"Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire!" Shams Tabriz
Classic Karakoram Highway AUTUMN LOVERS & SPRING BLOSSOMS
Classic Karakoram Motorbike Tour
Spring - 5th to 18th April 2020 Book this ride
Ramadan/Eid 16th -29th May 2020 Book this ride
Autumn - 18th to 30th October 2020 Book this ride
Price - $3280 Aussie Dollars
Spring in the Northern Areas is like watching a beautiful world of flowers unfold before you, Cherries, Apricots, Apples, Peaches and Pears literally bursting into blossom on every possible open fertile piece of land. From Nagar through to upper Hunza the slopes are magically carpeted with pink and white petals. Autumn sees these same trees turn the moutain sides and valleys into seas of gold. The air is crisp but days are still sunny. It is a magical time to ride these roads.
The Route we ride...
DAY 01: ISLAMABAD to BESHAM
We travel by road out of Islamabad following the Karakoram Highway. These first two days we go by van to avoid the stress of riding in the extremely heavy traffic around Abbottobad and Mashera. The route follows the Indus river for much of the way along its winding course.
DAY 02: BESHAM to GILGIT
Travelling by road further towards the mountains we continue on straight to Gilgit passing through the winding river gorge past Besham and then the dusty desert areas. As Babusar Pass is not open in Spring and Autumn due to heavy snow we take the classic Karakoram Highway route through Besham and Chilas. Arriving in Gilgit we spend the night in our homestay in Danyor and meeting the bikes.
DAY 03: GILGIT to KARIMABAD
Today we are back on the Karakoram Highway for an easy yet spectacualr ride to the old hillside town of Karimabad. It's a great start to get familiar with the bikes. Stopping at Rakaposhi view and the old silk route along the way. We have the option to meander through villages, across fascinating bridges and ride sections of the pathway that is the old silk route. In the late afternoon we head to Altit Fort and then Duikar/Eagle's Nest to watch the sun go down over Hunza Valley. The 360 degree views from this point are amazing.
DAY 04: KARIMABAD
After a delicious local breakfast we explore the market as we walk up to Baltit Fort, perched high upon the hill overlooking the valley and town. Delving into the ancient history of the silk route and the Mogul empire as well as the strong cultural and ethnic relations with Ladakh and Tibet. This region is steeped in rich cutural heritage with a diverse ethnicity over the entire Kashmiri Hunza Kingdom. Burusho, Xik, Tajik, Hunzakuts and Wakhi people all call this area home. You will likely pick up mutliple languages being spoken aside from the common Urdu. Our Hunza team speak Burushaski when conversing with each other, not Urdu but others who help and support our trips also speak Wakhi and Shina. We explore Baltit Fort gaining a greater understanding of the area and its historical place as a centre point of the region.
We also have an option for an afternoon ride to Hopar Valley, rural villages and massive glaciers, the glaciers are the life force of this arid landscape, crucial to the surival of the people.
DAY 05: GHULKIN VILLAGE HOMESTAY
Today we leave Karimabad and begin riding further north through the rugged peaks towards the spires of Passu Cones. Break points on our route are Attobad Lake, and Hussaini Bridge. We have the chance to test our fear of heights on the wobbly wooden planks of Hussaini suspension bridge and be mesmerised by the fast flowing waters below. Attabad Lake is deep and vast with vivid azure/turquoise waters. It was formed via a massive landslide, where many lives were lost. Some say there is an eerie sadness lingering in the air. But the towering mountains stand like sentinels around the lakes shores, watching over in Peace. We spend the night in the small village of Ghulkin with a local family.
DAY 06: KHUNJERAB PASS - PASSU
We ride to Khunjerab Pass, the China/Pakistan border and the highest border crossing in the world, surrounded by majestic peaks and glaciers around every turn! The silence and aura of this place is in a whole other world... we may be lucky to hear the roar of a Snowleopard across the valley. After visitng the border we retrun to Passu.
DAY 07: PASSU
Today is a well deserved rest day, soaking up the atmosphere under the Passu cones in this amazing part of the world. If you're not wanting a rest and still have plenty of action energy left in you, there is the option for a hike around the area and over Passu suspension bridge. Or take a ride up one of the side valleys.
DAY 08: PASSU to GILGIT
Today we return to Gilgit and to our Danyor homestay. Afternoon/evening rest or market visit.
DAY 09: GILGIT to YASIN
Today we venture into the lesser visited but truly majestic areas of Yasin Valley. This quiet area with pristine meadows and streams bursting with trout provides a stunning backdrop through which to ride. We have the opporunity to try your luck with fishing in the afternoon.
DAY 10: YASIN to PHANDER
After Yasin we ride further up the Valley to Phander following the Azure waters of the Gilgit river.
DAY 11: PHANDER to GILGIT
From Phander we ride directly back to Gilgit for our last nght in the North.
DAY 12: FLY to ISLAMABAD or if flight is cancelled reach BESHAM
DAY 13: EXPLORE ISLAMABAD or reach ISLAMBAD
Price - $3280 Aussie Dollars AUD
Single room Supplement ~ add $500 = $3780 AUD
all rooms are twin share unless single suppelment is selected.
Pillion/buddy rider or support car seat ~ less $225 = $3055 AUD
Luxury Option = $4430 AUD (top level hotels/rooms where available, this mark * on the itinerary denotes the nights these options apply)
(NOTE - Pakistan is slowly learning about quality of hotels and hospitality/customer service, Karakoram Bikers is doing everything we can to help the places we stay at on our trip to better provide for and accommodate to the needs of international travellers. In some of the places we visit, hotel options are limited. Even when we use the best options there may be no power, wifi and limited hot water. Pakistan is a deveolping country where things like electricy load shedding are extremely common. We ask you to please be patient and understanding throughout your stay)
- accommodation twin share unless single supplement is requested.
- daily breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- motorbike and mechanics including fuel.
- entry to forts, Khunerjab National Park.
- skilled motorcycle English/Urdu speaking, first aid accredited guide.
- support vehicle, carrying first aid and mineral water.
- internal flight Islamabad to Gilgit return or van/car transfer.
- letter of invitation to visit Pakistan. (needed to obtain entry tourism visa)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- international flights and internal transport outside of trip dates.
- Travel Insurance, you must have your own travel insurance with adventure travel component. Legally an international drivers licence is required to ride in Pakistan. While on the ground no one cares and police won't check and most locals don't have any licence at all... the insurance company will no doubt not cover you if you do not have a valid interantioanal licence. For your own insurance purposes we recommend that you have a motorcycle licence and can legally ride a bike of 150cc. If you choose to ride without an international licence it is your own responsibltity.
- visa, you will need to arrange this via the instructions from Pakistan embassy or high commission within your own country. We will provide support during your applicaton process.
- extra snacks, drinks and unlimited Chai.
THE FINE PRINT
This is an adventure ride, it is expected you have experience on a motorcycle in a variety of conditions including dusty, rough roads and are able to cope with creek crossings.
Travel in Pakistan is unpredictable, that's part of what makes it so exciting. We have to be open minded and flexible. Conditions in the mountains vary from season to season and at times we may need to alter routes or other tour details. That's why you travel with us so that if anything arises we take care of it and the journey continues stress free.
When booking a spot on our tours or bike freedom hire you will need to sign a waiver releasing Karakoram Bikers pty ltd Australia and Karakoram Bikers Pakistan from any liability related to any aspect of our tours and bike hire.
You must have your own travel insurance to come on our tours. Insurance companies do cover the areas around Skardu and Hunza. Please select the adventure insurance options that cover motorcycles and altitude.
Contact us to discuss this trip and any other questions you may have about our adventure travel. We love to help you :)