Pithoragarh is a small town, which gives its name to the district. It lies in the centre of the western half of the Soar Valley which resembles the Kashmir valley on a miniature scale. It is prettily dotted with villages, generally placed on eminences. The view from some of the higher altitudes in Pithoragarh captures the snow-capped peaks of Panch Chulhi, Nanda Devi and Nanda Kot.
The town is set in a valley popularly known as "Soar" (root meaning is Cool) and lies in the centre of four hills Chandak, Dhwaj, Kumdar and Thal Kedar, and stretches in the southern flank to Jhulaghat demarcated by the Kali river adjoining the barren peaks of Nepal Hills.
Pithoragarh, is known as the gateway to the Himalayas from the north, as pilgrims trek through this town to the Kailash, Lake Manasarovar, and Om Parvat.
Pithoragarh was the historical capital of the Gurjar-Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan.
Other places of interest in Pithoragarh are Patal Bhuvaneshwar (Gangolihat), Chandak, Dewalthal, Dharchula, Munsiyari and Kali Mandir of Gangolihat. Kumaon University College is the main educational institution in the district for higher studies.