Best of Afghanistan

Best of Afghanistan


Experience Afghanistan on this eight-day tour through Bamyan and Mazar e Sharif as you discover both the ancient and modern history of this often troubled land. Starting in Kabul, you will explore a labyrinth of monastery caves at the Bamyan Buddha site, witness the turquoise blue waters of Band e Amir Lake, and indulge in kababs and pulao in Kabul’s historic bazaars.

Start and Finish Kabul, Afghanistan

Trip Length 8 days

Max Elevation 3200 Meters

Group Size Min 1, Max 8

Physical Rating Moderate



Available Trip Options

Fixed Departure: January 12 – 19, 2025

Mazar e Sharif and Bamyan Tour Highlights

  • Discover the remains of the ancient Buddha Statues and explore the surrounding caves dotting the mountainside on your Bamyan tour.
  • Visit the photogenic Shrine of Hazrat Ali with its elaborately tiled minarets, better known as the blue mosque of Mazar e Sharif.
  • Seek out the turquoise blue waters of Band e Amir Lake nested deep in the heart of the Hazarajat, and discover the local legend of its origin.
  • Step into the ancient city of Balkh, as you discover the remains of Noh Gonbad Mosque, the oldest in Afghanistan. 
  • Explore the Bazars of Kabul as you make your way through the bird market, bazaars, and endless kabab stands of the old city.

Private Itinerary Options

  • Winter is Buzkashi season in Mazar e Sharif, and if booking this itinerary as a private trip we can arrange for you to attend a Buzkashi match.
  • This itinerary can be extended as a private trip to include Herat and Kandahar if you have time to explore the rest of Afghanistan after your Mazar and Bamyan tour.
  • To chat about options for custom hand-crafted itineraries drop our team a message.

Is this trip for me?

  • It goes without saying that Afghanistan is a conservative country, yet guests of all nationalities and genders can experience a safe and enjoyable trip to this amazing land.
  • Holding opinions and asking questions rather than criticizing can go a long way toward enhancing your experience with the Afghan people.

Meet Your Trip Leaders

Afghanistan Tour Guide Abbas

Born on the outskirts of Bamyan, Afghanistan, the home of the famous Buddhas in the heart of Hazarajat, Abbas serves on the Untraversed team as an ...

  • Bamyan, Afghanistan

Jonathan’s mission is connecting you with local trip leaders who will make your once-in-a-lifetime adventure a reality. Jonathan has spent the last ...

  • Michigan, USA


Day 1 Arrive in Kabul

  • Upon arriving in Kabul a member of the Untraversed Team will be waiting to meet you at the airport. Our team will recommend flight options at the time of booking based on where you will be traveling from. Your Mazar e Sharif and Bamyan tour will start with a team meeting in the hotel at 3 pm, followed by a trip to the tailor for local clothing and dinner in the Shahar e Naw district of the capital.

Day 2 Kabul – Bamyan

  • After picking up any custom orders from the tailor in the morning, set out for your Bamyan tour, reaching Hazarajat in the early afternoon. Our first stop will be to the ticket office to purchase admission tickets to the Buddhas of Bamyan from the local authorities, followed by the rare opportunity to explore the remains of the Buddha niches. If time permits make your way to the City of Screams, sacked by Kengis Khan and his men in the 13th century, before spending the night in a hotel in Bamyan.

Day 3 Bamyan Tour

  • Continue your Bamyan tour as you travel further east into a remote region of Hazarajat to reach the Band e Amir National Park. Stroll along its turquoise blue waters and otherworldly travertine dams. Return to the Bamyan valley to climb Dara e Ajdar, rumored by the Hazara to be the remains of a dragon slain by the great Ali. Return to Bamyan to spend the night in a hotel there. 

Day 4 Bamyan – Mazar e Sharif

  • Get an early start for a long day of travel to reach Mazar e Sharif. Climb the towering Salang Pass along a bumpy road as your crest the mighty Hindi Kush range. Pass through the Soviet Era Tunnel that serves as a lifeline between Kabul and the plains to the north of the Hindu Kush. After a rather bumpy descent into Mazar, spend the night at a hotel in Mazar e Sharif.

Day 5 Balkh

  • Start the morning with a trip to the Ancient City of Balkh. It was sacked and rebuilt through the millennia by Alexandar the Great, Genghis Khan, and Timur, and served as a key stop along the Silk Route. Once the green and fertile capital of the Bactrian kingdom, it was a center of Buddism and Zoroastrianism. Visit the Mausoleum of 10th-century Rabi Balkhi, the first female Persian poet. Legend has it that she wrote her most famous lines of poetry with her blood as she was killed over an affair. Before returning to Mazar e Sharif to visit the iconic blue mosque of Mazar, Hazrat Ali Mazar, alleged to be the burial place of the great Ali who is revered by Shias thought the world.

Day 6 Mazar e Sharif – Kabul

  • Depart from Mazar e Sharif in the morning for the long and bumpy journey over the Hindu Kush as you make your way back to the capital. Often a difficult journey due to snowfall in the winter, the route rewards intrepid travelers with stunning views of the central Hindu Kush Range. Spend the night in a hotel in Kabul.

Day 7 Kabul

  • Enjoy one last day in Kabul as you explore the famed bazaars of the bird market and seek out the last wooden box camera in Kabul to see if Haji Mirzaman is open for portraits. Haggle for souvenirs on the iconic Chicken Street, and climb radio tower hill in the evening for a panoramic view of Kabul. Indulge in a feast of Kabuli favorites in a local spot before spending one last night in Afghanistan as you wrap up your Mazar and Bamyan tour.

Day 8 Departure

  • There are no scheduled activities for the last day of your Mazar and Bamyan Tour, and you are free to schedule your return flight at any time. If you would like to extend your journey through Afghanistan, our team can arrange your custom itinerary to visit Herat and Kandahar.


Included in the Mazar and Bamyan tour price:

  • All accommodations in basic hotels and guest houses, on a two-person per room basis. A single supplement is available at an additional cost.
  • All ground transportation during your Mazar and Bamyan tour
  • All meals during the itinerary
  • English-speaking local trip leader
  • International Untraversed Team member with extensive experience leading trips in Afghanistan
  • All permits and registration fees required to travel within Afghanistan

Not included in the Mazar and Bamyan tour price:

  • International flights to and from Kabul
  • Travel insurance, which is a requirement for this Mazar and Bamyan tour
  • Afghan visa fees (Letters of Invitation and application instructions will be provided)
  • Travel costs and lodging if joining the Untraversed Team in Dubai or Islamabad for visa applications before flying into Kabul
  • Tips for your local guides

Book a Private Trip

Do none of the above group tour dates work for your schedule?  Are you wanting to book a private trip for yourself or a group of friends?  Reach out to us today to book this itinerary as a private trip.  Our staff will work with you to craft your custom once in a lifetime adventure!

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