Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization

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

After years of political turmoil and military crisis, Iraq is slowly rising from the ashes. The country is now open to travelers and is ready to show its historical and cultural heritage to the world. And being home to some of the world’s earliest empires - the Sumerians, the Babylonians, the Assyrians - it sure has a lot to show. Traces of those ancient civilisations can be found all over the country in places like the city of Babylon - where the iconic “hanging gardens of Babylon” once stood, the ancient city of Ur – known as the birthplace of prophet Abraham and Uruk - the place where writing is thought to have originated and developed. Some of the holiest places in Islam can also be found here - like the Imam Husayn Mosque in Karbala and the city of Najaf.

Baghdad - capital and largest city of Iraq;
♦ The ruins of the ancient city of Babylon;
Karbala - one of the holiest cities for Shia Muslims;
♦ The ancient Sumerian city of Ur, also believed to be the birthplace of Abraham.

View Route Map

Itinerary:

Day 1. Arrival in Baghdad. Baghdad City Tour
After arrival at the hotel ans short break, we will start our tour around Baghdad. We will visit the Archaeological Museum of Iraq which preserves important objects representing the last 7000 years of the region's history. We will then have a walk along the famous Al-Mutanabi Street - the site of the first book traders' market in the metropolis that was once Baghdad and the copper market Souk al-Safareen. We will pass by Mustansiriya Madrasah (schoold) - in the 13th century it was the most prominent centre for Islamic studies in the region and has since become the most iconic architectural masterpiece of Baghdad. -/-/-

Day 2. Baghdad - Samarra - Baghdad
Today we will visit Samarra Archeological City, which used to be the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate during Medieval times. The Great Mosque of Samarra, which dates back to the 9th century, was once the biggest ones in the world. Famous for its unique spiraling minaret, the mosque is now one of the symbols of Iraq. Although it's quite close to Baghdad, there are a few checkpoints along the way so it might take us up to 2-3 hours to get there. Upon arrival back in Baghdad, we will have some free time in the city. B/-/-

Day 3.Baghdad - Babylon - Karbala
Today we will visit the legendary city of Babylon. Although very little is left of its actual ruins, it is still impresive to walk the same streets that the rulers of one of the most prominent ancient empires once did and where Alexander the Great died. The city prospered under the reign of Nebuchadrezzar II - one of the most powerful monarchs of the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In the 20th century, Saddam Hussein, who saw himself as a modern reincarnation of Nebuchadnezzar, sponsored a reconstruction of the city. The construction was rather modern and didn't take into consideration the actual ruins and was thus derided by the archelogical world. We will get the chance to walk through a reconstruction of the glorious Ishtar Gate - constructed of vibrant blue tiles and adorned with depictions of fantastic animals. We will then proceed to the Karbala - a holy city for the Shia Muslims. It's the place of one of the largest religious gatherings in the world. Every year hundreds of thousand of Shia Muslims come here to mark the holy day of Ashura and commemorate the martyrdom in battle of the Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, in 680AD. Overnight in a hotel in Karbala. B/-/-

Day 4. Karbala - Najaf - Karbala
Today we continue our tour with a visit to another holy Islamic city - Najaf. Here we will visit the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali - prophet Mohammad’s cousin and son-in-law and the fourth caliph (656-661). Some Shia Muslims believe that here, next to the tomb of Imam Ali are burried the remains of Adam and Noah. Thousands of pilgrims come here every year to pray by the gold-doomed shrine and spend time with their families. On the way there we will stop for a visit to another important pilgrimage site - the tomb of the old testament prophet Ezekiel in the city of Al Kilf. What makes this place special is its shared history and importance for both Muslim and Jewish devotees. The site is esentially an encient Jewish shrine enclosed in an Islamic mosque. Both Hebrew and Arabic inscriptions are visiblle on the walls of the tomb and serve as a reminder of Jewish, Chstistian and Muslim's shared Abrahamic roots. In the evening we will get back to our hotel in Kerbala for overnight. B/-/-

Day 5. Kerbala - Uruk - Nasiriya
We will are heading to Uruk - the site of one of the largest settlements in Mesopotamia existing in around 3200 BC. It was around that time that the cuneiform writing was developed. It is logo-syllabic script inscribed in clay tablets and is considered one of the first forms of writing in the world and the most significant cultural contributions of the Sumerians.We will then proceed to Nasiriya where we will stroll around the bustling markets before settling in our hotel for overnight. B/-/

Day 6. Nasiriya - Ur
Today we will visit the ancient city of Ur - a Sumerian city-state built in 3800 B.C. It is also believed to be the biblical "Ur of the Chaldees" - the birthplace of Abraham.We will tour the famous Ziggurat of Ur - a stone temple complex built in honour of the moon God Nanna, the patron deity of the city. In the afternoon we will go back to Nasiriya and explore its busy markets. Overnigh in the hotel. B/-/- 

Day 7. Nasiriya - Marshes – Basra
Today we will spend our day canoeing along the Marshes - one of the largest wetland ecosystems in the Middle East and explore their incredible wildlife. We will get to learn more about the Ma'dan people, also known as Marsh Arabs - who have lived on those wetlands for thousands of years and have managed to sustain their traditional lifestyle to present days. Their lifestyle and culture was centered on their natural surrounding: a great example of that are the traditional reed houses, built from the reed growing in the wetlands.Here we will discover yet another biblical reference -as many people believe that the Marshes were the inspiration for the Bible's Garden of Eden. In the evening we continue to Basra where we will spend the night in a hotel. B/-/

Day 8. Basra
Today we will explore Basra - the second largest city in Iraq. We will walk around the old town and get to see the beautiful old houses built in the 16th and the17th century. Although most of them are unfortunately uninhabited now and slowly crumbling away, they are still telling the story of the town's glorious past. We will then finish our tour properly with a sunset boat ride down the magnificent Shatt al-Arab river. Afterwards, we will return to Basra for our last overnight in Iraq. B/-/-

Day 9. Departure
Breakfast at the hotel and group transfer to the airport for departure. B/-/-

Click here for practical pre-departure information.

Airport arrival/ departure transfers

Arrival transfer Baghdad Airport - Baghdad Hotel:

29 September 2024  @05:00am.
09 February 2025     @05:00am.
21 September 2025  @05:00am.

Departure transfer Basra Hotel - Basra Airport:

07 October 2024      @05:00am.
17 February 2025    @05:00am.
29 September 2025 @05:00am.

Note: Please note the time for the group airport transfers and make sure you book your flight accordingly.
If your flight arrives at different time, you can contact us for instructions how to get to the hotel/aiport on your own or refer to the prcatical information above.
Due to the specific security requirements at the Iraqi airports, we can not help with pre-paid additional transfers, but our local partners can help you with arranging a taxi on the spot.


Price Includes:
аccommodation in 3-4**** hotels in private en-suite rooms
meals according to the itinerary (B-breakfast,L-lunch,D-dinner)
group airport transfers per the schedule mentioned in the itinerary
all ground transportation
local English-speaking guides
tour Leader from Penguin Travel (at min. 8 participants)

Not Included:
international flights
entrance fees (please allow 150-170 USD)
meals not mentioned in the program
personal expenses
tips for guides and drivers (we recommend 5 USD per person per day for the guide and 3 USD per person per day for the driver)


Gallery


Iraq - A Journey to the Cradle of Civilization (Rated 4.94 / 5 Based on 101 Reviews.)
Price
1980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
260 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
This tour can also be organised as a private tour on a date of your choice. Please contact us for a quote and more details.
Price
1980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
260 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
This tour can also be organised as a private tour on a date of your choice. Please contact us for a quote and more details.
Price
1980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
260 EUR
Status
Open for booking
This tour can also be organised as a private tour on a date of your choice. Please contact us for a quote and more details.

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-15
Reservation System Code
IQRUND
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