• Astola Island Gwadar

Astola Island Gwadar

Pakistan has been blessed with countless scenic views and destinations. All beautiful places are widely spread across the country, from northern hilly areas to the widespread coast of the Arabian Sea. Each of us is familiar with the scenery of the Northern Areas but rarely has someone traveled to explore the breathtaking sights of Pakistan’s coastline. Astola Island is one among many hidden and unexplored sites in our country. In 2017, this island, situated in Balochistan on the eastern side of Pasni, was announced as the first dedicated Marine Protected Area in Pakistan. It is well known as Jezira Haft Talar (Island of the Seven Hills) because of the sandy and rocky mountains. One has to travel seven hours from Karachi through a drive to Pasni and then another three hours by boat to Astola. 

This island is still in a maintained state because of its hidden whereabouts. It has sandy beaches, a natural habitat for birds, and green sea turtles. Furthermore, it gives a natural environment to almost 22 species of corals, along with a dolphin, whale, and a few species of fish.

History Of Astola Island

According to the Greek Historian Herodotus, three islands sank into the sea; Astola island was the only remnant. A perception exists that the name Nousala is probably denoted to Astola, and Greeks have a myth that Aphrodite lived on this island. So whenever a ship used to pass by the island, she would turn the sailor into fish and leave them for sea.

Another exciting story is that when Alexandar’s Macedonian army reached Makran, the head of his navy visited Astola and believed it was rich in stone and minerals. It motivated explorers to voyage from Egypt and Greek for treasure hunting but Alas! Nothing could be discovered.

Weather at Astola Island

One can sight eye-catching and mesmerizing beauty from its hilltops. A crystal clear ocean spread across the miles with awestruck moments of sunrise and sunsets. Such views are a treat to the eyes of travelers who come all way along to see this. A slight breeze blows throughout the day, and the weather on the beach fluctuates depending on the tide. Every aspect of the island calls nature lovers to explore it and enjoy its serenity. It usually enjoys a current temperature year round, with winters being the best time to visit.

When is The Best Time to Visit Astola

The best time to visit Astola Island lies between September and May when the weather is favorable, and the light wind blows throughout the day. So, Winter seems the best time to visit the island. Whereas from June to August, the moon soon season starts, making it unfavorable for travelers to visit it as the tidal level rises.

 Astola is a challenging yet famous place for tourists. Since it is a remote island, no facility is available for travelers. They need to bring everything from themselves, from camps, clothes, swimming safety kits to edible and supplies. In other words, every necessary thing must be brought along there. 

The island has no concentration of fresh water, so one should also bring enough water supply. It is a barren island with little to no vegetation, and Kekar is the only tree that can survive rough weather conditions. People visiting it need to know jellyfish seem pretty but can be poorly stung, so it is better to be cautious. 

Attractions at Astola Island

What is in Astola Island for a nature lover? Well, hold your horses as we unrevealed the secrets of this island that will take you to a world of ecstasy. There is vast biodiversity on this particular island, and this piece of land is a habitat for various aquatic and non-aquatic species. 

Pakistan’s Largest Offshore Island

It is regarded as the most significant island along the coastline of Pakistan. It is a strip of the island with an area of about 6.7 km (width of 2.3 km and approx 6.7 km length). The highest point of this mesmerizing island is 246 ft (75 m) above sea level. The island is part of the subdistrict Pasni of Gwadar District in Balochistan province.

Deep Turquoise Blue Water

 The water around Astola is a deep turquoise blue that tells the health of its sea life. The seabed is clear up to a depth of 20 feet. Seagulls are always hovering closely near beach water in search of fish. 

View of Blue Ocean at Astola Island

The bird’s eye view of the island gives goosebumps to its viewers. There are various caves and hills present with different and unique shapes. By climbing these cliffs and hills, one can look at the natural beauty of the blue ocean on widespread.

Amazing View of Sunset

The sun rises and sets every day, no matter where you are, but viewing it from an island without any distractions is extraordinary as Astola island water is remarkably crystal clear. So, One can sight the reflection of the sunset on the water, which is simply beautiful. 

Pristine Island

Why visit Maldives and Bali when we have our own explored pristine island?

 Yes, you heard me right; Pakistan’s pristine island is in the Arabian Sea. So pack your bags for exploration and closely get to know marine life. Have a sunbath on the serene and pollution-free beach! 

Dolphins and Green Turtles in Ocean at Astola Island

The sandy beaches of Astola island are home to turtles and a nesting ground for the endangered green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricate). Various coral species are found in the surrounding waters along with the Arabian Sea Humpback Whales and dolphins.

Astola Beach 

Undoubtedly, it is a natural territory that attracts visitors to its natural beauty. This island is a magical place that seems like heaven on earth, where peace reigns in a specific landscape surrounded by pristine waters. Each side of the island is different and more mesmerizing than the other. Now let’s talk about the diverse ecosystem of this miraculous island.

But firstly, do you want to know which endemic reptiles are found on Astola island?

To kill your curiosity, let me tell you that Echis carinatus astrolabe is a venomous viper subspecies endemic to Astola Island on the coast of Pakistan. According to a study, 41 species of birds, eight species of reptiles, and six dominant and widespread species of plants have been found at the site. This island has previously reported twenty-nine corals and 75 fin fish species. Hence, the name Pakistan’s first marine protected island was given.

Small Mosque at Astola Island

A mosque on the island is linked with Khawaja Khizar, which mainland fishermen use during the fishing season. 

Hindu Temple at Astola Island

Besides the mosque, there are remnants of an old Hindi temple, ‘Kali.’ The island is renamed Satadip among Hindus. Furthermore, There is no vertical structure on the island except for the ruins of a lighthouse the government had built in 1983.

Things to Do at Astola Island 

There are plenty of activities where one can indulge himself and enjoy the scenic beauty of this particular island. This island can be your vacation to release stress from work and daily life, so why not take some time and money to visit it if it is worth it, right? 

Fishing

 Fishing can be a very indulging hobby and is popular among tourists. It can help with physical and mental health, stress release, and much more. It also offers many opportunities for adventure and relaxation. So one can go fishing on this island and later cook it to enjoy a feast.

Swimming at Astola Island

Swimming is another expedition one can experience, along with scuba diving and snorkeling. The water of this island is crystal clear, so one can see the aquatic life clearly while scuba diving.

Boating

There are plenty of options for having fun, such as Yachting, Pedal boating, Kayaking, and Canoeing. Boats and ferries can be used to travel from one island to another and otherwise be fun.

Camping

There is no proper no infrastructure system present for tourists like hostels or camps, so one has to bring his camp and set up there. It gives you the feeling of camping along the beach; it seems fun. 

Photography

Photography has many benefits and is a part of art that captures memories and life events. Apart from stories, it is the only means to document your adventure and cherish those moments later. Astola Island brings you an opportunity to showcase your aesthetic photography skills with its awestruck beauty around every corner.

Why is it called the Island of Seven Hills?

Astola is a small uninhabited Island that is beautiful in the Arabian Sea. It is also known as the island of seven hills because it consists of a vast tilted plateau and seven hillocks in a series with deep crevices and chasms many feet wide. Visitors are shocked by the excitement of exploring this beautiful island with many coves and caves.

How to Reach Astola Island?

Astola is a beautiful island located close to the border of Pakistan on the Baluchistan side. You can reach this beautiful island from Karachi and Pasni after a 7-hour drive. From Pasni, motorized boats offer a ride to the beautiful island. The journey takes 3 to 4 hours on the boat.

How Much is the Distance To Reach Astola Island from Gwadar?

Astola Island, or the island of seven hills, is abandoned in the Arabian Sea near the Baluchistan side of Pakistan, approximately 25 km south of the nearest coastline. This offshore island is 6.7 km long with an area of 6.7 km and a width of 2.3 km, and it is one of the largest Islands in Pakistan. Astola is at a distance of approximately 150 kilometers from Gwadar city

Location of Astola Island Gwadar  

Although Gawadar is located at the tip of Baluchistan province, right at the mouth of the Arabian Sea, it is still very far away from Astola Island. Gwadar and Astola are 153 km away from each other. If you must reach the island from Gwadar, you must go to Pasni first, and then motorized boats can take you there.

FAQs

Why is Astola Island famous?

Astola Island, located in the Arabian Sea, is famous among tourists because of its beautiful ecological features, such as the hilltops, caves, coves, and rock formations. It is also very renowned for anybody attracted to marine life and biodiversity. It hosts a staggering amount of delicate marine life. The Astola island and its buffer zone of 401.4 Km squares is Pakistan’s first marine protected area.

Which is the most oversized island in Pakistan?

Astola Island in the Arabian Sea is the largest Island in Pakistan, with a length of 6.7 square km. The island has a maximum width of 2.3 km. The highest point above sea level on the island is 246 m.

Is there any restaurant on Astola Island?

The island offers fantastic scenery and stunning views of the hills, the Arabian Sea, and the waves. But don’t expect any restaurants or tuck shops on the island. Since it is an uninhabited island, no restaurants or eateries are available. Therefore, it will be best to pack water and eatables before getting on the journey to the island.

Conclusion

Astola Island is a mesmerizing offshore Island near the province of Baluchistan. This island is a scenic beauty that nobody in Baluchistan or Karachi should ever miss. Astola Island, the largest island in Pakistan, is the best place to promote tourism.