Swat (pronounced [ˈsʋaːt̪], Pashto: سوات) is a valley and an administrative district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, located close to the Afghan-Pakistan border. It is the upper valley of the Swat River, which rises in the Hindu Kush range. The capital of Swat is Saidu Sharif, but the main town in the Swat valley is Mingora. It was a princely state (see Swat (princely state)) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa until it was dissolved in 1969. The valley is almost entirely populated by ethnic Afghans/Pashtuns . The language spoken in the valley is Pashto/Pakhto. With high mountains, green meadows, and clear lakes, it is a place of great natural beauty and is popular with tourists as "the Switzerland of the region"
People travelling from down country on their own vehicles can take the Motorway (M-1) and reach Mardan interchange from Islamabad in about one and a half hours after covering a distance of 131 km. From Mardan onwards they can travel via Takh-e-Bai, Dargai, Malakand Pass, Batkhella, Chakdara and finally reach Mingora/Saidu Sharif after covering a distance of 112 km in an additional two and a half hours. The total distance from Islamabad to Mingora/Saidu Sharif is 247Km and it takes around 5 hours with one stop for lunch and refreshments. This route is open for all kinds of traffic throughout the year.
Using the above mentioned route from Mardan onwards, the distance from from Peshawar to Mingora/Saidu Sharif is 151 km. Total driving time from Peshawar is around 4 hours.
For those preferring public transport, travelling in an air conditioned bus service is an option. There are several bus companies with regular direct service to Mingora from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and Mardan. The Daewoo Bus Service operates the most comfortable and reliable air conditioned bus service to Mingora from Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar and also provides connecting bus services to the passengers of other major cities such as Karachi, Hyderabad, Bahawalpur, Multan, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Abbottabad, Mianwali etc. (For more information about Daewoo Bus Service schedule and fares, please visit their website http://www.sammi.com.pk or call their UAN at 111-007-008). If you are planning to visit Swat valley you may like to check out the “Logistics” section.