Iraqi Kurdistan Tour
What's it all about?
Our Kurdistan tour is an extensive look into the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Northern Iraq offers not only safety, but stunning mountain ranges with more than 3000 archaeological sites and some of the most friendly and welcoming people on the planet. The region has long been known in Middle Eastern literature as ‘paradise on earth’.
The tour begins by either continuing on from our Basra To Erbil Tour or joining us by your own means before we head off to explore this unique region. The trip takes us to the world’s most important Yazidi shrine at Lalesh (40 KM from Mosul), Duhok, Saddam Hussein’s former mountaintop palace, Amadiya, Sulaymaniyah, Halabja and back to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Erbil
This is one of our favourite tours in a region we know and love. It’s a great place to start if you have never visited the Middle East and it’s also a great tour for those who hate applying for costly visas! Check out the itinerary below and book your place today!
Erbil – Sulaymaniyah – Halabja – Rawandas – Duhok – Lalish – Erbil.
October 2 – 8th, 2023
For Kurdistan, luckily it’s visa free for most nationalities including the EU, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. If you’re not sure if you qualify just ask us and we’ll let you know.
October 2nd - Erbil
- Arrival in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan. Our guide will be waiting to pick you up from the arrivals hall. Transfer to the hotel.
- Today is mainly an arrival day so feel free to walk through the main bazaar and change your money into Iraqi Dinars with the help of our local guide who will find you the best rate. Pick up a few souvenirs or just take in the atmosphere. Stop for Kurdish tea/coffee inside the market.
- In the afternoon we’ll visit the citadel – the oldest continually inhabited place in the world. Take in the views over the city from the top of the Citadel.
- Check out the textile museum, Minaret Park & the Jalil Khayat Mosque.
- Rest up in the hotel before going out for dinner with the rest of the group in the Christian district. Plenty of Kurdistan cuisine options here!
- Overnight in Erbil.
October 3rd - Sulaymaniyah
- We hit the road early and drive to the second major city of Iraqi Kurdistan – Sulaymaniyah.
- We’ll stop at the old Jewish town of Koya along the way before lunch. Visit the ancient and crumbling Caravanserai here.
- On arrival in Sulaymaniyah we head straight to the infamous “Red prison” – once a torture centre for Saddam Hussein’s regime. The prison is now a fascinating museum.
- Walk through the bustling central Bazar right next to our hotel
- Tea in a traditional tea house.
- At sunset we’ll drive up Goyzha Mountain for the stunning views overlooking Sulay.
- Get the cable car back down the mountain!
- Dinner and overnight in Sulaymaniyah.
October 4th - Halabja
- 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.
- Drive onto Ahmed Awa waterfall.
- We head back to Sulaymaniyah for some leisurely time around the bazaars.
- Group dinner and drinks.
- Overnight in Sulaymaniyah.
October 5th -Sulaymaniyah - Rawunduz
- We depart Sulay this morning and head west towards Lake Dokan. Weather depending we’ll take tea, snacks and a boat ride here.
- 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.
- Stop by the Bekhal waterfall.
- Continue driving through incredible mountain ranges stopping at various points for photos.
- Overnight in Soran.
October 6th - Duhok
- Drive to the historic Shanidar cave.
- Amadiya – the stunning mountain top village. Walk through the quiet streets and visit the mosque and church here. See the ancient gateway to the town.
- Qubahan School – the fascinating ruins of an ancient madrassa
- Drive to Saddam Hussein’s former mountaintop palace. You’ll know instantly why he choose this site. Explore the ruins and admire the views.
- Continue towards Duhok
- Tour the Duhok Bazaar and visit a tea house dedicated to Martyrs killed at the hands of ISIS.
- Dinner and overnight in Duhok.
October 7th - Lalish - Erbil
- Depart Duhok for one of the world’s oldest monastery’s – Alqosh is built into the mountains and is technically part of Mosul and Iraq “proper”.
- We then drive one hour drive to Lalish for Autumn Assembly celebrations. 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.
- Spend the afternoon here mingling and joining in on the festivities.
- Drive to Erbil.
- Final group dinner and overnight in Erbil.
October 8th - Erbil
You’ll be in the experienced hands of our legendary English speaking local guide and Rocky Road Travel guide. We visit Iraqi Kurdistan regularly, so we know the best spots and have perfected the itinerary accordingly. Your itinerary may change slightly but we will always go above and beyond with added extras to the itinerary such as stops at local cafe-bars, shisha lounges and amusement parks.
Before & after each tour we will add you to dedicated email and social media groups so you can share photos easily with your travel mates. Just let us know is you want to opt out of this.
To book simply hit the button below and start the conversation today.
Iraqi Kurdistan vs Federal Iraq Iraq is a complicated place. Sectarian divisions have long characterised the country, be that between the various factions of Islam