A complete Travel Guide to Naltar valley
A complete travel guide to naltar valley
Naltar Valley is a beautiful mountain valley located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. The valley is situated about 40km north of the city of Gilgit, and is known for its stunning scenery, alpine lakes, and unique culture. The valley is home to several small villages, each with their own distinct culture and way of life. The valley is also home to a number of rare and endangered species of animals and plants, making it a popular destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.
The valley is a popular spot for skiing and snowboarding as well, as it offers excellent winter sports opportunities. The Naltar Ski resort, run by Pakistan Air force, is the only ski resort in Pakistan, and it is a major attraction for adventure enthusiasts during winter season. The valley is also known for its rich culture, colorful festivals, and delicious local cuisines. The people in the Naltar Valley are friendly and welcoming towards visitors, making it an ideal place for people looking for a unique and authentic experience.
Naltar Valley is a unique mountain paradise that offers a plethora of outdoor and cultural experiences. Its natural beauty, diverse culture, and outdoor activities make it a great destination for adventure seekers, nature lovers, and culture enthusiasts. The valley is also conveniently accessible, providing visitors with a chance to explore the beautiful and rugged landscapes of the Karakoram.
Best time to visit naltar valley
The best time to visit Naltar Valley depends on the activities you plan to do and your personal preferences. Generally, the valley is a popular destination throughout the year, and each season has its own unique charm.
The summer months of June to September is considered to be the best time to visit Naltar Valley if you’re interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping, as the weather is warm and the snow has melted from the trails. This is also the time when the area is covered with vibrant wildflowers, making it a great time for photography.
Winter and early spring months (December to May) are considered the best time for skiing and snowboarding, as the valley receives heavy snowfall during this period, and the ski resort is open for visitors. This is also the time for ice-skating and snow-biking in the valley. However, it is important to note that during winter, the temperatures can drop below freezing and the road to the valley may be closed due to heavy snowfall, which can make access difficult.
In short, the best time to visit the Naltar Valley depends on your intended activities and the type of experience you are looking for. If you prefer warmer weather and outdoor activities, the summer months would be ideal. If you’re looking to hit the ski slopes, then winter and early spring would be the best time to visit.
How to get to naltar valley
From Islamabad to naltar valley
The distance from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, to Naltar Valley is approximately 800km. There are several ways to travel from Islamabad to Naltar Valley, depending on your preferences and budget.
One way to get to Naltar Valley from Islamabad is by car. The journey takes about 18 hours by road and goes through the scenic Karakoram Highway, passing through the towns of Abbottabad, Mansehra, and Besham before reaching the city of Gilgit. From Gilgit, you can then take a jeep or a bus to the valley. Keep in mind that the road conditions can be challenging, and it is recommended to have a 4WD vehicle to navigate the steep and narrow mountain roads.
Another way to reach Naltar Valley is by air. There are regular flights from Islamabad to Gilgit, which is the nearest airport to Naltar Valley. From Gilgit, you can then take a jeep or a bus to the valley. Helicopter services is also available from Gilgit to Naltar Valley. However, the flights can be cancelled or delayed due to poor weather conditions.
Lastly, you can also take a bus from Islamabad to Naltar Valley, but the journey takes about 2 days and the bus conditions and timing are not good, so it is recommended to take a flight or a private car.
Overall, while the journey from Islamabad to Naltar Valley can be long and challenging, it is well worth it for the chance to experience the valley’s beautiful scenery, unique culture, and outdoor activities. I would recommend to plan your trip well in advance, taking into consideration the weather and road conditions, and making sure you have all the necessary permits and travel documents.
From Gilgit to naltar valley
The distance from Gilgit to Naltar Valley is approximately 45 kilometers. The road condition can vary depending on the time of year and weather, but in general it is a well-maintained gravel road with some steep inclines.
Transport options include jeeps and private cars. Public transport is available, but it may not be as frequent as in more populated areas. Hiring a jeep or private car is a more reliable option.
In addition to jeeps and private cars, local transport options in the Gilgit-Naltar Valley area include bikes and motorbikes. These can be rented from local shops, and are a popular way for tourists to explore the area. However, it is important to note that the road conditions and traffic can be challenging, so you should have experience riding in such conditions before attempting to do so. Additionally, it is highly recommended to wear safety gear and to be cautious while riding on the roads.
Where to stay in naltar valley
Following are the types of hotels and their general facilities and cost that are available in Naltar Valley:
Naltar Lodge hotel
A budget hotel that provides basic facilities such as comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water, and a restaurant serving traditional local cuisine. The cost is around $20 – $30 per night.
Naltar Palace Hotel :
A mid-range hotel that provides comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water, and a restaurant serving traditional local cuisine as well as some international dishes. They have a beautiful view from the windows. The cost is around $50 – $70 per night.
Naltar Glacier Hotel:
A high-end hotel that provides luxury facilities such as comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water, a restaurant serving traditional local cuisine and international dishes, a spa, and a fitness center. It is great for the ones looking for comfort and luxury. The cost is around $100 – $150 per night.
Naltar Glacier Ski resort:
A Ski resort that has facilities of Ski equipment rentals, Ski lift facilities, Ski Guides, and Skiing Instructors. They also have comfortable rooms with attached bathrooms, hot water, a restaurant serving traditional local cuisine and international dishes, a spa, and a fitness center. The cost is around $80 – $120 per night during the skiing seasons.
Things to do in naltar valley
Naltar Valley is a popular tourist destination known for its stunning scenery, unique culture, and outdoor activities. Here are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Naltar Valley:
These group of three high-altitude alpine lakes, known as the Lower, Middle, and Upper Naltar Lakes, are located at the base of the valley’s steep mountain walls. The lakes are surrounded by dense forests and alpine meadows, and are fed by snowmelt and glaciers. Visitors can hike or drive to the lakes and enjoy picnics, fishing and boating.
Naltar Ski resort:
This is the only ski resort in Pakistan, run by Pakistan Air force, it offers excellent winter sports opportunities, such as skiing and snowboarding on its well-groomed slopes. It is a major attraction for adventure enthusiasts during the winter season.
This 15th-century fort offers a glimpse into the valley’s rich history and cultural heritage. Visitors can explore the fort’s ruins and learn about the valley’s past.
This 16th-century mosque is a fine example of the valley’s Islamic architectural heritage. It is an important religious site for the locals, and visitors can learn about the valley’s Islamic culture and tradition.
Naltar Pine Forest:
This beautiful pine forest is located in the upper part of the valley and is known for its natural beauty. Visitors can hike or drive through the forest and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
This is a small village located in the upper part of the valley known for its traditional Wakhi culture and architecture. Visitors can explore the village, interact with the locals, and learn about their traditional way of life.
Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary:
The Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to a variety of rare and endangered animals, such as the Snow Leopard, the Marco Polo Sheep, and the Himalayan Ibex. Visitors can take a guided tour to explore the sanctuary and learn about the valley’s unique wildlife.
Naltar Nature center:
The center is an environmental education center that provides an opportunity for visitors to learn about the natural and cultural heritage of the area. The center provides information about the flora and fauna of the valley and many interactive activities.
These are just some of the most popular tourist destinations in Naltar Valley, each offering a unique experience for visitors. It is recommended to plan ahead, check the weather and road conditions, and also check for any permit requirements for certain destinations.
Language in naltar valley
Shina is the principal language spoken in Naltar Valley, which is located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Shina is a member of the Dardic branch of the Indo-Aryan language family and it is closely related to other languages such as Khowar and Kohistani.
Shina is spoken by the majority of the population in Naltar Valley, and it is also widely spoken in the surrounding areas, including the Indus and Gilgit River valleys. The dialect of Shina spoken in Naltar Valley is known as Naltairi Shina and it has some unique features and variations compared to the other dialects of Shina spoken in the region.
Culture in naltar valley
The valley’s culture is shaped by its geography and history, with influences from Central Asia, the Middle East, and South Asia.
One of the most prominent aspects of the culture in Naltar Valley is the strong tradition of hospitality. The people of the valley are known for their warm and welcoming nature and are always eager to share their culture and way of life with visitors.
Religion plays an important role in the culture of Naltar Valley, with most of the population following the Islamic faith. Visitors can witness religious practices such as Friday prayers and the Ramadan fast, and also visit the historical mosques in the valley such as Naltar mosque.
Art and music also play a big role in the culture of the valley. Local artists create traditional hand-woven textiles and handicrafts, such as carpets, shawls, and jewelry. The traditional music of Naltar Valley is a mix of melodies and rhythms from surrounding regions, with instruments such as the dambura and the rubab being commonly played.
The culture of Naltar valley is also closely tied to the natural environment, with the people of the valley having a deep understanding of the mountains and valleys that surround them. This is reflected in the traditional lifestyle, which has a strong emphasis on agriculture and herding.
Religion in naltar valley
The majority of the population in Naltar Valley follows the Sunni branch of Islam. There is also a small minority of Ismaili Muslims present in the valley, which is a sect of Shia Islam.
Sunni Muslims in Naltar Valley follow the Hanafi school of thought, which is considered one of the more liberal schools of Islamic jurisprudence and have their own mosques where they offer their prayers.
In general, the different religious communities in Naltar Valley have coexisted peacefully for centuries and have a strong tradition of mutual respect and tolerance. Visitors will find that the valley is home to a diverse and harmonious community, where different religions and cultures coexist in harmony.
Mobile and internet services in naltar valley
In Naltar Valley, the availability of mobile and internet services is limited due to the remote and mountainous location of the valley. However, SCOM (Special Communications Organization) is one of the providers that offer mobile and internet services in the region.
SCOM’s mobile network covers most of the Naltar Valley, and its internet services are offered through 2G and 3G networks, allowing for basic data services such as internet browsing and email. However, it’s worth noting that the internet speed may not be as fast as in urban areas, and internet connectivity may be lost in some areas due to natural factors such as bad weather.
Overall, if you are planning to visit Naltar Valley and need to have access to mobile and internet services, SCOM is a reliable option. However, do not expect the same level of services as in urban areas, as the valley is situated in remote and mountainous location and the service quality may vary depending on location and weather conditions.