x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Walk the Old Silk Road through Pakistan and more with these travel deals

Try a volunteering stint at a nature reserve in Uganda or see the "essential" China.

Baltit Fort towers over the village of Karimibad and is one of the major sights of the Karakorum Highway. Amar Grover / JAI / Corbis
Baltit Fort towers over the village of Karimibad and is one of the major sights of the Karakorum Highway. Amar Grover / JAI / Corbis

Pakistan

Bike down the Old Silk Road through Pakistan's Karakoram Range, mountains with peaks 8,000m high, and scenery that includes non-Polar glaciers and the banks of the Indus River. This two-week trip, organised by Spice Roads, starts in Rawalpindi. Visitors will fly to Skardu, the gateway to K2 mountain expeditions, and stay in a camp in Khaplu for three nights to acclimatise. Day trips include exploring the valleys of Hushe and Thalley; and cycling along the Shyok River to where it meets the Indus before heading up to the Deosai Plateau. Visitors will also see the 700-year-old Baltit and Alti Forts, and spend a day touring the town of Gilgit.

The 15-day trip costs from Dh9,740 per person, including accommodation in hotels and camps, meals and the services of experienced guides. Bike hire costs $150 (Dh550). Visit www.spiceroads.com to book.

Uganda

Sign up for a volunteering project in Uganda's Bwindi National Park for a chance to work closely with the region's rural communities, including the indigenous Batwa. In your free time, there are plenty of activities to try around the area, including gorilla spotting, trekking through the rainforests and hiking in the hills around the park.

The two-week trip costs from Dh5,730 per person, including tailored volunteer placement (from events management to community farming and helping out at the local school), accommodation, meals, a local phone SIM card, internet access, airport transfers and all local transport. International airfare not included. Visit www.responsibletravel.com to book.

India

Pick sun or snow with Cox & Kings packages to Goa or Kashmir. Its four-day "Goa - Land of Fun" package to the coastal state includes three nights in a beach resort, a tour of Old Goa and a cruise down the Mandovi River. From Dh1,100 per person, based on two sharing, including accommodation, some meals, private transport and taxes.

The week-long "Best of Kashmir" tour starts and ends in Srinagar, the Himalayas-surrounded capital, with excursions to Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sheshnag Lake, a tour of Srinagar, a full-board stay in a houseboat for one night, and a ride in a shikara (gondola), depending on the weather. From Dh1,262 per person, based on two sharing, including accommodation, some meals, sightseeing and local transport. International airfare not included in either package. For more information, visit www.coxandkings.ae or call toll free 8000 3570 2470.

China

Bales Worldwide has a 12-day "Essential China" tour of three cities - Shanghai, Beijing, the capital, and Guilin with stops at important attractions and sites, from the Great Wall to the Terracotta Warriors of Xi'an. You'll also spend a night cruising down the Li River. From £1,395 (Dh8,050) per person, including accommodation and some meals, domestic flights, journey by high-speed train (second class), the services of a guide, private transfers and air-conditioned transport, sightseeing and entrance fees to sites. International airfare not included. Visit www.balesworldwide.com to book.

travel@thenational.ae