Iraq- Mesopotamia-Kurdistan

Mesopotamia
As we are all aware these last few months have seen violent changes to the structure of Iraq with the 'Daesh' or ISIL invasion from the self proclaimed Caliphate from Raqqa in Syria. The situation is one of confusion and a lack of real news as to what is happening in Iraq. The situation around the Kurdistan Regional Govt territory is also one of confusion, the taking of Kirkuk along with the oilfields being its only, but, major gain.

For tourism in Iraq at this time it has meant omitting the north of Iraq( north-north west of Baghdad) from any schedule we have promoted in the past. Last month (September 2014) we operated a 9 day tour albeit shorn of the north and with southern Iraq additions which was highly successful.

Therefore we are still promoting Iraq, although the situation remains very fluid and moving very rapidly, but we have the ability and flexibility to change any schedule at any time to suit the ongoing situations.We will revive our past schedules the moment that we can do so.


Turkey, North Iraq Kurdistan and North West Iran
We first began to explore the Kurdish World in depth in 2007 and operating via Turkey and Iran. Now we include the Kurdish region with all our tours but emphasising the Kurdish area in particular with our May departures that enter the Iran region and our combined September Kurdistan and Mesopotamia Iraq departures.

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
2015 - March 8th, April 5th, September 6th, October 11th, November 8th.

We combine these two tours incorporating highlights including Babylon for the 9 day tour with the new 14 day tour carrying on south to Basra to see more of the ancient Sumerian sites including Ur and the Marshes.

Tours on hold for the moment
South Eastern Turkey, Kurdistan Iraq and North western Iran.

Also on hold for the moment
Turkey, Kurdistan Iraq and Mesopotaia
2015-21 days combined tour -September 2nd. Proposed Tour date.




Mesopotamia and Kurdistan Iraq

Costs and style of accommodation and meals will, at first, be subject to constant change - but our policy is, as always, to keep costs down as much as possible for our clients and to see as much as can be fitted in the time available. For a real experience of ancient, historical, modern or recent history combined with all those fascinating facets of religious history, past and recent then two weeks is required, but for those without the time to spare, our 9 day tours gives a taster of the delights of Iraq. We will also offer glimpses of Saddam residences where possible.

* 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 - hinterland@btconnect.com

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 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 £2,050 plus flights and visas.


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 Baghdad city and environs Overnight Baghdad.
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 £2,490 plus flights and visas.

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.





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 it is essential that they are adhered to by all concerned at all times.