The scenic and historic Swat Valley is a part of the PATA of the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. Swat is an integral part of the strategic region where three parts of the Asian Continent i.e South Asia,Central Asia and China meet. The names found in ancient sources for Swat are Udyana and Suvastu because of its scenic beauty and the river Swat respectively. The archeological remains of the area provide evidence of human activities going for thousands of years back in history.Swat once a princely State, very Peaceful and education loving,merged into Pakistan in 1979.The domain of the State extended beyond the present District Swat to District Buner,District Shangla and District Kohistan.
Saidu Sharif is an administrative seat of both District Swat and Malakand Division. It is the zero point from where every corner of the valley can be accessed through mostly metaled road. The historic Jahanzeb College, the tomb and mosque of the Akhund of Swat alias Saidu Baba, Swat Museum, Swat State era’s buildings and archeological sites of Butkara are places worth seeing in Saidu Sharif.
Mingawara is the urban center of the valley and a commercial centre and supply market not only for Swat but for the adjacent districts of Shangla, Buner and even of Indus Kohistan and Gilgit. You will find various categories of hotels and restaurants. The river side restaurants are the most visited places here in summers which provide variety of traditional food.
Visitors on trip to the valley usually loiter around in its bazaars for shopping at the end of their journey. The famous emerald mine situated in the hills northward of the city is famous worldwide for their expensive and deep coloured emeralds.
The serene Marghazar is situated at a distance of 13KM from Saidu Sharif at the foot of Mount Elum. The magnificent White Palace (1940) now converted into a hotel is worth seeing.
In route to Marghazar lies the village of Islampur which is famous for its wool cottage industry.
Malam Jaba is situated at a distance of 44 km from Saidu Sharif. A skiing resort, beautiful land scape, marvelous forest makes it a place worth visiting.
A picturesque tourist resort at 57 km from Saidu Sharif. Surrounded by mountains, is one the coolest and beautiful places during summers.
Madyan is situated at about 56 km on Kalam road.Its riverside location,mild climate and easy access from Saidu Sharif make it an attractive spot.
Located at a distance at 66 km from Saidu Sharif, this is a most visited tourist spot because of gushing river, busy Bazaar, restaurants and hotels.
Kalam,located at the confluence of Ushu and Gabral river at 97 km from Saidu Sharif, is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Swat which is studded with comfortable hotels and restaurants.Many other places like Bouo,Ushu,Matiltan and Gabral etc are a must see.