Pakistan is a country with incredibly breathtaking natural beauty and cultural landmarks. Here’s a list of stunning places in Pakistan that showcase its scenic landscapes, including majestic mountains, serene lakes, charming villages, and historic sites. These places offer a visual feast for anyone who appreciates the wonders of nature and rich heritage.
Swat Valley is a stunning place in Pakistan that looks like it’s from a fairy tale. It has beautiful green fields, forests, villages, and crystal-clear blue rivers. The town of Kalam is a great base to explore the valley. Here are three must-visit places in Swat Valley:
- Boyun Village: It’s a short drive or walk from Kalam town. When you reach the top, you’ll see a breathtaking view of a vast and beautiful village along with the valley below. You can easily visit Boyun on a day trip from Kalam.
- Kandol and Spindhor Lakes: These alpine lakes are two hours away from Kalam. Kandol Lake is more accessible by jeep, while Spindhor Lake requires a two-hour trek. Both lakes are incredibly beautiful and worth a visit.
- Ushu Forest: This well-preserved forest is filled with deodar trees and is a fantastic place to explore. The road through the forest leads to several villages along the Kalam River.
These places in Swat Valley showcase the natural beauty of Pakistan and are truly remarkable.
Yarkhun Valley is a hidden gem in Pakistan, located in the Upper Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is a truly stunning place with beautiful mountain ranges and untouched villages. To reach the valley, you may need to make some effort if you don’t have your own vehicle, as the roads are mostly dirt roads.
If you have the opportunity, make sure to visit the side valley of Gazin in Yarkhun. It’s worth a detour as you can witness the breathtaking mountains of the Thoi Pass. This pass connects Upper Chitral with Yasin Valley in Gilgit Baltistan. Yarkhun Valley is a lesser-known but incredibly beautiful place to explore in Pakistan.
Phander Lake, situated in Phander Village, is unbelievably beautiful. The lake has a stunning teal color and is surrounded by light-green trees, making it look like a painting.
Surprisingly, Phander Lake doesn’t attract as many tourists as the popular Attabad Lake. During the four days I spent there, I didn’t encounter any other tourists. If you plan to visit, I highly recommend staying at the Lake Inn, which is a short walk away and costs 1,000 rupees per night.
There is also the more expensive PTDC (Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation) hotel that offers a view of the lake for 5,000 rupees, but in terms of hospitality and value, the Lake Inn is the better choice.
HINGOL NATIONAL PARK
Hingol National Park, located in Pakistan, resembles a landscape from another planet, like Mars! The park spans over 6,000 square kilometers and features incredibly unique rock formations, vast canyons, diverse animal species, and even a mud volcano.
What makes Hingol National Park even more extraordinary is that part of it stretches along the coast, offering stunning views of the ocean. Despite its otherworldly appearance, the park is only a 3.5-hour drive from Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city.
While Pakistani citizens can easily enter the park, foreigners have had varying experiences. Some have been able to spend a night or a weekend in the park when accompanied by locals, while others have only been granted day permissions. Since there is no public transport available to the park, it is necessary to have your own means of transportation.
DEOSAI PLAINS NATIONAL PARK
Deosai is often called the “roof of the world” because it is situated at a high altitude of 4,117 meters (13,497 feet). It is the second-highest plateau globally and can mostly be visited during the summer season.
When you arrive at Deosai, you will be greeted by vast, lush green meadows, snow-capped peaks, and sparkling blue lakes. It is also home to the Himalayan Brown Bear, which can be spotted by visitors, especially if you are camping in the area.
To enter the park, foreigners are required to pay an entrance fee of 1,000 rupees, while Pakistanis are charged 40 rupees. Deosai is a breathtaking destination that offers a unique and beautiful experience.
Despite being a bit off the beaten path compared to other stunning tourist spots in Pakistan, Shimshal Valley is definitely worth the effort to reach. It is renowned as a prime adventure destination, especially for climbers and mountaineers.
However, Shimshal is not only attractive to adrenaline junkies; the village itself is incredibly beautiful during the summer. Interestingly, it mostly relies on solar energy for its power needs.
You can also opt for easier short treks to nearby yak pastures or simply wander around and take in the breathtaking views and fields of vibrant mustard-yellow flowers. Shimshal Valley offers a unique and captivating experience for nature enthusiasts.
SHAH JAHAN MOSQUE
Contrary to popular belief that all Mughal relics are found in Punjab, there is a remarkable one in Sindh province, Pakistan. The Shah Jahan Mosque, also known as the Jamia Masjid, is situated in the town of Thatta. It is famous for its intricate tile work, considered the most elaborate in all of South Asia. The mosque’s interior is adorned with vibrant blue and sandstone colors, creating a stunning visual experience for visitors.
Commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1647 when he sought refuge in Thatta, the mosque has managed to remain remarkably well-preserved. Despite being located in the Sindh region, known for its flat terrain rather than mountains, the impeccable artistry found here makes it one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in Pakistan.
Siri Paye is a picturesque meadow located near Kaghan Valley in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. Unlike the easily accessible Galiyat region, Siri Paye is heavily guarded and not easily reached. It is surrounded by steep mountains, has a narrow and steep road, and experiences rocky landslides and winter snow, which have helped preserve its natural beauty.
At an elevation of 3,058 meters (10,032 feet) above sea level, Siri Paye features a beautiful high mountain lake in the center of the meadow. The meadow is adorned with wild yellow and lilac flowers, and animals can be seen grazing in the fields. Makra Peak, Malika Parbat, and Musa ka Musala provide a stunning backdrop to Siri Paye’s scenic landscape.
Shogran Valley is a wonderful destination to visit. Its towering mountains provide a barrier from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, while the lush green grass brings a sense of calm to a mind filled with worries. The cool and refreshing winds in the valley can rejuvenate your spirit and soul.
In winter, Shogran Valley experiences extremely cold temperatures with icy winds and heavy snowfall. Consequently, the valley is mostly accessible to visitors during the peak summer months, particularly June, July, and August.
During the daytime in summer, the weather in Shogran Valley is pleasant and sunny, with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Celsius. However, the nights can get chilly, and you may feel the need to wrap yourself in a shawl for warmth.
Naran and Kaghan are popular tourist destinations in the Mansehra district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan. The term “Naran Kaghan” refers to both the Naran Valley and Kaghan Valley, which are neighboring regions.
Naran is a tourist town located within the larger Kaghan Valley, at an altitude of 2,409 meters (7,904 ft). It is about 23 kilometers (14.3 miles) north of the main Kaghan Valley. Kaghan itself is situated around 99 kilometers (61.6 miles) away from the city of Mansehra, and its elevation ranges from 650 meters (2,134 ft) to 4,170 meters (13,690 ft).
Thandiani is a well-known natural attraction in the beautiful Galiyat region of Pakistan. The road leading to Thandiani hill station provides stunning views of the surrounding mountains and natural beauty.
Thandiani, which means “cold” in the local language, is a fantastic hill station for nature enthusiasts. It is a popular destination to escape the hot plains and city life, especially during the summer. It is equally captivating to visit in both summer and winter. In summer, Thandiani offers picturesque views of lush green landscapes, while in winter, the snow-covered mountains create a breathtaking sight.
The mountains around Thandiani are covered with dense forests, home to various wildlife such as leopards, monkeys, pheasants, rare flying squirrels, and pine martens, among others.
The Kunhar River, located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, originates from Lulusar Lake, which is approximately 48 km away from Naran Valley. The river is fed by glaciers from Malka Parbat and Makra Peak, as well as the waters of Saiful Muluk Lake.
Flowing through the entire Kaghan Valley, including Jalkhand, Naran, Kaghan, Jared, Paras, and Balakot, the Kunhar River eventually joins the Jhelum River. It stretches for a length of 166 km (103 mi).
The Kunhar River is renowned for its trout, which are considered the best in the Indian subcontinent.
The river is a popular destination for camping, rafting, and various other water sports.
Harnoi Lake in Abbottabad is a popular tourist attraction in Pakistan, known for its scenic streams, freezing cascades, and beautiful surroundings. The lake is nestled amidst steep mountains covered in dense forests, offering a picturesque view. It is a small yet stunning lake surrounded by lush greenery, making it an ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts.
One of the remarkable aspects of Harnoi Lake in Abbottabad is its consistently pleasant weather all year round. While some visitors also come during winter, the lake tends to be more crowded during the summer months.