Islamabad is part of Islamabad capital territory of Pakistan it is the federal capital of Pakistan. It was built in the 1960s by the Pakistani government to become the New Capital of the nation and was designed by a Greek architect of the name of Constantinos.
Islamabad is located near another amazing City Rawalpindi. Islamabad is also the starting point to the beautiful Northern Areas of Pakistan. Islamabad itself also has many tourist destinations including parks, hill stations, shopping malls etc . Islamabad is only 62 years old and unlike other neighboring cities Islamabad has a better standard of living than the rest of the country.
Population of Islamabad chiefly consists of civil servants and government workers. Islamabad has many popular tourist attractions like Monal, Pir Sohawa, Siri Paye etc. Some famous tourist destinations and their details are given below.
Murree is a popular hill station near Islamabad. Murree is known for its cold climate even in summer the temperature never becomes unbearingly hot. It is also the reason many tourists visit here in summer every year to relax. Snowfall here every winter also attracts many tourists. Murree is also a stop point during journeys to the Northern areas of Pakistan and you also have to pass through Murree to get to Kashmir.
From Islamabad Murree is only 1.5 hours away. The most recommended route is the expressway as it is the quickest and most convenient but you can also go there on a bus.
If you would like to spend a night there then you have many choices. The hotels range from cheap to luxurious. If you want a luxurious experience then you should go with the PC Bhurban, another less luxurious but more affordable choice is Hotel One. On the other hand if you want the most bang for your buck then your best choice is Arcade Blue Pines Resort.
Nathia Gali is a well known tourist destination near Islamabad. It is full of greenery and natural springs. The forest here is also well preserved. It is a great place for simple retreat and the plant life here is flourishing with various species of trees. You can also trek to various places including the famous MukeshPuri also known as Mukshpuri.
There are various ways you can go to Nathia Gali from Islamabad including private and public modes of transportation. It is only around 2 to 3 hours away from Islamabad or somewhere around 87 kilometers. You can either drive there or go on a motorcycle. As for public transportation you can take a bus to Murree and from there you can do a taxi or any other local transportation like a Bykea.
Many people also like to spend a few nights there. If you would like to spend a night there then you have many choices as there are many local hotels there including Hotel Elites and Amore Hotels. You will generally find good rooms and meals here.
Siri Paye Meadows is a small but beautiful location in the Kaghan Valley of Northern Pakistan. Due to it being in a mountainous region there isn’t a proper network of roads leading up to it but that is also its feature. It is because due to the difficulty in reaching this place that it has been left untouched by modern development. Siri Paye Meadows are located 3000 m above sea level. In winter they offer a beautiful view of snowy mountains with fog drifting on distant mountains. In summer they become beautiful Meadows full of life with lush greenery where the indigenous traveling herdsmen Graze their cattle. Spring flowers also add to the beauty of this place when they bloom. It is also a great place for camping and you can also go there for trekking.
As mentioned above, due to the lack of roads directly leading up to it is difficult to get there. You will have to drive for about 5 hours up to Shogran either via the Hazara Expressway or N-35 and from there it is best that you take local jeeps for the rest of the journey which is about 6 km long and quite rough.
Due to rough terrain there aren’t many hotels in Siri by Meadows where you can spend the night. You can either camp there or travel back to Shogran where you will have many choices to spend the night. The best choices include Arcadian Spruce Woods Resort and Pine Park Shogran.
Thandiani is a beautiful hill station located near the Himalayas. It is best for a calming vacation to enjoy with your family. It is at the height of 2750 m. The place also offers stunning views and a serene environment. Thandiani is an amazing place to get away from the scorching Summer heat. Although it is not very luxurious, it actually makes up for it with its relaxing environment.
If you want to get to Thandiani then taking your own or a rented vehicle is the best choice. If you take the Hazara Expressway then it is only a 3-4 hours drive and if you want to then you also have the option to stop for a lunch break near Abbottabad.
For spending a night there it is best to stay at Forest Rest House. It is actually managed by the Galiyat Development Authority with the help of the KPK government.
Naran is a relatively small town also situated in the Northern areas of Pakistan which recently due to immense popularity among tourists, according to some might have become somewhat commercialized but it is still a popular and amazing choice for a vacation where you can find the opportunities to do various activities. There are many tracks here where you can go hiking and the tracks are also long enough that you can go trekking for several days. Another popular reason for Naran’s prevalence among travelers is the famous Saif ul Malook Lake. Here tourists come to catch the famous trout of this lake or do some rafting. Some tourists also like to simply camp by the river side. This place is at an elevation of 2,400 m and offers tourists beautiful views.
You can go to Naran from Islamabad by bus but you will have to change buses a few times. A much preferred way is taking a private vehicle. You will drive 4.5 hours or 228 kilometers to Shogran and from there you have to drive another 2.5 hours (67 km) to get to Naran.
As Naran is very popular among tourists you will find many hotels and resorts here to spend the night. The government owned PTDC Motel is best for people who are on a budget and just want a simple night stay with standard rooms and you can also get private huts if you prefer. Another affordable choice is Hotel Demanchi. If you want a more luxurious stay then you can also go with Maisonette Hotels and Resorts.
Neelum Valley is another popular tourist destination in the north of Pakistan. It is situated in the Kashmir region of the subcontinent. The Kashmir region is famous for its natural beauty and tall mountains all around The world. Its beauty was also one of the main themes of a 1933 novel called Lost Horizon by acclaimed writer James Hilton who is famous for his book Goodbye Mr. Chips. Due to its unique geographical location the Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir is full of eccentric locations that are very famous among tourists. Neelum River also flows across the Neelum Valley which just adds to the beauty of Neelum Valley with its gapping and sapphire waters. Neelum Valley itself is very remote and isolated with almost no cellular coverage. This makes it a perfect place to escape from the worries of modern society. The Neelum Valley offers beautiful views ranging from lush green meadows to snow capped mountains with a height changing between 1200 m to 2300 m. The government also requires foreigners to obtain an NOC from them before visiting.
The total distance from Islamabad to Neelum Valley is 235 km. From Islamabad you will first go towards Murree and then Azad Kashmir. On the way you will cross the Kohala bridge and officially enter the territory of Azad Kashmir where you will first make a stay at Muzaffarabad and then continue towards Neelum Valley.
Neelam Valley has many locations you can visit so there are a great variety of places where you can stay. In Keran Village if you want to stay by the river then your best choice is Keran Guest House. Also in 2000 there were many French cottages built by Kutton Jagran Resort for workers who worked on the Jagran Hydropower project that are still in service today for tourists.