Pakistan may not be the first country that springs to mind when considering a beach holiday. However, with around 1000km of coastline, you might get a pleasant surprise. The coast is split into the Sindh Coast and Makran Coast, both on the Arabian Sea. While many of the country’s best beaches are around Karachi, Pakistan’s second-largest city, there are some other spots that you should know about before you plan your trip.
In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the best beach destinations in Pakistan. It should help you plan your trip and find some spots for R and R when you visit this beguiling Asian country.
French Beach is less than an hour from the centre of Karachi, and it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. It does have an entry fee, but it’s quite inexpensive. French Beach offers the chance to go scuba diving and snorkelling – which you should definitely take – Pakistan is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your PADI scuba diving certificate! If you’d prefer to stay on the sands, that’s okay too. Despite alcohol being illegal in Pakistan, French Beach is one of the few places where drinking it is not directly discouraged.
Sea View, Clifton Beach
Prefer to stay in and around Karachi? In that case, it’s Sea View Clifton Beach that you should visit instead. This is one of the city’s most popular beaches with locals and tourists alike, so it can get very crowded. Don’t just sunbathe and swim – try a camel ride or a buggy ride too! The beach is floodlit so you can stay here as late as you like.
There are loads of street food stalls too, while the Dolmen Mall is on the seafront too. More of Karachi’s cool attractions are within a stone’s throw, such as the Mohatta Palace.
Take a sailboat from Karachi to Manora Island to get a different perspective on the city. It’s much quicker getting across the narrow strait than taking the road, if you want it to be. However, you could always ask your captain to take you to a fishing spot, where you can catch your lunch and prepare it on the boat. A great way to experience Pakistani cuisine, as well as its beaches!
Sandspit Beach is part of a long narrow spit to the west of Karachi. Take the ferry across from Kemari Jetty on the Manora Ferry and take a taxi or public transport from there. Sandspit Beach has calm and flat during the dry season, making it a perfect place for stand up paddle boarding. It’s also a family friendly beach, as children can swim in the sea without too much to worry about. If you’d prefer to stay on land, see if you can spot the nesting spots of turtles. You’ll have to come during their nesting season for that, of course!
If you want to appreciate the natural beauty of Pakistan’s coastline without straying too far from Karachi, then Paradise Point is where to go. Though there was formerly a natural rock arch, it has since collapsed. But with a cliff jutting out of the water and standing along, it’s a pretty spectacular view. The area is not as isolated as photos would have you believe – there are several hotels and restaurants nearby.
The largest off-shore island in Pakistan, it takes a boat trip to reach Astola. However, it’s worth taking a day trip here! The ‘Island of the Seven Hills’ is a nesting spot for green and hawksbill turtles who lay their eggs at the bottom of the cliffs here. Visitors may embark on a day trip here or spend a few days on the island camping. It’s a popular spot for birdwatching, snorkelling, and scuba diving.
The stunning Ormara Beach is on the Makran Coastal Highway and Alexander the Great is said to have stayed in the area. The remoteness is part of the attraction, with cycling and hiking popular activities. If you’re concerned about getting lost, take a tour to this beach with a local guide. It’s a good idea, as some parts of the area don’t have any mobile phone signal.
Gwadar West Bay Beach
Another picturesque and remote beach, West Bay Beach is an ideal place to get a slice of authentic Pakistani life. See fishermen taking their boats out onto the warm waters of the Arabian Sea to the backdrop of spectacular rock formations.
Gadani is the world’s third largest ship graveyard, so the scenery here is quite unlike any other beach in Pakistan. While swimming may be out of the question, walks along the idyllic beach have an eerie feel considering the backdrop. If you’re struggling to find the beach, it’s helpfully located on Ship Breaking Yard Road.
One of Balochistan’s most evocative sights is the Hingol National Park. Almost equidistant between Karachi and Gwadar, it’s a wonderful place to stop and spend a few days away from civilisation. Kund Malir is arguably the most stunning beach, with mountains all along the drive to the beach. However, if you’re staying here you should be prepared with camping equipment and emergency supplies, as there are none in the area!
So, now that you know which beaches to visit in Pakistan…
You might want to find out more about the country in general before booking your trip. Check out About Pakistan for the latest news and travel advice on Pakistan.