Holy cities, exotic bazaars, fertile marshes and all the magic of the Arabian nights
Baghdad – Najaf – Karbala – Nasiriyah – Basra – Babel
Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Warning: entry to Iraq will be refused to Israeli passport holders and travellers with any evidence (stamp, visa, permits) of visiting Israel.
The following itinerary refers to our most popular route in Southern Iraq. This diverse and fascinating land greets its temerarious guests with a cornucopia of natural, historical and cultural wonders. In case you are interested in a particularly remote area, secretive community, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within Iraq or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to Baghdad and its surroundings, we can easily meet your needs with a unique tour individually designed according to your preferences. Thanks to our deep knowledge of the territory and longstanding collaboration with independent local guides we are able to offer you a wide range of tailored routes and bespoke itineraries across and beyond the 1001-night cities and the scorching sands of Iraq. We also regularly cater for archaeologists, conservationists, ethnologists, historians and documentarists alike interested in conducting field research in the region. Get in touch for more info on our private tours to Southern Iraq!
Day 1 - Baghdad
Our tour guide will meet you in the arrival hall of Baghdad International Airport (exact meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email in accordance to your flight schedule).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in Iraq.
If time allows you will enjoy a first tour around Iraq's capital city, a fascinating place of mythical past and troubled present.
The rest of the day will be devoted to tea sessions and little gastronomic pleasures that will softly let you acclimatise into the cultural and meteorological atmospheres of Arab Iraq.
Lunch, dinner, and overnight in Baghdad.
Day 2 - Baghdad
We'll devote the entire day to the exploration of Baghdad and its vast array of historical, cultural and slightly bizarre attractions.
Today's highlights will include: Aljawadain Holy Shrine, Iraq National Museum, Al-Shaheed Monument, Armenian Orthodox Cathedral and the Al-Kadhimiya Mosque.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Baghdad.
Day 3 - Najaf
After a lazy morning and a rich breakfast we'll transfer to the legendary city of Najaf.
We’ll spend the day visiting Najaf’s vast array of religious sights, cultural curiosities and historical attractions such as the immense Old Cemetery (Wadi-us-Salam), the stunning Imam Ali shrine and the tentacular Central Bazaar.
Dinner and overnight in Najaf.
Day 4 - Kufa
Today we'll visit the biblical city of Kufa, just a few miles east of Najaf downtown.
We'll spend the morning touring the ruins of this almost mythical Mesopotamian settlement.
After lunch we'll enjoy a stroll along the Euphrates embankment before heading back to central Najaf for the evening.
Dinner and overnight in Najaf.
Day 5 - Karbala and Babylon
We'll start the day early and head towards Karbala, one of the most important holy cities for Shia muslims.
Karbala tour: al-Ukhaidir Fortress, Tars Cave, Imam Hussain Shrine, Abbas Shrine, Karbala Islamic museum.
After lunch we'll drive east towards Hillah, a large Iraqi town located next to the ancient city of Babel (Babylon), a place that doesn't really need any description or explanation.
We'll visit the ruins of this epic city of hanging gardens and mythical kings, and, if time permits, we'll continue today's sightseeing with a visit to the local Saddam's Palace.
Dinner and overnight in Najaf.
Day 6 - Nasiriyah and Ur
In the morning we'll head further south to the ancient city of Ur and visit Etemenniguru, the great Sumerian Ziggurat built during the Early Bronze Age.
We'll the continue our journey to Nasiriyah, one of the largest towns in the region where we'll peruse around the exotic Spice Market and enjoy a fairytale sunset over the Bridge of Civilizations.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Nasiriyah.
Day 7 - Basra
Today we'll drive towards Basra, the biggest city in Southern Iraq and the country's only seaport.
Basra morning tour: Shatt-al-Arab Corniche, Old Town, Central Souq, History Museum.
We'll then spend a lazy afternoon in downtown enjoying the slow pace of Southern Iraq.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Basra.
Day 8 - Mesopotamian Marshes
In the morning we'll enjoy a long boat tour across the legendary Mesopotamian Marshes, a peculiar aquatic landscape providing habitat for rare wildlife and home to the Maʻdān, an Arab Shia population that over the course of the centuries developed their own unique culture, language and rituals.
After having enjoyed a traditional lunch with the people of the marshlands we'll head back to Basra for a chillout afternoon in town: souvenir shopping, coffee culture and urban exploration.
Dinner and overnight in Basra.
Day 9 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last lavish Iraqi-style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to any of the following transportation hubs in Iraq: Najaf International Airport, Basra International Airport, Baghdad International Airport.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the train/bus station in Basra.
End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 2550 €
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 20 euro/night), private transport in the region (sedan or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility. It is also possible to make the tour the other way around, starting from Basra and finishing in Baghdad.
WARNING: Parts of Iraq can be still deemed as an active conflict zone. The cities and the regions listed in our itinerary are considered safe to visit as they are located relatively far away from the frontline. While in Southern Iraq you shall strictly follow the rules your guide will brief you about in Baghdad. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary, interrupt the tour and/or cancel (and refund) your reservation if the security situation deteriorates. Until further notice, however, don't you worry and enjoy this unique adventure. Entry to Iraq will be refused to Israeli passport holders and travellers with any evidence (stamp, visa, permits) of visiting Israel.