Bamiyan Itinerary Details

Day 1

Early morning drive out of the Kabul valley up over the Koh-i-Baba (Grandfather of Mountains) range through the Hajigak Pass (3,700 m) descending into the Bamiyan valley.  The road up to the pass is lined with picturesque villages, colourful pennant-adorned shires of local holy men, ancient Qala (forts) and Caravanserai (rest stops for Camel caravans).  The road down from the pass offers dramatic views of the surrounding snow caped peaks and eventually winds into a tight canyon with cliff faces jutting up several hundred meters on either side.  Finally the road breaks out of the canyon with stunning views of Shari Zohak (also known as the Red City) perched atop the red cliffs poised to defend the Bamiyan valley from invasion.

Accommodation in a hotel on the hill overlooking the Buddhist site.

Day 2

Tragically, after the destruction of the large and small Buddhas by the Taliban, the huge niches stand empty. The piles of rubble at the bottom have been collected and sorted, but will not be reconstructed.  However, there is still much to see. The niches themselves are still clearly visible across the town, and remain impressive at over 60m and 40m high. A complex of stairways and caves winds its way up the side of each niche, and some frescoes remain on the walls. Above each niche is an open gallery which connects the cave complexes on each side. Preservation work has been carried out on the niches and caves and fresh archaeological work is being carried out on the site.

Rise early to view the Buddha niches in the changing light as the sun rises over the Bamiyan valley.  Spend the morning exploring the cave complex built into the face of the cliff surrounding the small Buddha and then head for a picnic lunch in the shaded lawns that line the bubbling brooks of Foladi Canyon.  Afternoon visits to Shari Ghulghula (City of Screams), destroyed by Genghis Khan after a local princess out of jealousy gave away the secret entryway to this fortified city, and Kakrak Valley, location of hundreds of caves, sculptures and paintings on the walls of the valley made by the Buddhist inhabitants who dwelled in this valley centuries ago. 

Day 3

Side trip to Band-i-Amir lakes. If the Bamiyan Buddhas represent one of man's great achievements, the lakes at Band-i-Amir provide the perfect complement ? the calcite dams are a unique natural wonder. The five lakes have a rich mineral content, resulting in a deep sapphire blue colour, fading to turquoise at the edges, contrasting with the pink cliffs above.  There are five lakes in all, surrounded by natural dams formed from the minerals in the water. The dam around the first lake, Band-i-Haibat ("Dam of Awe") is 14m high. The lakes can be explored on foot or by boat.

Day 4

Return to Kabul via the Shibar pass (3,285 m) along a charming river valley past Pushtun, Hazara and Tajik villages.  From a tight narrow gap in the mountains, the successive valleys open up until finally breaking out onto the Shamoli plain.  Stop for picnic lunch along the river. 


Price Quotation

All of our tours are tailor made, so we will calculate a price for you based on your requirements. This tour can be customised.


Normally we include the following services in our quotation:

  • All documentation and paperwork (visa support, registration, all government taxes and licenses for Afghanistan).
  • Vehicles and drivers.
  • English-speaking guide/interpreter. (Please enquire for languages other than English).
  • Accommodation and full board.