Best Places to Visit in Skardu – Top 10 Must Visit Destinations

Best Places to Visit in Skardu

Nestled in the heart of breathtaking landscapes and surrounded by towering peaks, Skardu is a hidden gem that promises an unforgettable journey for every traveler. Situated in the northern region, this enchanting destination boasts a unique blend of rugged terrain, serene lakes, and ancient history, making it a dreamland for adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.



Best Time to Visit


Shigar Valley

April to October


Khurpacho Fort

May to September


Khaplu Palace

May to October


Shangrilla Tourist Place

May to September


Visit Manthoka Waterfall

May to September


Upper Kachura Lake

May to September


Kachura Lake

April to October


Satpara Lake

May to September


Katpana Cold Desert

April to October


Shigar Palace

May to September

Skardu’s allure lies in its surreal landscapes that paint an ever-changing canvas of beauty. From snow-capped mountains piercing the azure sky to lush valleys carpeted with vibrant flora, the region’s scenery never fails to leave visitors awe-inspired. For trekkers and hikers, the challenging trails and panoramic vistas offer an extraordinary opportunity to connect with nature at its purest form.

Beyond its natural wonders, Skardu also holds a rich cultural heritage. Ancient monasteries and historical sites dot the landscape, offering glimpses into the region’s storied past. The warm hospitality of the locals adds a heartwarming touch to the overall experience, making visitors feel at home in this faraway paradise.

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in Skardu

Whether you seek adrenaline-pumping adventures, a serene escape from the bustling world, or a cultural journey through history, Skardu has something to offer everyone. Join us as we embark on an exploration of the best places this captivating destination has to offer, and let its enchantment weave its spell on you.


1. Shigar Valley – April to October

Shigar Valley, situated in the mesmerizing region of Skardu, Pakistan, is a breathtaking destination that boasts unmatched natural beauty. Known as the gateway to some of the world’s highest peaks, this valley is an adventurer’s paradise. From April to October, Shigar Valley transforms into a vibrant landscape with blooming flowers, lush green meadows, and the flowing Shigar River adding to its charm.

Travelers can indulge in activities like trekking, camping, and mountain biking to explore the hidden treasures of this serene valley. The famous Shigar Fort, a cultural heritage of Baltistan, is a must-visit attraction that offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history and architecture.

Additionally, the local hospitality and warm culture of the Balti people make the experience even more memorable. Shigar Valley offers a unique blend of nature and heritage, making it an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

shigar valley

2. Khurpacho Fort – May to September

Perched majestically atop a hill overlooking Skardu, Khurpacho Fort stands as a symbol of resilience and history. May to September is the best time to visit this ancient fort due to its pleasant weather and accessibility. The fort dates back to the 16th century and offers panoramic views of the entire Skardu Valley, including the Indus River winding its way through the landscape.

Exploring the well-preserved ruins of Khurpacho Fort takes visitors on a journey back in time, where they can imagine the tales of battles and conquests that once took place within its sturdy walls. The surrounding natural beauty and the tranquility of the location make it an excellent spot for photographers and nature lovers.

Trekking enthusiasts can enjoy a moderate hike to reach the fort, adding an adventurous touch to the overall experience. Khurpacho Fort is an essential part of Skardu’s historical and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and anyone seeking an enriching experience.

khurpacho fort

3. Khaplu Palace – May to October

Nestled in the heart of Khaplu Valley, Khaplu Palace is a splendid architectural marvel that beckons travelers from May to October when the weather is mild and inviting. The palace, which has been converted into a heritage hotel, offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the regal ambiance of ancient Balti royalty.

The intricate woodwork and traditional Balti design elements of the palace take visitors back in time, providing a glimpse into the grandeur and opulence of the past. The picturesque surroundings of the valley, with fruit orchards and mighty mountain peaks, make it an ideal retreat for nature lovers and photographers.

Khaplu Valley itself is a cultural treasure, with friendly locals, traditional festivals, and charming villages that exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Exploring Khaplu Palace and its surroundings is like stepping into a fairytale, making it an unforgettable destination for those seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

khaplu palace

4. Shangrilla Tourist Place – May to September

Shangrilla Tourist Place, also known as “Heaven on Earth,” is a breathtaking destination located in Skardu, Pakistan. Nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the Karakoram mountain range, this place offers a picturesque landscape that will leave you spellbound. The best time to visit Shangrilla is from May to September when the weather is mild and pleasant.

The main highlight of Shangrilla Tourist Place is the Shangrilla Resort, a unique architectural marvel built using the traditional wood and stone design. The resort is situated on the banks of the serene Lower Kachura Lake, surrounded by lush green gardens and orchards, providing a peaceful and serene ambiance to its visitors.

One of the key attractions is the “Shangrilla Lake,” a natural heart-shaped lake located a short distance away from the resort. Visitors can take a boat ride on the tranquil waters of the lake, enjoying the breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains.

For adventure enthusiasts, Shangrilla offers various activities like hiking, fishing, and horse riding in the surrounding valleys and hills. Additionally, the nearby Cold Desert, also known as the “Katpana Desert,” is a unique attraction where visitors can experience sand dunes against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks.


5. Manthoka Waterfall – May to September

Manthoka Waterfall is an enchanting natural wonder that must not be missed during your visit to Skardu. Located in the heart of the region, this captivating waterfall offers a stunning display of cascading water amidst the rugged landscape. The best time to experience the waterfall’s full beauty is from May to September when the glacial melt ensures a steady flow of water.

To reach Manthoka Waterfall, visitors can embark on a moderate trek through the rocky terrain, which in itself is a thrilling adventure. As you approach the waterfall, the sound of rushing water grows louder, heightening the anticipation of the magnificent sight that awaits.

The sight of Manthoka Waterfall is awe-inspiring, with water gushing down from considerable heights, creating a mesmerizing display of mist and spray. The surrounding scenery is equally captivating, with lush greenery and snow-capped peaks in the distance.

Visitors can spend quality time near the waterfall, capturing memorable photographs, picnicking, or simply reveling in the natural beauty. The experience of standing close to the cascading water, feeling its coolness, and being surrounded by nature’s grandeur is truly rejuvenating.

manthoka waterfall

6. Upper Kachura Lake – May to September

Upper Kachura Lake, also known as “Upper Shangrila Lake,” is a gem hidden amidst the splendid landscapes of Skardu. Situated at a higher altitude than its counterpart, Lower Kachura Lake, this enchanting water body offers an unspoiled and tranquil setting that attracts travelers from far and wide. The best time to visit Upper Kachura Lake is from May to September when the weather is most suitable for exploration.

The lake is surrounded by towering mountains that mirror their magnificence in the clear waters, creating a postcard-perfect scene. One of the lake’s unique features is the floating “Chalets,” traditional wooden huts on the lake’s surface, where visitors can stay and enjoy the surreal experience of living on the water.

Apart from the scenic beauty, Upper Kachura Lake offers various outdoor activities. Boating is a popular option, and rowing across the crystal-clear waters while being surrounded by the serene ambiance is an experience to cherish.

Nature lovers and hikers can also explore the nearby trails and hills for breathtaking panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. The region’s peaceful atmosphere and the shimmering waters of Upper Kachura Lake combine to create an unforgettable experience for anyone seeking solace in the lap of nature.

upper kachra lake

7. Kachura Lake – April to October

Kachura Lake, also known as Sheosar Lake, is a mesmerizing gem nestled amidst the pristine beauty of the Skardu Valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. Located at an altitude of approximately 12,139 feet (3,700 meters) above sea level, this enchanting alpine lake is a sight to behold.

The turquoise waters of Upper Kachura Lake are fed by the surrounding melting glaciers, creating a picturesque panorama that leaves visitors in awe. Encircled by lush meadows and towering snow-capped peaks, the lake’s tranquil ambiance is truly captivating, making it a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

The journey to Upper Kachura Lake is an adventure in itself, as it involves navigating through winding roads and rugged terrains. However, the reward is well worth the effort, as visitors are greeted with breathtaking views at every turn.

Camping on the shores of the lake under a canopy of stars is a surreal experience that allows travelers to connect with nature on a profound level. The peaceful surroundings provide an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, offering moments of serenity and introspection.

Moreover, for those with a penchant for outdoor activities, Upper Kachura Lake offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and trekking along the nearby mountain trails. During the winter months, the frozen lake turns into an ice-skating paradise, attracting visitors from far and wide.

Kachura Lake stands as a testament to the majestic beauty of Pakistan’s northern regions. Its awe-inspiring scenery and tranquil atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a respite in the lap of nature’s grandeur. A trip to this pristine alpine lake promises memories that will linger in the hearts of adventurers for a lifetime.

kachra lake

8. Satpara Lake – May to September

Glistening like a jewel amidst the rugged terrains of Skardu, Satpara Lake is a mesmerizing high-altitude lake that captivates visitors from May to September. Surrounded by lofty mountains, this enchanting lake is fed by the melting glaciers of the Deosai National Park, making it an important source of freshwater for the region. Adventure seekers can indulge in thrilling activities such as boating and fishing, while others can simply relish the tranquil ambiance and picturesque vistas.

As the summer months unfold, the area bursts into a myriad of colors, with wildflowers carpeting the landscape. Camping by the lakeshore under the starry skies is a cherished experience for many travelers. For those yearning to hike, various trails around the lake offer opportunities to delve deeper into the captivating wilderness. A visit to Satpara Lake is a rejuvenating journey into the lap of nature, leaving lasting memories of its breathtaking beauty.

satpara lake

9. Katpana Cold Desert – April to October

Embracing a paradoxical landscape, the Katpana Cold Desert sits adjacent to the soaring sand dunes and is one of the most surreal places to visit in Skardu from April to October. The desert comes alive with a vibrant hue during these months, making it an otherworldly destination. Trekking or camel safaris on the rippling dunes provide an exhilarating experience, transporting visitors to an Arabian Nights-like fantasy.

The unique phenomenon of the desert touching the snowy peaks of the Karakoram Range is a rare sight that draws photographers and nature enthusiasts alike. As the sun sets over the desert, the golden rays cast an ethereal glow on the surroundings, adding to the desert’s magical aura. For an unparalleled adventure, camping in the desert and witnessing the night sky adorned with countless stars is a surreal experience that visitors will cherish forever.

katpana lake

10. Shigar Palace – May to September

Known as the “Palace on the Rock,” Shigar Palace is a restored heritage building that beckons travelers from May to September. This architectural gem offers a glimpse into the royal past of the region, as it once served as the residence of the Raja of Shigar. The intricate woodwork and grandeur of the palace’s interior are awe-inspiring, and it has now been converted into a luxury hotel, allowing guests to experience the grand lifestyle of the past rulers.

Nestled amidst lush gardens and surrounded by the stunning Karakoram Range, Shigar Palace provides an ideal setting for relaxation and rejuvenation. During the summer months, the weather is pleasant, and visitors can explore nearby attractions such as the ancient Shigar Fort, local bazaars, and the beautiful orchards. A stay at Shigar Palace is a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the regal history and natural splendors of Skardu.

shigar palace

Top Places to Visit in Skardu

Skardu, with its awe-inspiring beauty and rich cultural heritage, stands as a beacon of enchantment for travelers seeking unforgettable experiences. Nestled amidst towering peaks and serene valleys, this hidden gem offers a mesmerizing blend of rugged landscapes, pristine lakes, and ancient history. From the breathtaking Shigar Valley to the regal Khaplu Palace, each destination in Skardu has a unique story to tell and leaves travelers spellbound.

For adventure enthusiasts, Skardu presents a playground of trekking trails, boating in tranquil lakes, and exploring the surreal Katpana Cold Desert. Nature lovers can revel in the beauty of blooming meadows, glistening lakes, and cascading waterfalls that adorn the landscape. History buffs will find delight in exploring ancient forts and palaces, transporting them back in time to an era of grandeur and royalty.

Whether seeking a serene escape, an adrenaline-pumping adventure, or a cultural journey through the annals of time, Skardu has something to offer every traveler. Embrace the warm hospitality of the Balti people, savor the breathtaking panoramas, and let the enchantment of Skardu weave its spell on you. It is a destination that promises memories that will last a lifetime, beckoning you to return and explore its wonders once more. So, come and experience the best places to visit in Skardu and create cherished memories in this captivating and magical land.

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