We visited Neelum Valley in June 2009, and at that time the roads, damaged during Oct 2005 were still being built. A journey from Muzafarabad to Kutton/Kundal Shahi which normally takes 2-3 hours was made in almost 5-6 hours. There were several points where we had to wait 30-45 min for the engineers working to clear the road.
I feel that the road condition that we saw in 2009 may not have improved today as well as the work pace was too slow, and the recent floods may have damaged the road further.
We did see several public buses plying between Neelum Valley and Muzafarabad. And they go as far as Kel (250 km from Muzafarabad).
The roads were mainly a leveled dirt track, and very few areas where the road was fully metaled. But this does not mean you can take a sedan. However I did see someone brought there Honda City till Kutton, but I could tell the car had gone through some “pain.”
I left my car in Muzafarabad at AJK Tourism office. They were very kind enough to let me park my car at their office. I gave Rs. 200 to the chaukidar for looking after it. I loaded my stuff onto my cousin’s pajero and continued our journey. However when we reached the first rest stop, Kutton, my cousin was mentally exhausted from driving on these roads, as in some places the roads were quite narrow. So we decided to rent a local jeep. This jeep cost us Rs. 2,000 per day plus diesel. We kept the jeep with us for 3 days, and the diesel used was around Rs. 3,000.
To enjoy this valley, I would recommend if you have your own transport. One option is to go till Kutton on public transport, and then rent a jeep. It gives you freedom to stop at various points to enjoy the scenery.
Traveling by road to Muzaffarabad is itself an enjoyment and we come across the most beautiful scenes of winding rivers and hills. It takes about 4 to 5 hours from Islamabad to Muzaffarabad in a car or van. You also pass through the beauty of hills the MURREE during the journey. This is the shortest route to this city. Kohala is the entry to Azad Kashmir.