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In travel terms, Afghanistan is still mostly a destination for adventurous and experienced backpackers, unshaped by mass tourism, and those interested in visiting should carefully monitor all current travel advisories and message boards as to safety/security concerns, especially as international forces leave the country by early September 2021. But if you are interested in visiting, the main thing is to avoid Taliban-controlled areas, and many key parts of the country are relatively safe to visit, such as capital Kabul (including the Panjshir Valley), as well as the Bamiyan Valley in the centre of the country (about two hours and 40 minutes from Kabul); Herat city and province out west (depending on your speed, an eight to 16-hour drive from Kabul but just an hour 15 minutes by air); Kandahar city in the south (eight hours by car, just under an hour's flying time); Mazar-e-Sharif up north (including the nearby towns of  Balkh and province of Samangan; an hourlong flight and six hours by car), and the Wakhan Corridor in the far northeast (ironicallly more easily accessible from neighbouring Tajikistan than from Kabul).

Highlights include cultural tourism, fascinating historical sites, and a staggeringly beautiful landscape, especially when it comes to mountains. In the east and northeast, the imposing Hindu Kush range offer find everything your mountaineering heart desires: summit heights from 4,000 to almost 7,500 meters (13,123-24,606 feet), with unique biodiversity of flora and fauna. The Panjshir Valley is another marvelous region to explore.

And now here are the Afghan peaks that offer the most fantastic experiences:


Noshakh

 

At 7,485m (24,557 ft.), Afghanistan's highest mountain (top) has since its first ascent by a Japanese expedition in 1960 been climbed several times by other expeditions and more recently by foreign visitors since 2011. Noshakh is located in the country's Wakhan corridor, but the easiest route to climb it is via Pakistan. But keep in mind that this is for experienced mountaineers only - and if you do manage to get to the top, a view awaits that is unique in the world.

 

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The Panjshir Valley

Near the Hindu Kush and just over 100 kilometers (62 miles) north of Kabul, this valley is surrounded by paeks that rise between 3,000 and 6,800m (9,843-22,310 ft.), and thus are a bit more accessible to beginners than a behemoth such as Noshakh. But be it these smaller peaks or the “unclimbable” Mir Samir with its 5,809m (just over 19,000 ft.) here in the Panjshir there's something for everyone to appreciate.

 

Koh e Asamai

 

Are you more of a beginner when it comes to mountaineering, and/or want to get to know more about the culture of Afghanistan? Located not far from Kabul and at 2,126m (just over 7,000 ft.) above sea level, Koh e Asami is ideal for your first adventure. The mountain is also passable and there's also a recently renovated memorial at the top.

 

 

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The Shah Foladi Valley

 

Located in the Koh-e-Baba range 140km (87 mi.) west of Kabul, this region has been under the protection of the Afghan government since 2017: And for good reason! The titular Shah Foladi mountain is the highest here, rising 5,050m (16,568 ft.), and the it and the other mountains here are most notable for their snow-capped peaks and imposing rock faces; they also happen to be among Afghanistan's most important sources of fresh water. 

As you can see, shaped by its mountains and valleys, Afghanistan is a country of striking beauty as well as culture which will provide visitors with memories to last a lifetime. For more about its various regions click here (this post is in German, so click on English translation).