Wander Across Iraq (Mar 2023)

Mar. 10 — Mar. 22, 2023
13 days
5/12 spots booked
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE: To reserve your spot on a tour, a $500 deposit will be required. However, you can book with complete peace of mind as this deposit will be 100% refundable for 30 days (or until 90 days before the tour starts, whichever comes first).
Forgotten as a travel destination, the situation has now changed...and for those who prefer the road less taken, it's time to visit Iraq!
Get to know the wonderfully welcoming Iraqi people through endless local interactions
Fully experience Baghdad - old city, markets, museums, cultural hangouts, excellent food, nightlife and more!
Spend time learning about local life from the families who live in the unique Iraqi Marshes
Petra
Walk through ancient Babylon and explore one of Saddam Hussein's abandoned palaces
Visit the incredible Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf, with all of its domes, gold, mosaics and colors
Spend time at the medieval Islamic capital of Samarra with its spectacular architectural design
Take a complete tour of the religiously diverse city of Mosul
Finish the trip in vibrant Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

For the first time, Wandering Earl Tours is going to Iraq!

Join us on a 13 day experience to one of the most ancient regions of the world!

This trip will provide you with a deep dive straight into the culture, people, food and history of this absolutely intriguing and complex country. You’ll spend time in vibrant Baghdad, travel south to the gorgeous holy Imam Ali shrine in Najaf and connect with the 5000 year old civilization of the Marsh Arabs, living secluded among the Mesopotamia Marshes. You’ll visit Iraq’s most eye-opening historical sites – from Samarra to Hatra to Babylon and more – while also touring the culturally-proud cities of Mosul and Erbil.

You’ll also spend significant time meeting such kind Iraqi people, learning directly from those we come into contact with. You’ll interact with new people every single day, including our own personal local friends, and you will be treated to a genuine warmth and kindness all over the country. Meeting the people of Iraq will surely be the major highlight of this trip, and something you will never forget.

Of course, we will make sure you try excellent local food everywhere we go, explore local markets, experience Baghdad’s hip nightlife, wander through massive palaces, get out into beautiful nature and SO MUCH MORE. And you’ll do it all with a group of fellow travelers who are beyond excited to participate in such a unique trip!

While many of us think that Iraq could not possibly be a travel destination, this is no longer the case. With our local team, excellent guides and an experienced tour leader, this trip will undoubtedly become one of the most memorable and life-changing trips you will ever take!

Reserve now!
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  • 1
    Day 1Baghdad (arrival day)
    Baghdad (arrival day)
    Arrival day
    Included: Dinner
    - You'll be met at the airport by a representative who will take you through the visa on arrival process - Transfer to our hotel in the city center - Group orientation - Welcome dinner at a rooftop restaurant overlooking Baghdad
  • 2
    Day 2Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Full Baghdad city tour, Old Baghdad, Tigris River, Green Zone
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Full walking tour of Old Baghdad - Boat trip on the Tigris River - Baghdad cultural center - Van tour to other neighborhoods, including the Green Zone - Group dinner
  • 3
    Day 3Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Local breakfast, Modern Baghdad, evening out with friends
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    - Traditional Iraqi breakfast - Free time to visit the Iraq Museum - Modern Baghdad tour - Evening out with local friends (dinner and local shisha cafe)
  • 4
    Day 4Baghdad » Babylon » Najaf
    Baghdad » Babylon » Najaf
    Ancient Babylon, abandoned Saddam Hussein palace, Imam Ali Shrine, Najaf
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Morning departure from Baghdad - Full walking tour of the ancient city of Babylon - Special access to one of Saddam Hussein's abandoned palaces - Drive to Najaf - World's largest cemetery - Imam Ali Shrine experience in the evening - Group dinner
  • 5
    Day 5Najaf » Nasiriyah and Marshes
    Najaf » Nasiriyah and Marshes
    Nasiriyah, Al Hammar and Central Marshes, visit with marshland locals
    Included: Breakfast, Dinner
    - Morning drive to Nasiriyah - Visit to Al Hammar West and the Central Marshes - Meet our local friends in their reed home - Traditional coffee stop in a local cafe - Overnight in Nasiriyah
  • 6
    Day 6Nasiriyah and Marshes
    Nasiriyah and Marshes
    Sunrise in nature, boat trip, local breakfast and lunch, local activities
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Sunrise over the marshes - Traditional regional breakfast with a local family - Boat tour through the marshes - Local fish lunch - Meet marshland locals to learn about their culture and way of life - Return to Nasiriyah - Group dinner
  • 7
    Day 7Nasiriyah » Dur Kurigalzu » Baghdad
    Nasiriyah » Dur Kurigalzu » Baghdad
    Dur Kurigalzu city, ancient temple tower, free evening
    Included: Breakfast
    - Morning departure from Nasiriyah - Visit to the abandoned city of Dur Kurigalzu and the 3400 year old temple tower - Overnight in Baghdad - Free evening
  • 8
    Day 8Baghdad » Samarra » Hatra » Mosul
    Baghdad » Samarra » Hatra » Mosul
    Spiral minaret of Samarra, fortified city of Hatra, arrival in Mosul
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Morning departure from Baghdad - Visit to Samarra and its ancient spiral minaret - Visit to the fortified caravan city of Hatra - Arrival in Mosul - Group dinner
  • 9
    Day 9Mosul
    Mosul
    Full walking tour of Old Mosul, meeting local residents
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Full walking tour of Old Mosul - Visits to Al-Nouri Mosque and Al Tahira Church - Old Bazaar and spice market - Ancient Assyrian gates - Interaction with locals to hear their stories from ISIS times
  • 10
    Day 10Mosul
    Mosul
    Sunrise at Pashtabia Castle, food tasting, free afternoon
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch
    - Sunrise from Pashtabia Castle - Local food tasting for lunch - Free afternoon and evening
  • 11
    Day 11Mosul » Erbil
    Mosul » Erbil
    Christian town of Qaraqosh, arrival in Erbil, evening wander through the city
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Morning departure from Mosul - Walking tour and lunch in the Christian town of Qaraqosh - Arrival in Erbil - Evening celebration of Nowruz (celebration of springtime) - Group dinner
  • 12
    Day 12Erbil
    Erbil
    Morning walking tour of Erbil, ancient citadel, Grand Mosque, lunch with local friends, farewell dinner
    Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    - Morning city tour of Erbil - Visit the impressive ancient citadel (one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world) - Old Erbil markets - Grand Mosque - Shar Park - Local lunch with friends - Free afternoon - Farewell group dinner
  • 13
    Day 13Erbil (departure day)
    Erbil (departure day)
    Departure day
    Included: Breakfast
    - Transfer to the airport depending on your flight time

Tour Essentials

Medium Physical Level
While the tour itself is not very strenuous, please note that it can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking, being in the sun in potentially hot temperatures, long journeys, early morning wake-ups and other similar scenarios.
Accommodation
We’ll stay in a combination of 3/4* hotels on this trip. Accommodation is mid-range although please keep in mind that given the lack of tourism infrastructure, rooms may be more basic than you are used to. All rooms have a private bathroom. There are 6 single rooms available. Other rooms will be shared. Solo travelers will be paired together, two travelers per room in two single beds.
Transport
Ride in comfort in our deluxe 35 passenger minibus throughout the tour. The use of such a minibus ensures flexibility, plenty of space for each guest and access to areas that larger vehicles simply can't go. The vehicle also has bathrooms, charging outlets and refrigerators.
Meals
Breakfast every day, 8 lunches and 10 dinners are included. With included meals, some will be served family style and other times you will be able to order anything you wish from the menu. All dietary restrictions can be accommodated although it might result in a limited menu.
Sustainability
As with all of our trips, we aim to offer as sustainable an experience as we can. Trash is recycled where possible and we avoid mass tourism activities that cause harm to the environment and/or do not benefit local communities.
Small Groups
This tour requires a minimum of 8 participants and has a maximum of 12 participants in order to ensure the best small group tour experience. With such a small group, you'll be able to enjoy unique, rewarding activities that would not be accessible with more people. That's the kind of trip we love to offer!
Safety
While many governments have travel warnings in place for Iraq, the reality is quite different. There is certainly always a risk when embarking on travel to certain destinations, but travelers are now visiting Iraq in increasing numbers. This is due to the improved stability and safety situation. We take safety extremely seriously and do not operate trips if there is any reason to believe our guests could be in danger.

What's included

Included
  • Wandering Earl Tours Expert Tour Leader
  • Small group (maximum 12 participants)
  • Accommodation (12 nights – 3/4* hotels)
  • Transportation within Iraq (private minibus)
  • Local English-speaking guides in each destination
  • All included activities and entrance fees
  • Breakfast every day, 8 lunches and 10 dinners
  • Bottled water throughout the trip
  • Gratuities at hotels/included meals
  • All airport transfers
  • Visa assistance at the airport
Not Included
  • Flights to/from Iraq (Baghdad/Erbil)
  • Passport/visa fees (visa on arrival for most nationalities is $77 USD)
  • Meals and activities not mentioned
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Other gratuities