Baghdad & Babylon Tour
What's it all about?
Baghdad - Samarra - Najaf - Babylon - Karbala - Nasariyah - Baghdad.
May 27 - June 2nd, 2021
For Southern Iraq a new visa on arrival scheme has been announced for citizens of the EU, UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Russia, China, Japan & South Korea. If you are not from one of these countries then we will apply for a visa on your behalf. An invitation letter is issued and you can bring this to your local embassy to apply for the visa.
Baghdad & Beyond
May 27th - Baghdad
- Arrival in Baghdad. Your tour guide will meet you in Baghdad Airport.
- Introductory briefing on travelling in Iraq and a breakdown of the itinerary
- Baghdad tour (depending on your arrival time) – see the Liberation square monument. The victory over America Palace and the place where Saddam’s statue was toppled in 2003
- Dinner and overnight in Baghdad.
May 28th - Baghdad & Ctesiphon
- After breakfast it’s a full 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 and well renovated Al–Mustansariya School. This is commonly known as the oldest school in the world.
- Walk through the adjoining copper market. A great place for souvenirs and photography.
- We drive an hour outside of the city to the ancient city of Ctesiphone. These days all that’s left is the palace archway which is the largest single span vault of unenforced brickwork in the world.
- Back to Baghdad for dinner and overnight.
May 29th - Samarra & Karbala
- Hit the road and drive north to Samara. We 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.
May 30th - Karbala and Babylon
- After breakfast we visit Karbala’s famous Al Abbas mosque and Iman Husayn shrine
- 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.
May 31st - Najaf, Nasiriyah and Ur
- 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.
- 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.
June 1st - Baghdad
- Hit the road for the 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.
June 2nd - Baghdad
- Transfer to the airport.
- End of tour.
You’ll be in the vastly experienced hands of our English speaking local guides & fixer as well as your Rocky Road Travel guide. We visit Iraq regularly, so we know the best spots and have perfected the itinerary accordingly. Given the unpredictable nature of travelling in Iraq, the 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. We are in constant communication with our local partners on the ground who advise the safest routes to take.
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.
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