“Take vacations, go as many places as you can, you can always make money, and you can’t always make memories.” ~ Unknown.
I love vacations! What about you?
I truly believe that vacations are crucial for our personal growth and development. Not only vacations give us ease of mind but they also broaden the horizons of our knowledge and learning.
Vacations give us a chance to relax and enjoy the world around us. It is always a good idea to take a break from the sluggish and boring routine and devour the marvels of nature around us.
However, international trips can be pricey, especially when you are traveling with your family. Luckily, Pakistan is loaded with excellent yet inexpensive family vacation spots. Pakistan should not be underestimated when it comes to vacation destinations since it has some of the top places to visit in the world.
You do not have to go to Switzerland to experience the natural beauty and all that greenery. Similarly, you don’t have to hunt for an exotic beach in the Maldives to experience the fresh and soothing effect of the sea. Although Maldives is offering free entry for Pakistani passport holders but the accommodation and food are quite expensive.
Apart from solo travelers, Pakistan is excellent for people who want to travel with families. There are lists of amazing and best places to travel with toddlers in Pakistan.
If you are someone who is looking for a nice and memorable family vacation spot in Pakistan, then keep on reading. We have come up with an amazing list of cool places to visit in Pakistan.
1. Naltar Valley
This is a beautiful valley situated on the outskirts of Gilgit Baltistan. If you are a big fan of lush green sceneries and out of this world lakes then Naltar valley is your go-to place. It has mountains covered in snow, a very beautiful valley, lakes and most importantly, it has the longest chairlift in Gilgit.
In short, it is the perfect spot for families who want to have some family time in a cool and quiet place.
2. Neelum Valley
Neelum valley is situated in Azad Kashmir district. Apart from its outstanding views and sceneries, the place is famous for fishing and angling activities. If you and your family are interested in fishing and devouring trout by the lake, then do check out Neelum Valley. If you want to get away from the scorching heat of June and July in Pakistan, then try vacationing in this area.
3. Deosai Plains
The place is also known as ‘the land of giants’ because of its wide and huge plains. Deosai plains are also known as the second-largest plateau on earth. It is situated in the Gilgit Baltistan region. The best time to visit the place is august because the place is booming with millions of colorful wildflowers, a sight you do not want to miss.
There is a national park as well which serves as the home of many endangered species of animals such as brown bears and the national animal of Pakistan, Markhor. Indeed, it is an excellent vacation spot for kids because they can have a rich experience of flora and fauna of Pakistan.
4. Siri Paye
Do not confuse this mesmerizing place with the food, Siri Paye. Just kidding!
It is a beautiful and lush area located near Kaghan. Some of the places a person should visit in Siri Paye include Makra Peak, Malika Parbat, Musa ka Musala and the mountains of Kashmir.
However, one should keep in mind that this is an isolated place with steep and dangerous paths. So, if you have small children with you, you probably want to opt for another less risky place. But if you only have grownups in your group then Siri Paye is your place to go.
5. Swat Valley
Who has not heard about the outstanding Swat valley? Did you know the youngest Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai also hails from Swat valley? Swat is situated in the Malakand region of Pakistan. The place is packed with waterfalls, scenic views, and greenery.
The place is also very famous for its stones and emerald mines. You can easily find many beautiful pieces at a very affordable rate. So ladies, if you are looking for stone jewelry, then do visit swat.
Bahawalpur is a beautiful and historical city situated in Punjab, Pakistan. If you are a big fan of historical places then you should visit Bahawalpur. The city is filled with strikingly beautiful architecture and polo grounds. Horse riding and hunting are also common in Bahawalpur.
You should see the Noor Mahal and Darbar Mahal – both buildings belonged to the royal family of Bahawalpur. The palaces look gorgeous at night.
Some of the other places that you should visit are Abbasi Masjid, Bahawalpur zoo, Derawar Fort and the national park. If you and your family members have a knack for history then you should not miss Bahawalpur. Try going there in winter because the city gets quite hot during summers.
This place is one of the best family vacation spots in 2020. Who wants to spend an insane amount of bucks on exotic beaches and yummy seafood when you already have Gwadar? Gwadar is a port city located in Baluchistan. You can view the mesmerizing Arabian Sea from Gwadar.
Kallang beach and Gwadar beach are no less than any other beaches in the world. You can visit the Hammerhead, Omara, Princess of Hope and national parks located in the city.
8. Saif ul Malook
It is one of the best family vacation spots on a budget. Jheel Saif ul Malook is situated in the Kaghan Valley. The place is breathtaking and often regarded as heaven on earth. The crystal clear water and wildflowers leave you in awe. There is a myth that fairies come to this lake on the 14th of the lunar month.
Every Pakistani knows about Murree. We all have been there at least once in our lives.
Murree is one of the most famous vacation spots in Pakistan. Every year, thousands of people visit this place. It is a 45 minutes’ drive from Islamabad. The beautiful hill station is winning hearts for ages now.
The hill station was founded by the Governor of Punjab, Sir Henry Lawrence in 1851. It was previously used as a sanatorium for the British troops. With the passage of time, it became one of the most popular vacation spots in Pakistan.
Mall Road in Murree is famous for its bazaar where you can find lots of local products such as key chains, decoration pieces, clothes, embroidered pieces, and wood products.
You can also take a stroll at the Kashmir point. The cool breeze and majestic trees add more beauty to the place. Also, do not forget to enjoy the chairlift in Patriata. Trust me, it will be one of the most memorable experiences of your life. You can see the whole city from up there.
While you are in Murree, don’t forget to try hot pakoras and chutney from Chara Pani. Mall road is also loaded with innumerable street food stalls such as soup, fries, karahis, burgers, fries, pakoras, and broasts, etc. Murree also has a cinema. That means you can also enjoy your favorite movie over there. In short, Murree is one of the best options for vacations. An interesting fact about Murree is that some people believe that Murree is named after the Virgin Mary.
The next vacation spot in our list is Chitral. Chitral is located in the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa region and is known for its beautiful landscapes and valleys. Chitral is perfect for people who want to experience unique music, culture, and rich cuisine. Interestingly, around 14 languages are being spoken in Chitral alone. How cool is that?
While you are in Chitral, do visit the Chitral Polo Ground. The annual Shandur Festival happens in this ground. Also, Chitralis love polo and there are plentiful of polo matches happening at the place now and then. You can also visit the Chitral museum and Governor House. Did you know that Chitral was the first princely state that acceded to Pakistan after independence? The Mehtar of Chitral, Muzaffar-ul-Mulk, stated his intention to accede to Pakistan on 15 August 1947.
11. Kalash Valley
Kalash is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Pakistan. The valley is further divided into three main regions: Bumburet, Rumboor, and Birir. Among them, people usually visit the Bumburet region because it is easy to reach and there are plenty of hotels in the region.
The culture and traditions of the Kalasha people are very unique and interesting. The people follow animism religion (Animism is a religious belief that objects, places, and creatures all possess a distinct spiritual essence).
Also, you need to see the traditional dresses of Kalasha people. Their clothing is vibrant and full of beautiful embroidery. The headdress which they wear is very heavy yet they carry it beautifully.
Several festivals are celebrated in Kalash Valley every year such as Chilam Joshi, Uchau and Choimus. These festivals are a perfect depiction of Kalash’s culture where there are dances, music and loads of foods and drinks. The people of Kalash Valley are said to be the descendants of the army of Alexander the Great who was left behind in the region.
12. Arang Kel
Arang Kel is one of the most beautiful places in Pakistan. Arang Kel is a small but strikingly beautiful village located in Azad Kashmir. Green meadows full of flowers, gorgeous wood huts, and clear waters define Arang Kel.
The lush green meadows, beautiful plains, and mind-blowing weather are enough to make you fall in love with the place. The place can be accessed by either trekking or by chairlift. Arang Kel is also known as the pearl of Neelum Valley.
Lulusar is another exceptional vacation spot located in the Naran region. It takes 1.5 hours from Naran City to reach Lulusar. You can easily reach the Lulusar Lake with any vehicle. However, you must keep in mind that there are no hotels in Lulusar and one has to stay in Naran City.
The lake is enclosed by gigantic snowcapped mountains and lush green grounds. Lulusar is also the primary source of Kunhar River which runs across the whole valley.
Skardu is located in the Gilgit Baltistan region and is known for its scenic views. The place is situated near the Indus River, which separates the Karakoram Range from the Himalayan mountain range.
The history of Skardu is very old. It was part of the Tibetan Empire and a very important cultural region for them. The weather of Skardu is perfect in summers. The best time to travel to Skardu is from April to October. After October, the temperature falls significantly. The temperature can reach to −10 °C (14 °F).
There are beautiful places near Skardu that you can visit with your friends and family. These places include Skardu Fort, Shigar Fort, Satpara Lake, and Kachura Lake. If you are up for adventure and trekking then do visit Skardu.
15. Nathia Gali
Nathia Gali is a mountain resort located near the Abbottabad District. It is one of the most beautiful hill stations in Pakistan because of its scenic views, beautiful weather and peaceful environment.
The whole place is packed with pine, cedar, oak, walnut and maple trees. Don’t be afraid if you spot monkeys on your way because they are harmless. There are many historical sites in Nathia Gali as well such as Saint Mathew’s Church and the Governor House.
If you are a big fan of hiking then you have to visit the Mukshpuri Top. The hike is a bit difficult if you are a beginner but once you reach the top, you feel like you are at the top of the world. You can see the whole region from the top.
16. Kumrat Valley
Kumrat is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. Kumrat Valley is a gorgeous valley located in the Dir district. The beautiful valley is tucked in between huge mountains and lush green trees. The place is also known for its exotic fauna and flora.
There are fewer hotels and staying places in Kumrat but you can camp aside the waterfalls and streams. Jahaz Banda and Kotora Lake are the main attractions of Kumrat Valley.
17. Attabad Lake
Did you know Attabad Lake was not present before 2010? Yes, you heard me right. Attabad Lake was formed after the Attabad disaster in which there was a huge land sliding in the area. The incident resulted in losses but today, the place is attracting tourists from around the world. Attabad Lake is one of the most visited places in Pakistan. Every year, hundreds of tourists visit this place. It is situated in the Gilgit Baltistan region.
If you are someone who loves recreational activities like boating, fishing and jet skiing then Attabad Lake is the perfect place for you.
Who needs Maldives or Bahamas when you have Sonmiani Beach right here in Pakistan? A lot of people are unaware of this exotic beach located near Karachi.
Sonmiani Beach is just 1.5 hours away from Karachi. It is located on N25 Highway which connects Karachi with Makran Coastal Highway. If you want to spend some luxurious and peaceful time with your loved ones, then do visit this out of this world beach. It has state of the art resorts and guest houses. It is a perfect spot for picnics and BBQ parties as well. The sandy beach with seashells, crystal clear water and the cool breeze takes you to another world.
I would like to end this piece with the very famous quote by Bill Bryson which goes like:
“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”
Pakistan is full of amazing tourist sites. All we need is recognition and exposure from our people. This was our selection of beautiful places in Pakistan that you can visit with your friends and family. These places of Pakistan are no less than any other vacation spots in the world.
These were our suggestions for the best family destinations in 2020. Do let us know about your favorite vacation spots in the comment section below. We hope you find the family vacation ideas for families on this list.
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