Landscape paintings; we all have in our homes hung by the walls, but what’s attractive about these paintings is ‘THE MAGNIFICENT VIEW’ it offers. Something so serene and scenic, it’s almost hard to believe that such beauty exists in the world. Hunza Valley in the North of Pakistan is a part of such a painting.
Explore Hunza !
Well, the northern areas of Pakistan are full of it and Hunza Valley is surely the WINNER. Located at the Pakistan-China border in Gilgit Baltistan, Hunza is a paradise on earth, a fairy-tale land surrounded by snap-capped mountains and beautiful lakes.
Let’s check out some of the best places to visit in Hunza valley, along with the MUST-DO tourist activities in the area.
Note: The pictures you are going to see below, Hunza is TEN TIMES more picturesque in real. So don’t forget to visit
Attabad Lake – The jewel of Hunza Valley
One of the most mesmerizing places in Hunza Valley, the Attabad Lake. Crystal turquoise water, surrounded by gigantic Karakoram Mountains, ranked in the list of most beautiful lakes in Pakistan, Attabad is surely a must-visit place in Hunza. The lake offers a lot of activities to the tourists, and who doesn’t want to have some adventure in the unique blue water of the lake and between the dramatic mountain drop. So Surreal. Boat riding and Jet Skiing are the most loved activities by the tourists in Attabad Lake.
And lastly, if you’re on your honeymoon and you need to have a perfect spot to stay, there’s a 5-star hotel right on the neck of Attabad Lake. Truly give the vibes of Maldives Luxury resorts, with the added beauty of gigantic mountains around. Luxus Hunza is the best there !
Hussaini Bridge – Adventure in Hunza Valley
Hussaini Bridge, another most visited tourist spot in Hunza Valley located about 30 minutes drive from Attabad Lake. It is a 400 steps long bridge, scary to some, thrilling to others, but one thing is for sure, the place is truly a spot to take stunning photos for your Instagram.
Borith Lake – Experience Calmness in Hunza Valley
Next comes Borith Lake, which can be reached via a 2km unpaved jeep route from the Hussaini village. If you’re up for some adventure, you can reach the lake via a 2-3 hour long trekking route directly from Ghuylkin.
This place is one of the best camping sites in Hunza, a go-to-spot for bird watching community, and if you’re visiting it between months of March to June, you will bear witness to the glorious and mind-boggling migration of thousands of ducks from South to North.
Karimabad is the main tourist destination in Hunza Valley and has a lot of different tourist spots to visit, which we will talk about below. This place has a very laid-back vibe, a lot of interesting places to explore surrounded by beautiful landscapes, awesome cafes and a small local market from where you can get gifts for your loved ones back home
History is always intriguing, and forts in Karimabad are truly historical. Baltit fort was built 700 years ago, and its historical value has made it a busy tourist spot. The location of Baltit is MAJESTIC, as it is surrounded by snowy mountains, making it a pretty photogenic spot for tourists. If you’re visiting Baltit fort on a clear day, you can see the mighty peaks of Rakaposhi and Diran.
Small tip: Make sure to wear a comfy pair of shoes, as you will be walking on a 20-minute steep uphill cobblestone path from Hunza Serena Inn.
Altit Fort, the oldest monument in Gilgit-Baltistan, located at the bottom of Hunza Valley, was constructed 1,000 years back. YES, you read it right and we didn’t say it metaphorically because it really is 1,000 years old. There is a beautiful grassland there, and a viewing café which is cosy, comfy and a nice spot to take pictures.
Inside the Altit Fort, you will see a worship hall, Kashmiri samovar, amazingly carved antique wooden chest and many other captivating things.
If you’re visiting Hunza Valley, you can’t miss wandering the ancient cobbled streets of Karimabad. It’s always nice to explore the culture of places you’re visiting. Karimabad local market has a lot of things to explore. You can spend hours visiting shops, you will see a lot of amazing handicrafts, gemstones, antiques, local jewellery, and dresses.
The bazaar also has small coffee shops that every tourist love visiting. You can just sit back, relax, and enjoy your coffee while seeing the breathtaking views of the Hunza Mountains.
Note: Don’t forget to purchase some handicrafts for your loved ones back home. You can also purchase anything for yourself to add to your souvenir collection.
Duiker Eagle Nest
Duiker ‘’Eagle nest’’ will give you one of those experiences that you will probably remember for the rest of your life.
Located on a 25 minutes drive from Karimabad Bazaar, it is the highest place in Hunza, and the world’s only viewpoint offering scenic views of famous Rakaposhi, Golden Peak, Lady Finger, Ultra and 8th wonder of the world, the Karakoram highway.
You will see seemingly endless rows of razor-sharp peaks and fall in love with the beauty of it.
Passu is located about 30 minutes drive from Attabad Lake and is considered one of the most scenic tourist spots to visit in Hunza Valley. It is a peaceful town, surrounded by magnificent mountains, with the river flowing through it. If you’re looking to spend some quality time with your family, this is your place. You can walk, trek, hike and take photos of the serrated peaks of Passu Cones.
Khunjerab pass, also known as Pak-China Border, is a worth visiting place for tourists visiting Hunza. Located at a 3 hours’ drive from Karimabad Hunza, Khunjerab pass is the highest point on the architectural marvel, the Karakoram Highway. Tourists spend a lot of their time taking pictures in front of the majestic gateway between the jagged peaks of the mesmerizing Karakoram Range.
A little tip for you all, make sure to take eatables with you since there’re no restaurants or shops there.
Fun fact: It is the highest border-crossing in the world, situated at an elevation of 15,528 feet above sea level. So do you want to miss visiting it? We don’t think so.
For Hiking Lovers visiting Hunza Valley
Ultar Base Camp: If you are into adventure and hiking, there’s a day hike you can do in Karimabad. The trail starts near Baltit Fort, which will take you to the Ultar Base Camp, and from there you can see the gigantic Ultar Peaks and Glaciers. You can take camping gear with you, and camp at the Base Camp, or just return in one day to Karimabad, all up to you.
It should take you around 4-5 hours to reach the base camp.
Dry Fruits of Hunza
Hunza is an agricultural city, and as you will approach Karimabad, you will witness miles of fruit orchards and greenery, which is truly mesmerizing. Local dry fruits are sold everywhere in the shops of Hunza, so make sure to purchase locally grown walnuts, almonds, apricots, and grapes.
Some Famous Local Dishes
‘Gyal’ – A Local Hunza Breakfast
Gyal is a traditional local breakfast that you must try when you visit Hunza. White pan-fried cakes with honey, or fruit jam and apricot oil (which is a much-loved ingredient among the locals). You can add a nice morning cup of hot milk tea with it.
Chapshuro – A Local Adaptation of Pizza
It is a Gilgit Baltistan version of pizza, and a very favourite local dish. It is a bread filled with a mixture of chopped beef, meat, onion, chilli peppers, coriander leaves, tomato and many more spices.
Local Oats (Muesli)
This one’s quite famous among many tourists visiting Gilgit-Baltistan. Made with roasted almonds, walnuts, apricot seeds, local spices, and topped with local cream, yoghurt and honey, this traditional Hunza dish is a total Food Heaven.