In winter, the scenic valley transforms into a white wonderland, offering tourists multiple opportunities for adventure.
Snowfall may just be another part of everyday life for the people living in the country's northern areas. But the white blanket of pure snow has captivated and enthralled citizens from across the country as they arrive in droves to take in the sights and partake in a snow-related activity or two.
In summer, tourists visit the mountainous region to experience Swat valley's lush meadows and forests, pristine glacial lakes and roaring rivers. However, come winter, the scenic valley is transformed into a white wonderland, offering tourists multiple opportunities for fun and adventure.
Malam Jabba, Gabin Jabba, Miandam, Matiltan, Kalam, Utror, Gabral, Matiltan, Mahodand, Loye Sar are some of the mountain resorts where tourists opt to spend their winter vacations.
This winter, a large number of tourists have travelled to the valley to take in the sights.
"Snowfall starts from December and continues till the end of February while the snow itself doesn't melt away till March. This is usually the time period when tourists from across the country as well as from abroad visit Swat valley," says Azharuddin, a trekker and ecotourism activist.
He advises tourists to come fully equipped, with proper shoes and jackets, if they plan on visiting the valley during winter.
Tourists and adrenaline junkies alike say that Malam Jabba has a variety of options for the discerning traveller.
Humaira Ali, a tourist from Lahore, says Swat is the best travel destination during winter. "The valley offers a variety of spots. This year we visited Malam Jabba for some fun and adventure and even went on the chairlift."
"Those who wish to partake in snow-related activities must visit Swat during winter," says Alam Khan, another tourist.
In 2019, a snow-jeep rally was also organised in Kalam valley which attracted large crowds eager to witness vehicles zigzagging from Mahodand to Kalam.
Those who made it up to the mountains in time to see the snow jeep rally expressed wonder at the speed at which the heavy vehicles weaved through the snowy terrain.
"It was a real thrill for me to see the jeeps racing through the snow," says Aftab Ali, a resident of Peshawar. "Kalam is a perfect spot for adventure. The government must focus on tapping its potential in order to promote winter tourism," he adds.
Gabin Jabba, a hill resort in Matta tehsil, is also a tourist hotspot.
"We had heard about the enchanting beauty of Gabin Jabba from our friends. We find it to be different from other snow resorts," says Aizaz Khan, who was visiting the area from Mardan.
Header Photo: A view of Kalam valley. — Photo by author