Explore Iraq

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756
11 Nights / 12 Days
Erbil
Bgdhdad

Iraq, officially the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital and largest city is Baghdad.

Day 01: Arrive Baghdad
Arrival Baghdad meet and assist at the airport and transfer to hotel.
Baghdad tour (depending on your arrival time) – see the Liberation square monument and the place where Saddam’s statue was toppled in 2003. See the Al-Shaheed (Martyr) Monument. Visit the Save Iraqi Culture Monument and see the Green Zone of Baghdad. Traditional Fish Masgouf dinner and overnight in Baghdad.

Day 02: Baghdad
After breakfast Baghdad city tour starting with a visit to the National Museum of Iraq. Reopened in 2015 after notorious looting during the war, it contains various treasure from the Mesopotamian and Babylonian periods. Visit the incredible Al – Mustansariya School. This is commonly known as the oldest school in the world. Stroll through the nearby bazaar with book markets, antiques and cooper galore! Stroll along the Tigris River and see the famous old clock tower. Take a well deserved break in the Shabinder cafe for tea and Shisha.
Lunch in the famous Kubba restaurant next door.

Drive out to one of the greatest historical sites in the Middle East: the ruins of Ctesiphon. These days all that’s left is a gigantic arch which also happens to be the world’s largest span of unreinforced brickwork.
Dinner and overnight in Baghdad.

Day 03: Bagdad – Samarra – Karbala
After breakfast Hit the road and drive north to Samara pass through multiple checkpoints along the route driving by many villages recently destroyed during fighting against ISIS.

Samara is famous for its Minaret (also known as the Great Mosque of Samara). We’ll climb the spiral staircase all the way to the top for the 360 degree view. Not for the faint hearted! Drive back to Baghdad and head straight to Abu Ghraib. Not the prison which is long gone but it’s ancient site of Agargouf Ziggurat. Continue south onto the holy city of Karbala, just in time to catch the historic centre at sunset
Dinner and overnight in Karbala.

Day 04: Karbala – Babylon – Najaf
After breakfast we visit Karbala’s famous Al Abbas mosque and Iman Husayn shrine then Drive to Babylon, once the largest and most important city in the world. We tour the ancient ruins with our local expert and see what’s left of the hanging gardens.
Saddam Hussain Palace – Perched right on top of Babylon, the dictator made sure he had the best view of the site. We spend some time exploring the looted remains of one of his many former palaces.

After extensively exploring Babylon, continue onto Najaf. Visit the most important site of Najaf – the Imam Ali shrine for the daily late night ceremony.
Dinner and overnight in Najaf.

Day 04: Najaf, Nasiriyah and Ur
After breakfast In the morning we’ll go for a walking tour of Najaf, including Imam Ali’s house (the very spot where imam Ali was killed) and the grand Kufa Mosque. Later Drive south to visit the Ziggurat of Ur, a neo-Sumerian construction built in 2000 BC.

Drive south to the Mesopotamian Marshes. We’ll take a boat trip through the maze of marshes stopping by local villages for tea. The marshes once engulfed a whole swathe of Southern Iraq with numerous floating villages. Today the receding waters have led most families to change their livelihood but we’ll still see the few that remain.

It is also home to the Maʻdān population who over the centuries have adapted to life on the water. Stop by a traditional house for lunch and tea. Continue the journey to Nasiriyah, one of the largest cities in southern Iraq ,Explore the exotic spice market and soak up the atmosphere of this vibrant city
Dinner and overnight in Nasiriyah.

Day 05: Nasiriyah – Baghdad
After breakfast Hit the road drive back to Baghdad.
Visit the incredible Suffi shrine – a welcome escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. See the Liberation Square monument, which commemorates the establishment of the Republic of Iraq.

The Al Shaheed Monument is the martyr’s memorial spot for people who died during the Iran-Iraq War. These days it’s a highly controversial monument, as it was originally built during the Saddam era And of course Baghdad can’t be completed with a visit to the Flying Carpet Monument, Alibi Baba and the 40 thieves’ monument and the Magic Lamp monument.
Overnight in Baghdad Hotel.

Day 06: Baghdad – Erbil
After breakfast transfer to airport to catch the flight Erbil.
Upon arrival meet and assist at airport transfer to hotel.Welcome dinner and drinks in Erbil and meet up with those joining us for the Kurdistan tour
Overnight in Erbil.

Day 07: Erbil – Duhok
After breakfast We begin the day with a two-hour drive to Lalesh. This is the most sacred town for the Yazidi religion. We’ll tour the temple, meet the locals on pilgrimage here and learn about their recent dark history with ISIS.

Our next stop is at one of the world’s oldest monastery’s. Algosh is built into the mountains and is technically part of Mosul and Iraq “proper”. lunch in Algosh town Following lunch, we’ll drive on to Duhok and check into our downtown hotel.
Walking city tour around the bazaar.
Overnight in Duhok.

Day 08: Duhok – Rawandas
After breakfast In the morning, we head straight to Amadiya – Saddam Hussein’s former mountaintop palace. You’ll know instantly why he choose this site. We walk to the famous Shamarda cave before stopping at a restaurant for lunch. Following lunch, we embark on one of our longer journeys: the four-hour drive to Rawandas.
Walking tour of Rawandas and our resort before heading for dinner and drinks.
Overnight in Rawandas.

Day 09: Rawandas – Sulaymaniyah
After breakfast Drive the famous Hamilton road. The road was built by AM Hamilton in the 1930’s for what he hoped would unify the peoples of the region. It linked Iran with Iraq and was an engineering marvel of the time. We continue along stopping at various waterfalls before getting on the only mountain cable car in the region for breathtaking views of the surrounding valley. Lunch

We drive a further 3 hours to the second major city of Iraqi Kurdistan – Sulaymaniyah. We will be stopping along the way for snacks and drinks. In the evening, we walk around the night market of this historical city.
Overnight in Sulaymaniyah.

Day 10: Sulaymaniyah
After breakfast We drive one hour to Halabja. This was the scene of a chemical attack on the Kurdish people, perpetrated by the Baathist regime towards the end of the Iran/Iraq war. Here we’ll tour the memorial and mass grave sites.

We head to Tawela on the Iran border, and previously the front line in the Iran/Iraq war. Lunch by the border. We head back to Sulaymaniyah for some leisurely time at chavi land funfair.
Overnight in Sulaymaniyah.

Day 11: Sulaymaniyah – Erbil
After breakfast morning Free to explore Sulaymaniyah and do some shopping. We again hit the road for the long trip back to Erbil. Lunch in a village near Kirkuk.

On arrival in Erbil we head straight to the Citadel for sunset. We then head into the bazaar where our local guide will help you find some last minute bargains.
Farewell dinner in the christian district.
Overnight in Erbil.

Day 12: Depart Erbil
After breakfast departure transfer to the airport to catch the flight for onward journey.

Place Night (s) Hotels
Baghdad 02 Babylon Rotana
Karbala 01 The Baron Hotel
Najaf 01 Qasr AlDur Hotel
Nasiriyah 01 Gudea Hotel
Baghdad 01 Babylon Rotana
Duhok 01 Khani Hotel
Rawandas 01
Sulaymaniyah 02 Ramada Hotel Sulaymaniyah
Erbil 01 Ankawa Royal Hotel & Spa,
  • Welcome on arrival with fresh flower garlands.
  • Meet to attend airports / hotels by our office representative.
  • 11 nights in accommodation as per the program.
  • Meals as per program
  • Guide Services ( English language )
  • Entrance fees to the monuments.
  • All taxes.

• International flights
• Personal Expenses.
• Camera / Video Camera Fees.
• Medical Aid.
• Tipping.
• Travel Insurance.
• Visa If any.

• Accommodation in good hotels.

• Check-in / out time is 12 noon at most of the hotels.

• Extension to other places is also possible with a minimal extra cost. – Additional nights are available at each place with minimal supplement.

• A visa is required and must be obtained prior to your departure from your Country.

• If quoted hotel is not available, we will provide one of a similar category and standard.

• Small deviations in the tour program are sometimes necessary, depending on weather, road conditions, flight schedules and room availability.

• In case the government changes presently applicable taxes, increase in airlines prices, fuel surcharge our rates will need to be adjusted accordingly.

• In Asia, there is no relevance between the distance and time of travelling, as it depends upon the condition of the roads and congestion of the traffic.

• While every effort will be made to maintain the itinerary, in view of local strikes etc that are beyond our control all schedule and itineraries are subject to last moment changes.

• Clients must be fully insured, as the company cannot accept liability for loss or damage to client’s property, medical emergencies or any other loss suffered by them whilst on tour.

• In Case of issuing Domestic or International air tickets, SGV is not responsible for any refund if the flight is delayed or cancelled, as it is the responsibility of airline.

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