Skardu from Tibetan (Balti “star stone, meteorite”) is a town and capital of Skardu District, in Gilgit, Pakistan. Skardu is in the 10 kilometers (6 miles) wide by 40 kilometers (25 miles) long Skardu Valley, at the confluence of the Indus and the Shigar River. Skardu is at an altitude of nearly 2,500 meters (8,202 feet). The town is surrounded by grey-brown colored mountains, which hide the 8,000 metre peaks of the nearby Karakoram range. There are three lakes in the vicinity: Upper Kachura lake, Lower Kachura Lake,and Sadpara Lake.
Skardu, along with Gilgit, are the two major tourism, trekking and expedition hubs in Gilgit–Baltistan. The mountainous terrain of the region, including four of the world’s 14 Eight-thousand peaks (8,000 m and above), attracts the attention of tourists, trekkers and mountaineers from around the world. The main tourist season is from April to October; except this time, the area can be cut off for extended periods by the snowy, freezing winter weather.
Accessible from Skardu by road, the nearby Askole and Hushe are the main gateways to the snow covered 8,000 m peaks including K2, the Gasherbrums, Broad Peak, the Trango Towers, and to the huge glaciers of Baltoro, Biafo and Trango. This makes Skardu the main tourist and mountaineering base in the area, which has led to the development of a reasonably extensive tourist infrastructure including shops and hotels. However, the popularity of the region results in high prices, especially during the main trekking season.
Treks to the Deosai Plains, the second highest in the world at 4,114 metres (13,497 ft) above sea level, after the Chang Tang in Tibet, either start from or end at Skardu. In local Balti language, Deosai is called Byarsa, meaning ‘summer place’. With an area of approximately 3,000 square kilometres (1,158 sq mi), the plains extend all the way to Ladakh and provide habitat for snow leopards, ibex, Tibetan blue bears and wild horse.
Drive from Islamabad to Chilas – a typical mountainous town along Karakuram Highway. Arrive in Chilas and transfer to the hotel. Overnight stay in Chilas.
Breakfast at the hotel. In morning dive from Chilas to Skardu through Indus gorge. Arrival in Skardu and transfer to the hotel. PM. at leisure. Overnight in Skardu.
After breakfast day excursion to Shigar Valley. Overnight in Skardu.
After breakfast half day excursion to Satpara Lake and afternoon sightseeing and visit of Skardu Bazaar. Overnight in Skardu.
Breakfast at the hotel. Morning drive to Chilas. Arrive in Chilas and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Chilas.
After breakfast drive back to Islamabad.