Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization 1980 , 9 Days

Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization

After years of political turmoil and military crisis, Iraq is slowly rising from the ashes. The...
Iraqi Kurdistan 1050 , 7 Days

Iraqi Kurdistan

Do not look for such country on the map. You will not find it. But it exists, albeit without...

Iraq is a country located in the Middle East, known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It is often overlooked as a tourist destination due to its reputation for being unsafe, but the reality is that Iraq is much safer now than it was in the past. If you are considering a trip to Iraq, there are many reasons why you should go.
One of the main reasons to visit Iraq is to experience its rich history. Iraq is home to some of the oldest civilizations in the world, including the Mesopotamian civilization. The Mesopotamians were responsible for many of the great inventions that we take for granted today, such as the wheel, the plow, and writing. You can see evidence of their civilization in the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, which is located south of Baghdad. The city was one of the largest in the world during the 7th and 8th centuries BC, and it is home to many of the ancient world's greatest treasures.

Another reason to visit Iraq is to experience its unique culture. Iraq is home to many different ethnic groups, including Arabs, Kurds, and Turkmen. Each group has its own traditions and customs, and they are all proud of their heritage. The country is also home to some of the world's most famous poets, such as Abu Nuwas and Al-Mutanabbi. You can experience Iraq's rich culture by attending festivals and celebrations throughout the country.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Iraq is the city of Erbil. Erbil is the capital of the Kurdish region of Iraq, and it is a beautiful city that is steeped in history. The city's main attraction is the Citadel, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Citadel is a fortress that has been standing for over 7,000 years, and it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the world. You can also visit the Kurdish Textile Museum in Erbil, which is home to a collection of textiles that date back to the 18th century.

Another popular destination in Iraq is the city of Najaf. Najaf is considered to be one of the holiest cities in the world for Shia Muslims, and it is home to the Imam Ali Shrine. The shrine is the final resting place of Imam Ali, who was the cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Muhammad. The shrine is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world for Shia Muslims, and it is visited by millions of people every year.

If you are interested in outdoor activities, Iraq has a lot to offer. The country is home to many beautiful natural landscapes, including mountains, rivers, and deserts. One of the best places to visit for outdoor activities is the Marshes of Iraq, which are located in the south of the country. The marshes are home to a diverse array of wildlife, including birds, fish, and reptiles. You can take a boat tour of the marshes to see the wildlife up close.

Finally, if you are interested in shopping, Iraq has many great markets where you can find unique souvenirs. One of the most famous markets in the country is the Al-Mutanabbi Street Market in Baghdad. The market is named after the famous Iraqi poet Al-Mutanabbi, and it is home to many bookstores and antique shops. You can also find handmade carpets, jewelry, and clothing at the market.

While there are many reasons to visit Iraq, it is important to remember that the country is still recovering from years of conflict. It is important to do your research before you go, and to take precautions to stay safe while you are there. You should also be aware of the cultural norms in the country, and be respectful of them. With proper planning and preparation, however, a visit to Iraq can be a truly unforgettable experience.

One of the best ways to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Iraq is to hire a local guide. A guide can help you navigate the country's cultural norms, and can also help you find the best places to visit. They can also help you stay safe by avoiding areas that may be dangerous. Additionally, a local guide can provide you with a unique perspective on the country's history and culture.

Another important consideration when visiting Iraq is the weather. The country experiences extreme temperatures throughout the year, with summers being very hot and winters being very cold. It is important to pack accordingly, and to stay hydrated during the summer months. You should also be prepared for occasional sandstorms, which can make travel difficult.

In terms of transportation, Iraq has a good road network that connects major cities and tourist destinations. There are also several domestic airlines that operate within the country. However, it is important to be aware of the security situation before traveling by road or air, as some areas may be dangerous.

In terms of accommodation, there are many hotels and guesthouses throughout the country that cater to tourists. Prices are generally affordable, and the standard of accommodation is good. However, it is important to check online reviews before booking a hotel, and to ensure that the hotel is in a safe area.

In conclusion, Iraq is a country with a rich history and culture that is worth exploring. While the country has faced significant challenges in the past, it is now much safer than it has been in many years. If you are considering a trip to Iraq, it is important to do your research, plan ahead, and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. With proper planning and preparation, a visit to Iraq can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget.

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Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
I just returned from a 2 week tour of the Balkans and thoroughly enjoyed the experience offered by Penguin. Communication leading up to the tour was exceptional. Our itinerary was fast paced and comprehensive and the sights were spectacular. Accommodations were were clean and amenities sufficient for the price paid for the tour. The tour leader, bus driver and the local guides were efficient friendly and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend Penguin travel, especially for off the beaten path destinations.


Tour: Iraqi Kurdistan
My recent trip in Iraq organized by Penguin was excellent from start to end. Both Penguin tour guide (Nessi) and the local guide (Fahad) managed all topics efficiently and facilitated an amazing experience for the group. Now I dream about visiting the Northern part of the country, too.


Tour: Socotra Island Adventures (Yemen)
Thanks for everything in terms of your work and help with this trip to Yemen. It was an amazing experience - one I would recommend to almost anyone. By the numbers of people who travelled to the island, it is only going to get more exposure. The local company was very good - so you can have no problems with them at all. I was really lucky though - there were only 2 of us on the trip - and it was a really nice experience. I will continue to work with Penguin in getting ideas for great places to travel.

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