So you wake up one day and decide, what am I going to do today? It’s nice weather outside, slightly raining with the cool wind blowing. The wonderful scent of fresh flowers and earthy aroma of greenery sound your entire room. You think to yourself this was a good place to visit. A pat on your back! A good decision. This is what staying in the beautiful and majestic valleys of Swat feel like. Even in the hot summers it feels like spring. The winters are tough but eye-catching for the people of Karachi and Islamabad due the snow capped mountains and white planes all around.
The locals are friendly and energetic, for them, the majority’s livelihood is tourism and trade so they encourage and promote tourism. In the past few years even the government had taken notice of this and had worked on improving the infrastructure and roads that lead to these adventurous places In the North of Pakistan.
Now, let’s talk about logistics, how to get to Swat. From Islamabad it’s a 238km journey if you bypass Abbottabad and takes around 4 hours. However a pit stop in Abbottabad will take an additional 3 hours, so make it a 7 hour ride. Since the traffic in Abbottabad is a nightmare, it’s best to take a detour and bypass it.
The main attraction in Swat city is the white Palace that has been converted into a hotel. But as the city is crowded, it’s recommended to stay in the outskirts of town. My own recommendation would be Rock City Resort, its at secluded location, surrounded by trees and has an old feel to it, rightfully so as it’s the oldest there. It has great reviews on Google and is a good place to crash for the night. Looking at it would remind you of Ashar’s house in Hamsafar.
The river of Swat is another wonder for the place where you can roam around and have a nice picnic.
The most magical part is however the valley enclosed between mountains, Gabeen Jabba. If you loved Lalazar Forest Sanctuary in Batakundi then you’re definitely going to like this place. Just go there with all your supplies, camp if willing or just light a fire, stir some pots and cook your own Karhai while enjoying the glorious views. Chill all day long and release your mind from the stress lift behind. Oh! Some tips are to always have your fuel tank filed. Fill it to the top before reaching Swat as you’ll rarely find your usual fuel pumps there.
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