When the holidays are approaching and you are feeling exhausted from your extremely busy work routine and you need a place that can not only provide you calmness but is full of magnificent places to visit, Kalam is the one that comes to mind instantly.

If beauty has another name, Kalam would be it. With luscious green mountains and eye-opening waterfalls, Kalam is just majestic. Kalam is one of the biggest tourist attraction points in the world. Kalam offers you versatility inside the northern culture of Pakistan.  You can find the best local food, and clothing, and the generosity of locals is exceptional. Kalam with all its beauty lies in the heart of SWAT valley with tremendous scenery and eye-pleasing mountains.

How to Visit Kalam by Road

Getting to Kalam by road is easy when you follow the N95 route, also known as Kalam Road, starting from Mingora in Swat.

Embarking on this scenic journey, you will trace the N95 road along the picturesque Swat River, passing through charming places like Manglor, Charbagh, Khwazakhela, Madyan, and Bahrain before reaching your ultimate destination, the Kalam Valley.

Road to kalam

The road trip from Mingora to Kalam spans about 96 kilometers (59 miles) and typically takes around 3 hours to complete. So, if you are up for a delightful drive, the N95 route offers a perfect blend of nature’s beauty and a smooth road experience.

Location

If you want to travel to Kalam valley, you have to take a car ride of 6 hours, almost 300 kilometers from the city of Islamabad.  Kalam is situated within the valley of SWAT almost 100 km up north of Mingora, a major city of SWAT. The journey you are going to take to reach Kalam would leave you mesmerized.  The beautiful landscapes, clean air, and natural forest truly make Kalam valley the heart of SWAT and totally worth visiting for foreigners as well as Pakistani citizens.

One thing that attracts adventurous people to Kalam is the mountain that goes from 6000 feet height (2,000 m) to 20,000 feet height (6,000 m). The whole valley of kalam is just a gift of nature and every aspect of this kalam valley will give you a major attraction for visitation. If you decide to visit Kalam, you must make sure your trip includes these places so that you can get the complete experience of visiting this piece of heaven.

  • Downtown, Kalam bazaar
  • Green Top Kalam View Point
  • Matiltan
  • Ushu Forest
  • Utror Valley
  • Gabral valley
  • Janshai Meadows
  • Kalam summer festival

1. Downtown, kalam bazaar

Kalam bazaar, downtown is the ideal center point in kalam. It’s a place where you can find comfortable hotels to stay or make your base camp if you want. You will get the best food and all the amenities that you will need to make your trip to Kalam wonderful.

Downtown, Kalam

The restaurants in Kalam are blessed with the best view one can imagine. You can enjoy the best food with the most serene sceneries nature has to offer. You can find well-stocked general stores, pharmacies, and most important of all places to shop for local dresses and jewelry.

People there are very hospitable and generous. Their heart-warming response to tourists makes Kalam bazaar one of the most pleasant places in kalam.  You can visit the whole Kalam valley, do hiking and then get back to your hotel at night.

2. Green Top Kalam View Point

Explore the amazing Green Top Kalam Point, a fantastic spot just 4 kilometers from Kalam. It’s perched at around 2300 meters high and offers a stunning view of Kalam Valley.

It is like a special place to see all of Kalam and the valley from above. People really love visiting this place in Kalam Valley.

Green Top Kalam View Point

If you are in Islamabad and want a break, you are in luck. Read our article about the Best Getaways from Islamabad to find out where to go.

3. Matiltan

If you prefer the most breathtaking hiking trail then Matiltan should be the one for you. By car, it would just take you 50 minutes to an hour to reach Matiltan as it is around an 8 mile ride. Road issues need to be considered while planning. But preferably you should take the hiking option as you will go through the amazing kalam forest.

Matiltan, Kalam Valley
Photo by Flicker

Passing through the most beautiful landscapes Matiltan is a 10 km long and 2 km wide place that will give you an experience you will never forget. It will take around 3 hours to reach Matiltan via hiking. The altitude of 2000 feet makes it a keen attraction for visitors.

 Matiltan waterfalls surround the area and provide the most soothing yet glorious view that you won’t forget for long.  Hiking gives the most peaceful meditation and you realize this place is no less than paradise.

4. Ushu forest

Another interesting place to visit in Kalam that will leave you in awe is the Ushu forest. As you move around 4 miles northeast of Kalam you will find this thick lush green forest with tall trees and an unforgettable view. You can feel Mother Nature at its best with the fresh clean air that you can breathe during the four-hour hike.

Ushu Forest

 

The Ushu forest is the perfect camping and hiking site. The calm seeker will meditate in these woods. You find yourself short of words to describe the grandeur of this Ushu forest.  During your kalam trip, enjoying this forest is a must.

 5. Utror Valley

When you are with family or on a trip with friends, a great picnic point is a utror valley, on the trip to kalam is just that place. 10 miles from Kalam at around 2200m altitude you will find utror valley. 

Utrar valley is a beautiful valley that is surrounded by waterfalls on both sides. The view is just spectacular.  Waterfalls of cold, running, and clear water, and lush green space to enjoy a great meal and spend quality time is all utror valley is about.

Utror Valley
Photo by Flicker

People forget all their worries as this place sweeps them from their feet. The area around is great for exploration.  You just feel a serenity when you look at the mountain covered with snow. It’s a place you just don’t want to leave.

6. Gabral valley

If you like fishing and want to eat the best trout Gabral valley should be a spot on your kalam journey. As you move around 15 miles from Kalam on Kalam Road, you will see Gabral rivers flowing alongside.

Gabral valley

You can find the best food here as it is fresh from the river. The cold weather and beautiful mountain views are just to die for. You can stay here and enjoy the magic of the creator.

7. Janshai Meadows

If you want to see a real paradise on earth you have to make an effort to visit Janshai Meadows. It’s situated only 8 kilometers away from Kalam and at 2700 m altitude from sea level.

Janshai Meadows

All the cars need to be left at Blue Water point from where the hike of 4 km begins so if you have the stamina then you should take this beautiful hike and visit the most beautiful Meadows in the whole of Kalam valley. The air smelled like roses, and fresh grass and it’s just an incredibly amazing place to enjoy during kalam visit.

8. Kalam summer festival

If you talk about one of the biggest tourist attraction events that are held in kalam is the kalam summer festival.  This is a unique festival that displays the best local culture of SWAT and Kalam. This festival is held in the months of July or August.

Summer festival in kalam valley
Photo by Dawn news

A lot of locals participate in the festivities like dances, handmade crafts, local music, and much more.   You will be able to enjoy jeep rallies, paragliding, and cycling contests. Lots of cultural entertainment shows are also held. A lot of foreigners take interest in these festivals and spend their holidays here in cold weather. Food is exceptional and overall this kalam summer festival will add colors to your trip. It is a month-long festival that you can join whenever you get the chance.

FAQs of Places to visit in Kalam

What is the distance of Kalam from Islamabad?

Kalam valley is around 327 km from Islamabad and will take almost 6 hours and 20 min by car. Road conditions are pretty improved but if there is traffic it can take longer. Plan accordingly.

What is the best weather and time to visit Kalam valley?

Normally kalam weather is not very harsh. It stays at a moderate temperature of around 14 degrees. But the best weather is in July or August when you can enjoy the summer holidays in this magnificent place.
But if you like the snow then November December is ideal for a snowy adventure. The weather gets harshly cold in January and February when snow covers everything and it’s very hard to travel.

Why is kalam worth visiting?

Kalam is one of the most aesthetically pleasing locations in the world. Its thick green forest, clean air, crystal clear blue water, jaw-dropping waterfalls, majestic mountains, mesmerizing lakes, generous people and exquisite food makes Kalam valley worth visiting.

Is Kalam Valley safe to visit?

With every passing day, more safety measures are being made for the locals and foreigners to keep Kalam and SWAT valley safe to travel. Yet sometimes issues can arise but local people are very helpful and staying in touch with local people can come really handy.

Conclusion

If you are an adventurer or a person who wants to enjoy the holidays to the best with friends and family, Kalam is a pristine place to visit with the best lakes, mouton views, waterfalls, Meadows, and forest.  You will get the best experience and it will be totally worth it.

The people and delicious food are the specialties of Kalam valley.  The best time to make the most of the trip will be June to August and November – December.  The greenery, fresh air, and clean environment will give you that sense of calmness you want from such a majestic place.