Iraq - Mesopotamia - Kurdistan

Iraq Holiday adventures

As we are all aware these last few years have seen violent changes to the structure of Iraq with the 'DAESH' or ISIL invasion from the self proclaimed CALIPHATE based in Raqqa, Syria.

The situation is still one of confusion but there has now been a turn in fortune (2016/17) with the Iraq Government forces, the Kurdish Peshmerga forces and associated militia and supported by foreign Government air forces now intent on recapturing Mosul and recovering Iraq territory. Kurdistan Iraq has held its Provincial borders and also taken Kirkuk back from Daesh. With the recovery of Tikrit and the advance on Mosul there is now a road corridor possible from Baghdad via Samarra to Tikrit and to Erbil.

Under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and omitting anything north of Samarra we have amended our tours to 14 days to begin from Baghdad and also to explore more extensively the wonderful deserted ancient Sumerian sites in the south. We successfully operated throughout 2016 and we will be operating a full programme in 2017 beginning in March.

The situation in Iraq will remain very fluid but we have the ability to change the schedules at any time to suit the ongoing conditions. We will revive our past 16 day schedules, when is seems appropriate and possible, to include Kurdistan and north Iraq sites. We continue to support Iraq. Bradt's have published our new book- IRAQ-The ancient sites & Iraqi Kurdistan.

All bookings and deposits made in in the calendar year prior to departure will attract a ground tour discount of 7%.

Tour dates

9 and 14 day tours
2017 - March 5th, April 2nd, May 7th, September 10th, October 10th, November 12th. - request 2018 dates.

Both tours run concurrently with Baghdad, Babylon and the Shrine cities amongst the highlights with the 9 day tour returning to Baghdad and the 14 day travelling further south exploring not only the well known ancient sites of Uruk and Ur but the little visited cities of Larsa, Lagash, and Telloh. Staying in Nasiriya also extends our time in the Marshes of Iraq before reaching Basra.

The Lion of Babylon

Mesopotamia and Kurdistan Iraq

With all our tours we try to keep costs down and see as much as is possible in our given tour structures. Security considerations govern some of our time but we seek to give you the maximum experience possible.Ancient and religious history abounds in this land between the two rivers.

* as dedicated friends of Iraq and wanting to contribute our share to the future of the country, we ask all interested travellers, for now and in the future, to send into us your names and contact details so that we can update you regularly as to the travel opportunities in Iraq. Email -

9 day Tour
Day 1 Arrive Baghdad, afternoon excursion. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 2 Baghdad city tour - National Museum, old part of the city, Tel Harmal. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 3 Samarra Shrine & Minaret, Baghdad City and environs. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 4 Ancient Mesopotamia cities, Kish, Babylon, Borsippa. Overnight In Kerbala.
Day 5 Drive to Ukhaider, the Islamic Castle/Palace, At Tar Caves and nearby monastery. Overnight Kerbala. Shrine city Husayn and Hassan.
Day 6 Drive to Khifal 6th century B.C. tomb of Ezekial the Jewish Prophet, Kufa, Hira and Najaf where Imam Ali is buried. All important Shia cities and shrines. Overnight Najaf.
Day 7 Drive to the ancient site of Nippur famous for its Enlil Temple and Ziggurat return to Overnight at Samawih.
Day 8 Morning visit to Warka (ancient Uruk) the largest excavated site in Iraq. Return by road to overnight Baghdad.
Day 9 Departure from Baghdad Airport.
Basic costs from £2,400 plus flights and visa.

The Marshes

14 day Tour
Day 1 Arrive Baghdad, afternoon excursion. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 2 Baghdad city tour - national Museum, old part of city, Tel Harmal. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 3 Samarra Shrine & Minaret, Baghdda City and environs
Day 4 Ancient Mesopotamian cities. Kish, Babylon, Borsippar. Overnight Kerbala.
Day 5 Drive to Ukhaider, the Islamic Castle / Palace, At Tar Caves and nearby Monastery. Overnight in Kerbala Shrine city of Husayn and Hassan.
Day 6 Drive to Khifal. 6th century tomb of Ezekial, the Jewish Prophet, then Kufa, Hira and Najaf where Imam Ali is buried. All important Shia cities and shrines. Overnight Najaf.
Day 7 Drive to Nippur, ancient Mesopotamian city . Overnight in Samawih.
Day 8 Visit Uruk that most important ancient city where writing began, possibly Larsa. Overnight Samawih or Nasiriya.
Day 9 Continue further south to Larsa and then Tel Ubaid, Eridu (a city older than time itself), Ur. Overnight Nasiriya.
Day 10 A very full day exploring some very famous but little visited Sumerian sites, Tell Khaiber, Lagash, Telloh, and Islamic Wasit. Overnight Nasiriya.
Day 11 Marshes excursion then Querna where the Euphrates meets the Tigris and to Overnight in Basra.
Day 12 Basra city excursions. Overnight Basra.
Day 13 Return to Bagdad by road visiting Ezra's tomb en route and passing through Amrah and Kut to Baghdad. Overnight Baghdad.
Day 14 Departure from Baghdad airport.
Basic ground costs from £3,150 plus flight and visa.

Included in the costs - all ground transport (hired local transport), twin bedded rooms, breakfast and dinner, bottled water provided, listed excursions, A printed Hinterland Travel tour guide to the places that we visit is also provided, an Iraqi interpreter /guide, Hinterland Travel Tour leader, group airport transfers. Guards accompany the vehicle at all times.

Not included - International or Internal flights, Visas, single room supplements, insurance.

Because of the ongoing DAESH situation involving Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan and their borders our cross border tours of Iran, Turkey and Iraq are on hold at the moment but we will resume our Combination tour of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan on 4th Sept 2017. This can be either 15 days or 20 days to suit your available time schedule. Apply for costings and schedule etc. email.

Other information

Each tour is led by a Hinterland Travel tour leader in addition to the English speaking Iraqi interpreter/guide. All land transport is by local air conditioned Iraqi vehicle with an Iraqi driver. The hotels vary in standard some very good some not so good. When they are available, a single supplement is levied at all the hotels that we use.

All passports need to be acceptable to the Iraq authorities. A copy of the information page of your passport should be sent along with your booking form and the deposit of 350 when making a booking.The final tour balance to be paid 8 weeks prior to tour departure. We have an open age policy as long as you are fit and healthy but we do require a doctors letter stating that you are fit to travel if you are over 75 years of age.

The visa is obtained on arrival at Baghdad airport by prior arrangement.The visa procedures take up to 4 weeks before authorisation is given.

It is also important that you inform us of your flight arrangements in plenty of time. We wish our clients to come in the morning of tour arrival day whenever possible as this facilitates the visa procedures and airport transfers.

The group size will be a maximum of 20 persons however the average group usually numbers 12 persons of all ages, English is the common language spoken along with the Arabic of the staff.

Security arrangements and procedures are paramount in the Iraq of today and essential that they adhered to by all concerned at all times. However note that most Governments issue notices against travel to Iraq by tourists at the present time and insurance can be a difficulty as Hinterland Travel recognises. We advise that our clients endeavour to obtain travel insurance but we will take clients without insurance but this is totally at their own risk. We look after our clients in Iraq as do all of the staff that we work with. But please read our booking conditions on this website and in our brochures before booking a tour to Iraq or to Afghanistan with us.

INSURANCE that is now possible for our clients which can now be obtained directly through -
High Risk Voyager Travel Insurance