We will begin our tour in Pakistan’s green capital, Islamabad, nestled between the Margalla hills. It is at once a bustling urban town with restaurants full of foreign diplomats and journalists, and wide boulevards that lead to the mountains beyond the city.
We will explore Islamabad on our motorcycles to get you accustomed to riding in Pakistan and learn some of the local words (and swear words to vent any frustration on the roads!) before we head up to Murree, a famous old hill station that once popular with the British for its close proximity to the city, its tall pines, colonial architecture, and winding roads. It’ll be a short, easy ride the first day so everyone can ease into riding on the “wrong” side of the road and get comfortable on their motorcycles. The next day, it’s a straight shot to Naran, the gateway to the world’s biggest mountain ranges – all within a stone’s throw from the edge of the town.
We’ll make our way across the first high pass- Babusar Pass- and will test our bikes as they climb up to 13,700 ft. It is a breath-taking mountainside ride, with surprises at every turn. Slowly, we’ll make our way through the historical city of Hunza and up the Khunjurab pass, climbing up to 15,400 ft to the China-Pakistan Border. The Karakoram Highway is the highest paved international road in the world and although it is 100% perfectly paved tarmac, it will prove to be a challenge even for the skilled rider.
By the time you reach this place, you will have experienced local flavors, local culture, and Pakistan’s world-famous hospitality. After riding through the Karakorum Range, we head over to the historical city of Skardu where we will spend about a week exploring the Himalayan Range. A complete contrast to what you have been experiencing the last few days. Riding through Deosai planes one of the highest in the world will be a sensory overload, the magnitude of Deosai will leave you stunned.
And then the final leg, through the world’s highest polo field at Shandur we make our way down to Kalash. The Kalashi tribe is considered to be an indigenous tribe of Asia, do some research before coming, they also consider themselves as the last surviving tribe of Alexander the great. After Kalash, we slowly make our way through to the capital city of Islamabad.
As we return to Islamabad, your days in the mountains will have changed everything you thought you knew about Pakistan, and you will leave knowing that one day you will be back for more.
It’ll be your first day on the motorcycle in Pakistan so we leave early in the morning to beat the traffic and get into the mountains. Breakfast is going to be one of those hidden gems on the side of the road and you’ll get to ride along the famous Kunhar River, We try our best to stay at a family run guest houses/hotels for a more personalized experience.
Naran is known to be the entry point to the mountains, you get to cross Babusar Pass 13,700ft one of the most spectacular high passes in the country. You finally get a chance to ride the world famous Karakoram Highway today!
Gilgit is home to a few ancient buddha sites and we will pay a visit to Karga Buddah before riding up to the jewel of the country, Hunza. A lot of Fruit sellers on the way, don’t shy away from stopping over and picking up some fresh apples or cherries for us! Get to hunza, relax and go for a stroll around Karimabad.
Hunza has a lot to offer, one of the most vibrant bazaars in GB has to be the Karimabad Bazaar. From old ancient jewels, to hand made handicrafts, silk carpets and clothes.. Karimabad is also home to the famous Walnut cake at Cafe de Hunza. A lot of history too so you’ll be visiting some 1000 year old forts too. My favorite is the all women furniture factory, Hunza has a 95% literacy rate, one of the highest in the country.
An exhilarating ride up Karakorum highway to the Pakistan/China Border, 15,400ft above sea level is a real treat to experience on 2 wheels. You might also get lucky and see the super rare Markhor, Ibex or even the snow leopard.
Rest up at the hotel or have a fun day off the bike. Swim Borith Lake, walk across the super sketchy suspension bridge, lay in the sun and stare at the Passu Cones, hang with the locals and collect wood for the bonfire tonight.
We start early today, and then shoot straight down KKH to Astore, from there a 15KM uphill ride to Rama.
You will appreciate a rest day in Rama, surrounded by green meadows and an 8000 meter peak, Nanga Parbat, the western anchor of the great Himalayas. Rama Lake is just 15 minutes away- a fun short ride with gorgeous views.
we Explore the beauty of Rama Lake, walk the meadows and I if you’re interested I give you your first intro/crash course to Cricket here!
Deosai Plains, known as the land of giants, is the world’s second highest alpine plateau with an average elevation of over 13,500 ft. It is almost impossible to describe riding along its vast, infinite stretch- an experience so humbling, it will bring even the toughest riders to an emotional brink. It is a land of legend and story-telling, and the shepherds you’ll meet along the way will give you your fill of ancient folk tales.
Skardu is packed full of history and adventure, and home to a spectacular cold desert. Summiteers and mountaineers looking to conquer Pakistan’s massive peaks all land in Skardu as a starting point for their excursions. There’s climbing fever everywhere you go, with bazaars loaded with expedition gear, and some of the shopkeepers famous mountaineers themselves! If it’s a cloudless night, the stars will take your breath away. Kharpocho Fort and the Organic Village are a must see.
5 Hour ride from Skardu is the last town on the eastern side called Hushe. A small unique little village.
Hushe is the last village of the Ghangche District of northern Pakistan. It is the highest village in the once extremely remote and impoverished valley. Hushe men began working as cooks and porters for expeditions in the 1960s.
Hushe villagers are environmentally conscious and work to keep their area nice. Hushe is no longer the poorest of villages, and its popularity as a trekking and climbing destination continues to grow. Abdul Karim of Hushe, famous as Little Karim, who carried 25KG of weight up to 8000m on an expedition on Gasherbrum II, is working with a Spanish team to build a new hotel in the village, overlooking mighty Masherbrum.
It’s going to get bumpy! The road has been under construction for a couple of years, and though it’s now a far wider road than it was not so long ago, it’s still wild and exhilarating riding so close along the raging Indus River. A heavy breakfast before leaving Gilgit will be VERY important and we’ll be taking lots of snacks along because getting lunch on the road will be tough.
The road to Phandar is one of my many favourites in Pakistan, you ride along the Gilgit River for the entire day. The road is paved and traffic is low, with little towns passing every now and then, locals staring at you when you zoom pass their little quiet town, its beautiful.
Phandar on words there’s too road, this is a long day, you get up to 13,000ft above sea level and you get to see the world’s highest polo field, Shandur. This is where the famous Shandur Polo festival takes place every year. We stop at Shandur for a quick stop, then we keep riding to Mastuj. A small little town tucked right below the Broghil Valley/Wakhan Corridor.
First half of the ride is a dirt road, after Booni, which is our usual lunch stop, the asphalt begins. A lot of times we bump into a full action packed polo game on this stretch, keep your eyes peeled out for one. We explore Chitral tonight.
A short 2 hour ride, all off road and a lot of fun. One of the coolest places in the world, a lot of history and probably the most unique tribe in Pakistan, the Kalaashi tribe.
Explore Bamburat valley. Visit the local school, the museum, meet the local women, try the local wine, dancing away the night!
Enjoy the Lowari Pass aka The Stelvio Pass of Pakistan. Arrival in Mardan or before Mardan depending on the condition of the riders after Lowari Pass
Please visit https://visa.nadra.gov.pk for complete information.
General riding gear (Helmet, jacket, pants, shoes, and gloves) Jeans, long and short-sleeved T-shirts, riding shoes or boots, gloves. For summer weather, some long sleeve white T-Shirts are a great idea. You will have the opportunity to put a pack in the chase vehicle, so you have some room for error in how much you pack. Mornings and evenings can be brisk. Some windbreaker/gear is easy and great to have. Some cash for personal expenses like shopping, laundry, snacks, etc. We can change currencies for you, please make sure to let us know beforehand.
Some common items include:
– Motorcycle Gear (Head to Toe)
– Base layers are must have for our winter tours
– Windbreaker / gear as needed per tour / season
– Sense of adventure
– SPF 50 Sun Block
The Visa process sometimes takes up to 2 months for Pakistan so we suggest getting your visa as soon as possible. If you have a visa, you need to book a tour with us at least a month in advance so we can prepare properly for you.
We recommend you to arrive two days before the tour begins. We want you to wear off your jet lag, and be fresh for the adventurous journey ahead.
Absolutely, we give special 15% discounts for pillion riders or they can always hop on one of our vehicles following the riders.
Mini Van / Passenger Van: We can arrange for the passengers to have their own passenger minivan that they can drive trailing the group if they want. That way they can either ride on the back of the bike, or they can all ride together in their party van depending on weather, and how much they want to be on the bike. They just take turns driving if the others are on the bikes.
Riding days can vary from as little as 150 km to 350 km per day, depending on the trip you choose. In the twisty Himalayas or the Karakoram range a 300 km day can easily take up to 7 hours at times due to ferry crossings, side excursions, or other activities depending on the trip you choose, so just keep in mind that we design itineraries that make full use of your vacation time, and it would be difficult to get bored at any time.
The simple rule is: Anything’s possible, so prepare accordingly. Riding season in Pakistan starts in May and ends around mid-October. Its generally great weather to be in the Himalayas however, the weather is unpredictable and so bring your rain gear, bring a summer mesh jacket for hot days plus a warm layer or two, just got to be prepared.
Also, it depends on the month and location that you choose a trip in, as we have a wide list of options and are growing all the time. There’s a wide range of weather possibilities on some trips. If you want to make sure you’re choosing a trip that suits your hopes for the weather, please be sure to Contact Us and we’ll help you make a “statistically wise” choice.
Yes, a valid operator’s license from your home country specifically with the motorcycle endorsement is necessary and will be confirmed at the starting point of your tour. This is not only for legal & insurance reasons but also for the safety of yourself and the people on the road with you.
This answer actually does not vary from tour to tour, as we at ADA hope you are in excellent physical and mental condition anytime you plan on riding a motorcycle. As with other topics, let’s discuss what shape you’re in and the type of tour you’re planning on to make sure there’s a match. However, our “approval” of your condition does not take the place of a trusted doctor’s evaluation, which is something we strongly encourage you to seek before any tour or rental. Also, we recommend you to arrive two days earlier than the tour date to avoid Jet Lag.
No. Your tour begins in Islamabad on the day of the tour. We have found that this is really the best option for you. Arrangements can be made for extra hotel accommodations, upon request. The hotels we use on the first and last days of the tour are usually close to the airport. In most situations and tours, there will be a shuttle to shuttle you to or from the airport. We suggest arriving a couple of days early and leaving a couple of days after the tour so you have time to rest before and after the tour. We can help you book these for you.