Mazar-i-Sharif is not that interesting in itself, but its airport is the closest to Balkh. Mazar-i-Sharif is worth a stop to visit the magnificent Tomb of Ali (a mosque said to be the resting place of Muhammad's adopted son, Ali) and to shop for the gorgeous deep red-and-black Mazari carpets in the busy market. 185 mi/300 km northwest of Kabul.

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