16 nights from

£5195

Mughals, Mystics & Mountains

Travel on the Karakoram Highway to the old kingdom of Hunza, where Three Empires meet, and which Eric Shipton regarded "the epitome of mountain grandeur"

Discover all that Northern Pakistan has to offer on this amazing journey, from an astonishing mix of traditional cultures to awe-inspiring untouched natural beauty: home to ancient civilisations, imbued with the mysticism of the Sufi tradition, its history encompasses the armies of Alexander the Great, the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. Lahore, the country’s cultural, intellectual and artistic hub, where Kipling’s Kim roamed the bazaars and Mughal Emperors once held court, is perhaps the greatest of all the Mughal dynasty’s cities. Modern Islamabad is surprising and the nearby remnants of the Gandharan Buddhist civilisation at Taxila give us a further glimpse of ancient times. In the north, where the mountains of the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Mighty Karakoram meet, peaks soar above the clouds and desert forts dot the incredible mountain landscapes. Visit Skardu an amazingly isolated and beautiful region, gateway to the some of the highest mountains in the world including K2. See the beautiful alpine lakes at Kachura and explore The Hunza Valley; boasting the most incredible scenery imaginable, with its own rhythm, culture and tradition, where hospitality is a way of life.

Overview

  • Flight  - 1 night
  • Lahore  - 3 nights
  • Islamabad  - 2 nights
  • Khaplu  - 2 nights
  • Shigar  - 1 night
  • Skardu  - 1 night
  • Hunza Valley  - 3 nights
  • Gilgit  - 1 night
  • Islamabad  - 2 nights
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Tour Highlights

  • Discover the UNESCO-listed Lahore Fort & Shalimar Gardens
  • Immerse in an enthralling Qawali performance
  • Freestyle Polo in the spectacular High Peaks region
  • Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taxila
  • Marvel at the intricate & colourful art form of ‘truck painting’
  • Admire Pakistan’s breathtaking landscapes

Travel on the Karakoram Highway to the old kingdom of Hunza, where Three Empires meet, and which Eric Shipton regarded “the epitome of mountain grandeur“

Notes:

5th April 2024 – On day 6, afternoon is at leisure in Islamabad and the Truck Art visit will be done on day 16 in the morning.

This is a full and busy itinerary with most visits on foot including several sites with inclines or steps, comfortable walking shoes or boots are recommended, and a good general level of fitness is required. However, the efforts you need to put in are more than compensated for by the experience and hospitality you will encounter, in this land where the mountains are as big as the hearts of the people that live there.

Tourists from the West have only recently been re-introduced to Pakistan and thus tourism infrastructure is not as well developed as in other Asian countries, you will on occasion need a little patience. Some accommodation is in heritage properties, it is their charm, location and heritage that make them an integral part of the experience. Travel by road is the classic way to experience the country and while most roads are well-surfaced, it is worth noting that between cities and in the rural North some roads will be better than others, and at times a little patience, humour and flexibility may be required! We do have some longer drives, but the diverse scenery more than makes up for time spent on the bus. We break up our road journeys with stops at villages, to take photos and to stretch our legs. 

Accommodation

Pearl Continental Hotel - Lahore

Located within Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam (The Mall), the Pearl Continental Lahore is the city's only true five star hotel. Combining modern design, excellent service and comfortable rooms featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, the Pearl Continental is the perfect base from which to explore Pakistan's cultural capital. Restaurants, bar, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 607 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe and satellite TV.

Serena Hotel - Islamabad

The only 5-star deluxe hotel in Pakistan. It is a vivid immersion into the culture, heritage and lifestyles of Pakistan’s capital, a relatively undiscovered city boasting exhilarating scenery as well as some of the most colourful musical and culinary traditions in the world. Restaurants, lounge, pool, spa and WiFi (free). 387 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Serena Hotel - Khaplu Palace

One of the most unique hotels in all of Pakistan and an experience on its own. First built in 1840 it was the formal residence of royal family until 1983. Khaplu Palace is one of the finest surviving examples of a royal residence in Baltistan. Each room is unique, showcasing antiques and cultural artifacts from the original palace. The hotel has only 21 rooms, a restaurant and WiFi (free).

Serena Hotel - Shigar Fort Residence

Graced by the extreme beauty of Baltistan's Karakoram Mountain Range and four centuries of folklore and legends, Serena Shigar Fort is a one-of-a-kind heritage boutique hotel situated within a 400-year-old fort and the 17th-century Palace of the Raja of Shigar. 20 cozy, faithfully restored rooms appointed with native stone, walnut floors and handmade period furniture, fabrics and antiques create welcoming spaces to ease you into tranquillity.

Shangrila Resort - Skardu

Encircling the calm Kachura Lake, fruit laden groves, flower filled gardens and surrounded by the magical mountains, the Shangrila Resort is truly ‘heaven on earth’. This serene and scenic resort has 60 rooms, a restaurant, lounge and WiFi (free).

Serena Hotel - Altit Fort

Located at the footsteps of the 1,100 years old Altit Fort, and the huts are surrounded by the enchanting Royal Garden and have uninterrupted views of Hunza Valley as well as the towering peaks of Rakaposhi, Ultar and Diran. Restaurant, WiFi (free), 16 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, minibar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.

Serena Hotel - Gilgit

The hotel is designed as a nature retreat, the hotel is surrounded by beautiful gardens with views of high peaks surrounding Gilgit Valley. Restaurant, bar and lounge area, WiFi (free), 30 air-conditioned rooms with private balcony, safe, minbar, mini-fridge and satellite TV.

Departures & Prices

per person in a twin room
Qatar from Heathrow via Doha

April
April 5 (Friday)
  • 4 Places Remaining
  • On Request: Please Call
May
May 24 (Friday)
September
September 20 (Friday)
October
October 4 (Friday)
Price Includes:

Air travel and taxes, 15 nights' in specially selected hotels, breakfast daily, 14 lunches and 15 dinners, itinerary as described, services of expert local guides and representative. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply. 

Not Included:

Travel insurance, visa, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.

Supplements per person

Single Supplement
  • 2024: Apr, May, Sep, Oct
  • £1195
  • 2025: Apr, Sep, Oct
  • £1295
Privately Guided
£1895
  • Privately guided options available (based on 2 people)
  • On request, please call
Tour Only
  • Save
  • £700
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Included

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