The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa. The land routes were supplemented by sea routes which extended from the Red Sea to East Africa, India, China, and Southeast Asia.
The southern route was mainly a single route running from China, through the Karakoram, where it persists to modern times as the international paved road connecting Pakistan and China as the Karakoram Highway. It then set off westwards, but with southward spurs enabling the journey to be completed by sea from various points. Crossing the high mountains, it passed through northern Pakistan, over the Hindu Kush Mountains, and into Afghanistan, rejoining the northern route near Merv. From there, it followed a nearly straight line west through mountainous northern Iran, Mesopotamia and the northern tip of the Syrian Desert to the Levant, where Mediterranean trading ships plied regular routes to Italy, while land routes went either north through Anatolia or south to North Africa. Another branch road traveled from Heart through Susa to Charax Spasinu at the head of the Persian Gulf and across to Petra and on to Alexandria and other eastern Mediterranean ports from where ships carried the cargoes to Rome.
Day 01: Kashgar (China) – Tashkurgan (China)
Meet and greet in Kashgar with our guide and driver upon your arrival at the airport, bus/train station or the hotel you are staying and drive to Tashkurgan, it is approx 4 hours drive. On our way to Tashkurgan we will stop at Karakul Lake to take photo of this amazingly beautiful lake with the gergious view of mount Muztagata which is the second highest (7509 metres) of the mountains which form the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau (not the second highest of the mountains of the Tibetan Plateau). It is sometimes regarded as being part of the Kunlun Mountains, although physically it is more closely connected to the Pamirs. It is also one of the relatively easier 7,000 m peaks in the world to climb, due to its gentle western slope and the comparatively drier weather of Xinjiang, though a thorough acclimatization period and a very strong physical condition are crucial for success. Arrive in Tasgkurgan and transfer to the hotel.
Day 02: Tashkurgan (China)
Day to explore Tashkurgan (boarder town of China). Tashkurgan has a long history as a stop on the Silk Road. Major caravan routes converged here leading to Kashgar in the north, Karghalik to the east, Badakhshan and Wakhan to the west, and Chitral and Hunza to the southwest in Gilgit Baltistan of today’s Pakistan.
About 2,000 years ago, during the Han Dynasty Tashkurgan was the main centre of the Kingdom of Puli and is mentioned in the Hanshu and the later Hou Hanshu. Later it became known as Varshadeh. Mentions in the Weilüe of the Kingdom of Manli probably also refer to Tashkurgan.
Today we will visit Shitou City Ruins, Tashkurgan Fort, Upal Village and explore the local bazaar (markets).
Day 03: Tashkurgan (China) – Sost (Pakistan) – Ghulkin/Gulmit/Passu (Gojal, upper Hunza)
Today we will start our journey toward Pakistan. After passing from the immigration process in Tashkurgan, we will continue driving to Pakistan through the world highest overland pass Khunjerab (Khunzhrav) 4693m (15397 feet) above sea level. We will stop at the zero point (The border between Pakistan and China) for a short time to take photographs and continue drive to Sost, en-route to Sost we will pass through the Khunjerab National Park where one can see Ibex if the luck workd! Arrive at the immigration at Sost in Pakistan, after passing through the process we will continue drive to Ghulkin/Gulmit/Passu after a short rest at Sost. Arrive and transfer to the hotel.
Day 04: Ghulkin/Gulmit/Passu (Gojal, upper Hunza)
Today we will explore the beautiful small village along the Silk Route, after breakfast drive to Borth village to see the Passu white glacier, We will hike to the moraine of the glacier which is 30 – 40 minutes hike, this short hike gives the moraine of the glacier will give the best view of Passu glacier, Passu peak and Shisper peak (7611m). On our way back from the glacier we will stop at Borith Lake, This is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan, Its water is warm to swim one can swim here if interested! After spending sometime at Borth village will hike to Ghulkin village via the Ghulkin glacier, it takes 2 hours. Ghulkin is the another beautiful village, Here we will visit some traditional houses/Families to see the culture, after spending some time with the local families we will go to Gulmit to visit the 900 years Old house and some other places. In the evening we will go to our hotel Gulmit.
Day 05: Ghulkin/Gulmit/Passu (Gojal, upper Hunza) – Karimabad (central Hunza)
Drive to Karimabad. En route we will stop at Attabad Lake, Sacred rocks of Hunza and drive to Hoper valley to explore the valley and visit Hopper glacier, after exploring this beautiful valley we ill drive back to Karimabad, before we reach Karimabad we will stop at one of the oldest village of Hunza “Ganish” to see the old buildings and the old village. Later drive to the hotel in Karimabad.
Day 06: Karimabad (central Hunza)
Day to explore around. Today we will visit Baltit Fort, Altit Fort, Royal garden at Altit, Local bazzar of Karimabad and in the evening we will drive to Duiker to see the sunset, Dukier offers the best view the central Hunza and Nagar valley and the beautiful snow-capped mountains in its surrounding.
Day 07: Karimabad (central Hunza) – Gilgit
Drive to Gilgit, en route we will stop at Rakaposhi viewpoint (7788m), remaining of Old Silk Road/Route at Chalt and Chinese graveyard at Danyor. Arrive in Gilgit and explore the city, in Gilgit we will visit Kargah Buddha and the local markets.
Day 08: Gilgit – Besham
Drive Besham via Karakorum Highway, en-route we will stop at the junction point of the three great mountain ranges (Karakorum, Himalaya and Hindukush), viewpoint of Nanga parbat (8126m), at Shityal/Chilas to see the sacred rocks of Shityal. Arrive in Besham and transfer to the hotel.
Day 09: Besham – Swat Valley
Drive to Swat valley via Shangla Pass. Arrive in Swat and explore the city.
Day 10: Swat Valley
Day to explore Swat valley. Today we will explore the beautiful Swat valley (commonly called Switzerland in Pakistan) with many Buddhist heritage sites, including Butkara stupa (2nd century BCE), Shingardar Stupa, Nemogram (2nd–3rd century A.D), Amluk Dara Stupa (2nd–3rd century A.D), Najigram Stupa & Monastery and if time allows we will visit more Heritage sites.
Day 11: Swat valley – Peshawar
Today we will drive to Peshawar on the Grand Trunk, en route we will visit the Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi (UNESCO heritage list), which was founded in the early 1st century. Owing to its location on the crest of a high hill, it escaped successive invasions and is still exceptionally well preserved. We will also visit the nearby ruins of Sahr-i-Bahlol, a small fortified city dating from the same period. Later drive to Peshawar, if time allows we will visit Bala Hissar, Peshawar Museum, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Cunningham Clock Tower, Chowk Yadgar and explore the old bazaars of Peshawar.
Day 12: Peshawar – Islamabad
Today we will drive to Islamabad, arrive in Islamabad and visit Faisal mosque, Pakistan monument and if time allows we will visit Margalla Hills for the better view of the all Islamabad and Rawalpindi city. In the evening drive to the airport and fly to your destination.
Day 13: Islamabad
Full day to explore the twin city “Rawalpindi and Islamabad”. We will visit Faisal mosque, Pakistan monument, Lok Virsa museum and Raja bazaar in Rawalpindi. In the evening we will drive to Margalla hills. This hills offers better view of the twin cities. We will have diner at one of the restaurant on Margalla hills and after the diner we will drive back to the hotel in Islamabad.
Day 14: Islamabad – Fly to destination!
Depending on your flight time, if it is in the evening/night we will explore the markets of Islamabad. In the evening/night we will drive to the airport. Our service ends here and you will fly to destination.