The old British hill station of Ziarat was founded as a retreat from Quetta’s summer heat. It nestles in its eponymous valley, surround by ancient juniper forests at an altitude of 2600m, about 130km northeast of Quetta. With a residency, offices and even a sanatorium, it served as the administration’s summer capital, and now carries a slightly worn (though attractive) ‘end of empire’ feel.
Refreshingly cool in summer and almost invariably snow-clad in winter, Ziarat is a relaxing destination and a handy base for exploring the surrounding gorges and balding hills of juniper. Don’t get your hopes up too high, though – this may be lush for stark Balochistan, especially in spring, but northern Pakistan it isn’t.