Melons & Grapes Grand Afghan Tour

from US$4,450

Each autumn we run a trip to Afghanistan and we think it’s the perfect time to visit, and all because of the fruit. How can land that appears to be made entirely of bare rock produce melons as large as beach balls and grapes bursting with juice? This trip includes the best of Afghanistan and as much fresh fruit as you can eat.

  • Reviews 1 Review
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
      Culture
    • Activity Level Moderate
      3/8
    • Group Size Small Group
      8
    All about the Melons & Grapes Grand Afghan Tour.

    Each autumn we run a trip to Afghanistan and we think it’s the perfect time to visit, and all because of the fruit. How can land that appears to be made entirely of bare rock produce melons as large as beach balls and grapes bursting with juice? This trip includes the best of Afghanistan and as much fresh fruit as you can eat.

    We start in Kabul then cross the Hindu Kush through the Salang Pass. In Mazar-e-Sharif, we visit the blue-tiled shrine of Hazrat Ali and the nearby remains of the Silk Road city of Balkh. Then we move on to Bamian for three days exploring the valleys, the Buddha niches and the Band-e Amir lakes. It’s an area where we can safely experience what life is like in rural Afghanistan. Finally, we take a short flight to Herat, the most architecturally complete city in Afghanistan.

    Highlights:

    • Discover the remains of the Buddhas of Bamian
    • Explore Herat
    • Visit the Shrine of Ali in Mazar e Sharif
    • See the lakes at Band e Amir

    Start Point: Kabul, Afghanistan
    End Point: Kabul, Afghanistan
    Maximum number of people: 8

    Cost: US$4450
    Deposit: We require a US$400 deposit to join this tour.

    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
    • 6 internal flights within Afghanistan (Kabul-Herat/Herat-Kabul, Kabul-Bamian/Bamian-Kabul, Kabul-Mazar/Mazar-Kabul)
    What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
    • Any necessary visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Afghanistan
    • Entrance fees
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Tips
    • Any additional flights needed in Afghanistan that may be necessary due to security concerns.
    1. Day 1 Arrive - Kabul

      Arrival and briefing. For those who arrive early, we will have time to take an afternoon tour of the city. This will include a visit to the British Cemetery, the hills of Bibi Mahru and Sakhi shrine.
      Overnight in Kabul.

    2. Day 2 Kabul - Mazar e Sharif

      A morning in Kabul to visit places such as the British cemetery, the bush bazaar and Babur’s Gardens.
      Then fly to Mazar e Sharif.
      Overnight in Mazar e Sharif.

    3. Day 3 Mazar e Sharif - visit Balkh

      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.
      Visiting Balkh is dependent upon the security situation at the time of visit
      Overnight in Mazar e Sharif.

    4. Day 4 Mazar e Sharif – Samangan – Mazar e Sharif

      A day trip to the Buddhist monastery remains at Samangan, two hours drive south of Mazar e Sharif. The 1500-year-old complex contains a huge stupa carved out of the bedrock as well as a number of caves used as places of worship.
      En route you will also be able to visit Tashkurgan and the old king’s hunting lodge.
      Overnight in Mazar e Sharif

    5. Day 5 Mazar e Sharif - Kabul

      Early morning flight from Mazar e Sharif to Kabul.
      Day in Kabul to visit Kabul Museum, Shah-e Doh Shamshira mosque and the Murad Khane district of Kabul.
      Overnight in Kabul.

    6. Day 6 Kabul - Panjshir

      We will visit the Panjshir Valley, described as the most beautiful place in Afghanistan by locals. We will stop to view the tomb of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Lion of the Panjshir and Afghanistan’s most universally revered Mujahedin commander, as well as stopping off at a local fish restaurant on the banks of the Panjshir River.
      Overnight in Kabul.

    7. Day 7 Kabul - Herat

      Fly from Kabul to Herat. The flight is early in the morning leaving us the afternoon to enjoy Herat.
      Overnight in Herat.

    8. Day 8 Herat

      Herat has the largest collection of ancient buildings in Afghanistan and we will take a full day to explore the city and its surroundings including the Friday Mosque, the Tomb of Gowar Shad, the Masullah Complex and the atmospheric shrine of Khoja Ansari at Gazar Gah.
      Overnight in Herat.

    9. Day 9 Herat - Kabul

      We will fly back to Kabul, taking the opportunity to visit any sights we may have missed on the first day in the Afghan capital.
      Overnight in Kabul.

    10. Day 10 Kabul - Bamian

      We will fly between Kabul and Bamian, the capital of the Hazarajat – home of the Hazaras and one of the most peaceful places in Afghanistan. When we arrive in Bamiyan we will have time to look at the hillsides containing many caves in which monasteries and Buddhist carvings were once situated.
      Overnight in Bamian.

    11. Days 11-13 Bamian and around

      We will spend 3 days in and around Bamian, an area of striking natural beauty. The mountains and valleys are dotted with ruins from Afghanistan’s past as well as friendly Hazara villages. It is one of the few places in Afghanistan where we can walk freely and safely in a rural environment.
      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.
      We will also visit the natural landscape of Dragon Valley, see the ruins of Shah e Zohak (Red Fort) and the remains of Shah e Golghola (The City of Screams).
      Overnight in Bamian.

    12. Day 14 Bamian - Kabul

      We will fly back to Kabul, taking the opportunity to visit any sights we may have missed on the first day in the Afghan capital.
      Overnight in Kabul.

    13. Day 15 Kabul - End

      We will ensure that you are taken to the airport to catch your flight.

    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 is based on two people sharing.
    An optional single supplement is US$500 per person.

    The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
    Included in the price:
    • All accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Transport/transfers
    • Guiding
    • 6 internal flights within Afghanistan (Kabul-Herat/Herat-Kabul, Kabul-Bamian/Bamian-Kabul, Kabul-Mazar/Mazar-Kabul)
    Not included in the price:
    • Any necessary visas
    • Insurance
    • Flights to Afghanistan
    • 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. We can suggest routes and operators.
    You can also contact the Untamed Borders dedicated team at Flight Centre for suggested routes.
    Mail: untamedborders@rtwexperts.co.uk
    Phone: +44(0) 844 560 9966

    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.

    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 also 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 two 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 the journey, and the competence of the man behind the wheel. In a country that should be the setting for a live-action version of the Wacky Races, it’s a matter we take seriously. Your comfort and enjoyment of the journey is our top priority.

    Two Untamed Borders team leaders accompany you on this trip. This allows for greater security. It also means 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 additional local guide will enable us to do that.

    Trips to Afghanistan create dangers all of their own. While we want you to have as much freedom as possible, we must state that the leader has the final word in regards to changing the itinerary for safety-related reasons. The route we have chosen passes through areas that we consider to be stable. However, we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice if things change.
    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.

    Overall Rating
    5/5
    Elke Allenstein
    Reviewed On 15/10/2019
    5/5

    I was dreaming of going to Afghanistan for 18 years. As a former art historian and passionate traveller, I had to come here. But due to safety reasons, I was waiting for the „right“ time. Well, in the end only you know when ist the right time despite the danger. I heard of Untamed Borders trough a German TV journalist who travelled with them to Somalia and Afghanistan and did a documentary about it called „Uncovered“. Since that time I followed Untamed Borders on Social Media and was convinced to go with them. And it turned out it was one oft he best trips of my life. Though I am not much of a group traveller. In fact, it was my first group tour, but the group was small and the people likeminded and well-travelled. Our guides Gul and Ana were fantastic company and great fun too. I felt safe most oft he time, a little uneasy when stuck in the traffic in Kabul but our driver Kaka „Smile“ distracted me easy with his try to learn English. Alishah („Where The Light Shines“ 2019) was our guide in Bamiyan and Band-E-Amir and his tender way to speak about his country warmed my heart. Thank you Untamed Borders for this unforgettable trip.

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    Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
    September 13, 2020 - September 27, 2020
    Confirmed
    US$4,450
    US$0