Iraqi Kurdistan Cultural Discovery
Erbil, Iraq to Erbil, Iraq
Iraqi Kurdistan is a historically and culturally rich region with a turbulent legacy, but opportunities for travel here do exist. Join MT Sobek on an exploratory adventure through this minimally touristed area, experiencing first-hand its past glories and present struggles. Behold ancient Erbil - the world's oldest continuously inhabited city, tour third-century monasteries, the world's oldest-known bridge and aqueduct ruin, a biblical prophet's tomb, a mysterious Yazidi Pilgrimage site, explore Neanderthal Shanidar Cave, and learn about the moving history of Halabja. With expert guides leading you every step of the way, this is a unique chance to explore a spellbinding region of Iraq.
- Experience ancient citadels, sacred monasteries, and holy villages, including mysteries of the Yazidi village of Lalish where visitors must remove their shoes to tread on the sacred ground
- Journey through untouristed regions and experience the mystery — and warmth — of the local people
- Via hiking, kayaking, and caving, immerse yourself in Kurdistan's incredible landscapes and unspoiled beauty
Minimum Age: 16
- Adventure and Active
- Educational and Learning
February 25, 2023 7:00 PM
March 01, 2023 through March 10, 2023
May 02, 2023 7:00 PM
May 06, 2023 through May 15, 2023
August 29, 2023 7:00 PM
September 02, 2023 through September 11, 2023
Day: 1, duration: 2
Erbil International Hotel
The first hotel in Erbil, the Erbil International Hotel is deserving of its luxury status. From its elegant lobby to its contemporary rooms, details of design and practicality are paid close attention to. Its acclaimed level of personal attention is a place of pride, ensuring guests a most welcoming and comfortable experience. There are two pools, fitness center, and spa.Day: 3, duration: 2
Consistently considered the best hotel in Duhok, the Rixos hosts everyone from business travelers to newlyweds. Guest rooms are very comfortable and spacious, and those on the upper floors offer lovely views. Free Wi-Fi, various restaurants (serving regional and international fare), pool, gym, spa, and other amenities make the Rixos a solid choice.Day: 5, duration: 2
Korek Mountain Resort & Spa
Perched atop Iraqi Kurdistan's revered Korek Mountain, the Korek Mountain Resort & Spa offers day visitors and overnight guests more than just rest and relaxation. In addition to usual amenities, such as Wi-Fi and a fitness center, there is a hammam and an activities park — with skiing, sky gliding and swinging, paint ball, and other fun for all ages.Day: 7, duration: 2
Enjoy luxurious comfort at the Grand Millennium, one of Sulymaniya's most elegant properties. The beautifully appointed rooms offer sweeping views of the city and surrounds, and the spacious bathrooms offer added comfort. Free Wi-Fi, various eateries — including a sky-high revolving restaurant — and its pool, spa, and gym help ensure an unforgettable stay.Day: 9, duration: 1
Erbil International Hotel
The first hotel in Erbil, the Erbil International Hotel is deserving of its luxury status. From its elegant lobby to its contemporary rooms, details of design and practicality are paid close attention to. Its acclaimed level of personal attention is a place of pride, ensuring guests a most welcoming and comfortable experience. There are two pools, fitness center, and spa.
Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
Snacks and water between meals
Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
Baggage transfers and porterage
International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
Travel Protection Program
MT Sobek has been trailblazing edgy and unknown destinations for 50 years and creating exploratory adventures that few other companies run.Reason #02
You will be in the company of expert guides who have over 25 years' experience leading groups in the Middle East and in Iraqi Kurdistan.Reason #03
We have successfully operated trips throughout the Middle East, including to Iran, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.Activities
Cultural touring by private van and on foot, with easy walks to discover ancient towns and historical wonders.Lodging
Elegant resorts with spacious rooms and modern amenities. Includes two nights at the stunning Korek Mountain Resort.Climate
It's temperate and dry. Temperatures range from the low 50's to mid-70's F in March and from the mid-70's to low 100's F in September.Who will meet me on arrival?
Our MT Sobek representative at the Erbil International Airport.Is it safe for Americans to travel to Iraq?
Yes. In 2019 we operated our first commercial group tour to this area. Prior to that, we sent our MT Sobek Middle East Program Director to scout, assess and familiarize for safety and quality.Do I need a visa for Iraqi Kurdistan?
Americans can get a free, 30-day visa on arrival at the airport in Erbil.Will we be entering a war zone traveling to Iraq?
No, as you will be traveling to the semi-independent Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI), where there is a blossoming tourism industry and functioning economy.Do I have to fly to Baghdad to get to Erbil, where the trip starts?
No! Numerous European and Middle Eastern airlines have direct flights to Erbil. No need to connect in Baghdad.What additional safety precautions do you take?
We register each trip departure with the State Department and the US Consulate in Erbil for added safety.
About MT Sobek
To feed your spirit of adventure, Mountain Travel Sobek offers a wide range of unique and perfectly paced itineraries led by incredible local guides. We keep groups small, usually fewer than 10 people, and seek out great food and characterful accommodations everywhere we go.
Beyond the seamless logistics and careful attention to detail, our aim is to create a space for truly special moments in unforgettable places.
We are the Adventure Company—come explore with us.