If you have never visited Pakistan, you would be forgiven for thinking that the South Asian country is all mountains, plains and deserts. After all, the Indus River and and K2 are the more-famous landmarks of the country.
Pakistan actually has a pretty large coastline, spanning 1,046km along the Arabian Sea. In context, it's coastline is larger than countries such as Jamaica, Hong Kong, and Cyprus. Karachi, the largest city of Pakistan, is home to many of the country's best beaches.
The next time you travel to Pakistan, in between visiting the ancient cities and mountain trekking, you may want to stop by these gorgeous beaches that give the Maldives a run for its money.
1. French Beach - Karachi
Rub shoulders with Karachi's elite on the beach located between Hawkes Bay and Paradise Point. Rent a hut and spend the day in your own paradise by snorkeling and scuba diving. According to online reviews, it is a great getaway from city life as it is about a 45-minute drive. Fishing is highly recommended.
2. Astola Beach - Balochistan
Astola is Pakistan's largest offshore island, and can be reached by motorized boats. The island is home to a coral reef, and is known for eco-tourism. With untouched beaches, gorgeous cliffs, and home to lots of marine creatures, the beach is a great place for day trips.
3. Ormara Beach - Balochistan
Another beach located in the Balochistan province, Ormara beach is located the in the port city of same name. It is costal town so old that Alexander the Great is said to have stayed there for a few days with his army. It is a great place to do a bit of scenic bike riding, however make sure you have enough emergency supplies. Online reviews say that some parts have no phone signals and there are no street lights at night.
4. West Bay Beach (Paddi Zirr) - Balochistan
Clearly one of the more popular beaches for its picturesque quality, Paddi Zirr is one place where your photos need no filter. It is an idyllic place where you see fishermen and their boats alongside donkeys pulling carts.
5. Sandspit Beach - Karachi
Sandspit is the perfect beach for the whole family. Apart from monsoon season, the waters are relatively calm. You can also live your fairytale fantasies of horseback or camel riding on the beach. Nature-lovers would be able to spot Green and Olive Ridley turtles. WWF Pakistan has been working to protect turtles in the area as this is one of the beaches where they nest and lay their eggs.
6. Cape Monze (Ras Mauri) - Karachi
Waves from the Arabian Sea washes ashore on Cape Mount beach. It is also known by a few different names: Cape Mount and Ras Mauri. There are a few activities such as banana boat rides, snorkeling, and camel rides.
7. Paradise Point - Karachi
Paradise Point is one of the more well-known beaches in the country. There are lots of hotels and restaurants in the area. It has a rocky landscape surrounding the shore. There used to be a natural rock arch in the sea, however it has since collapsed.
8. Kund Malir - Balochistan
Located in the Hingol National Park, Kund Malir is a large sandy beach among other arid landscapes. If you want to get away from the crowds, this is a place to go and be one with nature. However, there are no emergency supplies in the area, so make sure you pack up as well.
The drive up to the beach is breathtaking as the highway is flanked on one side by mountains and the other side by the coast.
9. Gadani Beach - Balochistan
Unlike some of the rocky beaches, Gadani Beach has smooth sand. It is also near the Gadani ship breaking yard, one of the world's largest ship "graveyards".
10. Sea View Beach - Karachi
Saving the best for last is Sea View in the Clifton Beach stretch. The beach has floodlights so it is accessible day and night. There are also food stalls dotting the beach with yummy snacks such as corn and potatoes. If you want to get away from the heat, there is the Dolmen Mall that has a variety of popular brands.