Our first tour of 2018 to the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
Arrive at Erbil airport
Transfer to hotel before the group meets in the evening to go for street food and mix with locals.
After breakfast we will take a tour of Erbil.
Early in the day we will see old Erbil visiting the Kurdish Archaeology Museum, the Mound of Qalich Agha and the ancient Citadel before stopping for a drink in one of the old tea houses.
In the afternoon we visit Erbil FC stadium and the Jalil Khayat mosque.
In the evening we will head out to Ainkawa for food and drinks in the Christian district.
After breakfast we travel out onto the famous Hamilton Road.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest engineering feats of the 20th Century, the road was engineered by Kiwi, Archibald Hamilton between 1928 and 1932.
The road snakes through incredible scenery, from gorges, canyons, rivers, lakes and mountains. We will stop along the way at Bekhal Waterfall, Gali Ali Bag Waterfall and also pass through the towns and villages of Shaqlawa, Harir and Soran.
In the late afternoon we will head to Pank Resort, a holiday destination for both Kurdish and Arab Iraqis. As well as breathtaking panoramic views there is also the chance to use a self drive rollercoaster! Afterwards we have the option to head to the Korek Mountain ski resort with a 15 minute cable car ride to the top.
Afterwards we will return to Erbil.
After breakfast we will travel to Sulaymaniyah.
En route we will visit the Qshla of Koya Citadel and the beautiful Dokan Lake where it is possible to take a boat ride. Afterwards we stop for lunch.
Upon arrival in Sulaymaniyah we take a sombre visit to Amna Sukhara, also known as the 'Red Prison'. This was the former Northern headquarters of Mukhbarat (the Iraqi Intelligence Service) and was used by Saddam Hussein's regime for imprisonment and torture of Kurds.
Within the prison is a beautiful memorial made from 182,000 mirrored pieces and 5400 lights. Each piece of mirror signifies each Kurd killed by Saddam's regime and the lights for each Kurdish village destroyed.
Evening spent at leisure.
Today we will visit the town of Halabja. On March 16th 1988, the town was subjected to the worst cases of genocide in Iraq's history.
Over a period of 5 hours, chemical weapons were used against the civilians of Halabja with 5000 killed and up to 10,000 injured.
We will visit the Halabja Monument Museum before driving North to the Ahmed Away waterfall, close to the Iranian border.
Afterwards drive back to Erbil and spend the evening at leisure.
Today we depart for Duhok, visiting the Yezidi heartland of Lalish en route.
After breakfast we depart Duhok and visit the city of Aqrah. Here we visit the Citadel built on top of a mountain. Afterwards we visit Shanidar cave - the site where 10 Neanderthals were found buried, dating from up to 65000 years ago.
We later return to Erbil where we spend our final night before departure the next morning.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.