Iraqi Kurdistan Tours

Join one of our tours in Iraqi Kurdistan!

Did you know that the first group expedition we ever ran was in Iraqi Kurdistan?

Remote Christian monasteries, ancient towns and jaw-dropping landscapes, not to mention Saddam’s Hussein legacy, visible in his palaces and memorial museums that tell us about his atrocities.

This Autonomous Region of Iraq is outstanding, filled with marvelous sites which, combined with our great local team, help us offer one of the best tours up to date.

We have scheduled group tours for Kurdistan all year long, plus we can also organize any sort of private, tailored adventure.

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Need to know for your Iraqi Kurdistan tour

How to get a visa?

Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival (75USD).

Is it safe?

Unlike neighboring Federal Iraq, Kurdistan has always enjoyed a relatively high level of peace.

Which nationalities can join our Iraqi Kurdistan tours?

Pretty much all Western nationalities can join, including Americans.

Our scheduled group tours for Iraqi Kurdistan

Typically, we offer 8-day tours for Kurdistan, which start and finish in Erbil.

Our Federal Iraq tours also finish in Erbil, the reason why we are listing them below as well.

Upcoming Iraqi Kurdistan Tours

Here are all our scheduled tours for Kurdistan:

All our Iraqi Kurdistan Group Tours include

Airport transfer to Erbil International Airport


Private transportation and driver around Kurdistan

Breakfast and lunch

English-speaking knowledgeable local guide

Entrance fees to all sites listed in the itinerary

Private, tailored trips for Iraqi Kurdistan

Do you want to travel solo, or with a group of friends?

From Erbil city tours to 3-day tours that include major highlights and even 20-day tours across the entire country, we are able to design any sort of adventure based on your needs, 365 days a year.

If you can’t afford a private, solo trip, we can also help you find other partners to travel with.

Tell us your dates

When do you want to travel to Iraqi Kurdistan

Which places do you want to visit

We will design the perfect itinerary based on your needs

Your nationality

To see if you are eligible for the visa on arrival

Sample itinerary for our Iraqi Kurdistan tours

Here’s the standard 8-day tour we offer on most of our expeditions.

Day 1 – Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan

  • Our tour guide will meet you at the arrival terminal of Erbil International Airport. For that, you should share your flight itinerary with us in advance.
  • Before starting the tour, our local guide will give us an introductory explanation about this Middle Eastern region.
  • Erbil is a 7,000-year-old city, one of the oldest in the world, filled with historical sites and inhabited by some of the most hospitable people in the Middle East, the Kurds.
  • For sightseeing, this is my favorite capital in the Middle East.
  • During our visit, we will visit the Old Citadel, the bazaar, Jalil Khayat mosque and, in the evening, we can all go for drinks to the Christian district of Ankawa.
  • Lunch, dinner and overnight in Erbil.

Day 2 – Mar Mattai, Lalish, and Duhok

  • Early in the morning, we will head for the historical Christian monastery of Mar Mattai, located only 20km from Mosul, and very close to the former front line against ISIS.
  • Then, we will go to Lalish, the holiest place for Yazidis, a religious group who mainly live across the Middle East, the Caucasus, Turkey, and Russia but Iraq has the largest population.
  • We will visit their temple and meet the Yazidi community.
  • We will finish our day in Dohuk, one of Kurdistan’s main cities.
  • Dinner and overnight in Dohuk.

Day 3 – Saddam Hussein’s Palace and Amedi

  • After visiting Dohuk, we will drive to Amedi, my favorite town in Iraqi Kurdistan, built on the top of a flat mountain, with incredible views of the valley.
  • It’s a 5,000-old historical village and believed to be the home of the Three Wise Man, who made a pilgrimage to Bethlehem to see Jesus Christ after his birth.
  • On the way, we will stop at one of the several abandoned palaces that Saddam Hussein had across Iraq.
  • After lunch, we will visit one of the most beautiful natural places in the region, Gali Sherana, a set of natural pools where we can certainly have a swim, depending on the weather.
  • In the evening, we will go back to Erbil and stay there overnight.

Day 4 – Sulaymaniyah

  • In the morning, we will drive towards Sulaymaniyah, the most Westernized and modern city in all of Kurdistan, where we will visit the Red Security Museum, aka Saddam Hussein’s House of Horrors, located in what used to be the headquarters of Saddam’s regime.
  • After lunch, we will visit the different bazaars and mosques of Sulaimaniyah.
  • We will finish our day over a few beers at the top of Mount Goyzha, from where you have magnificent views of the entire city.

Day 5 – Halabja and Iranian border

  • We will wake up early in the morning to drive towards Halabja, a small town in which Saddam Hussein organized a massive attack with the use of chemical weapons, which killed thousands of people in a matter of seconds.
  • We will visit a sobering memorial and museum.
  • After Halabja, we will visit Byara, a traditional Kurdish-stepped village located right at the border with Iran.
  • Dinner and overnight in Erbil.

Day 6 – Akre for Nowruz

  • Surrounded by beautiful nature and composed of a good-looking old city and houses, Aqrah (or Akre) is the most photogenic town in Iraqi Kurdistan.
  • We will spend the morning exploring its windy alleys and then, we will have the rare chance to experience the celebration of Nowruz, where every year, hundreds of thousands of people gather over bonfires and fireworks.
  • We will also witness the hundreds of Kurds, wearing traditional clothes and climbing down the mountain with torches, a visual spectacle.
  • At night, we will head back to Erbil.

Day 7 – Rawanduz and Hamilton Road

  • On this day, we will head for Rawanduz: jaw-dropping canyons, pretty meadows, deep gorges and traditional Kurdish villages.
  • Rawanduz is a small town surrounded by the finest and most beautiful landscapes in the region and we will spend the whole afternoon exploring its natural wonders.
  • We will also drive through the Hamilton Road, an internationally famous road built in the 30s.
  • If we have the time, we will also spend some time with Kurdish Nomads.
  • Dinner and overnight in Erbil.

Day 8 – Back home and transfer

  • After enjoying breakfast altogether, we will take care of your transfer to Erbil International Airport.
  • If your flight is later in the afternoon or evening, no problem, we can spend the day together hanging out in Erbil Old Town.

Join a tour in Iraqi Kurdistan: FAQ

How to get a visa?

Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival, for which you pay 75USD.

Which nationalities can join this tour?

Citizens of the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, New Zealand, Qatar, South Korea, Turkey, UK

How to get there

Erbil has an international airport with loads of connections. If you are coming from anywhere in Europe, the best is to come via Istanbul (either Pegasus or Turkish Airlines), and those coming from the American continent, also have the option of coming via Doha or Dubai.

Is it safe?

It’s important to separate Iraqi Kurdistan from the rest of Iraq.

While Federal Iraq has always been a stable region, Kurdistan has always been particularly safe.

Do you recommend a specific travel insurance?

Either you are joining one of our trips, or you are traveling by yourself, you might want to look for proper travel insurance. Against the Compass has been a partner with IATI for several years already, recommending it to all readers, as well as covering all Joan Torres’ personal trips.

We like it because It covers all the countries where the FCDO advises against all travel, it offers budget plans and covers all sorts of adventure activities.

Against the Compass readers can benefit from a 5% discount.

Get a quote here to claim your discount

Gallery of photos