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Classic Northwest Frontier

Tailor Made Itinerary

13 Days From £2,350

Overview

The Northwest Frontier was the birthplace of Wild Frontiers and therefore has extra special significance to us here. This trip is focused on spending time with the wonderful Kalash, worlds away from the Islamic Pakistan you are imagining - as well as taking in some of the most spectacular mountain scenery of the Hindu Kush. On this spectacular trip along the famous Northwest Frontier you will drive up from the capital Islamabad, through the spectacular Swat Valley, to the haven of Ayun. Here you ...
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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Spend two days visiting our friends the Kalash and learning about their fascinating culture
  • Explore the Buddhist sights of the Swat Valley
  • Relax in Maqsood Ul Mulk's fabulous rose garden in Ayun
  • Search for markhor - the national animal of Pakistan - in Chitral Gol National Park
  • Drive over the spectacular Shandur Pass - 'the roof of the world'
  • Wander around the sleepy mountain town & bazaar of Chitral

ITINERARY

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

DAY 1: ARRIVE ISLAMABAD

DAY 1: ARRIVE ISLAMABAD

Arrive into Islamabad airport, where you will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, kick off your tour with a visit the Institute of Folk Heritage, known as Lok Versa, a small ethnological museum displaying numerous costumes and artefacts from all over Pakistan, and from here proceed to the Faisal Mosque. When this impressive house of worship was built in the 70s, it was the largest in the world and houses an Islamic university specialising in Philosophy and Law. Finally you can visit the Marghalla Hills to enjoy magnificent views over the city before taking dinner at one of the many restaurants in old Islamabad where Saidpur Village still survives amid the modern planning.

Islamabad Serena Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 2: ISLAMABAD - SWAT VALLEY

DAY 2: ISLAMABAD - SWAT VALLEY

Today you will start your journey north by driving through the Northwest Frontier and into the beautiful Swat Valley. Follow the GT Road to Malakand Pass, Butkhela, Chakdara and Saidu Sharif. Until quite recently this region was out of bounds to foreign tourists, but now it has opened up again offering you a great chance to explore the region's ancient Buddhist past. Once you have checked into your hotel, you can visit the local museum, packed with many fine Gandharan artefacts, and other Buddhist sites. Then visit the famous archaeological site of Butkara, which is one of oldest Buddhist stupas in Ghandhara.

Serena Hotel Swat
Breakfast

DAY 3: SWAT VALLEY - AYUN

DAY 3: SWAT VALLEY - AYUN

After breakfast you will embark on a spectacular drive, passing Chakdara - where young Winston Churchill saw action back in the 1890s - before continuing over the Lowari Pass (or going through the new tunnel) and into the ancient kingdom of Chitral. Here you'll drive on to Ayun, where you'll check into the wonderful home of Maqsood Ul Mulk, one of the princes of Chitral.

Ayun Fort
Breakfast

DAY 4: AYUN

DAY 4: AYUN

Today will be a day to relax and enjoy your spectacular surroundings after a long day of driving. You will be free to enjoy the beautiful garden and orchards of Prince Maqsood Ul Mulk - an old friend of Wild Frontiers. Standing at the entrance to the Kalash Valleys, surrounded by wonderful views, this is a lovely laid-back place to stay and recover from your long journey. Ask your host about the village walk options, we definitely recommend that you make time to head down the hill into Ayun to wander through the peaceful village where locals will often invite you into their homes giving you a real insight into what life is like up in this remote Chitrali village.

Ayun Fort
Breakfast

DAY 5: AYUN - KALASH VALLEY

DAY 5: AYUN - KALASH VALLEY

After breakfast, you will drive into the Valley of Rumbor and the village of Balanguru where you stay with our good friend Saifullah Jan, the chief spokesperson for the colourful Kalash people. You also have the option of walking the last few miles through this gorgeous valley. The Kalash, numbering approximately 3,000, are the smallest religious minority of Pakistan. Unlike the other minorities in the country, they live exclusively in a particular geographical area; the three valleys of Birir, Bumburet and Rumbur. Situated in the Hindu Kush between the Afghan Border and Chitral Valley, the Muslim label the community Kalash Kafirs' (non-believers) and their area Kafirstan.

Kalash Guesthouse Rumbur
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6: KALASH VALLEY

DAY 6: KALASH VALLEY

After breakfast drive to the Bumburet Valley, the most picturesque of the three, scattered with villages and long, fertile stretches of cultivation. Upon arrival spend as much time with the Kalash families as possible, learning about their culture, lifestyle and how they are slowly transitioning into the modern world.

Kalash Guesthouse Rumbur
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7: KALASH VALLEY - CHITRAL

DAY 7: KALASH VALLEY - CHITRAL

Today you will leave the beautiful Kalash Valleys. Heading back down the winding rocky tracks through the soaring Hindu Kush mountains, you will continue your journey towards the sleepy and conservative mountain town of Chitral. Hopefully you can catch a game of mountain polo, if a match is being played, before checking into your hotel for the night.

Hindu Kush Heights Chitral
Breakfast

DAY 8: CHITRAL

DAY 8: CHITRAL

This morning you'll travel on towards Chitral National Park to see the markhor, a kind of mountain antelope and favoured prey of the snow leopards. In the afternoon, you will visit the historical Chitral Fort, Royal Mosque and take a stroll through the old bazaar, a reminder of the heydays of the Silk Road.

Hindu Kush Heights Chitral
Breakfast

DAY 9: CHITRAL - MASTUJ

DAY 9: CHITRAL - MASTUJ

After breakfast you will drive to Mastuj, 110 km north-east of Chitral town, in a 4x4 jeep. This is one of the most beautiful and dramatic drives you are ever likely to take as you wind your way up the Mastuj Valley, passing Tirich Mir and Boni Zong, before finally entering the Yarkund Valley at the top of which lies Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. On arrival you can take a stroll around the village before retiring to your hotel.

Hindu Kush Heights Mastuj
Breakfast

DAY 10: MASTUJ

DAY 10: MASTUJ

After breakfast you will drive to the Shandur Pass, stopping for tea en route at Sor Laspur as well as a picnic lunch on top of pass (3,800m). Visit the beautiful Shandur Lake and the world famous Shandur Polo ground before picking up the vehicle again and driving back to Mastuj.

Hindu Kush Heights Mastuj
Breakfast

DAY 11: MASTUJ - CHITRAL

DAY 11: MASTUJ - CHITRAL

Another spectacular drive today, you will leave the Yarkund Valley at the top of which lies Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor and wind your way down the Mastuj Valley, passing the northern face of the 6000m peak Boni Zong, and the eastern flank of Mount Tirich Mir. The drive will take about 5 hours and on arrival in Chitral you will be taken to your hotel.

Hindu Kush Heights Chitral
Breakfast

DAY 12: CHITRAL - ISLAMABAD

DAY 12: CHITRAL - ISLAMABAD

Rise early for breakfast before beginning the long drive back to Islamabad. Pass through the new Lowari Tunnel, before coming down into Dir. From here, you will drive on to Islamabad on a journey which will take a total of around 12 hours.

Islamabad Serena Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 13: DEPART ISLAMABAD

DAY 13: DEPART ISLAMABAD

This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time to catch your onward flight.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards without the big price tag
Mid-Range
Good quality service and overall comfort
Superior
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

CLASSIC NORTHWEST FRONTIER (13 DAYS) £2,350

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra - The best of the best, the ultimate indulgence
Luxury - Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium - Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior - Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple - No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHEN TO GO

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Clem

Clem is our Pakistan expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Clementine by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Roll back the roof of your jeep for panoramic views of the mountain landscapes on a drive through the stunning Hindu Kush or the mighty Karakoram.

OTHER ITINERARIES IN PAKISTAN