Cycling On Karakorum Highway

13 Days
Availability : April - August
Tour Details

Northern areas of Pakistan – wedged between Afghanistan, China and India – is an area rich with history, natural beauty and cultural diversity, and yet has its own identity, defined by religion, commerce, and a rugged environment. Alexander the Great passed through this region, and so did Buddhism on its way to China and Tibet. There is nowhere else in the world where one can literally drive right up beside the world’s highest peaks and longest glaciers.

We pass through 4 regions within the Karakoram and Hindukush. Nanga Parbat is a huge massif at the western end of the Himalayan Range; its plentiful rainfall ensures its verdant valleys and meadows. The Hunza valley has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt landscapes in the Himalaya, and is home to the Burusho and Wakhi people. khizar, drained by many rivers, and is characterized by isolated valleys and traditional villages of the Kho and Burusho. Chitral is the heart of the high Hindukush. gateway to the minority Kalasha. People come to this region for its scenery and sheer ruggedness, and many of them return because of the warm and hospitable people they meet along the journey.

Departure & Return Location

Islamabad International Airport (Google Map)

Departure Time

3 Hours Before Flight Time

Price Includes

  • Domestic Air fares
  • Hotel Accommodation
  • Tour Guide
  • Entrance Fees
  • All transportation in destination location

Price Excludes

  • International Flight
  • drinks, laundry, phone calls
  • Any Private Expenses
  • Room Service Fees
  • Insurance liability and other under force majeure conditions
  • medical aid, and helicopter rescue coverage etc


  • Umbrella
  • Sunscreen
  • T-Shirt
  • Entrance Fees
What to Expect
  • Cycling on The Great Karakorum Highway
  • The unique culture of Gilgit Baltistan
  • Beautiful Hunza

Day 1Arrive Islamabad

Arrival early in the morning at the Islamabad International airport.Welcome by your guide and transfer to our hotel.Breakfast and rest of the morning at leisure.Lunch at hotel.Departure for the sightseeing of the twin cities Rawalpindi & Islamabad. Drive to Islamabad to visit Rawal Lake situated at 12 km distance. Water to both twin cities is supplied from this immense reservoir. It is also a picnic spot amongst local who often come here with families in the evening. Shakarparian is another scenic spot that overlooks the capital city of Islamabad.Next to it is the Folk Heritage museum where you will discover different aspects of Pakistani Culture. If time allows, we shall visit National Council of Arts where you can appreciate
paintings of known local artists.Drive to Daman e Koh, a terraced garden in the Margalla Hills, which offers a panoramic view of Islamabad. Drive back to Rawalpindi to visit Ayub National Park, situated in its outskirts.Covering an area of 2300 acres, it has a lake, a garden restaurant, a Japanese garden and a golf course of 18 holes. Before reaching hotel, we will be passing through some of the busy streets and bazaars of this old town of Rawalpindi, such as Murree road, Sarafa bazaar, Urdu bazaar, Raja bazaar, Sadar bazaar, Mall road…etc. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 2Fly to Gilgit

; this is one of the most dramatic flight routes in the world. A small turboprop lane flies around Nanga Parba at 8,125m; the sharp triangle of K-2, the second highest mountain in the world, is clearly visible on the horizon. The pilot sometimes invites passengers into the cockpit to see some of Pakistan’s 82 peaks that are higher than 7,000m and stretch, range after range, as far as the eye can see.

The flight is ‘weather dependent’ with about one third of flights cancelled, some at the last moment. In this case, we will travel by coach to Gilgit. On arrival in Gilgit we will be transferred to our hotel.

Gilgit Altitude: 1,500m (4,921ft)

Day 3Free Day Gilgit

We spend the day relaxing in Gilgit. You have the option of visiting the incredible seventh century Kargah Buddha; a three metre high statute carved half way up a cliff-face. A 10-minute walk from here is Shuko Gah, a small village where a Buddhist birchbark text (now called the Gilgit manuscripts) was found in 1931. The manuscripts are now divided among museums in London, Rome, Delhi and Karachi.

Cycle Distance: 18 km (11 miles)
Gilgit Altitude: 1,500m (4,921ft)

Day 4Gilgit - Chiraah

Today we set off on the bikes and cycle into the beautiful and remote Bagrote Valley which spans a distance of 25km and is a 36km from Gilgit. Located at the heart of the Karakorum Mountains, it is surrounded by four Mountain Peaks: Rakapushi to the West, Diran to the North, Popurash to the East and Dubani to the South East. The Bagrote river flows through the steep valley and merges with the Gilgit. The lower region of the valley has been likened to a lunar landscape and is in strong contrast to the upper valley.

We cycle up the narrow road to the summer pastures passing beautiful terraced fields and meadows. The crops and orchards are irrigated by water channels from the Barchi and Hinarchi glaciers and mountain snow. Ice from the glacier is transported to Gilgit as the town has no ice factory. Chiraah is the final village along the track, with a view of Hinarche Glacier and a series of ridges culminating in the Diran Peak (7270m). Nagyr is on the other side. Tonight we will be camping.

Cycling Distance: 36km (22 miles) Total Climb: 1,377m (4,518ft) Total Descent: 372m (1,220ft) Chirah Altitude: 2,600m (8,530ft)
Accommodation: Camping (B,L,D)

Day 5Chiraah - Gilgit

ff on the bikes. Our ride back to Gilgit is mainly downhill and a gentle trip compared with yesterday’s ascent up the valley. Back in Gilgit, you will have time to look around, visit a tea shop or pick up some of the handicrafts for sale in the town.

Cycling Distance: 36km (22 miles) Total Climb: 372m (1,220ft) Total Descent: 1,377m (4,518ft) Gilgit Altitude: 1,500m (491ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B,L)

Day 6Gilgit - Minapin

Setting off from Gilgit, we will make a short off road detour from the KKH to visit the home village of our guide Arman, we stop here for lunch. This afternoon as we rejoin the KKH the road climbs gradually, we pass a few small villages, beyond here we will catch sight of the huge spiral of Rakaposhi mountain looming in the distance. The road goes so close to its base that it is hidden most of the way. It is only when we arrive at our small family guesthouse at Minapin that we really witness the true beauty of Rakaposhi. Our accommodation for the night is situated in a beautiful tranquil orchard with incredible views of the sunset across the valley.

Cycling Distance: 79km (49 miles)
Total Climb: 1,323m (4,340ft)
Total Descent: 752m (2,467ft)
Manipin Altitude: 2,030m (6,660ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B,L,D)

Day 7Minapin - Karimabad

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is at its most spectacular between Ghulmit and Gulmit. The road rides high on the eastern side of the river, twisting and turning around the barren foot of the Hispar Range, which boasts six peaks over 7,000 metres. On the opposite bank, villages cling implausibly to the side of the 7,388m Ultar Mountain.

Above the jagged teeth of the mountain ridge, the highest snow-covered peaks are hidden from view. Our ride leads us to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza. A short but spectacular day.

Cycling Distance: 33km (20.5 miles)
Total Climb: 702m (2,303ft)
Total Descent: 341m (1,118ft)
Karimabad Altitude: 2,400m (7,874ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 8Free day Karimabad

A rest day, but with so much to see in this enchanting village, it is unlikely that you will get much rest. Highlights include the 13th Century Baltit Fort and the Sacred Rocks of Hunza. For the really adventurous amongst you, trek up the Hon Pass for incredible views across the whole of the Nagar valley.

Karimabad Altitude: 2,400m (7,874ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B)

Day 9Karimabad - Passu

As we leave Karimabad the road drops down to the village of Ganesh before we begin a fairly hard 15 km climb. Remember that if at any time you have had enough, just wait around for the back-up vehicle. Due to the floods of 2010, and a landslide, a section of the KKH between the village of Gulmit and Gulkin was impassable for a number of years. A series of newly completed tunnels (the shortest only tens of metres long, the longest 4km) take us through the mountains with occasional views of the stunning blue Attabad lake. Emerging from the tunnels, this afternoon we cycle on a further 16 km to Passu. The road climbs with intermittent glimpses of glaciers, precipices and gleaming white peaks, before the 10 km descent to Passu, which brings us directly to the incredible Passu Glacier where we will stop for the night. About 8km before Passu we will pass the world famous Hussaini suspension bridge.

Cycling Distance: 48km (30 miles)
Total Climb: 902m (2,959ft)
Total Descent: 612m (,2008ft)
Passu Altitude: 2,480m (8,136ft)

Day 10Passu - Shimshal

Today we transfer by vehicle setting off for the first 6km along the KKH, just beyond the Batura Glacier we turn off to cross a suspension bridge over the Hunza river and follow a jeep track up to Shimshal. The road has been described as a miracle of engineering by some. On our approach to Shimshal we pass rocky fields partitioned by dry stone walls and houses built of mud and stone. In the distance we may catch a glimpse of Odver Sar (6,303m). The village herdsmen pasture their sheep, yak and goats on the seasonal mountain grasslands, located several days walk away from the village. The people of Shimshal are Wakhi.

Cycling Distance: 59km (37 miles)
Total Climb: 524m (1,719ft)
Total Descent: 1,128m (3701ft)
Shimshal Altitude: 3,002m (9,849ft)

Day 11Shimshal- Passu

Today we cycle down through the valley passing the Mulungutti Glacier as we travel through a stunning scenery. The valley is home to herds of sheep, goats and yaks that are moved up and down the valley with the seasons. But we see little evidence of settlement apart from the few shepherds’ huts on the precipitous single track road. We cross the Hunza River over a suspension bridge before re-joining the KKH about 6km north of Passu.

Cycling Distance: 59km (37 miles)
Total Climb: 524m (1,719ft)
Total Descent: 1,128m (3,701ft)
Passu Altitude: 2,480m (8,136ft)

Day 12Passu - Sust

We can make a late start this morning. When we depart our beautiful surroundings we have a picturesque 39 km ride to the quiet and unremarkable border village of Sust. We can pick up any supplies we need here, before we cross over the border.

Cycling Distance: 38km (24 miles)
Total Climb: 601m (1,972ft)
Total Descent: 265m (869ft)
Sust Altitude: 3,668m (12,064ft)

Day 13Departure

This is the last day of our tour and our representative will drop you to sost to clear your documentation and proceed towards home

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