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Astola Island

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Astola Island

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Astola Island, is a group of associated islands of the Pakistani coastline along the Arabian Sea. also known as Jezira Haft Talar Satadip or 'Island of the Seven Hills', is a small uninhabited Pakistani island in the Arabian Sea approximately 25 km (16 mi) south of the nearest part of the coast and 39 km (24 mi) southeast of the fishing port of Pasni. Astola is Pakistan's largest offshore island at approximately 6.7 km (4.2 mi) long with a maximum width of 2.3 km (1.4 mi) and an area of approximately 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi). The highest point is 246 ft (75 m) above sea level. Administratively, the island is part of the Pasni subdistrict of Gwadar District in Balochistan province. The island can be accessed by motorized boats from Pasni, with a journey time of about 5 hours to reach the island.

A view of the northern face of Astola island

Climate

Talk

Astola island is a popular but "hard" destination for eco-tourism, although there are no lodging facilities on the island. Overnight tourists must camp on the island and bring their own provisions. Camping, fishing and scuba-diving expeditions are popular. It is also a site for observing turtle breeding. There has been some damage to Astola's ecology due to rats and domesticated cats left behind by fishermen, which have threatened bird nesting sites and turtle hatcheries.

Get in

Everybody, Pakistani or otherwise, requires a special permit to visit the Islands of Pakistan.

By plane

By ship

There are occasional cruises directly from Karachi.

Get around

Both boat and helicopter transfers are available from Agatti to Bangaram and Kadmat. The helicopter (US$350return) may be the only option in monsoon season from May to September.

By boats/ferries: These can be used for getting around from one island to the other

Once on an island, there aren't too many options. You can travel by foot or hire a bicycle.

See

The Island is one of the most popular tourist destinations.

Itineraries

Do

There are basic leisure tours and Sea/Lagoon based tours. There are plenty of opportunities for Scuba diving, Yachting, Pedal boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Snorkeling and sunbathing is a punishable crime.

Buy

Lakshadweep is not a budget destination: in addition to the permit issue, there is no tourist infrastructure (hostels, restaurants, public transport etc) for backpackers.

Eat

There are few if any uniquely Karachite dishes. Local cuisine is similar to Sindhi.

Drink

Sleep

Stay safe

Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in all islands. Picking up corals is a punishable crime. Be safe.

Get out

The only way out is back to Karachi.



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!