Welcome to the cradle of civilization: Iraq

Join us on our annual autumn trip to Iraq. During this period the temperature is at its most pleasant across the country. On our tour we will visit all the famous places of Iraq, from the past to the present. The programme includes a visit to Samarra, Babylon, Baghdad, Basra and the Ctesiphone. We will also visit the holy cities of Karbala and Najaf. During the trip we have an amazing guide with us who will tell you a lot about the cradle of our civilisation: Iraq.

General info

Start dateFriday 15 October 2021
End dateThursday 21 October 2021
Days7 days / 6 nights
Price€ 2,895
€ 3,990 (Kurdistan Tour combo)
IncludingAccommodation (shared)
Transportation on the ground
Western & local guide
Entry fees
ExcludingInternational flights
Single room (€50 per night)
Lunch & Dinner
Tips for the guide
Personal expenses

This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website.


Friday 15 October – Istanbul – Najaf

  • We will meet at Istanbul Airport for the flight to Najaf.
  • Arrival in Najaf and meet with the guide.
  • Walk through Najaf, including:
  • House of Imam Ali. Imam Ali was the son-in-law and nephew of the prophet Mohammed. This is where he was murdered.
  • Kufa Mosque, one of the oldest mosques in the world.
  • Wadi-e-salam Cemetery, probably the largest Islamic cemetery in the world.
  • Visit to the evening ceremony at the Imam Ali Shrine. Imam Ali is buried here.
  • Overnight stay in Najaf.

Saturday 16 October – Babylon – Karbala – Najaf

  • Drive to Babylon.
  • Highlight: Guided tour of the ruins of Babylon, including the Hanging Gardens and the Tower of Babel.
  • Palace of Saddam Hussein, on top of a hill in the centre in Babylon.
  • Drive to Karbala.
  • Al Abbas Mosque, the place where Abbas ibn Ali is buried.
  • Imam Hussein Shrine, the place where Imam Hussein is buried.
  • Drive to Najaf.
  • Overnight stay in Najaf.

Sunday 17 October – Najaf – Marshes – Basra

  • Highlight: Visit to the ziggurat of Ur. An imposing structure in the middle of the desert.
  • Drive to the Marshes (wetlands).
  • Boat trip through the wetlands, with the famous ‘floating villages’.
  • See the tree of Adam & Eve (Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil), according to legend this should be the famous tree.
  • Drive to Basra.
  • Overnight stay in Basra.

Monday 18 October – Basra – Baghdad

  • Highlight: Ashar & Shanashil Al Basra (Old Basra).
  • Boat trip on the Shatt Al Arab River, where we see several shipwrecks.
  • Former Palace of Saddam Hussein.
  • Basra Sports City Stadium, the largest sports stadium in Iraq.
  • Long drive to Baghdad.
  • Overnight stay in Baghdad.

Tuesday 19 October – Baghdad – Ctesiphone

  • National Museum.
  • Al-Mustansariya School, this used to be the most important university in the Islamic world.
  • Copper market.
  • Drive to Ctesiphone.
  • Take a look at the old, gigantic brick arch and climb up yourself.
  • Drive to Baghdad.
  • Overnight stay in Baghdad.

Wednesday 20 October – Samarra – Abu Ghraib – Baghdad

  • Getting up early for the drive to Samarra, on the way we drive through villages that have been destroyed in the fight against IS.
  • Highlight: See the Samarra Minaret (also known as the Great Mosque of Samarra). If you like you can walk to the top.
  • Drive back via Abu Ghraib (not the prison).
  • Agargouf Ziggurat, a popular place for relaxation during the Saddam Hussein period.
  • Drive along Firdos Square (where the statue of Saddam Hussein stood).
  • Overnight stay in Baghdad.

Thursday 21 October – Baghdad

  • Highlight: Al Shaheed Monument, an imposing structure commemorating the first Gulf War.
  • Liberation Square, the central square of the city.
  • Monument of the Flying Carpet.
  • Monument of Alibaba and the 40 Thieves.
  • Monument of the Magic Lamp.
  • Visit to a Sufi Shrine.
  • Airport drop-off.
  • End of tour.
  • OR: join the Grand Kurdistan Autumn Tour.

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