Pakistan embraces the winter season at its fullest in most parts of the country in early October. Northern areas like Gilgit Baltistan, Kashmir, Swat, Chitral, Parachinar and areas located in the lap of Hindukush and Himalayas welcome winters months earlier. The steady pace of winters slowly builds up and a gradually white blanket of snow covers the landscape all around. Animals, birds find shelter in caves and tourists, traveling with families and enjoying the perks of blooming weather avoid traveling. Tourists who seek to travel in winters must be very cautious while traveling to areas close to mountains as they receive heavy snowfall.
A new dawn of thrill and adventure has taken over. Climbers, winter enthusiasts, wild animals, winter birds, and peace seekers are now packing bags to witness the charisma of winters.
In winter, usually fewer people travel and that’s why you will not face any traffic hassle, jammed roads or occupied hotels. But! If you are right in the peak season of winters you will face roads blocked with snow, extremely cold weather, fewer restaurants to accommodate you and sometimes you lose contact with everyone. Harsh weather often leads to calamities as infrastructure in some places is not up to date and locals do not have enough resources to deal with it.
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None of the tourists are recommended to travel in extreme winters i.e. during November, December, and January. Instead, there are some places which can be explored in winters and you will enjoy travelling as well as an exciting expedition to explore winter cuisines, soups, winter activities, like skiing, snow-fights, trekking in snow, etc.
In winter you may visit cities like Lahore. Traveling may not be a good idea in summers as scorching sunlight and heat waves will never let you come out of your air-conditioned rooms. Many cities in Punjab are preservers of ancient heritage and scores of historical places to be visited with traditional foods and cuisines. The Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Minar-e-Pakistan, parade on Wahga border, delicious local breakfast, etc. are the specialties of Lahore.
Peshawar, Multan, and Bahawalpur
The Kisa Khwani bazar, Qila Bala Hisar, Torkham border, Islamia College, Pakhtun tradition and rich culture are the offerings of Peshawar. Land of Saints “Multan” has dozens of shrines of saints. And in Bahawalpur, you can witness the decades-old palaces.
Similarly, in Sindh, you may visit archeological sites like Harappa, Thatta, and Mohenjo-Daro. Karachi is the city of lights and the liveliest of all cities. From trading hub to center of all businesses, Karachi is among the megacities of the world. You can experience world-class expos and exhibitions with the opportunity to interact with business tycoons and industrialists. In Karachi, You may also visit Churna Island, where visitors can opt for scuba diving, cliff diving, snorkeling, and much more fun activities. The coastal area of Sindh and Balochistan has also many beaches with breath-taking views.
Quetta used to be the small town of several thousand people and now it has turned into a city of several million people. The dry fruits, seasonal fruits with big orchards, rugs and carpets are the famous souvenirs of this historical city. In 1934, the earthquake hit this city and ruined its infrastructure but it has been to greater length preserved by succeeding governments. This city is famous for winters and you will enjoy the hospitality and traditional foods prepared by local people in winter. Sajji (the roasted Chicken) and Khadi (the marinated and roasted lambs) are the most famous cuisines of this town.
Ziarat Valley (Balochistan)
Travel in Winters to Ziarat valley in Balochistan, 2 hours from Quetta this place has huge pine trees covering its peripheries. Also, being home to the oldest juniper trees makes it the second-largest juniper forest in the world. The snowfall makes this place an exquisite place to travel and explore its beauty. Around this place, you will also find many other springs and beautiful landscapes; local people there guide you whole-heartedly to those places.
Other Places to See
Gorakh Hill station in Dadu, situated between Sindh and Balochistan is called the Murree of Sindh. Although snowfall is near to none here you will find the weather extremely cold.
Similarly, Swat can be visited in winters and trout fish the freshwater fish the most delicious seafood in demand can be experienced. Malam Jabba is the ski resort located in the Swat district.
Chitral also offers great winter experience to travel in winters, particularly the festivals celebrated by local people, attract tourists from all across the world.
Parts of Azad Kashmir like Leepa Valley, Kel, Tao bat, Sharda, Kel, forward Kahuta, etc. offer lots of tourist attraction points ranging from landscape to trekking and much more.
Travelers may visit part of Naran/Kaghan valley in winters which are not obstructed in winters like Shogran. It is a few kilometers from Balakot and one can easily travel to this place on a day trip.
Parachinar, the unseen beauty with mindboggling picturesque landscape, is the must travel in winters, located in the north-west of Pakistan.