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Badshahi masjid, Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan Holidays

Blessed with natural beauty, an astonishing diversity of tribes and faces and a fascinating history, little changed since Mughal times.

Travellers in search of knowledge and history will find Pakistan enormously rewarding, it is one of the most scenically and culturally underrated countries.

Populated by an immensely hospitable people, it somehow exudes an air of polite sophistication. The scenery is epic, the people warm and proud and the ancient sites devoid of crowds. With the world getting smaller and fewer places remaining uncharted, Pakistan is a rare and exciting country.

Makran Coastal Highway, Pakistan
Makran coastal highway

Why we love Pakistan

Our Pakistan expert Paul has travelled throughout the country, spending time among the soaring 7,000 metre peaks and alpine meadows of the north as well as the bustling cities, desert forts and tombs of the less visited south. In his words “Pakistan is a secret jewel in the Sub-Continent, a myriad of colours, amazing sites and curious people. It is different and refreshing, having had little tourism for the last decade or so – a whole generation has missed out on seeing tourists in many locations”.

Read Paul’s blog.

Decorated Truck with Local Man, Sindh, Pakistan
Decorated truck with local man

What to expect on a holiday to Pakistan

We can create a tailor-made holiday exploring the country in comfort using internal flights, comfortable minivan vehicles and 4WD where necessary. A private driver and guide will accompany you throughout, facilitating local interaction and education at every turn. Although accommodation options are simple, the country’s infrastructure is constantly improving and a smattering of converted palaces and boutique hotels are opening. Cliché as it may be, you will rarely receive a warmer welcome.

There is excellent trout fishing, authentic local cuisine and together with a masterpiece of engineering, the Karakorum Highway, there is access to all but the most remote areas.

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Bibi Jawindi Shrine, Uch Sharif, Pakistan
Bibi Jawindi Shrine, Pakistan

A little more about Pakistan

The southern plains are dotted with superb examples of Mughal architecture which include both magnificent tombs and elaborate gardens. The real beauty of the country is revealed amidst the mountains of the infamous North-West frontier region. So vividly portrayed in countless books, poems and films, towering snow-capped peaks, many exceeding 7,000 metres, dominate the skyline and the valleys below offer superb trekking. Steep ravines, sparkling rivers, isolated villages, wildflower meadows, apricot groves, forts and the inimitable proud tribespeople all combine to preserve an atmosphere of a bygone age.

Explore Pakistan

  • Gilgit
  • Islamabad
  • Lahore
  • Hyderabad
  • Karachi
Landscape view of Hussaini hanging bridge above Hunza river, Gilgit , Pakistan
Gilgit, Pakistan

Highlights of Pakistan

This holiday idea to Pakistan focuses on the wild and beautiful north of this enigmatic country. Journey through towering mountain passes on the famed Karakorum Highway, step back in time among colourful merchant stalls in old Peshawar, explore UNESCO sites, cliff-side forts and ancient rock art before wandering amidst the colonial elegance of Lahore.

14 days

from £2,045 pp

See holiday idea

Experiences

A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your holiday to Pakistan.

Pakistani arts and crafts

Visit local artisans at work – Pakistan in known for bone carvings, camel skin lamps, weaving, pottery and mosaic.

Visit a truck workshop

Wander around a truck workshop where mechanics service and even decorate the colourful trucks which are a common sight all over Pakistan.

Desert Forts

Explore the desert forts of the south including Derawar, Rohtas and Kot Diji.

See an international polo tournament

Coincide your visit with an international polo tournament on the Shandur Pass, home to the highest polo ground in the world.

Stay in a 19th century fort

Explore the scenic landscapes around Skardu from an atmospheric and historical hotel, once a Mir’s palace.

Visit the Khunjarab Pass

Connecting Pakistan with China this is the highest paved border in the world. Visit as part of a day trip or even cross into China and onto the famed Kashgar market.

Qissa Khawani Bazaar

Wander through the streets of old Peshawar and lose yourself among the alleys of the colourful Qissa Khawani bazaar. Explore the copper bazaar, the bird and spice market, cloth market, shoe bazaar, vegetable market and jewellery bazaar.

UNESCO sites

Explore some of the countries UNESCO sites including Taxila, a once important centre for Buddhist learning, Mohenjo-daro, one of the worlds earliest major cities and the Mughal gardens of Shalamar in Lahore.

The Wagah border ceremony

Witness this fascinating daily spectacle which takes place every evening, before sunset. This ceremonial lowering of the flags for both India and Pakistan involves patriotic music and elaborate drills from immaculately dressed guards, all enthusiastically watched by crowds from both sides of the border.

Baltit and Altit Forts

Visit Baltit and Altit Forts, dating back 400 and 500 years respectively and built amidst spectacular mountain, river and glacier scenery.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveler chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz. Later, my father’s postings took us to Nepal where we had to transit Delhi and Kathmandu where we were sometimes stranded for days and Hong Kong from where I travelled in 1983 through China for two months.

Talk with our experts
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Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

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Paul is very knowledgeable about all the destinations we book with him. Always organised to a high standard and a great help, he gives us confidence in our trip.

Central Asia

Frequently asked questions about Pakistan

Can I visit Pakistan as a single traveller?

Yes, our partners in Pakistan will look after you on the ground and you would be accompanied by a local guide at all times.

How do I get to Pakistan?

There are limited direct flights into Islamabad and Karachi, otherwise various airlines fly into the country via their hub. Flights via Dubai with Emirates, Abu Dhabi with Qatar or Istanbul with Turkish are a few examples.

When is the best time to visit Pakistan?

Pakistan can be visited year round although the north and south have distinct climates. As a general rule, the best time to visit the north is between May and October and the south between October and March. Outside of these times temperatures can be extremely cold or very hot.

Is alcohol allowed in Pakistan?

Alcohol is not allowed in Pakistan although in recent years the rules have eased a little.

What is the food like in Pakistan?

Pakistani cuisine is very tasty and varies from region to region. Flavours combine ingredients and spices from neighbouring countries using lots of vegetables so great for vegetarians, plus chicken and mutton for meat eaters.

Do I need a visa to travel to Pakistan?

If you’re travelling to Pakistan on a British passport, you will need to get a visa before you travel. This can be applied for online and the cost of a three month tourist e-visa costs between USD8-60 dependent on your nationality.

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Why Choose Steppes?

These may be uncertain times but they are, without a doubt, still full of opportunity to discover the extraordinary safely. Through knowledge and expertise, we can connect you to those destinations embracing travellers with the added confidence of flexible booking and decades of insight.

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