Tour itinerary can be seen below.
Arrive in Diyarbakir and check into hotel.
Today we will take a tour of South East Turkey's biggest city where we will walk around the ancient city walls; see the Great Mosque, the Four-Legged Minaret, the Armenian and Cyriac churches and the two restored caravansaries. Evening at leisure.
Depart at 08:00 by bus and travel south before arriving at the border point of Silopi. Undergo border formalities before crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan. Drive through Zakho before travelling onwards to Erbil, arriving around 20:00. Evening at leisure.
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 New Zealand-born 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 Shaqlawa where we stay overnight.
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, and then we will 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 one 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 case 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 back to Sulaymaniyah for a walk around the bazaar. Afterwards drive back to Erbil and spend the evening at leisure.
Early morning departure to the remote mountain village of Lalish; the spiritual heartland of the Yazidi people. Afterwards we drive north to the city of Duhok. Duhok is encircled by mountains and the Tigris River. After checking into our hotel, we will visit the bazaar and huge man-made dam with the option of spending the evening socialising around the city with the locals or visiting the Dream City amusement park.
After breakfast we will travel back across the border and to Diyarbakir where we will arrive around 17:00. Depart home or we can arrange an additional night on request.
Rooms are on a twin basis and if you are travelling alone we will allocate someone for you to share with if possible. To have your own single room there is an additional cost of £180.