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Jan 2022: Highlights of Iraq Tour

0
  • Trip Length: 7 Days
  • Group size : 4-10 People
  • Sleeping: 4* Hotels
  • Difficulty : 2
  • Pickup: Baghdad Airport
  • Min Age : 18+

Tour start point

Baghdad International Airport

Price Includes

  • All Transport between cities and sites
  • All accommodation in 4 star hotels
  • Entry tickets to all museums and archeological sites
  • All breakfasts and meals mentioned in the itinerary
  • English speaking guides at all times
  • Cold drinks and some snacks during transport

Price Excludes

  • Flights and visas
  • Personal spending for food, drinks, souveniers etc
  • Optional tips to guides (not expected)
What to Expect

We will be covering ancient historical sites, holy cities and cultural place that few outsiders get to see. The way we have decided to set up this trip is by having a 7-day group trip going to Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala and Babylon first since these cities are considered to be among the safest cities to visit in the country. If you feel more adventurous and would like to explore more after the trip is over, then no worries! We would help you sort out your travel plans by fixing you a guide and driver for your onwards journey.

Notes on visas:
Many nationalities can now get a visa on arrival at Baghdad international airport for 77$. If you are not among the nationalities which can get the visa on arrival, then get in touch and we can sort out the visa for you.

 

Tour Highlights
  • Guided tour of Babylon
  • Visiting the shrines of Imam Ali in Najaf
  • Learning about Mesapotamian History
  • Visiting the former capital of the Persian Empire
Itinerary

Day 1, 6th of January 2022Pickup at airport, then meet, greet and treat in Baghdad

  • Meet and greet in Baghdad, where we will be given a pre-trip briefing at our hotel in the evening. 
  • You will be welcomed with a refreshing drink which used to be consumed by the Sumerians who used to live in Iraq thousands of years ago 
  • ● At the meeting we will also collect the remainder of the money required for the tour (485€ or 550$) and you will be asked to sign a waiver acknowledging the rules of the trip.
    ● We will go for dinner together and we’ll answer any question you might have about the trip.

Day 2, 7th of January 2022Taq Kasrah and Modern Baghdad

  • Wake up early for breakfast (included) at the hotel in Baghdad. 
  • Departure from the hotel reception at 8am 
  • The drive will take between one and two hours depending on traffic 
  • Upon arrival at Taq Kasra – “the Arch of Ctesiphon” we will explore the site from the outside as well as from the nearby Panorama Tower. 
  • We will be greeted by local people in a home where we will be invited for a traditional Iraqi lunch.
  • If it’s open we will also visit the natural reserve for Iraqi Gazelle “Al Reem” which is near Taq Kasra.
  • Upon returning to Baghdad we will stop at the Martyrs Monument, also called “Al Shaheed Monument”. Built in the time of Saddam, this tiled, blue monument is situated in a clean spacious area among fountains, and we might also be able to visit the museum below the monument
  • We will have some brief stops by statues from the stories “thousand and one nights” which are iconic to the newer parts of Baghdad.
  • After heading back to the hotel we will have some time to get ready before heading out for a late night dinner.

Day 3, 8th of JanuaryBabylon and Najaf

  • Wake up early for breakfast at the hotel (included). We will leave the hotel in Baghdad at around 8am, provided that all of our group members are present.
  • The drive will take between two and three hours depending on traffic and checkpoints
  • Upon arrival at Babylon we will have a one to two hours guided tour of the historical site with an English speaking guide, seeing the historical walls, the reconstructed Ishtar Gate, the Babel Lion and the place where Alexander the Great died.
  • We will walk through the nearby park to have lunch at a local restaurant by the river (Fish in the Park is highly recommended – It cost 10$ per person). After lunch we will drive to Saddam Hussein’s Palace;  A huge mansion on top of a hill, overlooking the archeological site of Babylon. If time permits, we can have a quick boat ride on the Shatt Al Hilla, one of the Euphrates River branches. 
  • We will then drive to Borsippa, known to be the birthplace of Abraham to see a tower which once was a ziggurat of the ancient city of Borsippa.
  • After exploring Borsippa we will drive to Najaf where we will have dinner and spend the night.

Day 4, 9th of January 2022Najaf, Kufa and Al Kifl

  • Wake up for breakfast, which will be included at the hotel. 
  • We will have the opportunity to explore the area around the hotel located right next to the Najaf Sea (a large lake), before walking around the market and relaxing.
  • At roughly 10am, we will leave the hotel and will walk through Wadi as Salaam, the “valley of peace” which is considered to be the largest cemetery in the world. More than 5 million people are buried here.
  • We will then visit the tomb of prophet Ezekiel in the city of Al Kilf. What makes this place special is its shared history and importance for both Muslim and Jewish devotees. You’ll see old Hebrew inscriptions in the walls.
  • ● Afterwards, we will visit the shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf before making a stop at The Great Mosque of Kufa, or Masjid al-Kufa, which is one of the oldest surviving mosques in the world. Overnight in Najaf.

Day 5, 10th of JanuaryNajaf, Ad Diwaniyah and Old Baghdad

  • Wake up early for breakfast, which will be included at the hotel. We will leave the hotel at around 8am, provided that all of our group members are present.
  • Lunch will either be at a local restaurant in Najaf or in Al Diwaniyah, where there will also be a photo opportunity with a monument of the biggest Iraqi flag in the country! 
  • From Al Diwanyah we will drive 3-4 hours back to Baghdad to explore some more of the sites that the city has to offer. The sites in Baghdad will be spread over several days where we try to cover as much as possible from the following sights: 
  • Al Mutanabi park (with the Al-Mutanabbi statue)/ Al-Mutanabi Street – the site of the first book traders’ market
  • The National Museum of Iraq
  • Al Khadimiya mosque and shrine
  • Zawra Park (including “save the Iraqi culture monument”)
  • The Abbasid Palace (with Mustansiriya Madrassa)
  • The copper market Souk al-Safareen
  • …and the small shops, cafés etc that Baghdad is famous for.

Day 6, January 11th 2022Baghdad, Tall Akarkuf and Samarra

  • Wake up early for breakfast, which will be included at the hotel. We will leave the hotel in Baghdad at around 8am.
  • We will drive for one hour to a Ziggurat (Sumerian temple considered the precursor of the Egyptian Pyramids) called Tall Akarkuf 
  • From Tall Akarkuf we will drive to Samarra where we will explore the iconic minaret and see the site where the tallest mosque minaret in the world was located.

Day 7, 12th of January 2022Departure day

  • Today there are no planned activities, as some will leave early in the morning. For the people staying behind we can get you in touch with trusted locals who would be happy to show you around using taxis (or Careem – which is the local version of Uber). As there will be lots of places left to explore in Baghdad, you could continue visiting these, or get in touch with us to help you organize your onward travel in Iraq (we will be happy to offer add-on trips!)
  • Optionally you can chose to join our Iran ski trip starting the same day. Get in touch for more info!
Map

FAQ

I'm a solo traveller, is there a single supplement?

Yes. If you want to have your own room at all hotels, expect to pay an additional 280$ for this.

Which currency is most widely accepted on this tour?

American Dollars (USD) and Iraqi Dinar (IQD).

Do not expect to find many ATMs working in Iraq, so bring enough cash in USD, GBP or EUR.

We will do stops at currency exchange offices to change our money into local currency (IQD)

Should I book pre/post tour accommodation?

If you need pre or post accommodation we can handle this for you. 

The price for this is 80$ for single room, 100$ for double room or 130$ for triple room.

What is cancellation policy?

We understand that traveling during covid is difficult and do our best to have a cancellation policy that is as flexible as possible. The deposit is non-refundable, but do not have any additional charges if you for some reason are not able to come on the tour.

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