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Exploration of Afghanistan
- 21 days
- Culture / Heritage
- Faune and flora
If you want to get a good overview of Afghanistan, you have to spend at least three weeks there. Travelling in Afghanistan takes a lot of time. In this three-week itinerary, only those sites and cities that will still be free of insecurity in 2012 are indicated.
If you want to reduce your travel time, it is possible to take a plane and visit only the major cities of Afghanistan (Kabul-Mazar-Herat, or even an extension to Bamiyan if you can benefit from a UN or Pactec flight). Thus, in about ten days, we will go to Mazar-e-Sharif (from there, it is possible to go and spend a day in Balkh and possibly in Sheberghan). Then we'll take a flight to Kabul, then Kabul-Herat, where we'll stay for 2 days. On the way back to Kabul, excursions can be made in one day.
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- Samangan Haïbak
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Details of the stay: Exploration of Afghanistan - 21 days
Day 1 : Discovery of Kabul
Day 2 : Excursion in the Panjshir Valley to the Mausoleum of Massoud
Day trip to the Panjshir Valley. It is better to leave Kabul early enough to have time to walk around. In Bazarak, visit of Ahmad Shah Massoud's mausoleum. Picnic on the banks of the Panjshir River. Stroll and return to Kabul in the evening. Night in Kabul.
Day 3 : Crossing Buddhist sites on the Route du Nord
Departure by car early in the morning to the North. It takes 6-7 hours to drive (it is possible to fly, but some sites would necessarily be omitted). On the road, stop at the Salang tunnel, built in 1963 and which played a mythical role in the Afghan resistance. Lunch in the village of Dochi. Stop at the Buddhist site of Sukh Kotal, near Pul-e-Khumri, then at Takht-e-Rostam, also a Buddhist site near Samangan. Arrival in the evening in Mazar-e-Sharif. Overnight in one of the city's hotels, preferably near the Blue Mosque.
Day 4 : Day trip to Mazar-e-Sharif
Day 5 : From Balkh, "the mother of all cities" in Sheberghan
Day trip to Balkh and Sheberghan (arrange to be there on a Friday). Visit of the ancient city and the mosque of Haji Piyada. Walk around the site. Lunch in Sheberghan. A short tour of the city dedicated to the warlord Dostom. Attend a bouzkachi at the entrance to the city. Return, then overnight in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Day 6 : Desert crossing
Departure very early for Maimana if security permits. From Mazar, count one day's drive. Stop in Andhoy, the carpet capital, near the Turkmen border. Crossing the desert of Dasht-e-Laïla. Night in Mayana.
Day 7 : Exploration of Maïmana
Day 8 : Reverse path
Day 9 : In-depth visit of Kabul
Day 10 : Local crafts in Istalif
Day 11 : Envol for Hérât
Departure for Hérât by plane (2 hours flight). There are many sites to visit in Hérât. If you arrive early enough, don't hesitate to take the temperature of the city and start taking it. There is a quality of life that would be sought in vain elsewhere in Afghanistan.
Day 12 : Walk in the beautiful city of Hérât
Get up early, a busy day awaits you. In Herat, it is possible to do everything on foot. Visit the Friday mosque, preferably early in the morning, then the citadel and the National Museum of Herat located inside. Stroll in the covered bazaar of the city. Then go to the Musalla site to admire the minarets and mausoleum of Queen Gowhar Shad.
Day 13 : Route to Christ-e-Sharif
On the way to the Cobra Minaret. A total of 15 hours to reach one of Afghanistan's greatest wonders. For your safety, it is better to take a step for the night on the journey, in Christ-e-Sharif, 4 hours drive from Hérât, in one of the bazaar hotels.
Day 14 : The Cobra Minaret, a marvel of Afghanistan
Day 15 : Return to town
Day 16 : Experience Kabul as a local
Day 17 : Crossing rocky valleys towards Bamiyan
Departure by car to Bamiyan if you do not have the possibility to take the plane. You have to leave very early, because a breakdown on the road is always possible. We count 7 hours of driving. Take a lunch break in Goohrband, a small Pashtun village, if the security conditions are sufficient. If you arrive in the afternoon, you should take the opportunity to walk on the heights of Bamiyan. Overnight in one of the hotels in Bamiyan.
Day 18 : Traces of the Bamiyan Buddhas
Visit, on foot, of the site of the Buddhas; 1 hour 30 will suffice. Then take the car to go to Shar-e-Zohak, the red city, destroyed by Genghis Khan's men during their devastating passage. A 30-minute drive from the centre of Bamiyan. Climb at the top of the old citadel to admire the Bamiyan valley. If you have time, take a tour in the dragons valley, Daria Adjahar, 8 km from Bamiyan on the route of Band-e-Amir. Dinner at Silk Road Restaurant.
Day 19 : Dive into the deep blue of the lakes of Band-e-Amir
Departure at dawn from Bamiyan to the lakes of Band-e-Amir. It is not possible to sleep there or have lunch there, plan a picnic. In Band-e-Amir, go around the lakes, swim if possible. Return to Bamiyan in the evening. Night in Bamiyan.
Day 20 : Shopping and relaxation
Return to Kabul. Craft shopping and dinner at the Taverna of Lebanon to recover from the hours of the road!
Day 21 : Last hours in Kabul
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