This one’s strictly for those not tied down by school holiday routines! Now that the holiday rush is over and with wedding season finally winding down, it’s a great time for a refreshing winter break.  Forget the usual Pakistani short-haul destinations of Dubai and Bangkok. Take a step beyond well-beaten paths and start the new year with some truly exotic experiences.

Short Break to Jordan

While Amman, the capital city of Jordan, is rich with culture and heritage, the jewel of the country is the prehistoric city of Petra. Petra was recently voted as one of the New Seven Wonders and is a World UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is about a 3 ½ hour drive from the capital city of Amman and is famous for its rock-cut architecture in rose colour, for which it has also been termed  ‘The Rose City’ . Other great sites to visit in Jordan are the Dead Sea, Al Wadi Rum -The Valley of the Moon’, and  numerous beautiful desert landscapes. Flights from Karachi are about 6 hours long, with a stop over depending on the airline. The visa process is pretty straight forward, and takes about 3-4 weeks to come through, with a charge of Rs. 880 for a single entry.

Winter Break in Morocco

Morocco is an exotic gateway into Africa, which is a beautiful mix of mountains, dessert and coasts. From Saharan dunes to the peaks of the High Atlas mountains, Morocco is a dream for any traveller. There is lots to do from hiking, camel trekking, to enjoying panoramic views and  of course shopping ! Culturally it is a mix of Arab, African and French influence, which is evident in the flavours of  the local food as well as the art and architecture. All  Pakistani passport holders require a visa,  for which the process can take from 5-15 days, once the required documents have been submitted.

Winter Wonder in Nepal

One of the best things for Pakistanis travelling to Nepal is that the Visa is on arrival,  and that too free of charge! Doesn’t that make you think “why didn’t I know this ?”  This makes Nepal the perfect last minute get away with lots of outdoor adventures sure to satisfy even the most adventurous traveler.  Nepal is COLD in winter so expect freezing temperatures – but it’s a great place to experience snow and a proper winter. Summer pursuits like whitewater rafting in the Bhote Koshi and Trishuli, canyoning, rock climbing, mountain biking and paragliding may not be possible but it’s a perfect place for winter trekking. If you‘re particularly brave, you can experience the second-highest bungee jump in the world, which happens to take place over the mighty Bhote Koshi River. Whatever your pleasure, be aware of the risks and use caution during your adventures. Given Nepal‘s incredible terrain, it‘s no surprise that it‘s one of the world‘s most popular destinations for adventure tourism but there’s plenty else to see – beautiful scenery, temples and quaint bazaars.

Winter getaway to Kenya

Kenya is an incredible travel destination known for its diverse landscapes, dazzling light, spectacular variety of animals and friendly people. Wildlife safaris are the main attraction to Kenya, with more than 40 national parks covering every imaginable landscape and featuring just about every animal in Africa. While the wildlife safari is a once in a life time experience,  the beaches  around Mombasa are well worth a visit as well. And guess what – Pakistanis can get visa on arrival !

Almas Haider
Author

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