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IRAQI KURDISTAN


Kurdish Iraq is also known as the 'other Iraq'. Whilst the Southern part of the country has seen the country descend into chaos and bloodshed since the 2003 War, the Kurdish region has flourished with massive economic development and a burgeoning tourist industry. 

Suffering for decades under previous regimes, the Kurds now have an increasing amount of freedom and autonomy in Iraq and are extremely welcoming to tourists. The Kurdish region also has some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole of the Middle East with huge canyons, beautiful mountains and flowing rivers and waterfalls. The region has long been known in Middle Eastern literature as 'paradise on earth'. 



Please note that some of the areas this tour visits, the British FCO advises against all but essential travel to.

We research the security of our destinations highly and safety is a priority for us, however, we advise you to do your own research as well to ensure you are comfortable with your trip.

These travel warnings may also affect travel insurance. Please contact us for advice on this.


Our Kurdistan tours run 4 times per year and take in both Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan, starting and ending in Diyarbakir.

Visa on arrival is available at no cost for most nationalities for Iraqi Kurdistan. For other nationalities we can help to arrange advance visas.

Our tours generally follow on from or precede our Iranian tours, giving the chance to link both together.

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UPCOMING TOURS

Our current upcoming group tours can be seen below. They are all guaranteed departures.


TOUR DATESTOUR NAMETotal DaysPRICE

2019 TOURS

Our current 2019 group tours can be seen below. They are all guaranteed departures.


TOUR DATESTOUR NAMETotal DaysPRICE
Iraqi Kurdistantour-closed2019-10-052019-10-12Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7899250static0October
Iraqi Kurdistantour-closed2019-10-192019-10-26Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7899250static0October

2020 TOURS

Our current 2020 group tours can be seen below. They are all guaranteed departures.


TOUR DATESTOUR NAMETotal DaysPRICE
Iraqi Kurdistantour-open2020-04-112020-04-18Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7985250static6April
Iraqi Kurdistantour-open2020-04-182020-04-25Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7985250static10April
Iraqi Kurdistantour-open2020-10-032020-10-10Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7985250static6October
Iraqi Kurdistantour-open2020-10-172020-10-24Iraqi and Turkish Kurdistan tour7985250static6October

TOUR ITINERARY


Day 1 - Arrive in Diyarbakir


Arrive in Diyarbakir and check into hotel. An afternoon tour of South East Turkey's biggest city. Walk around the ancient city walls, see the Great Mosque, the Four-Legged Minaret, the Armenian and Cyriac churches and the two restored caravanseries. Evening at leisure.


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Day 2 - Journey to Erbil


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.


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Day 3 - Tour of Ebril


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.


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Day 4 - Hamilton Road


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 Erbil.


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Day 5 - The Red Prison


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 one Kurd killed by Saddam's regime and the lights for each Kurdish village destroyed. Evening spent at leisure.


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Day 6 - Halabja Monument Museum


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.


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Day 7 - Mountain village of Lalish


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.


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Day 8 - Tour Ends



DETAILS

Includes:


- Iraq visa (issued on arrival at the border for most nationalities)
- 3 star central twin hotel accommodation
- all road transport
- tours and entry fees
- experienced English speaking Kurdish guide
- accompanied by Western guide throughout the trip
- all breakfasts


Excludes:


- Lunch and dinners
- Flights to Erbil / Diyarbakir

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 £155.