Khyber Pakhtunkha runs for over 1,100 kilometres (680 miles) along the border with Afghanistan. Peshawar is its capital and the Vale of Peshawar, fertile and well watered by the Kabul and Swat rivers, is its heart. This was also the heart of the ancient kingdom of Gandhara and is rich in archaeological remains.
The northern half of the province consists of five river valleys running roughly parallel, north to south: Chitral, Dir, Swat, Indus and Kaghan. These valleys are on the northern edge of the monsoon belt. They are fairly green and partly wooded in their southern sections.