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Northern Areas of Pakistan

The Northern Areas of Pakistan are several territories located across 72,971 km2 (28,174 sq mi) in the North of Pakistan. Although the “Northern Areas” were founded and given a unique status in 1970 however, in 2020 it attained a provisional provincial status in Pakistan.

Northern Areas of Pakistan

The Northern Areas of Pakistan

History & Geography of the Northern Areas

Historically, (in 1948) the geography of northern areas of Pakistan were outlined mainly including the Gilgit-Baltistan regions. These regions i.e. Baltistan (Divisional Capital Skardu), Gilgit (Divisional Capital Gilgit), and Diamer (Divisional Capital Chilas) were kept under the direct control of the federal government. In September 2020, Pakistan decided to elevate Gilgit-Baltistan’s status to that of a full-fledged province.

Although, in history, the geography of the northern areas of Pakistan was deemed to include the Gilgit-Baltistan regions. However, from the layman’s standpoint especially when referring to tourism in the north of Pakistan, other neighboring areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa providence such as Swat Valley, Kumrat Valley (Dir), Chitral, Kohistan, Abbottabad, Mansehra, Naran Kaghan, etc. are also referred to as northern areas of Pakistan.

The Popularity of Northern Pakistan

The north of Pakistan is known for its wonderful scenic beauty, majestic snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, gushing rivers/ streams, and other natural wonders.

The tourist attractions and holidays hill stations in the northern areas of Pakistan are renowned for their outdoor activities such as mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking, skiing, paragliding, ice-skating, rafting, and heli-skiing. These northern areas are also known as “The land of nature and adventure” are the dream destination of nature lovers and attract national and international tourists.

Places to Visit in the Northern Areas (Tourist Attractions)

8000+ Meters Mountain Ranges in North Pakistan

World RankRank in PakistanNameHeight (m)Location
21K28,611Karakoram
92Nanga Parbat8,126Himalayas
113Gasherbrum I (K5)8,080Karakoram
124Broad Peak8,051Karakoram
135Gasherbrum II (K4)8,035Karakoram

The Best Time to Visit the Northern Areas of Pakistan

The best time to visit the northern areas in Pakistan is between April and October, though winter sports enthusiasts and snowfall lovers may prefer December to March. The north in the country has four distinct seasons, each with its own attractions.

The spring months of March to May bring Alpine blooms, flowering trees, and cows & sheeps heading out to pasture. In the warmest months of June, July, and August summery temperatures prevail, though you’ll rarely get any humidity thanks to the high altitude. This is when locals and visitors alike head to the lake shores, meaning thicker crowds.

The fruit harvests dominate the autumn months of September to November and from December to February, you’ll find snow, cold, and winter sports.

In the north, rain most often falls in November and May. Because it’s between the busy summer and winter seasons, these months are when many attractions have limited hours and residents often take their own trips.

Distance and Reach from Islamabad to the Northern Areas

2 thoughts on “Northern Areas of Pakistan

  1. Our university arranged a wonderful trip to the North of Pakistan this year. It was really a great fun and learning experience with my university teachers and student friends.

    This was my first trip to the north and before this visit, the students and I didn’t know much about these areas. Luckily my university teachers visited the northern areas before thus we took advantage of their previous visit experience.

    In my experience, culturally these areas in the North are very diverse. The language and local customs are very rich and vary from area to area. The very common things that I observed and experienced in the northern area throughout are their extreme hospitality, spectacular landscapes, appealing weather, and the great variety of local cuisine. The people are very friendly and they didn’t treat us as outsiders. We were invited to a local wedding and trust me that was a great learning experience to know the local people and to learn more in-depth about their food, culture, and local customs practically. This was an extraordinary experience of my life which I will remember forever. I’m definitely planning to visit the North of Pakistan again with my friends.

  2. My trip to the northern areas in June 2021 with my family was a great experience. During these 14 days of the tour, I found myself far away from the hustle and bustle of the city and was completely surrounded by nature. During this 2 weeks tour, I learned that the north of Pakistan is much beautiful and diverse than what you normally imagine. I learned so much in those few days that I don’t even know where to start! The kindness of local people, the culture, the food, and all the daily travels and adventures.

    From Swat to Gilgit-Baltistan, every place has a special story to tell. In the north when you travel from one place to another, you find yourself discovering new attractions, you meet different people, and experience new cultures. I really recommend visiting the northern areas of Pakistan, especially to the young generation to not only enjoy their time but also to learn about the geography, culture, and people of this beautiful country.

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