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 12 May 2023
End dateThursday 18 May 2023
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 (€ 300)
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 12 May – Baghdad

  • Arrive at your own convenience at the hotel in Baghdad (we will provide instructions).
  • Meet up with our local guide who will give an introduction on travelling in Iraq.
  • If time permits we will visit a couple of famous sights in Baghdad.
  • Al-Mutanabbi street, this is the famous book street, here used to gather all the intellectuals.
  • When possible we’ll take a quick tour around at Tahir Square, Firdos Square (where Saddam’s statue was toppled in 2003), Liberation Square and Former Camp Al-Adala (where Saddam was hanged) and try to catch a glimpse of the crossed swords, which are located in the off limits green zone.
  • Overnight stay in Baghdad.

Saturday 13 MayBaghdad – 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.

Sunday 14 May – Baghad – Samarra – Agargouf Ziggurat – Karbala

  • 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.
  • Continue on south to Iraq’s holiest city of Karbala.
  • Dinner and overnight in Karbala.

Monday 15 May – Karbala – Babylon – Najaf

  • Al Abbas Mosque, the place where Abbas ibn Ali is buried.
  • Imam Hussein Shrine, the place where Imam Hussein is buried.
  • 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.
  • We continue to Najaf.
  • Visit to the evening ceremony at the Imam Ali Shrine. Imam Ali is buried here.
  • Dinner and Overnight in Najaf.

Tuesday 16 May Najaf – Marshes – Basra

  • 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.
  • 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’.
  • Drive to Basra.
  • Overnight stay in Basra.

Wednesday 17 May – 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.
  • Long drive back to Baghdad, just outside of Basra we’ll visit the vast Basra British War Memorial.
  • Overnight stay in Baghdad.

Thursday 18 May – Baghdad

  • Depending on departure times we will visit the following sights in Baghad
  • Highlight: Al Shaheed Monument, an imposing structure commemorating the first Gulf War.
  • Visit to the Unknown Soldier Monument in Badgdad, an impressive spot to visit. (if accessible)
  • Airport drop-off.
  • End of tour.
  • OR: join the Kurdistan Summer Tour.