Nathiagali is located at approximately 8000 feet above sea level and is one of the most popular summer resorts towns in Galiyat Area of Pakistan. Developed during the British colonial era Nathiagali still carries the aura of the colonial past with buildings dating back to the last century. Urban development in the area is restricted which has helped retain serenity and beauty of the area. Nathiagali is easily accessible from Murree as well as the popular city of Abbottabad.
Driving from Abbottabad to Nathiagali
If you are planning a one day trip, Nathiagali can be easily reached from Abbottabad in less than an hour. The driving distance is approximately 30km. The road is well maintained but quite steep past popular picnic spot Harnoi. Harnoi is a low lying area with shallow river water which makes it an ideal location for a picnic for families. Recent developments have added a man-made water reservoir for paddle boats and joyrides for children. Ther is not much parking available and traffic builds up quickly around midday over the weekends and busy tourist season between May and October.
The winding road from outskirts of Abbottabad near Illaysi Masjid takes you down to Harnoi. If you are driving from Abbottabad town, you can either drive down from Serben Chowk towards Narian ( Bara Market area) and follow the road to Harnoi.
For foodies, I suggest stopping by at Illyasi Mosque to enjoy the famous Pakoras with a local variety of Chatni. This local has become somewhat legendary with a local cafe owner selling over a ton of spicy potatoes chips in a day.
Public Transport from Abbottabad to Nathiagali
Local transport from Abbottabad town is available from Serven Chowk area in front of Eid Gah area. The Suzuki cost under 100 Rupees to reach Nathiagali. The ride is shared with local residents and most people get dropped off on the way. This makes it a very time-consuming way to reach Nathiagali.
Alternatively, you can book your own transport (Suzuki van) for Rs. 2500 for a return trip from Gami Ada which is the main hub for local transport in Abbottabad City.
What are some of the attractions near Nathiagali?
Kala Pani, Lala Zar and Namli Mehra
There are some interesting locations between Abbottabad and Nathiagali. For more adventurous I suggest taking a back road near Kali Pani through beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and scenic picnic spots finally reaching Nathiagali. The main road is normally very congested and you can spot hordes of monkeys jumping on the pines trees as well as stepping down to grab some snacks from the travellers. With recent initiatives of afforestation in the region, the Galiyat region has seen an increase in local wildlife including mountain lions and various species of unique birds.
Namli Mehra is another village close to Nathiagali. This beautiful village sits near the bottom of the valley and is accessible by Jeep and on foot for adventurous explorers. In recent years there is a substantial development in Namli Mehra area which has become a new tourist location in the region.
What are some of the interesting things to do in Nathiagali?
If you are planning to visit the Nathiagali area keep in mind that Galiyat has historically been the summer resort since the colonial period. There is very controlled urban development in the region to preserve the local beauty of the region. There most of the activities are limited to exploring nature and enjoy the great weather during the hot summer season in the rest of the country. The temperature can drop substantially even in the middle of summers in Galiyat area, therefore, carrying your jackets or sweatshirts is a good idea when planning your trip.
Most popular acitivitis to in the region includes:
Walking tracks (pipeline track between Donga Gali and Ayubia)
Chairlift in Ayubia
Trekking to Lalazar and Mukshpuri Tops
Most people drive back to Abbottabad after a day trip from Nathiagali. Abbottabad has a number of nice restaurants, hotels and shopping centers.
Mukshpuri Tops in Dunga Gali
Another interesting hike in the region is 1.5-hour climb to Mukshpuri tops. The beautiful hill is located next to Mukshpuri Hotel in Dunga Gali. There is a walkway along with the bungalows near Mukshpuri hotel that takes you to the base of the hill. This interesting walk takes you to the top of Mukshpuri mountain. The scenic view from the top is breathtaking and worth exploring if you keen on bushwalking and trekking. You can also hire horses and ride to the top of Mukspuri.
Pipeline Track in Dunga Gali
Pipeline track is one of my all-time favourite walking tracks in the region. The track is well maintained and monitored with security cameras by local police. The starting point of the pipeline track is in Donga Gali near Mukspuri Hotel. The track is flat, therefore, easy to walk for people from all age groups. The total distance of the pipeline track is 4km and can be easily covered in under an hour.
The other end of the track is Ayubia, popular for Chairlifts. Ayubia has a number of mid-range hotels and a PTDC (Punjab Tourism Development Corporation) Guesthouse. The restaurant at this establishment is well maintained a nice place to enjoy lunch while looking at rolling hills and greenery from the windows.