Afghanistan – 10 days
We would like to invite you to an expedition to a country which, despite its tumultuous contemporary history, was in the past a place where many civilisations could thrive and multiple cultures, traditions and religions met.
During our tour, we will see majestic mountains and green valleys. We will discover the fascinating ancient history of Afghanistan and the material legacy of the civilisations that for centuries shaped those lands. This tour is a real treat for photography aficionados and for ancient and contemporary history lovers. It will also be an exceptional opportunity to meet people who have to face the difficulties of the unstable daily life of the present Afghanistan. During our tour, we will have a chance to admire the heritage sites in Kabul, and also the remnants of the famous Buddha statues in the Bamyan province – a souvenir of the times when Buddhist monks lived there. We will also visit the Band-e-Amir National Park. You are welcome to take part in this exceptional journey to places off the beaten path. BTP Adventure. Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.
Flights to Kabul usually take place in the morning. After arrival, visa formalities. Transfer to the hotel and, after a short rest, an organisational meeting. After lunch visit to the capital of Afghanistan. will go to the Darul Amani Palace and Babur Shah garden that was founded in the 16th century. Overnight stay in Kabu
Arrival in Herat in the morning (depending on the flight schedule). After a short rest, we will start sightseeing, from the Old Town. The first site on our route will be the Aga Khan complex – a recently renovated ancient caravanserai. Next we will go to the Musalla Minaret Complex whose construction was initiated by queen Gawhar Shad, wife of Shah Rukh, son of Tamerlane, where also her mausoleum is located. It is the place where the craftsmanship of the ancient constructors and architects can be admired in all its splendour, very enchanting, especially just before sunset. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
In the morning, a visit in the Masjid-I-Jami Friday Mosque, which is one of the most magnificent examples of the architecture of ancient Afghanistan of the Timurid Empire era. Then we will take a stroll through the streets of Old Town to the bazaar with numerous handicraft workshops dating back to the 12th century. After lunch, we will set off to visit the Qala-I-Ikhtiyaruddin citadel whose oldest parts were erected in the times of Alexander the Great. Finally, a visit at one of the richest bazaars on the Silk Route. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D
Flight from Herat to Kabul. After arrive drive from Kabul to Bamyan Evening dinner and rest in Hotel
B. L. D.
Whole-day sightseeing Bamyan and surrounding . A visit at one of the most interesting places in Afghanistan. There was a Buddhist sanctuary in the town of Bamyan located at the feet of Hindu Kush mountain range. We will see the preserved remnants of the past glory from the times of Sogodian dynasties:. Bamyan are not only Buddhist remains – it is also a trade town with an extraordinary bazaar. In the afternoon we will go to the Band-e-Amir area of colourful lakes – this will be a real feast for photographers and lovers of beautiful landscapes. Optional photographic walk in this area blessed by the nature with astonishingly beautiful landscapes. Return to Bamyan, night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
After breakfast on the way to Kabul we will visit Darya Ajdahar, translated as “the Valley of the Dragon”. One of the rock formations there resembles a dragon which, as a legend says, was killed by Ali, cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. In the afternoon we will arrive in Kabul. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
Flight from Kabul to Mazar-i-Sharif This name means “Tomb of the Exalted”. The origins of this city, which is certainly one of the oldest still inhabited towns of the Central Asia, are hidden in the dark depths of history. Depending on the time of our arrival, we will go to visit the Blue Mosque – Rawze-e-Sharif, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Afghanistan. This architectural masterpiece of extraordinary beauty was crated at the legendary location of the grave of Ali – a cousin and son-in-law of Prophet Muhammad. We will see the tombs of Prophet Muhammad’s relatives. Then we will go to the bazaar – the main centre of carpet trade in the Central Asia. To take some rest, we will go to the gardens surrounding the sanctuaries. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
We will set off from Mazar-i-Sharif towards Takht-e Rostam, the remains of a 28-metre Buddhist stupa. The structure was erected in times when most of the Afghanistan inhabitants practised Buddhism. Moreover, we will see rock-hewn architectural structures, similar to those in Ethiopian Lalibela. Picnic lunch at one of the vantage points. Then we will drive to a small town of Tashqurghan, which used to be the north fort guarding the Hindu Kush pass. In the evening, return to Mazar-i-Sharif. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
In the morning, we will set off to Kabul. We will pass through the Hindu Kush mountains through the famous Salang tunnel at 3363 metres above the sea level. That was the only route that enabled communication between the Kabul capital and northern parts of the country. The tunnel constructed in 1958 was a place of fierce fights during the Afghanistan invasion and subsequent occupation by the Soviet Union. Numerous remains of that period can still be seen there. In the afternoon we will arrive in Kabul. Night rest at the hotel.
B. L. D.
After Brekfast. Some last-minute shopping and visit of the Afghan capital.we will visit National Museum of Afghanistan. From there, we will go to the Ka Faroshi Bird Market. Overnight stay in Kabul.
- the length of the tour : 10 days in Afganistan
- start of the trip: Kabul;
- end of the trip: Kabul;
- the highlights of this expedition: the main attractions of the tour are Bamyan, the Band-e-Amir National Park, the Panjshir Valley, Kabul, and Herat and Mazar e-Sharif if you opt for the 12-day version;
Apart from the historical sites dating back to ancient and recent times, a very important and interesting element of the tour will be the close encounter with the culture and traditions of inhabitants of Afghanistan. The tour will be a sightseeing trip to an area where Middle East meets the Far East, that is historically and culturally exceptional. Because of the special nature of the visited places and of the expedition features, the travellers should be able to participate in walking tours of towns and historic sites as well as in short hikes to vantage points. Accommodation is planned in hotels of different standards, depending on availability. During the tour, we will take domestic flights and we will travel in 4WD vehicles. No long hikes or activities that require strenuous physical effort are envisaged. The itinerary was designed to enable best possible viewing of the places away from mass tourism routes, while meeting basic safety standards and ensuring comfort to the travellers. Bear in mind that Afghanistan is mostly inhabited by Sunni Muslims, which means the need to respect cultural differences and to adhere to the appropriate dress code.
Depending on the political situation, the length of the tour and the order of visited places may change. In a situation of a serious threat to travellers’ safety, the tour may be cancelled. We will keep you updated as to whether the expedition is possible.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned end of the tour.
- Before departure, you must obtain the tourist visa at one of your nearest embassies of Afghanistan. Having booked the tour, the travellers will receive a letter of invitation necessary for obtaining the visa. The completed visa application in 2 copies, two current colour photographs and the visa fee payment to the account of the Afghanistan Embassy will also be necessary.
- When you book the tour, we will send you the official invitation from our contractor in Afghanistan. The invitation is necessary to obtain the tourist visa.
- To obtain a visa, you may use the services of visa agents or the help of BTP Adventure.
- You should take with you for the trip a photocopy of your passport (the photo page) and an additional ID document.
- Before departure, we recommend a consultation with a family physician and a tropical medicine specialist.
- You must take the yellow vaccination booklet with you for the tour.
- Vaccination against tetanus, diphtheria, viral hepatitis A and B and typhus is recommended.
- The risk of malaria is very low but there is a risk of tuberculosis.
- We recommend visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries.
- During our expedition, we will drink only bottled water. You should avoid ice in your beverages and eating raw or undercooked foods.
- At the visited places, only private healthcare exists (a visit cost is approximately USD 100).
- Because of difficult travelling and accommodation conditions and particularities of the country, good general health and physical fitness are necessary.
- Please take with you a first aid kit and a sufficient supply of your regular (prescription) medicines, if any. Some useful contents of the first aid kit:
- high sun protection cream (recommended SPF 50)
- disinfectants, wound dressing materials
- analgesics and antipyretics
- antibiotics, as a precaution
- anti-diarrhoeals, electrolytes and vitamins
- Insurance is not covered by the tour price. Having valid insurance is a condition for taking part in the trip. We recommend taking out insurance that will be appropriate for the planned itinerary and for your individual state of health and needs. Please send us the proof of your insurance contract.
- You can purchase insurance on your own on the website of Axa or any other insurance company: https://www.axa.co.uk/travel-insurance/.
- BTP Adventure may help you obtain adequate insurance cover. If you want our help, please contact us.
- The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a country characterised by political instability and a major risk of an armed conflict. Moreover, a real terrorist threat may appear in this area. The itinerary and the visited places are selected so as to avoid places that are potentially most dangerous. If a serious threat appears, the tour may be cancelled or shortened to a version that enables its safe conduct.
- Despite the difficult situation, expeditions to Afghanistan are possible and conducted with the adequate precautions.
- Owing to the good relations we have with local contractors, we keep following the news to be aware of any potential threats and safety risks. We also recommend you to read the latest news on the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website: https://www.gov.pl/web/dyplomacja/informacje–dla–podrozujacych
- During the tour, please take seriously the instructions of our contractors, guides and tour leader.
- It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws and regulations. You will receive the necessary information on an on-going-basis from your local guides and the tour leader.
- It is strictly prohibited to take photos and make video recordings at military and police installations and at airports. You are also not allowed to take photos where people in military/police uniforms are present!!!
- Photographing people is possible only when they expressly agree to it. Taking pictures when the subjects have not allowed it often ends up with escalating aggressive behaviours.
The legal tender in Afghanistan is afghani. Currency exchange is possible at the Kabul airport, in most towns, in banks, in authorised foreign exchange points and in hotels. Using payment cards is not always possible. The best foreign exchange rate is for US dollars and euros. Please note that dollars should be printed after 2006. For current foreign exchange rates see www.xe.comor install xe.com on your phone.
In Afghanistan, the most commonly used languages are Pashto and Dari. In the case of a group tour, the tour leader will speak English. For self-guided tours, you must speak Dari or hire a local guide with a command of English.
The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is a multi-ethnic and multi-religious country. Most of the inhabitants are Sunni Muslims. Because of cultural considerations and for safety reasons, it is advisable to learn about the recommended dress code. Visiting certain places of worship, in particular mosques in Herat and Mazar e-Sharif, will be limited to some selected areas.
Women must wear headscarves at all public places, which includes some hotels and restaurants. Headscarves must be put on the head before landing in Kabul. It is prohibited to wear garments with short sleeves above the elbow, low-cut blouses, woman’s suits, short skirts and dresses. Loose and long skirts and tunics are necessary. The tunic or manteau should come to mid-thigh. It is allowable to wear sandals and open shoes, both by women and men. When visiting some mosques and other places of worship, women may be asked to put on a chador that may be borrowed free-of-charge at the entrance to the building. You should bear in mind that there are considerable differences between the conservative province and relatively liberal large towns.
Men are not allowed to wear shorts and T-shirts. During official encounters, women do not give their hand to a man, and men do not give their hand to a woman. Discussions about political subjects should be avoided. Afghan people are curious about the world and tourists and are ready to take up such conversations.
It is very important to respect local customs and abide by local laws. You will receive the relevant information from your local guide or the tour leader.
The tour dates are proposed in periods of the best possible weather conditions at the sites included in the itinerary. The best time for expeditions to Afghanistan is the period between
May and the end of November. Temperatures rarely exceed +30°C during the day (Kabul, Herat, Mazar e-Sharif) and +15°C at night. Occasional, rather transient rainfalls are possible. High density of dust particles is a major issue, and also sandstorms may appear. In the southern regions, near Bamyan town and the Band-e-Amir National Park, temperatures are lower by several degrees than in Kabul.
Mobile network coverage is available in most towns and villages. Purchase of a local SIMcard is possible but complicated. Before the trip, please enquire with your mobile network operator whether they have a contract signed with operators in Afghanistan and what the prices of call and SMS roaming are. To avoid a nasty surprise, we recommend disabling mobile data usage.
- Wi-Fi is available at most hotels and restaurants.
- Power sockets of type C, E and F. Voltage 240 V, frequency 50 Hz.
- Additionally, we recommend taking a capacious power bank.
For climatic and cultural reasons, loose garments will be most appropriate: long trousers, long skirts, long-sleeved shirts, which can be easily washed and will quickly dry. The most comfortable footwear for the tour will be lightweight boots. Palladium brand boots are recommended. Wearing open sandals is possible. Hiking boots are not necessary. The following are worth taking:
- sachet for documents and money
- wet wipes for body cleaning and antibacterial gels
- polar fleece jacket or warmer blouse, especially useful at evening and night times ● head cover and sunglasses – mandatory, the sun is no joke!
- comfortable summer clothes, useful during practically the whole trip
- light T-shirts/shirts
- useful odds and ends: torch, Swiss Army knife, sewing kit (usually is not needed but is not heavy and does not take much place), chargers, mug (for special occasions); inflatable neck pillow, useful on the plane and during car rides; small wallet for the local currency; books to pass the time on flights and car rides.
Price: £ 2590 p/p
During the expedition, we will travel by passenger cars or minibuses, depending on the itinerary and on the current situation affecting the safety of our travellers. The speed and transfer times depend on the road surface conditions, terrain characteristics and number and length of stops.
Domestic flights, road transport by cars, including 4WD vehicles.
We are not able to guarantee a uniform accommodation standard at each of the planned sites during the stay in Afghanistan. Our priorities are your comfort, safety and appropriate location. We always place emphasis on the support of local community when selecting the sites for our accommodation. In general, rooms will be assigned on the assumption of two people sharing a twin room (rooms with individual bathrooms). The surcharges for single rooms are quoted in the “Price” section.
Two overnight stays in 3-star hotels are planned during the trip.
Meals according to the schedule B – breakfast, L – lunch, D – dinner.
Breakfasts will usually be offered in hotels. We will go for lunches and dinners to local restaurants. The Afghan cuisine is varied, similarly as the culture and history of this exceptional country. For information about the local costs of living see https://www.numbeo.com/cost–of–living/.
Services of a local guide throughout the tour.
Entrance fees and permit charges.
Security guard services – where necessary
Invitation necessary to obtain the visa
Costs of the main flight to and from Kabul.
Costs of flight tickets are not covered by the tour price. BTP Adventure does not directly arrange and buy tickets for international flights. However, we may suggest the best connections and airlines. For this purpose, contact us by e-mail or call us.
Visa costs (depend on your nationality) For UE passport – 100 euro
Expedition participants should arrange insurance on their own.
Surcharge for a single room: 250 £
supplementary payment for the additional accommodation In the case of arrival or departure on a different date,
Meals other than those listed in the final itinerary.
Tips and payments for porters
Personal expenses and souvenirs.
We will keep updating the detailed information on the safety and final itinerary of the tour. Before you decide to submit the booking form, please learn about the current political and sanitary situation in Afghanistan.
The planned expedition is an exclusive proposal prepared on the basis of our experience and knowledge of the local peculiarities and major sightseeing attractions of Afghanistan.
We are committed to ensure the best possible and safe and, as far as feasible, comfortable travelling through this little-frequented and extremely interesting country with a fascinating history.
It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Kurdistan. If you are interested, please contact the office.
Because of the particularities of the country and its political instability, the price and itinerary of the tour may change.
In view of the nature of this tour, its optimum dates are periods from April to June and from August to October.
The tour may be combined with trips to Iran, Kurdistan and Iraq.
You are welcome to take part! BTP Adventure.
2590 £ Per Person
It is possible to combine this tour with trips to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Kurdistan. If you are interested, please contact the office.