Afghanistan In 9 Days

from
$2,850

A 9 day trip to the highlights of Afghanistan and a great introduction to the country. Explore places like Bamian, the ancient city of Balkh and the new city of Mazar e Sharif. Cross the majestic Salang Pass on your way back to Kabul.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Culture
    • Activity Level Moderate
      3/8
    • Group Size Small Group
      10
    All about the Afghanistan In 9 Days.

    A 9 day trip to the highlights of Afghanistan.

    Starting and finishing in Kabul this trip visits Bamian in the Cantral Highlands of Afghanistan, home of the Buddha niches and the lakes of Band e Amir.

    We then cross to the North of the country to visit the ancient city of Balkh and the new city of Mazar e Sharif with its impressive and photogenic blue shrine of Hazrat Ali. If the trip is in winter we will try to watch some Buzkashi too, the Afghan sport played on horseback with a dead goat as a ball.

    Finally, we will cross the Salang Sass back to Kabul. A great introduction to the country.

    Highlights:

    • Discover the remains of the Buddhas of Bamian
    • Explore the lakes at Band e Amir
    • Witness the pilgrims at the shrine of Hazrat Ali in Mazar e Sharif
    • Watch Buzkashi – winter only.

    Start Point: Islamabad, Pakistan
    End Point:  Kabul, Afghanistan
    Maximum number of people: 10

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
    What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
    • All Accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Transport/Transfers
    • Guiding
    • Once international flight (Islamabad – Kabul)
    • Visa support
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Any necessary visas (Afghan visa in Peshawar should cost $80)
    • Insurance
    • International flights
    • Entrance fees
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Tips
    • Any additional flights needed in Afghanistan that may be necessary due to security concerns.
    1. Day 1 Islamabad - Peshawar

      Arrival early in the morning.
      Flights must arrive at 0730 or earlier.

      Transfer to Peshawar.
      Submit Afghan visa application and collect visa later that day.
      City tour of Peshawar if there is time.

      Overnight in Peshawar.

    2. Day 2 Peshawar - Islamabad - Kabul

      Drive from Peshawar to Islamabad via Taxila.
      Fly from Islamabad to Kabul.

      Overnight in Kabul.

    3. Days 3 Kabul

      A full day in Kabul to ensure we get all the necessary paperwork for the journey.
      (At the time of writing, this is slightly onerous but if it does simplify, we will move on from Kabul on this day.)

      Overnight in Kabul.

    4. Day 4 Kabul - Bamian

      Drive between Kabul and Bamian, the capital of the Hazarajat. When we arrive in Bamian we will have time to look at the hillsides containing many caves in which monasteries and Buddhist carvings were once situated.

      Overnight in Bamian.

    5. Day 5 Wednesday

      Day trip to Band e Amir.

      The lapis lazuli blue waters of Band-e-Amir are often the highlight of any trip to Afghanistan. Legend has it that the dams that separate the 5 lakes were made by Ali, the prophet Mohamed’s cousin and son-in-law. However, geologists insist they are natural dams made from mineral deposits. The lakes contrast to the stark landscape surrounding them only adds to the beauty of this area.

      Overnight in Bamian.

    6. Day 6 Bamian – Mazar e Sharif

      Drive Bamian to Mazar e Sharif.
      This is a full day’s drive.
      En-route you will also be able to visit the Buddhist stupa at Samangan and the gorge of Tashkurgan.

      Overnight in Mazar e Sharif

    7. Day 7 Mazar e Sharif and around

      Full day in Mazar & Balkh.

      You will have time to visit the majestic blue tiled tomb of Hazrat Ali, Afghanistan’s most important religious site. You will spend part of the day visiting the ancient Silk Road city of Balkh, called Bactria to the Greeks. Bactria was the birthplace of Zoroaster, the founder of Zoroastrianism as well as Rumi the legendary Persian poet. Legacy of its Islamic and Buddhist past can be found in the stupas at the entrance to the town, at the blue tiled shrine of Khoja Parsa and at the oldest mosque in Afghanistan, the 9th century No Gombad mosque.

      Fridays between November and mid-March are when Buzkashi is played in Mazar e Sharif, so we hope to watch a game if the trip is during these months.

      Overnight in Mazar e Sharif

    8. Day 8 Mazar e Sharif - Kabul

      A very long days drive to Kabul. This will include the crossing of the Salang Pass through the 2km long Salang tunnel, built by Russia in the 1960s.

      Overnight in Kabul

    9. Day 9 Kabul - End

      Transfer to airport.
      End of trip.

    Accommodation

    We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.

    The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing.

    An optional single supplement is available upon request, for an additional cost of $350 per person.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Included in the price:
    • All Accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Transport/Transfers
    • Guiding
    • Once international flight (Islamabad – Kabul)
    • Visa support
    Not included in the price:
    • Any necessary visas (Afghan visa in Peshawar should cost $80)
    • Insurance
    • International flights
    • Entrance fees
    • Lunch & Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Tips
    • Any additional flights needed in Afghanistan that may be necessary due to security concerns.

    We do not directly arrange international flights to Afghanistan or Pakistan. We can suggest routes and operators.

    We do not arrange Afghanistan visas directly. We will provide visa support in the form of Letters of Invitation to assist in your Afghanistan visa application in Peshawar on the first day.

    We can provide visa support for the Pakistan e-visa which is requirement for travel to Pakistan.

     

    Please note, visas for Afghanistan are currently not easily obtained via most embassies. However, with the return of international travel the visa process may suddenly change.
    At the moment, the easiest and most reliable place to get Afghans visas is at the consulate in Peshawar, Pakistan. All our trips include a night in Pakistan, allowing our guests to obtain their visa just before entering Afghanistan.
    It is also possible to obtain the visa in Dubai ahead of travel.

    Please contact us for further information.

     

     

    With the exception of breakfast, meals are not included as part of the trip. In our experience people sometimes want to eat different things, in different places, at different times. We know some great places and will happily show you some of our favourite restaurants and tea houses. Some are luxurious, some are earthier, but all have character. However, we do not pretend to be the arbiters of good taste and are equally happy for you to go off and find your own favourites.

    In Afghanistan we take at least 2 vehicles when driving between towns if there is a big group, for safety reasons. If there is a breakdown, we will not be left stranded. When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel (not a laughing matter in a country that should be the setting for a live action version of the Wacky Races). Your comfort and enjoyment of the journey is the top priority.

    On this trip you will be accompanied by 2 team leaders from. This allows for greater security and means that there will always be someone on hand to help or assist you even if the other team leader is busy arranging something.

    Sometimes we also hire local guides. If we are a large group, we may wish to split into smaller groups for city tours to allow greater flexibility and keep a lower profile. An extra local guide allows us to do that.

    Trips to Afghanistan do create dangers all of their own and whilst we want you to have as much freedom as possible, we must state that the tour leader has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas that we consider to be stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.

    If there is an extra expense incurred due to the change of itinerary, then you may be asked to bear part of that cost. For example, if we have to fly between cities rather than drive, this may occur an additional cost.

     

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    Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
    September 16, 2023 - September 24, 2023
    Available to Book
    $2,850
    N/A
    November 4, 2023 - November 12, 2023
    Available to Book
    $2,850
    N/A