Many of you will have a hard time believing that you can set your eyes on one of the world’s most stunning coastlines in the very underrated Pakistan. That beautiful coastline belongs to Astola Island.
When it comes to exotic islands and beaches, our minds mostly only think of places like Greece, the Maldives and Thailand. Pakistan doesn’t even count.
But what if we tell you that this beautiful, under-valued country has been cradling one of the most heavenly gorgeous islands in the world?
Discovering Astola Island
Ever since Forbes put Pakistan in the list of “Ten coolest places to go in 2019“, Pakistan has been the recipient of a lot of attention. But most of the hype is about its towering mountains, crystalline lakes, and exhilarating mountain passes. Let us share with you another reason for booking a trip to the world’s new travel sensation.
Pakistan’s Astola Island found in its Baluchistan province is one of the most beautiful locations on the face of this Earth. Yes, you read it right. Not only in Pakistan, but THE WORLD.
Astola with all its tranquility, endemic life forms, dazzling rock structures, and turquoise-colored waters has the tendency to contest for the most beautiful islands in the world. We bet one can easily be tricked into believing Astola is some part of the Mediterranean.
The Isolated Island
But how sad it is that there is just a small number of people who are even aware of its existence. The anonymity of this breathtaking beauty has a lot to do with its remote location. This enchanting offshore island can only be accessed via motorboats from Pasni, a port city in Baluchistan. From Karachi, it takes somewhere between five to seven hours to reach the island.
Astola is a little isolated, mostly uninhabited, but is oozing with all the charms that are attributed to islands. And its remote location and being unexplored give it the additional charms of feeling untouched by civilization.
In times when islands and beaches keep on getting littered with pollutants and excessive crowds, Astola is the lifesaver for those who wish to enjoy island vistas alone and in peace.
Come, explore Astola with us in this extensive article featuring many different aspects of this small, unknown world. And who knows? You may be tempted enough to book a trip to Astola sometime soon.
Astola Island: Island of the Seven Hills
Astola is Pakistan’s largest, most gorgeous island located near Pasni, a port city in district Gwadar, Baluchistan.
The region is mostly uninhabited with mostly the local fishermen populating the nearby Pasni. There is no source of fresh water available, and hence vegetation and greenery are scarce.
Astola is called “Jazira Haft Talar” or “Satadip” in the local language. In English, it means the “Island of the Seven Hills.” It has been named so because of the seven prominent hill rocks that stretch all across the island.
These seven rock structures are quite a feast to look at! The rocks feature several feet wide chasms which give it a beautiful yet terrifying look and feel.
In ancient times, a lot of legends were told about this uninhabited and terrifying island. These legends gave goosebumps to even the bravest of explorers. Admiral Nearchus of Alexander the Great’s army dotted his experiences of getting frightened several times at the island. We assume the legends were horrifying!
Astola is the most spectacular part of the Arabian Sea that lies within Pakistan. No other island in Pakistan can match up to its level. Don’t believe us? A well-known British traveler also described Astola in the following words:
I have never witnessed a coastline this beautiful!Tracey Curtis-Taylor
I think we have had enough of gushing over Satadip’s beauty. Let’s give you some other reasons that prove why this island is a must-visit.
This place has everything you look forward to finding on an island. If you ever visit, get ready to witness giant caves, colorful coral reefs, and giant slopes.
Then there are plateaus going all topsy-turvy in the embrace of majestic mountains and hills.
The caves are truly spectacular, and there are lots of them to put you in an explorer’s mood. Other than rocky caves, there are also coves to sneak in secretly.
The water continually changes colors from brilliant blue to bright green. Turquoise is also a prominent shade found in the waters. When the sun shines over it, a golden tint spreads all over the water, giving it a very striking appearance.
Astola is a maintainer of a vast array of endemic species. The list includes hawksbill turtle, Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle), snakes like Astola viper, and many more.
A variety of water birds also call Astola their home. These birds include but are not limited to glovers, sanderlings, and coursers. Regal seagulls can also be seen flying above one’s head. The seagulls frequent their trips to the waters of Astola in their hunt for fish and other seafood.
Anglers from Pasni come down to hunt for lobsters, oysters, and various types of fishes including jellyfish, shellfish and more. If you are a fishing enthusiast, don’t forget to bring along your fishing equipment. We bet you will have the time of your life fishing here.
If you are a non-fishing marine lover, the sight of seagulls will be enough to fill your hearts with joy.
Astola Island: A Camping Paradise
Astola Island is a tough nut to crack. There are no luxury resorts or fancy eateries around. But, for those wanting to come close to nature, we think Astola is amongst the best of options. It wouldn’t be unfair to name it a camping paradise. The remoteness, the solitude, the rawness of nature, all have conspired to make Astola a camping wonderland.
Umpteen Opportunities of Recreation
Swimming, snorkeling, diving, trekking, rock climbing, bonfire nights, bird-watching, cave explorations, and fishing are the best to-do options at Astola.
Astola is undeniably beautiful. If you are curious, go and find out yourself what this unique place has to offer.
If you are planning to go to Astola, we recommend you do it during winters, since the sea is calmer. Another reason is that the summer heat of Baluchistan may be unbearable to some.
So, what are your views of Astola so far? Are you feeling eager to discover this little-known part of the world? Let us know in the comments below. For more great insights about Pakistan read some of our other blog articles.