"It burns in my heart with intense heat, revealing the mysteries along my path." Sultan Bahu
Motorcycle Tours 2021
Ride the KARAKORAM HIGHWAY
HUNZA and SKARDU
Pure Pakistan tour is our ultimate Northern experience.
A combination of both the Hunza and Skardu areas and gives a depth of experience into what makes Pakistan pure. We traverse through scenery of the highest mountain ranges in the world, Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush. Ride along the majestic Karakoram Highway to Khunjerab Pass on the China Pakistan border, roll through the rugged high peaks surrounding Skardu in the arms of cold deserts and experience the vast plains of Deosai National park.
This is a true connection to the core trip of a lifetime ensuring the ultimate motorcycling adventure.
Tour Dates 2021
Autumn - 16th September - 4th October BOOK this one.
Price - $4156 Aussie Dollars AUD *details below
The Route we ride... 19 days
DAY 01: ISLAMABAD to NARAN*
We take van towards Gilgit heading off at 9am from Islamabad. We don't ride this section specifically to avoid the extremely insane traffic around Abbottobad and Mansehra.
DAY 02: NARAN to GILGIT*
We are travelling by road heading over the first touch of mountains via Babusar pass as we continue on straight to Gilgit. In the afternoon we arrive at Gilgit and can have our first cotnact with the motorbikes. Staying at our homestay in Danyor Village.
DAY 03: GILGIT to KARIMABAD*
Today we head out on the Karakoram Highway for a spectacular ride to the old hillside town of Karimabad. The fantastic road and easy ride are a good introduction and give us a chance to become 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 southern spur of the old silk route that connected from Kashgar to Taxila. In the afternoon we visit Altit Fort and experience sunset at Duikar/Eagles nest.
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 and 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 source of this arid landscape, crucial to the surival of the people.
DAY 05: GHULKIN VILLAGE*(luxury option stays in Ghulmit next door)
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 and back to 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 Snow Leopard across the valley. After visiting the border we return to Passu.
DAY 07: GILGIT*
We ride directly back to Gilgit. Have a relaxing evening before heading off to the second stage of our ride. Tomorrow the roads get rougher and the riding more adventurous.
DAY 08: GILGIT to RAMA
With an early start heading out of Gilgit onto the Karakraom Highway we stop at the junction point of Karakarom, Himalaya and Hindukush ranges before leaving the highway to the beautiful journey into Astore Valley. After riding through Astore town we head further up the mountain to the small Hamlet of Rama Meadows.
DAY 09: RAMA
Today we can take bikes or jeep further up the road to Rama Lake. A glacier is currently blocking the road so the last section to the lake is on foot. Walking with views of mountains all around, it is a beautiful lush green spot and very different to the arid rocky areas of Passu and Skardu.. The altitude at Rama is 3507 metres and we use this as an acclimatisation day before the next night at Deosai. You can explore around Rama meadows amongst the forest or relax at the hotel.
DAY 10: RAMA to DEOSAI
Leaving Rama and heading higher up the mountians towards Deosai the road winds through forests and green pastures following a swift flowing creek. People say they find their soul in Deosai and part of their spirits stay here for ever. Heading above the treeline we ride through this rich landscape on the rooftop of the world and spend a night camped under the stars. Deosai National Park at an altitude of 4114 metres is the second highest open grass plains in the world and home to Himalayan Brown Bear.
DAY 11: DEOSAI to SKARDU
We continue the ride across the beautiful plains of Deosai. It's a fun adventure ride. In summer the plains are covered in stunning displays of wildflowers.
DAY 12: SKARDU
Rest Day Option to take a break form the bike and relax at the hotel in beautiful garden surrounds or take a shorter ride out from Skardu town and visit Kachura and ride the rural dusty road to Upper Kachura. Take a step back in time as we walk through this small village and put our boating skills to the test, bikers in boats! In the late afternoon we take a short walk to the ruin of Skardu fort and look out over the Indus and Skardu town with mountians in every direction.
DAY 13: SKARDU to SHIGAR*
Heading out of Skardu we ride into the cold desert, experiencing the otherworldliness of this vast arid landscape. The route takes us through Katpana and Shigar, across long suspension bridges and to the old Shigar Fort. Spending a night in the quiet of Shigar village.
DAY 14: SHIGAR to KHAPLU*
Following the Indus further upstream and the Syok River we ride for 4 hours closer to the giant moutnains. Heading furhter east to Khaplu and Saling. This is a humbling ride surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the world. We explore ancient forts, ride side by side with the Indus River and immerse ourselves in local culture. After relaxing at the hotel we head to Saling for sunset across the rocky Indus river flats where golden light touches the mountain spires around Haldi cones.
DAY 15: KHAPLU to HUSHE
In the morning we visit the Khaplu fort before the ride up the valley towards Hushe. Views of Masherbrum draw us closer to the giants on this fun off road journey. Taking us deep into the mountains Hushe is the last and highest village before one of the main entry trekking points into the Karakoram National park. The trek from K2 and the Gondogoro La crossing finishes here, the end of the road as it were.
DAY 16: HUSHE to SKARDU
Returning via the same route we ride directly back to Skardu.
DAY 17: SKARDU to GILGIT*
Today we start the ride back to Gilgit very early in the morning. The road is at times rough and dusty, narrow and rugged. The view as we ride along the carved out cliffs with a roaring Indus River below is truly wonderful. We pass through small oasis like villages in rich pockets of green. We follow the Indus all the way until our return to the Karakoram Highway. From there it's an easy ride on the excellent paved Karakoram Highway back to Gilgit.
DAY 18: FLY to ISLAMABAD or reach NARAN
Return to Islamabad via flight or if flight is cancelled we go by road in van.
DAY 19: EXPLORE ISLAMABAD or reach ISLAMABAD
2020 Price guide - Full 19 Day version
Price = $4156 Aussie Dollars AUD
Single room Supplement ~ add $590 = $4746 AUD
all rooms are twin share unless single supplement is selected.
Pillion/buddy rider or support car seat ~ less $300 = $3856 AUD
Luxury Option = $5860 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 and Deosai National Parks.
- 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 insurane 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 :)
The rocky landscape of the Indus River out past Khaplu
Hussaini Suspension Bridge While riding north through the rugged peaks and jagged spires of Passu Cones we take a break and we have the chance to test our fear of heights on the wobbly wooden planks of the Hussaini Bridge while being mesmerised by the fast flowing waters below.
One of the many bridges that line the meandering alternate route along the Karakoram Highway and mark the access points to the old silk route.
Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world. The ride through the Khunjerab National Park to the border is majestic and the scenery vast.
Taking a break on the Karakraom Highway.
Deosai Plains People say they find their soul in Deosai and part of their spirits stay here for ever. We ride through this rich landscape on the rooftop of the world. Deosai National Park is home to the highest open grass plains in the world and the Himalayan Brown Bear.
The wide arching curves of the Karakoram Highway make for fantastic riding experience near Passu.
Bridge to Skardu This bridge marks the start of the ride to Skardu from the Karakroam Highway. Its a rugged and beautiful road following the Indus River.
If time permits and weather is good we can venture out onto the waters of this beautifully vivid azure lake in one of the colourful boats that line the shores.
Attabad Lake, Hunza The Lake is a deep and vast lake with vivid azure/turquoise waters and 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.