On the road to archaeological sites

  • 8 days
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Solo
  • Couple
  • Friends
  • Culture / Heritage
  • Discovery
  • Medium

Most of these sites are Buddhist. There are also ruins of ancient Greek cities. Ten days are needed to tour the main areas of interest. Archaeology enthusiasts can try to meet, in Kabul or at the sites, the French archaeologists of the DAFA (Délégation française de l'archéologie en Afghanistan), whose offices are located in the Afghan capital.

If security conditions improve in Kunduz, the possibility of extending this thematic stay by two days. From Mazar-e-Sharif, departure for Kunduz and overnight stay. The next day, drive to the Ai Khanum site, 3 hours and a half away. Ancient city built between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 2nd century BC, there is not much left of it. It is the oldest city in eastern Greece in the world. Night in Kunduz, then return to Mazar-e-Sharif.

Photo gallery

<p>Fish market in Gisenyi.</p> <p>Horse carts, Balkh taxi.</p> <p>View from the Citadelle Ikhtyaruddin citadel in Hérât.</p> <p>One of Jalalabad's locomotion means Pakistan's influence.</p> On the left, site of one of the two Buddhas destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. <p>The Bamiyan Valley.</p> <p>Campaign in the vicinity of Bamiyan.</p> <p>Citadel of Shar-e-Zohak.</p>

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  • Bamiyan
  • Band-E-Amir
  • Pull-I-Khumri
  • Samangan Haïbak
  • Mazar-E-Charif
  • Balkh
  • Jalalabad
  • Herât
  • Ghazni
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Details of the stay: On the road to archaeological sites - 8 days

Day 1 : Discovery of Buddhist sites on the road to Mazar-e-Sharif

Departure by car north on the road to Mazar-e-Sharif. First stop at Sukh Kotal, Buddhist site dating from the Kushan dynasty. Remains of the great religious temple founded by King Kanishka. Continue the road, still towards Mazar-e-Sharif. Second stop in Takht-e-Rostam, one of the most interesting Buddhist sites in Afghanistan. Visit of the stupa, monastery and cave caves. Night in Mazar-e-Sharif.

Day 2 : Balkh, "the mother of all cities"

Early morning departure for Balkh, one of Afghanistan's oldest cities. Large Buddhist centre. Kushan foundations. Islamic city. Go to the 9th century Haji Piyada Mosque. Night in Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 3 : Early morning visit to the mosque and return to Kabul

After a visit to the mosque from Friday early in the morning (it is possible to enter at 5 pm), return by plane or car in Kabul.

Day 4 : Departure for the Greco-Buddhist site of Hadda

The Hadda site is 11 km from Jalalabad. Leave at dawn. It takes 3 hours to reach Hadda. Archaeological excavations have revealed, on this major centre of Buddhism, several thousand sculptures and many stupas. Return in the evening to Kabul.

Day 5 : On the way to 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 6 : Traces of the Buddhas

Visit on foot of the Buddhas site: monacales cells, remains of the famous Buddhas.

Day 7 : Exploration of the archaeological site in Bamiyan

Second day of visit to the Buddhist site in Bamiyan: Discover the excavations on the site of the ancient city of Bamiyan.

Day 8 : A short hike over the Bamiyan Valley

Take the car to Shar-e-Zohak, the red city, destroyed by Genghis Khan's men during their devastating passage. From the centre of Bamiyan, it is a 30-minute drive. Climb to the top of the old citadel to admire the Bamiyan Valley. If there is time, take a walk in the valley of the dragons, Daria Adjahar, 8 km from Bamiyan on the road to Band-e-Amir. Dinner at Silk Road Restaurant

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