A 10-Day Cultural and Historical Tour to explore the heritage, archeological and religious sites in Iraq

Language Arabic, English
Cost 1000 USD for tour/excursion
Capacity Any number of people
Duration 1 week 3 days

A 10-Day cultural and historical tour to explore the heritage, archeological and religious sites and to experience the daily life in different parts of Iraq

Day 1: Baghdad

• Exploration commences at the Iraqi Museum, immersing ourselves in ancient Mesopotamian antiquities.

• Captivating walking tour through the old quarters of Baghdad, visiting al-Mutanabbi Book Market street—an intellectual haven.

• Mustansiriyah Madrasah, one of the earliest universities in the world.

• Stop at the century-old Shabandar Cafe for a glass of lime tea, a speciality in Baghdad.

• Path leads to the Abbasid Palace on the Tigris river bank with its beautiful ornamental designs and carvings.

• Century-old juice shop serving refreshing raisin juice, visited by Iraqi kings and presidents.

• Walk in Khan Al Mudallal Antique Market shops.

• Boat tour on the Tigris river.

• Lunch at an old Baghdadi restaurant offering Kuba.

• Walks through bustling bazaars of Copper Market, Stationery Market, and Clothing Market.

• Visit to Firdos Square where Saddam’s statue was pulled down.

• End the tour at the iconic Freedom Monument.

Day 2: Babylon - Karbala

• Head to Babylon, exploring the original lower part of the Ishtar Gate and The Lion of Babylon, a 2600-year-old black basalt statue of a lion trampling a man.

• Stroll through the reconstructed palace of Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II, seeing ancient bricks with cuneiform inscriptions.

• Walk to Saddam’s abandoned palace, exploring its grandeur and encountering the last standing portrait statue of Saddam.

• Travel to Karbala for a walking night tour, marveling at the magnificent shrines of Imam Hussein and Abbas.

• Immerse in the vibrant nearby bazaar. The night concludes with a stay in Karbala.

Day 3: Karbala - Najaf - Nasiyriah

• Morning visit to Najaf to explore the shrine of Imam Ali.

• Immense Valley of Peace graveyard, with over 5 million graves. Panoramic view from the top of a multistory garage, gazing at the vastness of the cemetery.

• Drive to Nasiyriah province to marvel at the well-preserved Ziggurat of Ur, a pyramid-like stepped temple tower dating back to around 2100 BC, during the time when this ancient city served as the capital of the Neo-Sumerian Empire. Overnight stay in Nasiyriah.

Day 4: Nasiyriah - Chibayish Marshes - Basra

• Morning venture to the Chibayish Marshes, home to a community living in reed houses, embracing a way of life dating back to the ancient Sumerians. Interact with the local Marsh Arabs, followed by an exhilarating boat tour through the marshes, witnessing the reeds, swimming buffaloes, and various bird species.

• Enjoy a delightful lunch of masgouf fish in a reed house, followed by a glass of hot tea.

• Continue southward to Basra, pausing at al-Kurna town to witness the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and take a look at the ancient Adam tree.

• Visit Shat al-Arab Corniche and al-Ashar Market. Overnight stay in Basra.

Day 5: A full day in Basra

• Visit to the Basra Museum, once one of Saddam’s palaces.

• Wander through the historic old town to marvel at the Shanasheel houses, former residences of affluent aristocrats.

• Stops at al-Hasoun Antique Museum and Cafe.

• Boat tour in Shat al-Arab River.

• Visit to the Lights Village.

• Saddam yacht.

• See the statue honoring the renowned poet in Basra, al-Sayyab.

Day 6: Basra - Baghdad

• Return to Baghdad, dedicating time to exploring the vibrant Karada District on the eastern side of the Tigris.

• Walking tour through the market, visiting old cafes, strolling along Abu Nuwas Corniche.

• Admire the statues of the Arabian Nights.

• Pause at a church visited by Pope Francis.

• Stop at Darbuna restaurant, offering authentic Iraqi traditional cuisine.

Day 7: Falluja - Hit

• Explore Fallujah city, which witnessed intense battles between rebels and the US occupation forces, now nicely reconstructed.

• Drive to Hit, an ancient town used as a source of bitumen during Mesopotamian ancient history, with beautiful waterwheels as important relics of Iraq’s heritage.

• Drive back to Baghdad after the tour in the west.

Day 8: Baghdad - Samarra - Mosul

• Morning departure to Mosul with a stop at Samarra city to explore UNESCO Heritage Sites, including the spiral Malwiya Minaret, the Abbasid Pond Palace, and Abu Dalaf Minaret.

• Evening night tour at Bytna cultural center in Mosul. Overnight stay in Mosul.

Day 9: A full day in Mosul

• Visit Lalish temple, the most sacred site to the believers in Yazidism.

• 4th-century Mar Mattai Monastery on Maqlup Mountain.

• Al-Nouri Mosque and its famed Leaning Minaret.

• Nineveh archaeological site and its gates.

• Visit one of Mosul’s old churches, al-Tahira.

• Al-Mosul unfinished Grand Mosque.

• Mosul Heritage Center.

• Walk in the fish market and witness the destruction on the Right Side of Mosul, which experienced intense battles. Overnight stay in Mosul.

Day 10: A full day in Erbil

• Drive to Erbil, kicking off the tour at Erbil Citadel, a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited settlements.

• Within the Grand Bazaar surrounding the castle, stroll through roofed market lanes and explore diverse shops.

• Pause for tea in a historic cafe adorned with portraits of local figures.

• Visit the Choli Minaret and the impressive Jalil Khayat Mosque.

• Night walk in Eskan Food Street. Overnight stay in Erbil.

Day 11: The end of the tour

• Option to fly from Erbil Airport or head back to Baghdad and leave from Baghdad’s Airport.

The trip includes guiding services and a private driver to accompany us on our tours. Accommodation and entry tickets can also be provided.


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