Iraq - Cradle of Civilisation - 16-24 November 2019

Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation

Date: 16th – 24th November 2019

Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation

A 9-day trip into the heartland of Iraq. Travelling the region bounded by the Euphretes and Tigris rivers, from the capital Baghdad to Basra on the Gulf coast. Tracing back through history, we will travel to the home of some of the first civilisations, visiting the ancient Sumerian sites of Uruk, ancient Bablyon and the riches held at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad. Starting in Baghdad we will see the legacy of Iraq’s place as the centre of Islamic architecture through visits to Samarra a UNESCO world heritage site with an iconic spiral minaret and the arch of Ctesiphone. We will explore modern Iraq by mingling with the pilgrims in Karbala and Najaf, the two holy places of Shia Islam as well as visiting some of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. Finally, we will explore Iraq’s marshlands on a boat trip to the point where the two great rivers of antiquity join to create the Shat Al Arab waterway.


  • Climb the Minaret at Samarra
  • Visit the Baghdad museum
  • Explore Babylon
  • See the arch of Ctesaphon
  • Join pilgrims at the two Holy places of Shia Islam; Najaf and Karbala

Start Point: Baghdad, Iraq
End Point: Basra, Iraq
Maximum number of people: 10

Day 1 Baghdad
Saturday 16th November 2019
Arrive in Baghdad.
Transfer to Hotel.
If there is time we will visit some places of interest in the capital.
Overnight in Baghdad.

Day 2 Baghdad – Samarra – Agar Gouf – Baghdad
Sunday 17th November 2019
Day trip to Samarra to visit the archeological site, a UNESCO world heritage site and former Abbasid capital. This includes the 8th century great mosque and the iconic spiral minaret.
Return to Baghdad via the Babylonian era Ziggurat at Agar Gouf.
Overnight in Baghdad.

Day 3 Baghdad
Monday 18th November 2019
Visit the Iraq Museum and the Al-Shaheed monument.
Overnight in Baghdad

Day 4 Baghdad – Ctesiphon – Babylon – Karbala
Tuesday 19th November 2019
Travel from Baghdad to Karbala.
En route visit the arch of Ctesiphon and remains of the city of Babylon, now heavily reconstructed. At Babylon we will also visit an old palace of Saddam’s.
Once in Karbala we can visit the shrine of Imam Hussein.
Overnight in Karbala.

Day 5 Karbala – Najaf
Wednesday 20th November 2019
An early start to visit At Tar Caves and Al Ukhaidir Fort. Then travel on to visit Al Khifal and it’s ancient souk then finishing in Kufa and Najaf. You will be able to witness some of the holiest places in Shia Islam including the house of Imam Ali in Kufa and his Shrine in Najaf.
Overnight in Najaf.

Day 6 Najaf – Nasiriyah
Thursday 21st November 2019
Drive from Najaf to Nasiriyah
Visit the remains of the ancient cities of Uruk and Ur.
Overnight in Nasiriyah.

Day 7 Nasiriyah – Basra
Friday 22nd November 2019
A day experiencing life in the marshes of Iraq. We will take small boats through the marshes seeing water buffalo and lunching on Masgouf (Iraqi carp – the national dish). We will also visit Qurna and again take to water to see the point where the Tigris and Euphrates meet to form the Shatt al Arab waterway.
Finally travel to Basra.
Overnight in Basra.

Day 8 Basra
Saturday 23rd November 2019
A full day in and around Basra including seeing the traditional merchant houses of the city, another boat ride to visit one of Saddam’s old palaces.
Overnight in Basra.

Day 9 Basra – End
Sunday 24th November 2019
Transfer to airport in Basra.
End of trip.

The trip includes:

  • All accommodation
  • All ground transport
  • Guiding
  • Breakfast
  • Visa support

The trip does not include:

  • Any visa fees
  • Insurance
  • International Flights
  • Entrance Fees
  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Transfer at Baghdad airport ($10)


US$3500 per person

A deposit of US$400 per person is required to reserve your place on this trip.
Single supplement is optional and is an additional US$750 per person.

If you have any questions regarding this itinerary or Iraq in general, please contact us at

We do not directly arrange international flights to Iraq. We can suggest routes and operators.
You can also contact the Untamed Borders dedicated team at Flight Centre for suggested routes.
Mail:   Phone: +44(0) 844 560 9966

Iraq visa is required. We will provide visa support for you to obtain this.

We provide breakfast. The guide will assist in finding good lunch and dinner options.

We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.
The accommodation will be based on 2 people sharing a twin room.

When we choose our vehicles and drivers we take into consideration the road conditions, the length of journey and the competence of the man behind the wheel. Your comfort and enjoyment of the journey is the first priority.

You will be accompanied by an international guide from Untamed Borders along with a local English speaking guide/fixer for the length of the trip.

Trips to Iraq do create dangers of their own and whilst we want you to have as much freedom as possible we must state that the guide has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas which we consider to be relatively stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.

Contact us for further information at