KD1 Kurdistan

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TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Erbil - ancient and modern regional capital Rugged scenery, mountain villages, lively bazaars Immersion in Kurdish culture, history, way of life Cosmopolitan Sulymaniya Thrill of travelling to an emerging un-touristed destination Experience the 'other side' of Iraq - peaceful, stable, and thriving

Trip Information


Inclusions

All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites listed in the tour itinerary. Breakfast and dinner daily. Services of an expert local guide and Adventures Abroad Tour Leader throughout. Airport transfers for land & air customers, including early arrival if you book your extra hotel night with us. All tips and gratuities for local guide, driver/s, hotel staff (including baggage handling), restaurant staff. Holders of USA, Canadian, UK, Australian and New Zealand passports are eligible for a FREE visa on arrival.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuities, international airfare (we can quote and book from any gateway), international air taxes, personal items, alcoholic drinks (available in Kurdistan); most lunches.

Airport transfers for land only participants: Due to the security situation at Erbil Airport, we charge a mandatory $75 per person for a private arrival transfer. It is currently inadvisable to try to "make your own way" from the airport to our tour hotel.

Seasonality and Weather

There are quite distinct seasons in Iraqi Kurdistan, but the two extremes are winter (from Dec to Feb) and summer (from Jun to Aug) where the temperatures drop and rise accordingly. Spring (from Feb to May) and late Sep to Nov are particularly pleasant.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Our private buses are chosen for their combination of reliability, comfort and size. Luggage is stored separately in the bus. Occasionally, we may elect to use 4X4 or other vehicles while on tour, depending on group size and other conditions. Infrastructure, including roads, hotels, communication, electricity supply, etc, is very advanced and reliable.

The tour is not strenuous, but we have some leisurely walking tours of towns and cities, as well as some sites that are large. Unlike other more conservative countries in the region, there is no requirement for a Western woman (particularly a non-Muslim) to wear something she wouldn't normally wear or to cover up. The exposure of limbs and chest is not common amongst local women, however, headscarves are not required. Scarves are sometimes required when visiting any religious sites.

It perhaps should be noted that visitors who enjoy Kurdistan are not necessarily looking for spectacular sites, museums, galleries, and other mainstream tourist infrastructure, nor are they expecting everything to work flawlessly. Tourism in the region is in its infancy, and sometimes facilities are closed unexpectedly, or hotel service is not necessarily what one might expect from advanced Western destinations. The satisfied visitor enjoys the warm welcome from the locals, the history, the scenery, and the thrill of being in a place where you will not likely encounter any other tourists.

IS IT SAFE?
We believe it is, considering the following factors; since the end of the war in the south of Iraq in 2003, not a single coalition soldier or foreigner has been attacked or kidnapped in the areas administered by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). There have been very few major security incidents in the Kurdistan Region due the organization of the security arrangements put in place by the KRG.

We understand that some of the foreign offices of several governments warn against some, essential or all travel to Iraq. We do however note with positive interest, that several countries make a strong distinction between the improved security situation of Iraqi Kurdistan (aka the Kurdistan Region) and that of the rest of Iraq. We would encourage prospective clients to consult the official travel advice of their government foreign office for further information.

Client safety and security is our priority. We are operating escorted tours within Iraqi Kurdistan at this time because we believe it is safe to do so. That said, in light of current government advisories pertaining to travel in Iraq, all participants must sign a waiver indicating that they knowingly choose to travel to a destination that carries such advisories.

Accommodation

All hotels are carefully selected to meet our standards and represent the best available - international standard, 4/3-stars or better, where possible. Breakfast is included at each hotel. Internet access is usually included. Hotels feature heating / air-conditioning, elevators, and other amenities you might expect from a hotel of this standard internationally. We do not provide sample hotel names on our website for security reasons; we can provide this info upon request.

Staff and Support

Full-time expert local guide, Adventures Abroad Tour Leader, driver/s and local agent behind-the-scenes support and assistance.

Group Size

10-21 plus Tour Leader