Taking on an Iraq expedition might not be the first thing that comes to mind when planning a vacation, but if you’re a traveler with a taste for the extraordinary, you’ll find that Iraqi Kurdistan has plenty to offer. Today, we’re going to take you on a thrilling 5-day tour to Baghdad, from Amedi to Barzan, offering you a peek into the fascinating landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality of this lesser-known region. So, fasten your seatbelts and join us on this unforgettable journey through the heart of Iraqi Kurdistan.
DAY 1: AMEDI – THE HIDDEN GEM
Our adventure begins in Amedi, a town straddled by a rocky hilltop. It’s known as “The Naples of Kurdistan” because of its stunning scenic views. As you drive through the winding roads, you’ll witness terraced houses, ancient citadels, and the vibrant Kurdish culture that flourishes here.
Our recommendation for lunch is the local favorite, “Dolma.” These delicious stuffed vegetables are a must-try! After refueling, explore Amedi’s historical sites, including the ancient Amedi Citadel, which boasts a rich history dating back to the 4th millennium BC.
As the day ends, prepare for a cozy evening in one of the town’s charming guesthouses. Here, you’ll have the chance to engage with locals and learn more about their unique traditions and stories.
DAY 2: AMEDI TO SULAYMANIYAH
After a hearty Kurdish breakfast, it’s time to hit the road again. Today, we’re heading to Sulaymaniyah, the cultural and economic hub of Iraqi Kurdistan. The journey promises breathtaking views of the Qaiwan Mountain range, with its lush valleys and crystal-clear rivers.
Upon arrival, visit the Slemani Museum, which houses an impressive collection of Kurdish relics and history. For lunch, savor the local specialty, “Chwarshaka,” a savory Kurdish pastry. Afterward, take a stroll through Sulaymaniyah’s bustling bazaars, where you can shop for unique souvenirs and interact with friendly locals.
DAY 3: SULAYMANIYAH TO ERBIL
Our next destination is Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan. En route, don’t forget to stop at Lake Dukan, a stunning turquoise reservoir nestled between panoramic mountains. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely picnic or a boat ride.
Erbil, also known as Hawler in Kurdish, offers a mix of modernity and tradition. Visit the Erbil Citadel and take a walk through the lively Qaysari Bazaar. Try the local dish “Masgouf,” a grilled fish exquisiteness that will tantalize your taste buds.
DAY 4: ERBIL TO RAWANDUZ
On the fourth day of our Iraq expedition, we venture to Rawanduz, a town surrounded by stunning landscapes. The drive takes you through the rugged landscape of the Barzan region, known for its historic opposition against dictatorship.
Make a pit stop at the Red Rock, a geological wonder that has captivated travelers for centuries. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a short hike to get closer to this natural marvel.
Rawanduz itself is a peaceful town with a serene atmosphere. Enjoy a peaceful evening by the river and savor Kurdish barbecue in one of the local restaurants.
DAY 5: RAWANDUZ TO BARZAN
Our final leg of the journey takes us to Barzan, a place steeped in history and natural beauty. The Barzan region is known for its scenic landscapes, with rolling hills and lush valleys.
Explore the Barzan Castle, a symbol of Kurdish resistance, and learn about the legendary Barzani family. Don’t miss the chance to interact with the friendly locals, who are more than willing to share their stories.
As our 5-day tour to Baghdad, from Amedi to Barzan comes to an end, you’ll leave Iraqi Kurdistan with a heart full of unforgettable memories. This Iraq expedition has taken you through breathtaking landscapes, introduced you to the rich Kurdish culture, and allowed you to savor the delicious local cuisine. While it may not be your typical vacation spot, Iraqi Kurdistan’s charm, history, and warmth of its people make it a destination worth exploring. So, when you plan your next adventure, consider embarking on a journey through the heart of Iraqi Kurdistan – you won’t be disappointed!