AFGHAN ADVENTURES
 

THE SILK ROAD ADVENTURE

A classic journey taking in the best of what is possible to see in Afghanistan today!

TIME: 14-days

COST: $5000 USD

Day 1. Kabul Arrival

Arrival and briefing at the hotel. Visit Darrulaman Palace and Kabul National Museum. Its collection is one of the most important in Central Asia, with over 100,000 items dating back several millennia.

Day 2. Kabul and around

Day two is a day to visit Omar Landmine Museum and Shah Do Shamshira Mosque at the heart of Kabul city.  In the Afternoon, The Gardens of Babur, historic park and last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur. Then to an overall spectacular view of Kabul city at Bibi Mahro Hills.

Day 3. Kabul-Panjshir

Journey to Panjshir and Tomb of Ahmad Shah Masood. Panjshir literally meaning "Five Lions". It was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahideen during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. The valley again witnessed renewed fighting during the civil war in Afghanistan (1996-2001) between Taliban and the Northern Alliance under command by now national hero Ahmad Shah Masood. Lunch at the river bank and Journey back to Kabul.

Day 4. Kabul-Bamyan

Fly to Bamyan and immediate visit of Buddha Niches. The Buddha’s of Bamyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of standing Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the peaceful Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan and  were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by Taliban. There will be time after lunch to explore Bamyan Bazaar and surrounding hills. 

Day 5. Band-e-Ameer

Day five would be a day to visit the blue lakes of Band-e-Amir, a series of six deep blue lakes separated by natural dams made of travertine, a mineral deposit. The name Band-e Amir literally means "Commander's Dam" which is believed by some to be a reference to Ali, the first Imam of Muslims (Shias) and the fourth Caliph of Islam (to Sunnis) and The area is dominated by ethnic Hazaras, who make up around 23% of Afghanistan's population. Band-e Amir was to become Afghanistan's first national park in the 1960s but this was delayed due to political crises and the decades of wars. In 2004, Band-e Amir was submitted for recognition as a World Heritage site.

Day 6. Bamyan and around

Shahr-e Gholghola also (City of Screams) is 13th century city in Bamyan, Afghanistan which was conquered by Gengis Khan after months of surrounding. The ruins still remain close to the Bamyan town and Shahr-e Zuhak also known as The Red City is an historic city ruins in Bamyan, Afghanistan which was once home to 3,000 people. This city used to be primary defence for the basin. Then, we will have some time to visit the spectacular natural landscapes of the Darre Ajdaha (Dragon valley). 

Day 7. Bamyan –Kabul-Herat

There is an early flight back to Kabul and then the breakfast.  Visit to souvenir bazaar in Kabul (Chicken Street) once a hang-out for thousands of young Western travellers in the 1960s/70s. Followed by a visit to the Western Cemetery in Kabul before going to the airport. The area was a British military camp or Cantonment and the site of the 1879 Siege of the Sherpur Cantonment in the Second Anglo-Afghan War.

Day 8. Herat and Around

In Herat first visit will be to the delightful Masjidi Jami or 'Friday Mosque', built by the Ghurid ruler Ghiyas ad-Din Ghori in 1200 (597 AH), and, after his death, the building was continued by his brother and successor Muhammad of Ghor and a short visit to the tile factory of Herat. We will have time for Herat citadel, which dates back to 330 BC, when Alexander the Great and his army arrived in what is now Afghanistan after the Battle of Gaugamela. Many empires have used it as a headquarters in the last 2,000 years, and wasdestroyed and rebuilt many times over the centuries. If possible we will plan to see the crazy game of Buzkashi in afternoon, game calendar permitting, and/or explore the bustling Herat Bazaar

Day 9. Herat and around

Tomb of Goharshad and Minarets of Herat, a much larger complex the Mosque and Madressa of Gawharshad. However, those architectural monuments were dynamited by officers of the British Indian Army in 1885, to prevent its use as a fortress if a Russian army tried to invade India. But hopefully, the Tomb and minarets are still standing. In the afternoon we will guide you to Guzargah Mosque and PuliMalaan.

Day 10. Herat-Kabul, Istalif

Stālif, a village 29 kilometers northwest of Kabul. The village was destroyed during the long-lasting wars around Kabul. It is famous for its handmade glazed potteries. Its name might derive from Greek staphile ("bunch of grapes") or Parachi estuf ("cow-parsnip"). Istalif was always renowned as one of the most beautiful places in Afghanistan – the Emperor Babur fell in love with it in the 16th century and used to hold parties in his rose garden and summer house there. In the afternoon we will visit Kabul's intriguing bird market.

Day 11. Road to Mazar-e-Sharif

Journey to Mazar e Sharif will pass through Salang. The pass crosses the Hindu Kush Mountains but is now bypassed through the Salang Tunnel, which runs underneath it at a height of about 3,400 m. It links Charikar and Kabul in the south with Baghlan, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in the north. Before the road and tunnel were built, the main route between Kabul and northern Afghanistan was via the Shibar Pass, a much longer route which took three days. Now a series of tunnels built by the Russians in 1942 makes this an exciting way to cross the Hindu Kush.

Day 12. Mazar-e-Sharif and Balkh

Journey to Balkh, an ancient city and centerof Buddhism, Sufism and Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. While in Balkh, you visit Haji Piyada Mosque (the walking pilgrim) Tomb of Rabia Balkhi, a semi-legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first woman poet in the history of New Persian poetry. Khoja Parsa Mosque and BalaHisar, the ancient citadel build by Alexander the Great when he destroyed the Kurush (Persian empire) and crossed Amu Darya (Auxus River) in early 330, then married Rukhshana (Ruxana) in Bacteria (Balkh) and Ummul Bilad (Mother of the cities) to Arabs. In the afternoon it is time to visit the Blue tiled Mosque of Ali.

Day 13. Mazar-e-Sharif –Samangan, Kabul

Journey Back to Kabul and on the way we will have time to visit Takht-i Rustam (Haibak), literal meaning the throne of Rustam, named after Rustam, a king in Persian mythology, is a hilltop settlement, well-known archaeological site in Afghanistan, in the Takthi Rostam and the adjacent Buddhist caves and stupas on top of a hill, north of Hindu Kush passes. At this location, caves were hewn out of rocks and inhabited by Buddhists. The Buddhist stupa here is in the form of a mound. It represents the earliest link to the evolution of Buddhist architecture in Afghanistan.

Day 14. Fly back (Good-bye)

We will make sure to drop you at the airport on-time for your flight back home. 

 

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodation on twin-share basis 
  • Local Transport with low profile vehicles
  • Breakfast , refreshments & season fruit
  • Domestics Flights 
  • English Speaking Guides 

EXCLUSIONS

  • Dinner & Lunch 
  • Entry permits and tickets to various national parks / attractions
  • Expenses of a personal nature (tips, laundry, shopping etc.)
  • International Flights 

TOUR SPECIFICS

  • Respect Afghan Culture
  • Dress in Afghan traditional clothes, your Guide will assist you on arrival 
  • Do not shake hands with women 
  • Do not take photo of Military or Police
  • If your guide changes itinerary for safety reasons, respect the decision

CANCELLATION POLICY

  • If cancelled 30 days prior to journey date, cancellation charges: 0%
  • If cancelled 5-7 days prior to journey date, cancellation charges: 50%
  • If cancelled within 5 days of journey date, cancellation charges: 100%
     

    OTHER ADVENTURES

    66.YellowTaxiMountain.jpg

    THE BAMIYAN MARATHON

    Fancy running a marathon through the most spectacular landscape on earth?

    TIME: 6 Days in OCTOBER only

    COST:

    Day 1, Kabul Arrival

    Arrival and briefing at the hotel and Kabul Persian: کابل‎‎, pronounced [ˈkʰɒːbul]) is the capital of Afghanistan as well as its largest city, located in the eastern section of the country. Rapid urbanization had made Kabul the world’s 64th largest city and the fifth fastest-growing city in the world. Kabul is over 3,500 years old and many empires have controlled the city which is at a strategic location along the trade routes of South and Central Asia. It has been ruled by the Achaemenids, Seleucids, Mauryans, Kushans, Kabul Shahis, Saffarids, Ghaznavids, and Ghurids. Later it was controlled by the Mughal Empire until finally becoming part of the Durrani Empire.

    Day 2. Kabul-Panjshir

    Journey to Panjshir and Tomb of Ahmad Shah Masood. Panjshir literally meaning "Five Lions", refers to five Wali (literally, protectors), spiritual brothers who were centered in the valley. Local legend has it that the five brothers built a dam for Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznawi in the early 11th century. Later, it was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahidin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. Lunch at the river bank before journey back.

    Day 3. Kabul-Bamyan

    Early in the morning we will leave hotel to Kabul Airport aiming to fly to Bamyan and while in Bamyan we will have time to visit Buddha Niches. The Buddha’s of Bamyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of standing Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the peaceful Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan and  were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban. There will be time after lunch to have a look around Bamyan Bazar and time for Photography at the best photo spots will be showing to you. 

    Day 4/5. Bamiyan

    The Marathon of Afghanistan - Bamiyan Province the Marathon of Afghanistan takes place in Bamiyan province, a magical mountainous hidden valley suspended in the midst of the Hindu Kush in central Afghanistan. The astonishingly beautiful valley, a UNESCO world heritage site, is recognised as one of the safest provinces in the country and remains almost completely untouched by violence.

    The inaugural marathon took place in October 2015 and was the first international marathon to be run in Afghanistan. This first race was a reconnaissance trip, ahead of the 2016 edition. Now it is in it's 4th successful year.

    Around 120 runners took part in the marathon and associated 10-kilometer race, including Zainab who became the first Afghan woman in history to complete a marathon within her owncountry.

    Day 6. Bamyan-Kabul

    In the Afternoon, we will have a look around Chicken Street when the Western youth of the 1960s/70s used to hang out. Then  take you for an overall view of Kabul city at Bibi Mahro Hills. Before flying home the next day.

     

    THE BUZKASHI TRAIL

    See, feel and smell the great Afghan horse game in Balkh!

    TIME: 6 Days

    COST:

    Day 1. Kabul Arrival

    Arrival and briefing at the hotel and a visit to Blue Mosque (Shrine of Hazrat-e-Ali)Darrulaman Palace. The Palace was built in the early 1920s by King Amanullah Khan to modernise Afghanistan. It was to be part of the new capital city that the king intended to build. Then we will have time forKabul National Museum. Overnight at a secure Kabul Guest House.

    Day 2. Drive or Fly to Mazar-e-Sharif

    Journey by air or by road to Mazar e Sharif via Salang. The road once crossed the Hindu Kush Mountains but now goes through the Salang Tunnel, which runs underneath it at a height of about 3,400 m.tunnels built by the Russians in 1942. It links Charikar and Kabul in the south with Baghlan, Mazar-i-Sharif and Kunduz in the north.

    Day 3. Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh and Buzkashi

    Journey to Balkh, an ancient city and centerof Buddhism, Sufism and Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. While in Balkh, you visit Haji Piyada Mosque (the walking pilgrim) Tomb of Rabia Balkhi, Khoja Parsa Mosque and BalaHisar, the ancient citadel build by Alexander the Great when he destroyed the Kurush (Persian empire) and crossed Amu Darya (Auxus River) in early  330, then married Rukhshana (Ruxana) in Bacteria (Balkh) and Ummul - Bilad (Mother of the cities) to Arabs.  In the afternoon it is time to visit the Blue tiled Mosque of Ali and to see the crazy game of Buzkashi.

    Day 4. Mazar-e-Sharif –Samangan, Kabul

    Journey Back to Kabul and on the way we will have time to visit Takht-i Rustam (Haibak), literally meaning the throne of Rustam, named after Rustam, a king in Persian mythology, is a hilltop settlement, well-known archaeological site in Afghanistan, in the Takth i Rostam and the adjacent Buddhist caves and stupas on top of a hill, north of Hindu Kush passes. At this location, caves were hewn out of rocks and inhabited by Buddhists. The Buddhist stupa here is in the form of a mound. It represents the earliest link to the evolution of Buddhist architecture in Afghanistan.

    Day 5. Kabul-Panjshir

    Journey to Panjshir and Tobm of Ahmad Shah Masood.Panjshir literally meaning "Five Lions", refers to five Wali (literally, protectors),spiritual brothers who were centered in the valley. Local legend has it that the five brothers built a dam for Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznawi in the early 11th century. Later, It was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahidin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. The valley again witnessed renewed fighting during the civil war in Afghanistan (1996-2001) between Taliban and the Northern Alliance under command by now national hero Ahmad Shah Masood. Lunch at the river bank and Journey back to Kabul.

    Day 6. Fly back Home  

     

    TAILORED ADVENTURES

    Our guides are able to tailor adventures to suit your needs, wishes and budget, if such requests and places you wish to visit pass our guides' security assessments. Some tailored adventures have included Bamiyan only, for example. Please write to us with your requests. Thank you!

     

    INCLUSIONS

    • Accommodation on twin-share basis 
    • Local Transport with low profile vehicles
    • Breakfast , refreshments & season fruit
    • Domestics Flights 
    • English Speaking Guides 

    EXCLUSIONS

    • Dinner & Lunch 
    • Entry permits and tickets to various national parks / attractions
    • Expenses of a personal nature (tips, laundry, shopping etc.)
    • International Flights 

    TOUR SPECIFICS

    • Respect Afghan Culture
    • Dress in Afghan traditional clothes, your Guide will assist you on arrival 
    • Do not shake hands with women 
    • Do not take photo of Military or Police
    • If your guide changes itinerary for safety reasons, respect the decision

    CANCELLATION POLICY

    • If cancelled 30 days prior to journey date, cancellation charges: 0%
    • If cancelled 5-7 days prior to journey date, cancellation charges: 50%
    • If cancelled within 5 days of journey date, cancellation charges: 100%