Full Afghanistan in 13 days

Apr 23 - May 5
13 Days

Our longest version of Afghanistan, a 360º tour that will take us to Kabul, Mazar, Bamyan, Ghazni, Herat, and Kandahar.

After more than 40 years of continuous war, Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban regime back in 2021, putting an end to a never-ending conflict.

On the one hand, from a security perspective, the country has drastically improved, making it very safe for travelers to move across the country.

On the other hand, however, in exchange for safety, the new regime has imposed some very strict Sharia laws on the Afghan people, mainly affecting their women’s freedom.

From an ethical perspective, it’s up to each traveler to make their own assessment of this new controversial era but, whatever your conclusions are, know that in this expedition, you’ll be witnessing one of the most relevant and fascinating episodes in the history of Central Asia.

Other than that, Afghanistan is a raw country rich in both amazing nature and architecture, not to mention that it’s inhabited by some of the most wonderful faces on Earth.


April 23rd to May 5th, 2025


13 days

Tour leader to be confirmed

travelers who joined us say


Note that we always keep the itinerary flexible, and it may be subject to change, depending on the political situation.

Day 1 – Arrival in Kabul

Day 2 – Kabul

Day 3 – Bamyan

Day 4 – Full day in Bamyan

Day 5 – Drive to Samangan and Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 6 – Full day in Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 7 – Fly back to Kabul, drive to Ghanzi

Day 8 – Journey to Kandahar

Day 9 – Full day in Kandahar

Day 10 – Journey to Herat

Day 11 – Full day in Herat

Day 12 – Fly back to Kabul, Kabul city tour

Day 13 – Kabul and departure

Day 1 – Arrival in Kabul

  • Day 1 is the arrival day, a day which we will spend picking you up from the airport and checking in the hotel, as well as giving you a warm welcome through an introductory briefing on Afghanistan.
  • In the evening, we will all go out together for a traditional Afghan meal.
  • Overnight in Kabul.

Day 2 – Full day in Kabul

  • In the morning, we will head to Old Kabul, where we will spend the morning walking slowly through all the different bazaars, including the worldwide famous bird market, a photogenic bazaar where they sell different types of birds as pets, one of the top tourist attractions in Kabul.
  • After a hearty meal, we will travel west of Kabul to visit Sakhi Shrine, a mini version of the Blue Mosque in Mazar and also one of the most stunning mosques in Afghanistan.
  • Our day will be finished in Bibi Mahro Hills, the highest point in all of Kabul, from where you get a 360º view of the city, and whose center features the tallest flag pole in the country, today this flag being a massive Taliban flag.
  • This place is always busy with locals for sunset, so it will be a great chance to interact with them too.
  • Overnight in Kabul.

Day 3 – Drive to Bamyan

  • Early start, the journey to Bamyan takes around 4 hours.
  • Bamyan, the heartland of Hazara people, and the only sort of tourist-friendly place in all Afghanistan.
  • It’s located at the heart of the Hindu Kush, in a stunningly beautiful area surrounded by mountains and lush, green fields, but also a region rich in ancient history.
  • After lunch, we will visit the 6th century Buddhas that were destroyed by the Taliban, and finish our day in Shahr-e Gholghola, an ancient fortress from where you get jaw-dropping views of all Bamyan and surrounding mountains.
  • Overnight in Bamyan.

Day 4 – Full day in Bamyan with Band-e-Ameer

  • Band-e-Ameer is a UNESCO World Heritage and also the only National Park in all Afghanistan, a set of deep-blue lakes that are jaw-dropping.
  • The best way to get an impression of its size is by walking around the lakes on foot, so we will do a 1-hour hike, while choosing the best spot for a picnic lunch.
  • After lunch, we’ll go back to Bamyan and visit the remaining sites, like the Dragon Valley and the Red City.
  • Overnight in Bamyan.

Day 5 – Drive to Samangan and Mazar-e-Sharif

  • This will be a long driving day, Bamyan to Mazar through Salang pass.
  • On the way to Mazar, we can also visit the Buddhist stupas from Samangan, which date from the 3rd century.
  • We will arrive in Mazar at the end of the day.
  • Overnight in Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 6 – Full day in Mazar-e-Sharif

  • In the morning, we will go to Charkint district, where you find the gate built to stop the troops from Genghis Khan. This gate also played an important role when fighting the Soviets in 1988 and also with the Taliban during their first rule, so it’s a pretty big deal for Afghans from this area.
  • We’ll also visit the city center of Mazar and at sunset, we will go to the Blue Mosque, arguably, the most stunning mosque in the world.
  • Overnight in Mazar-e-Sharif

Day 7 – Fly back to Kabul, drive to Ghanzi

  • We’ll catch the morning flight to Kabul, from where we’ll start our journey to Ghazni, a barely visited city but home to 2 imposing minarets, as well as a collection of tens of tanks from the Soviet Union and USA.
  • Overnight in Ghazni.

Day 8 – Journey to Kandahar

  • The road conditions on this particular section of the road are awful, so this is going to be a driving day that will take us to even more isolated towns and villages, with a very different landscape from what you’ve seen before.
  • On the way, we will have the chance to see destroyed artillery that once belonged to the USA, as well as the remains of car bombings.
  • Overnight in Kandahar.

Day 9 – Full day in Kandahar

  • Kandahar is the heartland for the Pashtun people.
  • Long-bearded men and women in burqa, but also dust, utterly hot summers, and an insane level of military security.
  • Kandahar is like the Afghanistan we have been watching on TV, but it’s also rich in history, since it was actually founded by Alexander the Great himself in the 4th century BC.
  • The city, however, is also infamous for being the place where the Taliban movement was founded, and the actual Taliban capital when they ruled the country from 1996 to 2001.
  • We will visit the remains of the city founded by Alexander the Great but our visit will also have a big focus on the Taliban history, and that will include the mosque where Mullah Omar and Osama Bin Laden used to pray, as well as a Taliban school.
  • Overnight in Kandahar.

Day 10 – Journey to Herat

  • The journey to Herat is a 9 to 10-hour drive but the journey will take us across some of the most isolated provinces in Afghanistan, including Farah, Nimruz, and Helmand.
  • These provinces have been controlled by the Taliban for many years already, way before the Taliban takeover in 2021, and they are the most affected by the Afghan war as well.
  • Helmand is actually the province with the largest number of American casualties in all of Afghanistan, and probably in the whole world.
  • Overnight in Kandahar.

Day 11 – Full day in Herat

  • Herat is so different from anything you’ve seen in Afghanistan, an Afghan city with many Persian and Iranian influences, visible not only in their architecture but also in their food.
  • Highlights in Herat include the Friday Mosque and its tile workshop, Herat’s Citadel and the city’s bazaar, where we will visit shops where burqas are made.
  • In the evening, something fun we tend to organize is eating ice cream at a shop typically frequented by the Taliban.
  • Overnight in Herat.

Day 12 – Fly to Kabul

  • We will catch the morning flight from Herat to Kabul.
  • We will check in at the hotel and after lunch, we’ll visit all the places we missed on day 2 of the tour, which can include the Maranjan Hills, the National Museum or Babur Gardens.
  • Overnight in Kabul.

Day 13 – Departure

  • In the morning, we’ll head to Chicken Street, the only place in Kabul where you can find actual souvenirs, ranging from fridge magnets to coffee mugs and the carpet bazaar.
  • Airport transfers will be arranged accordingly.

Gallery of photos


All mentioned domestic flights (2 in total)

12 nights of accommodation in secured hotels mentioned in FAQ

Permits and security clearance for driving around Taliban-Afghanistan

Private transportation around Afghanistan in modern mini-van

Breakfast + main meal

Letter of Invitation needed for the visa

Visa advice and support.

English-speaking Afghan guide

International tour leader

Entrance fees to all places listed in the itinerary

Not Included

International flights to Kabul

Visa fees


Local clothes: around $40-$65

Single supplement: €210


April 23rd to May 5th, 2025


10 days

Tour leader to be confirmed


Which hotels do we stay in?

These are the secured hotels where we stay. Note that they might be subject to availability.

How does the room distribution work?

The price of the tour includes accommodation in a twin room.

If you want to have your own single room, you will have to pay an additional €210.

How to fly to Kabul?

There are daily flights from Dubai (Fly Dubai and Kam Air) and Islamabad (only Kam Air). 

You can also find occasional flights from Istanbul, Doha, Tashkent and Dushanbe, also with Kam Air. 

How to get a visa?

You can get a visa in many embassies in Europe, including London, Berlin, Paris or Madrid, but that will depend on your residence. 

Alternatively, you can easily get it in either Dubai or Islamabad in less than a day. That’s actually the easiest option. 

More details will be shared upon booking your spot. 

Is Afghanistan safe nowadays?

Before the Taliban took over the country in the summer of 2021, the country was going through a civil war. Now that the Americans left and the Afghan Army isn’t fighting the Taliban anymore, the country is finally safe, from a tourist perspective.

What about Americans?

Yes, despite the American intervention, the country is as safe for Americans as it is for other nationalities.

Can women join an Afghanistan expedition?

Yes, women can join this expedition, no problem.

While the local Afghan women do suffer from huge repression and lack rights, foreign women will always be safe, especially if you go accompanied by our team.

Regarding clothing, you don’t need to wear a burqa but just a regular hijab and an abaya, like you’d do in Iran.

Which nationalities can join this tour?

All nationalities are welcome, including Americans.

How does payment work?

In order to secure your spot on the tour, we require a deposit.

All details will be shared upon booking your spot.

Do you recommend a specific travel insurance?

Either you are joining one of our trips, or you are traveling by yourself, you might want to look for proper travel insurance. Against the Compass has been a partner with IATI for several years already, recommending it to all readers, as well as covering all Joan Torres’ personal trips.

We like it because It covers all the countries where the FCDO advises against all travel, it offers budget plans and covers all sorts of adventure activities.

Against the Compass readers can benefit from a 5% discount.

Get a quote here to claim your discount

What about the cancellation policy?

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions.