16 days itinerary

16 Days tour of Tour of Afghanistan

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Day 01: Kabul:

On arrival in Kabul you will be taken to Afghan Logistics & Tours Pvt.Co.Ltd Guest House. We spend the afternoon resting or exploring some of the sites of this fascinating city. Since the recent war and the fall of the Taliban there has been substantial investment in this unique city but many of the old interesting areas including the Kabul Museum, Old Palace, Babur Shah’s Garden / Palace, Birds Market known as one of the oldest streets/ Markets in Kabul, Abdul Rahman Khan’s Mausoleum, King Zahar’s Shah’s, and His father Tombs, Omer Land Mind Museum, TV Towers Mountain where you can have a great view of Kabul City, the curiosity shops of Chicken Street and the ruined Bala Hasar fort remain, and many more. (Overnight at Afghan Logistics & Tours Pvt.Ltd Guest House)

Day 2: Fly Kabul – Herat:

On arrival at Herat at approx 1100 hrs, we will transfer to our guesthouse and have lunch. We suggest spending the afternoon on an orientation tour including the Citadel (Qala-I-Ikhtiyaruddin). Once it cools down and the light becomes better, we make a late afternoon visit to the Friday Mosque (Masjid-I-Jami). This is one of the finest examples of Ghorid and Timurid tiling to be found anywhere in the world – arguably the most stunning mosque in the world, though the inhabitants of Mazar-I-Sharif and Samarqand might disagree. There is an opportunity to see a famous 14th Century bronze cauldron, alleged to be Tamurlane’s sherbet bowl, in the courtyard. You will also be able to see the tile factory, which claims to be the oldest in the world and probably dates back to the 12th century, where tiles are still made in the traditional manner. (Overnight Nazary Hotel in Guest House)

Day 3: Herat

For the early risers, there will be a visit to the old town to explore the bazaar. The rest of the morning will be spent visiting the 15th century Musalla complex that includes the Minarets of Gohar Shad and her Mausoleum. Gohar Shad was the wife of Shah Rukh, son of Tamurlane. Herat is a great place to go carpet shopping. There are opportunities to purchase both new and antique carpets from a number of different establishments including a large building filled entirely by carpet sellers. For most Afghans, carpets are a major purchase; equivalent to a westerner buying a car and the negotiation may take a number of visits. In the late afternoon we will visit the tomb of the two princes, Qasim and Abdullah (Shazar Dahar) followed by a picnic dinner at Gazagah. (Overnight Nazary Hotel Guest House)

Day 4: Fly Herat – Kabul:

For the keen photographers, we recommend an early morning visit to the Friday Mosque before a midday flight to Kabul. On arrival in Kabul we will return to the Kabul Lodge Guesthouse. In the afternoon we will visit the Sandy Gall Afghanistan Appeal centre. (Overnight Hotel)

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Day 5: Kabul – Charikar – Bamiyan:

After an early morning departure from Kabul we drive north across the Shomali Plains, through the vineyards to Charikar where we will have an early lunch in a Chaikhana. After lunch we drive over the Shibar pass (3285m), the watershed of the Indus and Oxus river systems, and then down to Bamiyan, which is approximately an 8-hour drive. (Overnight Roof of Bamyan Hotel )

Day 6: Bamiyan:

The early risers may want to use this opportunity to take some photographs of the Hindu Kush, the remains of the Buddhas and the early morning activities of the inhabitants of Bamiyan. After breakfast we will visit the Buddhas; and if we are still able, explore the surrounding cliffs that are riddled with caves that contain carvings and frescos. Unfortunately the Taliban destroyed almost all of this. We then drive a short distance to the base of the Shahr-I-Golgola, which was destroyed by Genghis Khan in 1221. Genghis had destroyed Balkh and sent his teenage grandson with an army to capture Bamiyan. The people of Bamiyan resisted and Genghis’s grandson was killed. Genghis besieged and destroyed Golgola in revenge. If we do not explore the Shar-I-Zohak on the way to Bamiyan we hike up it, too. After lunch in the new Bazaar, we drive off to the Valley of the Dragon (Darya Ajdhahar). This massive rock formation is alleged to be the remains of a dragon that persecuted the villagers until Hazrat Ali, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed, killed it. The story is reminiscent of St George and the Dragon. In the late afternoon you will return to Bamiyan (Overnight Roof of Bamyan Hotel)

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Day 7: Bamiyan – Band-I-Amir – Bamiyan:

You will have another early start before a 3-hour journey that takes us to the extraordinary chain of lakes at Band-I-Amir. They are astonishingly beautiful – the water varies in colour from turquoise to deep blue-black from lake to lake. Don’t assume that photographs of the lakes have had their colour touched up – they really are these colours, tinted by the mineral salts in the springs that feed the lakes. In the late afternoon we will return to Bamiyan (Overnight local guesthouse)

Day 8: Pamyan – Kabul:

(Over night ALT Guest House)

Day 9: Kabul – Mazar-I-Sharif:

We continue our journey and drive to Mazar-I-Sharif, which means ‘Tomb of the Exalted’ and is believed to be the burial place of the prophet’s son-in-law Ali. The tomb is in a magnificent tiled building surrounded by flocks of white doves. If a grey one joins them, it is said, it will become white in a month. Mazar is not only a centre of carpet production in Afghanistan but also one of the centres of the Central Asian carpet trade, and the most beautiful carpets from all over Central Asia can be found in the bazaars. ( over night Mehman Sarai Mazar Hotel)

Day 10: Mazar-I-Sharif:

Today we will spend all day exploring this northern stronghold giving us have plenty of time to see the famous mosque and other sights nearby. (Hotel)

Day 11: Mazar-I-Sharif – Balkh – Mazar-I-Sharif:

We spend the morning exploring the nearby city of Balkh before returning to spend the late afternoon. (over night Mehman Sarai Mazar Hotel)

Day 12: Mazar-I-Sharif – Kabul:

We will leave early and drive south to cross the Hindu Kush via the 3363m high Salang Tunnel. This tunnel was built by the Soviets from 1958 and opened in 1964. In 1979 they used it to transport their tanks over the Hindu Kush before the advance on Kabul. A vital strategic prize in the civil war, the tunnel has now been repaired and allows an easy crossing back into Southern Afghanistan. We then drive part of the way across the Shomali plain to Charikar and back to Kabul (Hotel)

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Day 13/14: Kabul – Pul-I-Sayot – Panishir:

This morning we will be up at first light drive back up into the Panjshir Valley, the legendary stronghold of Commander Amhed Shah Massoood. When Afghanistan was on the tourist trail, Panishir’s proximity to Kabul combined with its astonishing natural beauty made it most people’s first destination in the country. It was also conveniently accessed from Pakistan by journalists covering the Russian and Taliban wars when its geographical situation, and the brilliance of its mujihadeen commander, the great Ahmed Shah Massoud, made it unconquerable. Massoud defeated the Russians here fifteen times, and so comprehensively that they stopped trying to capture it. Most of the television footage of the war shown in the West was shot here. The river has a narrow and extremely fertile flood plain and is famous for its fruit. However the sides are steep mountains, which is why it is so defensible. In the spring, watered by the melting snow these mountainsides are dark green giving an impression of overwhelming fertility. We will visit Massoud’s grave and his headquarters at Astana returning to spend one nights in the village of Pul-iSayot giving us plenty of time to explore. ( Over night you can sleep in Pal e Sayad in Small Cafe Guesthouse Rooms, see the stars over night or return to Kabul stay overnight in ALT Guest House and return next morning to Pol e Sayad which is a great Afghan Picnic area all Afghans go there to enjoy the fresh air see the beauty of the of the area do the horsing riding and have a lunch of fresh fish from local river)

Day 15: Pul-I-Sayot – Istalift – Kabul:

After a leisurely start, we visit Istalif before driving back to Kabul and spending the night at the hotel

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Day 16: Kabul:

All day to enjoy the Afghan capital – we will visit the museum, the royal palace and Chicken Street – before enjoying a farewell dinner. (Hotel)