How to Reach
Chitral town, the district headquarter, is linked by air and road with the rest of the country. PIA operates weekly two flights to Chitral from Islamabad and one flight from Peshawar but these flights are subject to good weather condition. The usual flight time is around 50 minutes. The main road link between Chitral and rest of the county was via Lowari Pass (3,118m) with a driving time of around 16 hrs. from Islamabad to Chitral in normal conditions. The Lowari Pass route was accessible during the summer months only as it remains closed during winter due to heavy snowfall. But now after the opening of Lowari Tunnel, Chitral is accessible throughout the year via an all-weather road. After the opening of this tunnel the driving time to Chitral has reduced by 3 hours and travelling to Chitral has become a bit
bit less cumbersome. If you are travelling from Islamabad to Chitral by road, first you reach Chakdara travelling via Motorway M-1 and Swat Expressway from Col. Sher Khan Interchange in about two and half hours. The next stage is from Chakdara to Dir which takes an other two and half hours travelling via Timrgarah and some other small towns. In the final stage you travel further from Dir via Lowari Tunnel and the town of Drosh in about three hours and reach at Chitral town.
Where to Stay
There are more than 40 hotels of different categories with more than 400 rooms in the town of Chitral. The second big cluster of hotels is in Bamburit (Kalash Valley) with more than 30 hotels. Rambur has 6 small hotels and similarly Barir has around 5 small guest houses. PTDC operates a chain of motels in this area, having properties at Chitral town, Buni, Mastuj and Bamburit. These motels are located at good location and provide moderate standard tourist accommodation on reasonable rates.
Along the old forts at Mastuj, Ayun and Nagar, the owners have developed few nice guest houses which provide limited but good quality accommodation facilities to domestic and foreign visitors.
Where to Eat
As compare to other mountain areas of Pakistan, Chitral so far is far behind in terms of good restaurants. There are very few good places which serve authentic local cuisine. Following are some the recommended restaurants in Chitral Town:-
- Fokker Friendship Restaurant: Using the crash landed Fokker Friendship plane near the runway of Chitral Airport, Shahzada Sirajul Muluk, the enterprising owner of Hindukush Heights Hotel has created this nice restaurant just a year ago. At present this is perhaps the best restaurant in Chitral where find dining facilities are offered at reasonable rates. Visitors can enjoy local traditional cuisine, Pakistani, Chines and continental dishes.
- Restaurant of Hindukush Heights, This fine dining place in Hotel Hindukush Heights local traditional cuisine as well as other Pakistani and continental dishes.
- Restaurant of Pamir River Inn, A small but nicely located restaurant in the Pamir River Inn next to the Shahi Fort of Chitral is a nice place to relax and have some good Pakistani, Chines food. They also serve Bar B Q on advance booking.
- Restaurant of Tirichmir View Hotel: Located in the heart of Chitral town, this restaurants offers Pakistani, Chinese and continental dishes on affordable rates.
- There are quite a few other small restaurants in in the main bazar and side streets which serve food on very reasonable rates but most of them do not have decent place to set. The food available in the menus of hotels and restaurants is usually typical. They serve Chapali Kabab, Afghani Pulao, Chiken and beef Karahi, dall and vegetable with tandoori Nan.
The tourists who are keen to try some local cuisine can contact their hotel to get advice. At Some places, the local community members may offer home cooked traditional food and other home made products such as jam, honey, herbal tea etc. On advance order, your hotel can arrange traditional food for you.
Traditional Cuisine of Chitral
Pandir Muzhi: Cheese and crushed walnuts kernel sandwiched between the layers of wheat dough and cooked in a mini size local oven in low heat.
Zholai: Same as Pandir Muzhi but only crushed walnuts are used.
PushorTiki: Pieces of fat rich mutton sandwiched between layers of wheat dough and cooked in ashes after cover it with frying pan.
Kali: A variety of cour prepared from minced meat, wheat flour and number of delectable local spices.
Kawirogh: Flowers of a local wild plant are collected and processed in the heat of sun dried which is then cooked with meat without any other seasoning but salt. It is said to remedy for many diseases.
Lazhek: Fat rich mutton is cooked formerly in large clay pots with crushed wheat grain. A delicious and wholesome food.
Shoshp: A kind of traditional Halwa