Pakistan is a land full of vastly unexplored beauty. From scenic landscapes to enchanting lakes and from lofty mountain peaks to beautiful roads, this country has some of the best tourist destinations in the world.
In recent years, the northern areas of Pakistan have begun attracting more than a million tourists per year. According to the Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation, these stats include both foreign and domestic travelers.
While exploring these valleys and forests is a magical experience, travelling to these destinations is half the fun.
If you have ever visited the northern areas of Pakistan or plan on going there soon, you should know that most of the roads leading to these beautiful places in Pakistan are paved through rocky mountains. The drive may not be comfortable, but the spectacular view from your window will more than makeup for it.
The List of Most Beautiful Roads in Pakistan
Here are 10 of the most beautiful roads and highways in Pakistan.
The road from Nathia Gali to Abbottabad
The beautiful road connecting Nathia Gali with Abbottabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is straight out of a fairytale. If you are planning a trip to Murree and the hill stations beyond, take the Abbottabad-Nathia Gali-Murree route. This scenic drive that will surely take your breath away.
The road is about 54 kilometres long. However, if you enjoy nature, the enchanting landscape and lush greenery will keep you occupied throughout the way.
There are a number of good hotels and resorts available in both Abbottabad and Nathia Gali. These are two of the most serene tourist destinations in the northern areas of Pakistan. Compared to Murree, which remains overcrowded throughout the year, it’s much easier to get accommodation in these two locations.
Makran Coastal Highway
Makran Coastal Highway, also known as National Highway 10 or N10, is a 583-kilometre long asphalt road that links Karachi to Gwadar. Winding and twisting along the coastline of the Arabian Sea, this highway runs primarily through the province of Baluchistan. It also links the N-25 National Highway and the Iran border.
Built in 2004, it is considered one of the most scenic highways in Pakistan. N10 also passes by the port towns of Ormara and Pasni.
Although Makran Coastal Highway is full of twists and turns, the view of the ocean shadowed by the majestic Agor Mountains easily makes it one of the most beautiful coastal drives in the world.
Gojal Road, Gilgit-Baltistan
There is a fair chance you may have not heard of the Gojal Valley. However, it is the largest sub-district of the Gilgit-Baltistan, a popular tourist destination in Pakistan.
Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in the northern areas of Pakistan, Gojal is home to a number of tiny villages, large valleys, breathtaking landscape and magnificent lakes. It also shares borders with Afghanistan at Chipurson valley and China at Khunjerab Pass.
The drive to and fro Gojal is simply entrancing. The valley also houses the famous Passu Cones and the turquoise blue Attabad Lake. It is also home to the Batura Glacier, which is one of the largest glaciers outside the Polar Regions. No wonder it is considered one of the most beautiful roads of Pakistan.
Jalkhad Road, Kaghan Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
A gorgeous town situated near Naran Valley, Jalkhad is the best option for those who want to spend some peaceful time away from the hustle and bustle of main Naran, which has turned into a popular tourist destination over the last few years.
Situated some 3,130 meters above sea level, the beautiful road from Jalkhad goes through the Kaghan Valley. It also passes near Dumri Maidan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Running along Kunhar River, the road later divides into two with one going all the way to Noori Top while the second leading to Lulusar Lake and Babusar Top.
Karakoram Highway, Gilgit-Baltistan
The stunning Karakoram Highway is the highest paved international road that links Pakistan to China. It extends from the village of Hasan Abdal in Punjab and ends at Khunjerab Pass in Gilgit-Baltistan at an altitude of 4,693 meters. It then turns into China National Highway 134.
Given the fact that it was carved through The Himalayas and The Karakoram range, this 1,300-kilometre long highway offers a spectacular view of snow-covered mountains, enchanting valleys, mesmerizing rivers, lush green hills and steep gorges.
Driving on the longest highway in Pakistan could be a bit dangerous due to its numerous twists and occasional landslides. However, travelling through this highway must be on everyone’s bucket list.
The road to Neelum Valley, Azad Kashmir
The road to Neelum Valley is as impressive as it is dangerous. Considered one of the most beautiful roads in Pakistan, this pathway leads to the spectacular valley in the north of Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir. Winding alongside the beautiful Neelum River, this road runs parallel to the Indian border.
Carved through the mountains, this road offers stunning views of green valleys and enchanting blue waters, making it a route fit for adventure seekers.
Although it devolves into mud tracks in some parts due to snowfall and landslides, the drive on this road will refresh your soul and make you fall in love with the beauty of Kashmir.
The road to Passu Cones, Gilgit-Baltistan
One of the most spectacular landmarks on the Karakoram Highway, Passu Cones stand tall against the sky with their jagged rocky peaks. They are even visible from the upper reaches of the Gojal region.
Also referred to as the Cathedral Range, these cone-like mountain tops are one of the most photographed parts of the mighty Karakoram Range. It is also the most popular tourist destination in Gilgit-Baltistan, rivalled only by Khunjerab Pass at Pak-China Border.
The Passu Cones lie to the north of a small village it’s named after. The scenic view as the Karakoram Highway snakes its way through the settlement is one you’ll remember for the rest of your life.
The road to Khunjerab Pass, Gilgit-Baltistan
The beautiful road to Khunjerab Pass is long, winding and utterly breathtaking. If you look out your window, you’ll witness the most stunning landscape, deep gorges and a clear sky with clouds swirling closer than you’d expect. The highest border-crossing in the world, Khunjerab Pass is the entryway to China from Pakistan. Situated over 15,000 feet above the sea level, this striking landmark is also the highest point on the Karakoram Highway.
During the monsoon season and winter months, the path to this tourist destination is closed for normal vehicles. However, even if you visit the border during the summer months, you’ll find some snow around the gateway, making it an amazing place for photography.
Moreover, since the road runs through the Khunjerab National Park, you may also get to witness Siberian ibex, Marco Polo sheep and even snow leopards in their natural habitat.
If you love taking road trips, you can also plan a 6-day tour from Islamabad to Khunjerab Pass.
Pir Sohawa Road, Margalla Hills
At 45 minutes of drive from Islamabad, lies the picturesque tourist spot of Pir Sohawa. Contrary to what many people believe, the scenic place located in Monal Village is a part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa instead of Punjab.
The road to Pir Sohawa winds through Margalla Hills and presents a majestic view of the capital city during both day and night. Daman-e-Koh and Monal restaurant, two of the most popular tourist destinations in Islamabad, both lie on the Pir Sohawa road.
Although there are quite a few steep turns on the road, it’s well-carpeted and widely-used. A number of picnic spots and viewpoints have also been constructed on the way up to the village, allowing visitors to take a short break and appreciate the beauty around them.
If you are staying in Islamabad, you can also plan a day trip to the scenic Margalla Hills.
The road from Astore to Chillam, Gilgit-Baltistan
Last but definitely not the least, the road from Astore to Chillam Valley, which is the highest altitude village in Astore District, is full of lush green grazing fields and sparkling blue water streams on either side. Due to harsh weather conditions during the winter months, the road to Chillam is a little bumpy at places.
Although it is one of the most beautiful roads in Pakistan, the drive to Chillam has several sharp ascends. However, the beauty surrounding the village makes it really hard to focus on anything else. Since Chillam is the last village in the district, the road then leads to the stunning Deosai plains. For those who might not know, these plains are among the highest in the world.