Once Queen Elizabeth II visited Swat and called it Switzerland of Asia, since then it becomes a famous tourist destination. The Swat is situated in KPK and the nearest international airport Bacha Khan Int. Airport Peshawar. Swat has beautiful valleys, meadows, lakes, and sceneries. The most famous places in District Swat are Swat- Fizagat, Malam Jabba, Kumrat, Kalam, & Mahodand Lake.
How to reach Swat-Fizagat, Malam Jabba, Kumrat, Kalam, Mahodand Lake
There is only one way to reach Swat that is by road. However, the nearest international airport is in Peshawer. The largest city of Swat District Mingora is around 192KM from Peshawer which is 3 hours away.
Famous Tourist Places to Visit in Swat
Swat is a district situated in the Malakand Division in the province of KPK Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Although Swat is filled with natural scenery and beauty but these five destinations are must visit.
These are the following five destinations to visit in Swat.
2. Malam Jabba
3. Kalam Valley
4. Mahodand Lake
5. Kumrat Valley
Swat- Fizagat Mingora
Whenever national or international tourists visit Swat Valley Fizagat is the initial stop. Most tourists stay here for rest, lunch, or tea. Some tourists also prefer to stay a night at Fizagat. It is the nearest and most developed area in Swat Valley. It has some of the most well-maintained hotels and restaurants. The area also offers a family park. The area is along with the river which is a fascinating destination for tourists.
The roads and infrastructure are developed well maintained. However, this area is not as cold as the upper areas of Swat valley and it does not receive snowfall either. The area is accessible all around the year. The place is near the largest city of Swat Mingora. Hotels are mostly available and could be checked on the spot. If tourists are visiting upper Swat Valley like Kalam and Kumrat it could be a perfect stopover for tea or lunch. The place also has an amusement park, the park is right next to the river that makes it more mesmerizing. The area has small shopping malls for local manufacturing garments and jewelry.
A perfect view of River Swat can be seen from various places around Fizagat. It’s popularity begin after the year 1980 and after that numerous developments took place.
Tourists stay at this point because it is easy to access all other tourist destinations. There are multiple tour guides and cars that take you to the upper peaks and lakes of Swat. This makes Fizagat more important. Near the main interchange, there are multiple dining options like Afghani, Chinese, Continental, and Italian.
Malam Jabba is around 40KM from Fizagat and easily accessible. However, it is 314 KM away from the capital Islamabad. The famous tourist peak is situated at 8700 feet above sea level. This place is just like heaven to national and international tourists. After the new government comes into power KPK province has significantly worked in the tourism sector and Malam Jabba also received attention and changed its infrastructure.
The Valley various hotels and dining options available. There are several honey sellers on the way. There are many private means of transport available for tourists to reach the destination, some public transport buses are also there. However, we advise taking private transport so you can stopover where ever you like to. The valley receives heavy snowfall in winters.
Pearl Continental Hotel Malam Jabba
Pearl Continental opened softly in early 2020. It has many recreational facilities. The area is also developing speedily to facilitate tourists. The hotel is beautifully designed and has some breathtaking views from rooms.
Chair lift of Malam Jabba
Samson Group of Companies rebuilt Malam Jabba resort. They start development after the Pakistan Army cleared the area from Taliban. The chairlift was restored in 2016 and this cable car has most beautiful scenery. Pakistan’s first largest Zip line also installed for the adventures and successfully functional since 2019.
International Ski Federation Malam Jabba
Malam Jabba has a ski facility the same as the international level. It has ski school for training for children and adults. They are training local children of Swat so that international skiers can be produced for the country.
So many international events are organized by the Samson Group of Companies with collaboration with the Pakistan Airforce, KPK tourism department, and Pakistan Ski Federation. The first event was the Snow Marathon that has never happened in Pakistan. Snowboarding competition and International Ski Competition in which more than 30 skiers participated from different countries. Malam Jabba arranged a winter sports competition in 2020 that has various fun activities.
Swat- Kalam Valley
This valley is heaven on earth and once called Switzerland of the East. The beauty of this place is unexplained. It is around 99 KM away from Fizagat. Kalam is surrounded by green mountains in summer and snow mountains in winter. Mostly the weather is cold in Kalam.
The destination has forests, lakes, rivers and other natural beauty. All in one this place is wonderful and magnificent. The beauty of this place increased with several waterfalls. These waterfalls have the most sweetest water on earth. Kalam is commercialized and has all the basic facilities like any other city in Pakistan. There are several beautiful hotels proving basic facilities for tourists with a heater and warm water. Multiple dining options and shopping markets. It’s crowded and tourists don’t feel isolated.
Best month to visit Swat- Kalam Valley
The best month to visit Kalam is from May to October. The weather is minus from late October to April at night. Kalam could be as cold as -20 oC from December to March. In these harsh weather, the tourist doesn’t visit this valley. Even the resident came down to Swat because of irresistible weather conditions.
Ushu Forest in Swat- Kalam Valley
This forest is around 7 to 8 KM away from Kalam Valley. It’s the densest forest in the whole Swat. The road between this forest is not less than a scene from any Hollywood movie. The forest has Cedarwood tress which is one of the most expensive woods in the world. It is precious and this forest has millions of it.
Shahi Ground- Swat- Kalam Valley
Shahi Ground is a plain above the Kalam Valley. The beauty of Kalam Valley can be seen from this beautiful place. It’s also known spot in Kalam Valley.
Riverside Swat- Kalam Valley
It’s a wonderful place near the river. Tourists enjoy water restaurants. The tables are near the river and the water passes by. People enjoy trout fish in this valley. Trout fish is famous in Kalam and tourist comes especially to enjoy this treat of Swat.
Swat- Mahodand Lake
The Lake of fishes mostly known as Mahodand Lake is situated at approximately 35KM from Kalam Valley. However, due to its peak and height, the roads are not in good condition. Most tourists hire a 4×4 wheel drive to get on the destination. The route to Mahodand Lake is both adventurous and thrilling. The narrow mountainous roads are experiencing on its own. There is no comparison with the beauty on both sides on the roads.
Tourists witness several waterfalls and glaciers on the way to the lake. The lake is 9500ft above sea level which takes it to another level of thrill and natural beauty. The lake is surrounded by lush green meadows and snow-capped mountains in summers. The place is not accessible around the year. There are just a few months in the year when tourists can enjoy this mesmerizing beauty at this height. The lake is all frozen in winters and difficult to reach and sometimes impossible. The weather turns out to be harsh no living being can survive there.
There are no hotels to stay near the hotel however, there are various stalls and restaurants to eat. People without kids and families can stay the night in camps. The rates are higher because the transportation of food and goods is highly difficult in this area. The temperature can be one digit in summers. Mahodand lake lies in the region of Hindu Kush. The roads are difficult and turns are dangerous. Experienced and local drivers only have the courage to drive on these most dangerous roads.
Tourist enjoys horse riding and boating at the lake. Tourists especially have trout fish at the lake and enjoy a meal. It’s usually a day tour and the driver takes visitors back before night.
We advise you to take a self walking tour of these areas after reaching to the destination because views from the car are just as you are watching it on screen. To witness real beauty to hiking or walking tracks. This is a lifetime adventure that you would never regret.
Swat- Kumrat Valley
This valley is also part of the Swat in the Kohistan region. This is a hidden valley in Swat and recently came into importance after Prime Minister Imran Khan visit it and claim it to be the best tourist destination. He also promises to develop the valley and make it more accessible for international and local tourists. Due to fewer visitors are crowding the place is peaceful with preserved natural beauty. The place is exceptionally clean and tidy. Tourists claimed that it could be Pakistan’s most beautiful valley.
There are three ways to reach this Valley by personal car which we don’t recommend, by joining a tour group or taking private cars with local drivers. This area will be easily accessible through public transport that could be taken from the Dir area. From the Thal area, a 4×4 vehicle is the only way to reach Kumrat Valley which will charge around 3 to 4 thousand PKR.
Reaching Kumrat Valley is not easy because roads are bumpy and unpaved. We did not recommend to take personal cars. Mostly tourist enjoys by standing in the back of an open jeep which is usually common in off-road areas of Pakistan. Jeep will take around two to three hours from Thal to reach Kumrat. The river is the main beauty of Kumrat.
There are no proper hotels in Kumrat. This valley is not commercialized like Kalam, Malam Jabba, or Fizagat. This valley will take time to develop so think before visiting with kids and families. The only way to stay is to live in the camp.
There are fewer options for dine-in as there are only small canteens for snacks and lunch with a limited menu.