Rejser til Irak (Kurdistan)

Irak er bestemt ikke det gennemsnitlige rejsemål, og de fleste mennesker har et billede af landet, som er det, vi kan se i nyhederne.

Den nordlige del – Kurdistan, som i alle henseender er helt forskelligt fra det urolige syd, rangerer som et af de mest spændende steder i Mellemøsten.

En rejse til Irak koncentrerer sig om Kurdistan, et ikke anerkendt land, der siges at være et af de ældste på vores planet, og med en historie ligeså bred og varieret som den er lang.

Udforsk byer, der dateres tilbage til begyndelsen af den menneskelige civilisation, og se de gamle klostre og travle basarer. Kurdistan oplever en reel renæssance, men det endnu ikke kommet på omdrejningshøjde med andre og mere kendte rejsemål, så der vil næppe være et bedre tidspunkt end nu til at besøge landet.

Det “andet Irak” – den nordlige del af Kurdistan er en verden af maleriske landsbyer, gamle byer og imødekommende mennesker, gennemsyret af en stærk følelse af historie og enestående kultur, som har trodset alle tænkelige forsøg på at udrydde den.

Grupperejse 1 ► Irak - Kurdistans højdepunkter

Generel information om grupperejser i Irak

Happy Lama Travels eksklusive grupperejser i Irak foregår i små internationale grupper med lokal engelsktalende rejseleder. Derfor er rejsebeskrivelserne på engelsk.

En lokal rejseleder kender sit land bedre end en dansk rejseleder. Det er desuden vores erfaring at en lokal rejseleder giver dig et bedre indblik i, hvordan livet leves i Irak.

Passer rejsedatoerne dig ikke eller vil du selv have maksimal indflydelse på dit rejseprogram – Kontakt os hvis du ønsker et tilbud på en individuel rejse i Irak.

Trip Summary

Iraqi Kurdistan is a fascinating place of sheer beauty, warm and friendly people and a rich and challenging history. Although situated in the northern part of Iraq, it is in many ways a world apart. Largely unknown or traditionally avoided by Western tourists, we believe this region is an absolute gem in the making and that now is the time to visit before the crowds discover this hidden world. This tour starts in the ancient city of Erbil, brimming with history and monuments that stand as testament to the numerous influences on the region. From here we head to Dohuk, with its fascinating bazaar before visiting the small town of Zakho with its stunning bridge, and in Suleimaniyah and Halabja we learn about the brutal legacy of Saddam Hussein’s regime upon the Kurdish homelands. But Kurdistan is not simply about ticking off the sights; tourists are virtually unknown here so it is not uncommon to be asked to join people for tea or food, or to simply talk or pose for a photo. The Kurds are a proud people and eager to show Kurdistan to the world, and your encounters with these resilient people will undoubtedly be your enduring memory of this trip.

Fitness** | Adventure**** | Culture**** | History**** | Wildlife*

Day 1 – Erbil

Arrive and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore. Overnight Darin Plaza Hotel or similar.

Day 2 – Erbil

We begin our adventure by exploring on foot the capital city of Erbil, one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world and in our opinion, becoming one of the new hot spots of the Middle East. We visit the historic Citadel (Qalat Hawler), as well as the Kurdish Textile Museum, and time permitting explore the Qaysari Bazaar, a labyrinth of streets and alleys selling everything from fascinating antiques to sweet delights. Overnight Darin Plaza Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Erbil is known locally as Hewler, meaning ‘seat of the gods’ and lays claim to being one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, dating back to at least the 23rd century BC. Throughout history it has been ruled by a succession of invaders, including Turcomans, the Persian Safavids, Ottomans and the British. More recently it became the seat of the Kurdish parliament. Erbil is most famous for its ancient citadel, a vast fortress situated on top of a steep earthen mound that has been accorded World Heritage Status by UNESCO. The city also contains some impressive old houses dating from the 19th century.

Day 3 – Gaugamela - Lalish - Dohuk

After breakfast, we depart for the third century St Matthew’s Monastery and take a tour guided by the local monks, then head to Gaugamela, the site of the famous battle between King Darius and Alexander the Great. Continuing we drive to Lalish, home to the followers of the Yazidi faith, before continuing to Dohuk where we visit a cave used for worship by Zoroastrians. Overnight Dohuk Motel or similar. (BLD)

When we visit the village of Lalish, outer footwear must be removed. It is advisable to take a pair of very thick black socks especially for this purpose. (Socks are allowed).

Close to the border with Turkey, Dohuk is a picturesque town situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. Traditionally the region has been associated with agriculture and is locally famous for its grapes – other crops grown here include rice, tobacco, wheat and all manner of fruit and vegetables. Once known for its colourful houses, Dohuk grew in importance during the period of sanctions imposed on Iraq – its proximity to the border meant that it was a hub for smuggling goods.

Day 4 – Dohuk - Zakho

Visit the churches and monasteries of Al Qush, including the third century Hurmiz monastery, once home to around six hundred monks. Then head to the ancient Jewish town of Zakho to see the Delal Bridge, a stunning stone arch bridge over the Khabur river and take a walk through the town. Later in the afternoon, we return to Dohuk and time permitting can explore the bazaar. Overnight Dohuk Motel or similar (BLD)

Day 5 – Amadiya - Barzan - Rawanduz

Head to the nearby mountain town of Amadiya where we visit the 400 year old mosque and see the minaret, with bullet holes from the Kurdish Civil War still visible. We continue south east to the town of Barzan, the ancestral home of the Barzani family who are central to Kurdish politics in this part of the region and then reach Rawanduz. Overnight Pank Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Please note that the Pank accommodation is very basic as is the food supplied in the restaurant.

Amadiya (dating from the Assyrian era) is located on a high promontory above a breathtaking landscape and fed by a geothermal spring originating far below the mountain. 90km northeast of Dohuk, about 1400m above sea level and surrounded by heights it was once an almost impenetrable fortress. The city Gate (Bab Zebar) is located in the eastern side of the City of Amadiya. Its width was 4 metres, built by Imaduddin Al- Zanki in 5-600 AD. A minaret is located in the middle of Amadiya. It is 30 metres high. The Islamic ornamentation (arabesque) is clearly seen on the minaret. It is said that it was built in the time of Sultan Hussein Wali Amadiya as part of an already existing ancient city.

Day 6 – Dukan - Suleimaniyah

Leaving Rawanduz we pass through the mountains and down through Dukan, arriving into Suleimaniyah, the second largest city in Iraqi Kurdistan, and possibly the most relaxed and cosmopolitan. We witness first hand the terrible legacy of Saddam Hussein as we visit the Amna Suraka (Red Security) buildings including the many prison cells and torture chambers where thousands of people, mostly Kurds were imprisoned, tortured or killed. Overnight Hotel Dawa or similar. (BLD)

Suleimaniyah takes it names from Suleiman Baba, the ruler of the emirate of Baban who founded the city in the late 18th century. The city plays an important role today in the promotion of Kurdish culture, and since the war has grown in importance, with numerous factories established here – tourism is also an important part of its economy with people from Iran travelling here. It is home to a couple of fascinating museums – the Amna Suraka which provides an important insight into the horrific treatment of the Kurds under Saddam Hussein, and the Slemani Musuem which houses Kurdish and Persian artefacts.

Day 7 – Halabja

We travel to the nearby village of Halabja, a place of almost unspeakable horror at the hands of Saddam Hussein’s military forces, and visit the Monument of Halabja Martyrs and the Halabja Cemetery before returning to Suleimaniyah. The afternoon is free to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Dawa or similar. (BLD)

Day 8 – Suleimaniyah - Erbil

Visit Suleimaniyah’s museum to see Kurdistan’s largest display of antiquities, dating back thousands of years. Afterwards drive back to Erbil via the ancient Qizqapan cave and the old Jewish city of Koisinjak. After lunch in Suleimaniyah, transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (BL)

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