Pakistan is one of the very few countries on the planet which has been blessed with exotic landscape, rivers, mountain ranges and of course its surreal culture. People from all over the world travel thousands of miles to pay a visit to this heavenly country, the tourist traffic is mostly high during spring, autumn and winters. The core place of attraction in Pakistan are the northern areas, which display untamed and bewildered beauty of the country.
The northern areas of Pakistan hold some of the most mesmerizing cities that the world has ever known, there are even some parts that haven’t been fully explored, and that builds curiosity for the adventure seekers. As this area of Pakistan is open all year, there are specific times when a lot of traffic is generated here. You can see crowds of people in spring, autumn and winter but today we will solely be talking about THE AUTUMN TOUR.
As we dive into the places to visit in autumn, let us firstly discuss that what even is autumn and why people love to travel during this period. Autumn is the beloved season before winter actually starts so that is when all the colors bloom, it becomes harvesting time in the northern areas and the temperature is beyond cold.
Hunza valley in the northern areas of Pakistan becomes something else in autumn, the reason why I am saying this is because all the hills and slopes in the region are filled with leaves and snow. This becomes something straight out of a fantasy novel, something truly picturesque.
The way those hills change color are like bride who is getting ready for her big day, this transition of the valley is something to be witnessed at all costs. The tones that you can find in Hunza range from orange to blood red with a combination of white and yellow, this proves that this valley is indeed HEAVEN ON EARTH.
Another thing to add in for the excitement is that the valley is filled with snow leopards, markhors, ibexes and foxes. This attracts many adventure seekers from all over the world. Hunza is also home to beautiful yet ancient forts, which were constructed during 8-10 BC. They have stood through timeless wars and invasions and still uphold their immense value and beauty.
In autumn, the transition is almost unrecognizable; the blanket of countless colorful flowers over these forts portrays a very magical image. We strongly suggest that you pay Hunza a visit at least once during the autumn.
Skardu is one of the main convergence point of travelers and adventurers in the central region of Gilgit Baltistan. It is often treated as the capital and upholds such immense value. One of the reason for Skardu being so famous is because it is on the path to some of the highest peaks in the world K2 and K3.
The travel time from Gilgit, especially Jaglot till Skardu is roughly 7-8 hours long, although that being said, the route is very comforting as you are greeted by several streams, springs and of course the hospitality of people. One of the many wonders of Skardu, would most definitely be Shangrila. This is a resort made around a beautiful lake, and the way the infrastructure is constructed it is something truly remarkable. Shangrila is a whole new world built around majestic mountains, during autumn the whole colors change and it feels like as if you have walked into a fantasy novel.
Now let us talk about the way river changes during the different seasons, so you will be seeing turquoise water during autumn and winters whereas some shades of grey during spring and summer. It makes for a wonderful photography opportunity, many people from various parts of the world travel to Skardu just for the photography.
Khaplu valley is another breathtaking in the Baltistan region of Pakistan. Some of the valleys in this region have alternate names and that is because of their native languages. Khaplu also has an alternate name and that is called “Ghanche” (roughly translates to magical). Khaplu is famous for its romantic landscape and that is why it is one of the most favored choices for married couples new and old. The valley also has some historical landmarks that were present during both the world wars, although history has evolved since then.
You can get to Khaplu valley via air or road that is up to your convenience. If you travel by road then it is going to be around 105 kilometers from Skardu, otherwise it will take you roughly 45 minutes via air from Islamabad.
Now, let us get down to business, why would you want to visit Khaplu in autumn or any other season. As we discussed before. Khaplu is a magical and romantic place. The view of Karakoram mountains, ancient heritage, which have now become hotels, and lastly those beautiful water streams. All of them make for a truly magical destination.
Nagar is one of the most fascinating valleys in the northern areas of Pakistan, Nagar and Hunza used to be princely states that were separated by the river Hunza. The reputation of these two states were very notorious, as they were responsible for the looting for the caravans, which used to come from China.
Nagar as of now is divided into two mains districts, which are named Nagar 1&2 respectively. The altitude of this valley is approximately 2500m, you can find many mountain ranges in proximity to the valley, and the most famous one is Rakaposhi. For adventure seekers, all we can say is that the valley is home to treasures like ruby, topas, aquamarine and emerald. If you want to visit Nagar, then be sure to visit the Rakaposhi viewpoint.
Rakaposhi in its native language is called The Mother Of Mist, this peak is ranked the 27th highest in the world. The ever-changing atmosphere and scenery during autumn, makes for an amazing experience.
If you are looking for a peaceful getaway during autumn or any other season then Phander is the perfect place for you. The best time to visit this beautiful valley is from April to October, so autumn is definitely on the list. This timing is convenient for tourists because that is when the hotels would be available, so plan accordingly.
The temperature is very unusual there, as you can expect freezing cold days and drippy nights. Although we did give you the window, the best time in our opinion to visit Phander would be July and August, so you won’t have to lose some fingers because of frost bite. The beauty of this valley is truly unbelievable, as of now there isn’t that much knowledge about it with the tourists but now it increases with each passing time.
Colors and peace of mind being a total priority for you, we would suggest that you visit the valley during September-October. We would suggest that you go there fully packed, as cold is the biggest negative aspect there, as temperatures leading to even -15.
The valley of phander is the home of fishing and during autumn it increases, be sure to fulfill all of your fishing needs once you are there.
Fairy meadows is one the most beautiful valleys of northern areas, think of them as a bouquet of flowers presented before you. They add immensely to the beauty of the northern areas of Pakistan, the local people of Nanga parbat would be more than happy to share their tales of the travelers which came before you. Also the tragedy of the travelers which tried getting to the mountain but failed miserably.
The meadows in these valleys have different atmospheres, they change as per the seasons. Birch trees are very famous in this region and they too change their shape accordingly, you can see them getting a yellowish shade in autumn while they become bare white in the winters.
There are many famous resorts there that you can avail, in our personal experience, the best time to visit Nanga Parbat would be spring, as all the colors come into full display. If you are a lover of wildflowers and beautiful streams, then you have already chosen the best location. Make sure that you just visit this place in either spring or autumn otherwise you won’t be able to bear neither the heat nor the cold.
Adventure and beauty go hand in hand, and if you want to experience something truly remarkable then we suggest you visit the exotic valley of minimarg, which is located in close proximity to the Indian border. As the place is governed by the army, you would be needing special permits to enter. Luckily when I went there, it was on the behalf of commander northern areas, and thus we enjoyed all the bounties.
The valley is carefully nestled between beautiful yet hypnotic beauty. The forests hold a mystery while the village there showcases extreme hospitality. You can get there via jeep on horses, the choice is up to you as all of these have their own sense of enjoyment. This beautiful valley is very backdrop, as you can see little villages on the way there, especially in domail. Those wooden cottages provide a refreshing take on village life, something urban life can never offer.
Autumn and spring are the best time to visit here, the most beloved jewel of this region would be the famous rainbow lake, which changes colors during various time of the day.
Autumn is a very magical time, flowers are blossoming, cold environments and raw beauty to witness and explore. Following were the locations that you can fully enjoy during the autumn tour; we hope that you fully enjoy your travels. Bon Voyage!