that you can settle in and be ready to go on the morning of day one. Note: accommodation pre-tour is not included. After our group has assembled, we will have our first group meeting/introductions over tea/coffee and then we will hit the road. We will save visiting the highlights of Lahore until the end of the tour.
After the briefing, it's time to hit the road and head to the mountains! Traveling by comfortable 24 seater minibus, the Kahn Express, with our fearless driver Mr. Khan – our good friend and driver for the whole adventure, we leave Lahore behind and embark on our journey! The plan is to drive roughly 8-12 hours to the mountain bazar town of Naran located in the lush Kaghan Valley. Here we will rest up for the night at a comfortable hotel before hitting the road again in the morning.
Day 2: Travel to Karimabad
The real attractions of Pakistan are in the north and to get there we need to travel along the world’s highest paved road, The Karakoram Highway. Traveling along The Karakoram Highway is an unforgettable experience; you will see peaks and valleys, rivers and glaciers. Twenty-one of the world’s one hundred highest peaks are visible from the KKH and the journey is a great introduction to the mountains as civilization slips away behind us…
The goal is to reach Karimabad by late afternoon/early evening. That way we have the whole next day to relax in this stunning mountain village.
*(Drive from Naran to Karimabad – approx. 10 hours – with plenty of stops along the way.
Day 3: Karimabad chill day
Karimabad is the gateway to the mountains and a great place to unwind for a day. Wander the cobblestone streets, bargain for rubies and handicrafts, feast on Hunza cuisine, sip espresso in Café Hunza, get to grips with the dark history of Baltit Fort, take a peek at the Silk Road from Altit Fort, and watch the sun set over the river below…
Day 4: Mountain Story Stay/ Eagles Nest Sunrise
After a morning of exploring Karimabad, we’ll drive for thirty minutes up a steep switchback road to reach Mountain Story— a guesthouse located above Aliabad, just south of Karimabad. This place is awesome (and they may even make home made cider and beer)... We will then have a very early morning start and drive to catch the sunrise above Eagles Nest.
Day 5: Meet our Pakistani family!
Following our adventures in Karimabad, we will head to the small village of Ghulkin, a truly special place where time stands still and mountains march away into the distance on all sides. En route we will take in the scenes at Attabad Lake and make a stop at the legendary Hussaini suspension bridge, before arriving in Ghulkin.
This is one of the best places in Pakistan to trek, explore glaciers, snack on apricots, camp out under the stars and chat with the locals.
We will be staying with our good friends Rehman (one of our adventure guides) and Sitara; both of whom speak excellent English (Sitara is the local teacher) and can give an insight into life in the mountains. Accommodation in Ghulkin will be in one huge guest room and we will all be sharing a space. Conditions in the village are very clean (yes, there’s a western toilet!) but are also basic; electricity is sporadic and there is no phone signal. If you need constant access to Facebook this trip probably isn’t for you.
Day 6: Ghulkin Glacier Trek
Today we will be trekking into the mountains and hiking to a shepherds hut where we spend the night camping. Once at the shepherd’s hut, there is the option to hike further onto the Ghulkin glacier (which we will be traversing throughout the day). Peek inside an ice cave, drink crystal clear water directly from the glacier and hunt for stunning quartz crystals peeking out of the ice. Note: no crampons or spikes are needed as the glacier we hike on is a mix of gravel, rocks, mountain debris, and ice.
We will get settled in and set up shop at the shepherd’s hut whilst soaking in the stunning 360 mountain views. At night, assuming it’s clear, the stars will be incredible. Last time; I spotted nine shooting stars in ten minutes!
*(The trek will take between 4-6 hours. Porters available for an additional fee)
Day 7: Hike back to Ghulkin + Optional hike in afternoon.
Today, we return to Ghulkin via a different hiking route. Keep an eye out for eagles and ibex in the mountains above you and soak in some of the freshest air you’ve ever tasted… Upon arrival in Ghulkin, we shall feast like the kings of old and sleep one more night at our homestay with Rehman.
We visit Borit Lake and (energy permitting) the Passu Glacier lookout point on the hike back to Ghulkin and return to Ghulkin and then arrange an optional hike (time permitting) where we’ll hike for an hour (one way) and then cross the stunning Passu suspension bridge.
*(Trek for 2-4 hours)
Day 8: Onwards to China!
Today, we are off on an epic adventure… Traveling by minibus, we will head up towards Khunjerab Pass / National Park. The scenery from the road is truly incredible and we will make frequent stops for photos and chai. We will make our way up towards the Pakistan-China border crossing, the highest in the world. Set in a craggy bowl of mountains and surrounded by glaciers, this is a truly breathtaking landscape steeped in history. We will spend the night in a comfortable but basic hotel in Passu where you will have access to decent showers (and maybe even WiFi).
Day 9: Travel to The Fairy Meadows
Leaving Passu early, we will travel to Raikot Bridge where we will transfer into 4x4s and traverse the legendary Fairy Meadows jeep track - think sheer drops and impossible hair-pin bends… In the distance, if the weather is clear, you will catch your first glimpse of Nanga Parbat; the most beautiful mountain in Pakistan and the ninth highest mountain in the world. This is the stuff adventure is made of! You may have to hike part of the jeep track as the road is sometimes washed away.
Arriving at the end of the jeep track we will then hike for two to three hours (porters and horses available for an additional fee). Arriving into The Fairy Meadows, we will spend the next couple of nights in comfortable log cabins with wood burners to keep us warm.
*(Drive from Passu to Raikot Bridge – 5 - 6 hours - then 1.5 hour jeep journey and 2 - 3 hour trek)
Day 10 - 11: Optional Treks around Nanga Parbat and Fairy Meadows
The Fairy Meadows is the perfect place to chill out and unwind; watch the clouds dance past Nanga Parbat, the glacier snaking through the valley below, and explore the cool woods surrounding our log cabins. There are several optional treks available here ranging from two hours to seven hours and we will offer treks both days.
If you’re not feeling it, you can chill out at the lodge. The Fairy Meadows is one of the best places in the world to relax and watch the mountains. Every night at the Fairy Meadows we will have am epic bonfire beneath the stars! Weather permitting, we will make the trip to Nanga Parbat basecamp to take in the stunning views of the stunning 8,000 meter+ peak.
*Note: the optional hike to Nanga Parbat basecamp requires a moderate level of fitness and take around 7 - 10 hours round trip (with plenty of time to chill out at base camp, eat lunch, etc).
Day 12: Travel to Islamabad
Leaving The Fairy Meadows behind, we will travel back to Raikot Bridge at first light where we will join our minibus and Mr. Kahn and begin the long journey back to Islamabad.
*Note: 3 / 4 hours to reach Raikot Bridge, 10-14 hours to reach Islamabad with meal / bathroom stops on the way.
We sleep in Islamabad to break up the super long drive. Islamabad is just a sleep / shower stop at a hotel before moving on back to Lahore in the morning.
Day 13: Arrive in Lahore
Today we have something special in store for you that we will reveal at some point on tour. Hint: your belly and heart will be full. We will aim to be back in Lahore sometime in the mid-afternoon. Arriving into Lahore, we will head straight to our hotel to freshen up / chill for a few hours. The plan for the evening is to eat diner at a fantastic restaurant overlooking the Badshahi Mosque.
Day 14: Final Day in Lahore
Our final day of the tour will be action packed. In the morning, We’ll check out Badshahi Mosque (which we will have already seen but not visited); a marvel of red sandstone and polished marble and the Lahore Fort. We will then have a few hours of chill time at the hotel following the mosque, before heading to the Wagah Border for the border ceremony towards the end of the afternoon. After one final feast together (and plenty of laughs and hugs), the tour officially ends (sadly).
Day 15: Tour Ends
We arrange for transfers to the airport for those who are flying out over the next 24 hours. Check out of the hotel is around 11 am on Day 15. You can choose to stay on at the same hotel if you are not flying home right away, though any additional nights at the hotel are not covered by EBT.
Ready to book your spot? Just follow the instructions below!
(Space is limited - maximum of 12 people)
Discover Pakistan Adventure Tour
Tour Cost: $2,200 per person (approx. £1725).
The balance will be due three - four months before departure.
Secure your spot:
Save 5 % by booking in full using the discount code: EpicSpring-5
Once payment is received, we will send you a confirmation email confirming your spot on the tour.
Of course, if you have any questions at all about the “Hunza Region, Ultimate Karakoram Adventure tour”, please let us know and we would be more than happy to answer them. We look forward to hearing from you
and hopefully having you join us on what promises to be one hell of an adventure across this fascinating land!
Will + Chris
Epic Backpacker Tours Founders