Outrageous Escapism: Kaghan Valley, Pakistan

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Kaghan Valley, Pakistan


Shrouded in Pakistani folklore, the landscapes of the Kaghan Valley are as enchanting as the fairy tales set here. Honey-hued cattle roam alpine pastures. Lakes are cradled by snow-capped glaciers.

Of the valley's bodies of water, the most notable is Saiful Muluk, one of the highest lakes in Pakistan hailed for its photogenic quality. Reflective blue hues dance across the surrounding mountainscape while, at night, the still waters mirror star-studded skies.

Locals will be enthused to tell you that the mountainous backdrop is said to be where a prince of Egypt, Saif-ul-Malook, fell in love with the fairy princess, Badi-ul-Jamal.

After you've caught your breath marvelling at Lake Saiful Muluk, you'll want to reach Ansoo Lake. The tear-dropped shaped pool was first spotted by Pakistan Air Force Police in 1993 while they were flying over the Himalayas at low altitude. Before this, no-one knew of its existence and even to this day - thanks to the strenuous hike - it remains virtually

Where to stay

Walnut Cottage for its undisturbed valley views.

What to pack

Some of the hikes you'll be tackling in the valley are pretty hardcore; pack this Halo Bottle to help you keep hydrated. Your morning chai will stay warm and your water, cool.

Travel tip-off

Heavy snowfall between November and May can seriously disrupt travel plans. Visit in June or July, when the roads and the Babusar Pass are sure to be uninterrupted by glaciers.

How to get there

You'll want to drive Islamabad to Mansehra, then continue onto Nārān via the Nārān Road. The journey should take about six hours.

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