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 with either flying in from our Southern Iraq tour or joining us on the Monday 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), before heading north to Duhok, Saddam’s former palace, Amadiya, Sulaymaniyah and back to 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 - Lalish - Duhok - Rawandas - Sulaymaniyah - Erbil.
May 20th - 26th, 2021
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.
May 20th - Erbil
- Guests arrive by own means and make their way to our hotel located in the center of Erbil.
- For people who arrive early, we will take a trip to the bazaar to exchange money at the best rates and grab some kebabs in the square.
- In the evening, we head for the welcome dinner nearby the hotel followed by some shisha.
- Overnight in Erbil.
May 21st - Duhok
- 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”.
- We head for 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.
May 22nd - Rawandas
- In the morning, we head straight to St Matthew’s Monastery – one of the oldest in existence.
- Amadiya – the stunning mountain top village. Walk through the quiet streets and visit the mosque and church here.
- Drive to Saddam Hussein’s former mountaintop palace. You’ll know instantly why he choose this site. Explore the ruins and admire the views.
- We walk to the famous Shanidar cave before stopping at a restaurant for lunch.
- Following lunch, we embark on one of our longer journeys: the four-hour drive to stunning Rawandas.
- High in the Kurdish mountains we’ll take an optional walk here and settle in for the night at our hotel.
- Overnight in Rawandas.
May 23rd - Sulaymaniyah
- 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.
- 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.
May 24th - Sulaymaniyah
- Visit the infamous “Red prison” – once a centre torture for Saddam Hussein’s regime. The prison is now a fascinating museum.
- 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.
May 25th - Erbil
- Free morning 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.
You’ll be in the experienced hands of our legendary English speaking local guide and Rocky Road Travel guide. We visit Iraq regularly, so we know the best spots and have perfected the itinerary accordingly. Your itinerary may change slightly but we will always endevour to 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.