Minimum Persons : 1
Maximum Persons : 1
Iraqi Kurdistan is also known as the OTHER IRAQ. It has grown economically since the 2003 war despite the
chaos in the southern part of the country. The region's challenging past didnâ€™t stop adventure seekers to
experience the beauty of Kurdistan.
Arrival Day: By plane: we will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel. You will have the opportunity to
buy simcard, top up, exchange money at the bazaar and buy some essentials. (Note: Take the airport
shuttle bus and proceed to the arrival building where I will meet you).
By land: we will pick you up at the border, depending on your point of origin; Iran or Turkey
Day 1: North of Erbil: Pick up at 8:30 AM
Weâ€™ll head out of the city to explore the natural landscapes just north of the city. This includes the
Khanzad Castle, an archaeological site constructed during the Soran Emirate in the 16th century;
Rawanduz Canyon also known as the Grand Canyon of Kurdistan; the famous Gali Ali Beg and Bekhal
Falls; Korek Mountains; Pank Resort and Shanider Cave where the remains of 10 neanderthals dating
35,000 to 65,000 years old were found. On our way back, we will drop by Shaqlawa if you want tea and
sweets. Stay overnight in Erbil.
Day 2 : Northwest of Erbil #1: Pick up at 8:30 AM
Weâ€™ll continue our journey to Lalish, a small mountain valley village characterised by conical roofs that
resemble that of the architecture in Georgia. This is a sacred place for the Yezidi people, an ethnically
Kurdish religious community that has been targeted by ISIS, and according to some- the resting place of
Noahâ€™s arch. Weâ€™ll continue towards Khanis; legend has it that this aqueduct has watered the Hanging
Gardens of Babylon which was believed to have been located in the Nineveh Plains in Mosul. We will
travel down south to Mar Mattai Monastery, one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence. We
will also drive to the town of Alqosh, which boasts the tomb of Prophet Nahum. Tucked in the cliffs of
hidden mountains is the Rabban Hormizd Monastery of the Chaldaean Catholic Church founded in 640
AD. Then weâ€™ll head to Dohuk and wander through its busy souk (bazaar), dam and an ancient
Zoroastrian fire temple. Stay overnight in Dohuk.
Day 3 : Northwest of Erbil #2: Departure at 8:30 AM
In the morning, we will drive up to Amadiya (or Amedi), a quaint mountaintop town that rises 1,000
meter over a valley. The town is surrounded by steep cliffs on all sides and itâ€™s one of the most
picturesque spots in Iraqi Kurdistan. Life on the plateau of Amadiya dates back, at least, 3000 BC, and
the ancient Assyrians. From there, our journey brings us to the Gara Mountains, where weâ€™ll visit the
ruins of one of Saddamâ€™s famous mansions. Then weâ€™ll head back to Erbil. Stay overnight in Erbil.
Day 4 : Southeast of Erbil #1: Pick up at 8:30 AM
From Erbil, we will travel to the famous city of Sulaymaniya through Koya. Surrounded by the Bawaji
and Haibat Sultan mountains, Koya is known as one of the most beautiful regions of Kurdistan. The city
is famous for its mosques, which were often also centers for studies of sciences and arts. Next, weâ€™ll
make a stop at Dokan Lake, a popular summer getaway for locals and the largest man-made lake in
Iraq. In Sulaymaniya, weâ€™ll have time to get to know the city, a city famous for its poets, writers and
historians. The main sites weâ€™ll visit are Amna Suraka- the Red Prison, the archaeological museum,
grand mosque, and its main bazaar. Have tea in the bazaar, stroll in the park and see what locals do â€”
enjoy Sulaymaniyah by night- weâ€™ll head up to Goyje Mountains for the best view of Sulaymaniya at
sunset. Stay overnight in Sulaymaniya.
Day 5 : Southeast #2: Departure at 8:30 AM
An hour away from Sulaymaniya is the town of Halabja, famous for the genocide of the Kurdish people
during Saddamâ€™s rule. The biggest tragedy that took place here was the Halabja chemical attack, a
massacre against the Kurdish people that took place on March 16, 1988, during the closing days of the
Iranâ€“Iraq War. Our visit to Iraqi Kurdistan wouldnâ€™t be complete without this. Next we will continue on to
Ahmed Awa, a natural spring and waterfalls famous for its beauty. Drive back to Erbil. Stay overnight in
Day 6: Erbil: Departure at 8:30 AM
The day begins with a drive to Akre, an ancient town north of Erbil. We will also visit the Dween Castle
Ruins. The rest of the day will be spent in the capital Erbil. We will visit the Erbil Citadel, the oldest
continually inhabited settlement in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Weâ€™ll also spend
some time wandering through the famous bazaar, which will give you a glimpse of Mesopotamiaâ€™s
history with the smell of spices, color of carpets, tea and kebab. Another important place to visit is the
Jalil Khayat Mosque, an impressive building that resembles in style the Muhammad Ali mosque in Cairo
and the Blue mosque in Istanbul. We will have an opportunity to visit Iskan Street, a street famous for
locals at night, for tea and shisha. Stay overnight in Erbil.
Day 7: Airport drop off
"*English Speaking guide
Mid - Range Hotels with breakfast
(2 persons in 1 room) :
- Erbil: Merci Hotel
- Dohuk: Kristal Hotel
- Amedi : Kani Hotel
- Sulaimaniya: Babylon Hotel
* Breakfast, Lunch , Dinner, Drinking water
- Hotel breakfast or breakfast outside
- Lunch and dinner : local restaurant
*Airport pickup and drop off
* Musuem fees
"- Visa cost
- Insurance "
Additional info :
â— Visa on Arrival for passport holders from the US, UK, Canada, EU countries, New Zealand and
â— All other countries need a visa prior to entry. I could assist you with this if necessary.
â— Kurdistan visa is valid only for the Kurdistan region and not the rest of Iraq
â— Please check with the embassy near you. Visa policies may change anytime.
Best time to travel:
â— Spring (March-May): Perfect weather
â— Summer (Mayâ€“ September): Very hot and dry
â— Autumn (October-November): Very pleasant
â— Winter (November-February): Cold with snowfall
Travel insurance: It is advisable to get your travel insurance prior to your travel
Currencies, cards, ATMs:
â—USD is widely accepted in the region. Euros can be exchanged in major cities.
â— Only major hotels accept credit cards. Kurdistan is a cash driven economy.
â— ATM withdrawal in USD is very limited. It is advisable to bring cash.
How much money to bring:
Once you know your tour fee, estimate cost for hotels + food, youâ€™re pretty much set. Thereâ€™s not much to spend
in the region.
Changes in the itinerary:
Clients are free to suggest changes in the itinerary as long as itâ€™s reasonable and doable. If there are changes
to be made due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. checkpoint issues for clients going to Kirkuk, etc)
you will be informed and we hope for your understanding too. Safety is our utmost priority so we will comply
with military and government orders."