The second most happening city in the Gilgit-Baltistan region is Skardu. Skardu city is located in the heart of Skardu valley. The valley is a narrow valley which is 10 km wide and 40 km long. It is at the union of the Shigar River and Indus River.
The Karakoram Range surrounds Skardu.
Skardu is a very popular rendezvous with Mountaineering Expeditions. It is equally popular with high altitude trekkers who trek to Baltoro Glacier, K2 Base Camp, and Concordia. Skardu by road lies approximately 5 hours away from Gilgit and 10 hours’ drive from Besham.
From Islamabad, it is approximately 20 hours’ drive by road. The Shigar Valley, which is home to K2 is also located within this region. In the heart of this valley, one can view the very picturesque Shigar Fort. It has been restored to its former glory and can be used as a hotel of repute and standard. Some other scenic areas around Skardu are Khaplu, Manthoka, Satpara lake.
There is an organic village which was visited by Prince Charles recently. The world-renowned resort of Shangri-La is just outside the perimeter of Skardu city. It houses the lower Kachura lake around which the resort has been constructed.
Perhaps the most scenic part of Pakistan, we can either drive to Skardu or take a flight from Islamabad which operates daily. However, it is all dependent on the weather. If you have not seen Skardu, you have seen nothing.
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We depart early and drive to Besham via Haripur, Abbottabad and Mansehra. After a short break at Besham, we resume our drive on Karakoram Highway, along River Indus. We will make photo stops at Shatial Rocks with ancient graffiti’s on it. We reach Chilas/ Narran and transfer to hotel for night stay.
From Chilas we travel on towards Skardu and on the way make a stop at Nanga Parbat View Point and confluence of the world’s 3 highest mountain ranges (Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush) including the confluence of Gilgit River into the Indus. Shortly after this point we turn right to follow the Indus River towards Skardu. This is the most breath taking part of the journey where you see villages on both sides of the mighty Indus and there are rope bridges connecting the two sides. We reach the Kachura Lakes for a brief stay before continuing on to Skardu where we will stay for night.
From Skardu, we move towards Deo-Sai stopping briefly at Satpara Lake. Then it is a constant climb to more than 4000 metres to reach the plateau. We shall stop at Bara Pani Bridge for tea break and try to reach Shausar Lake (depending upon weather conditions) before returning to Skardu.
After breakfast, we leave for Shigar Valley, a contrast of greenery as well as desert known as the Cold Desert Shigar. Crossing the River Indus and driving through a sandy land, we reach in green and fertile Shigar Valley. At Shigar, we will visit the old mosque and Shigar Fort residence. We return back to Skardu in evening and stay there for night.
After breakfast, we check out and start our return journey following the Indus River. We reach the KKH and drive to Chilas for a rest and lunch break. After lunch we continue our journey towards Besham for night stay.
From Besham we resume our journey towards Islamabad passing through Mansehra, Abbottabad and Havelian we will reach Islamabad at our designated drop off place.
End of the RVT Services
(This is year round program however in summers, if Babusar Pass route is open, we will follow this picturesque option through Kaghan Valley