Visit Afghanistan On Holiday
Welcome to our Visit Afghanistan guide for travellers. Some may say we have gone too far with this one, but can you please give us the chance to reveal the truth about Afghanistan. Most people only really hear about the country when it comes up on the news, however, us at Visitalot know that there is much more to this country than many would assume and the goal of this article is to show people the truth.
Afghanistan is a country on the crossroads of central and south Asia. The country is a landlocked country and is bordered by its fellow Islamic neighbours of Pakistan, Iran and Turkmenistan. The country is mostly mountainous with plains in both the north and southwest of the country and the capital city is Kabul. The population is around 32 million and is a real melting point of different ethnic groups such as: Pashtuns, Uzbeks and Tajiks. Although modern day Afghanistan has a rather shaky history, the ancient history is one of Afghanistan’s hidden secrets and is a civilisation that the modern world owes a lot to.
Wow, that was Unexpected
Here is one of our favourite sections of the article as here is where we get to share all of the crazy facts that we have found. Just sit back and enjoy them.
- The Afghans celebrate their new year on the 21 March- otherwise known as the first day of spring. The festival is called Nawroz and thousands head to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif to celebrate the festival. Part of the festival is the raising of the Janda which is an Islamic banner which heralds the start of the spring and the beginning of the new year.
- The national game is goat grabbing. The game works by riders riding around a pit on horseback as they compete to grab the carcass of a goat and gallop clear of the others to drop said goat inside a chalked out circle. In fact, they love the game so much that they have been pushing for the sport to be welcomed into the Olympics. The game has humble roots, being played originally on the northern steppes, however, now big business sponsor events and has a large following in the country.
- Despite many knowing of its rocky past, the country is expected to reach 90% mobile coverage in the very near future. Mobile phones are transforming lives and the culture of the country, even though the numbers of citizens with access to electricity is one of the lowest in the world.
- Poetry is an essential part of Afghan culture and is one that is deeply embedded in their history. For thousands of years Afghans have told their stories through verse and through the generations the same stories have survived. In the western city of Herat, Thursday night is considered poetry night and people of all ages meet to listen and share both modern and ancient verse.
As per usual, all of these are true and there are plenty more, but only if you are willing to read on.
Where is it and What is the Climate Like?
Another vital factor in going on holiday is knowing where it is and how you can get there. As spoken about previously, Afghanistan is in the region of central or south Asia, however, is also close to Arab states and the most easterly point of the Mediterranean Sea. The capital city Kabul is located on the south east of the country and is closest to the border with Pakistan.
Travelling into the country is not quite as simple as with other countries because many air companies will not run flights when you visit Afghanistan. If you do want to tour this marvellous country, then you will need to get in contact with a tour operator who can then organize all of your transport both going in and while you are in the country. Because of the nature of these tours and the exclusivity of them, you should expect to pay far more for them than you would for an independent holiday.
When acquiring a visa to get into the country, the system is far simpler than you would think. All you need to do is to fill in the form correctly and you should receive your visa. If you are booked onto a tour with a third party, then you should check to see whose responsibility the visa is. If it is your responsibility, then you should make sure to complete the form in good time and include any details that are required by your tour operator.
When it comes to the climate of Afghanistan, it definitely becomes a reason to go. The summers in Kabul are hot and dry with temperatures peaking in July time at around 30°C. There is very little chance of rain during the summer season and little to no chance of any muggy or humid weather. In the winter months from November to February, the temperature will peak in the low 20s and will be as low as single digits. There will be far more clouds at this time and you can expect a little bit of rain as well. The best time to go would be just before or just after the hottest month- you will still have nice clear, cloud free days just without the extreme heat.
As always, shorts, t shirts and sun cream come recommended- you will not regret following our advice.
Where to Stay and What to do?
This is where we give you some of the top hotel and BnB suggestions for the area in question. However, because it is such a unique place to go, we will instead cover some of the top tours that you can take when you visit Afghanistan
Wild Frontiers Travel
Aside from Kabul, there are other cities in Afghanistan that have an interesting history. Balkh is one of those cities and was the ancient capital of the Greek Bactrian kingdom and Alexander the Great’s headquarters for his central Asian campaign. The city is littered with beautiful architecture which has its own unique style, and yet has influences from the Mediterranean to the west. The city is a favourite with archaeologists as much of the cities physical past remains undiscovered in the ground- a certified Greek building was found in the city recently but further work will need to be done to work out the exact date. In fact, much of the old city has never been excavated and who knows the kind of treasures that may lie literally under your feet.
Another attraction close to the city of Balkh is the Mazar-i-Sharif. A translation of the name of the city is “Tomb of the Chosen One”. The main thing to see inside the city is the great Blue Mosque and is the Tomb of Hazat Ali, he is the son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammed. During the attack by Genghis Khan, the entire mosque was covered with earth to hide it from the looters. However, because it was covered with earth, it was lost for several hundred years and was only discovered in the late 15th century. Well worth a look when you visit Afghanistan
One such trip that you can go on with this tour operator is an autumn tour that is based solely around fruit. Asia and the Middle East and known for their interesting food and Afghanistan is no different with a wide variety of different fruits such as melons and grapes that you can try and experience. For all you foodies out there, this is the tour for you.
If you like running, then the marathon of Afghanistan is the tour for you. You will be running in the Bamian province of the country and along the way you will pass through beautiful terrain and a UNESCO world heritage sight.
Search For Your Own Hotel In Afghanistan
If you know your budget and you know where you want to stay then check out the latest offers below. This allows you to see in real time the best value hotels, the hotels in the areas you want to stay and of course the type of accommodation. This is constantly updating so keep referring back to see when the offers change. Please use your mouse or scrolling finger to zoom in or out to reach your desired location.
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