Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation


The trip begins in Baghdad and visits ancient Sumerian and Babylonian sites, as well as medieval souks, UNESCO-recognised minarets, Shia Islam’s two holiest sites, and a boat trip on the Shatt al-Arab. There is an add-on to Kurdistan available directly after this trip.

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  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Group Size Medium Group
All about the Iraq – Cradle of Civilisation.

A 9-day trip into the heartland of Iraq, travelling the region bound by the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. Tracing back through history, we will travel to the centres of some of humanity’s first civilisations, visiting the ancient Sumerian sites of Uruk, ancient Babylon, and the riches preserved at the National Museum of Iraq. Starting in Baghdad and ending in Basra on the Gulf coast, we will see the legacy of Iraq’s position at the forefront of Islamic architectural history; visiting Samarra, a UNESCO world heritage site with an iconic spiral minaret, and the arch of Ctesiphon. We will then explore modern Iraq, mingling with the pilgrims in Karbala and Najaf, two of the most sacred sites in Shi’a Islam, as well as visiting some of Saddam Hussein’s old palaces. Finally, we will venture into Iraq’s lush marshlands by boat to the point where the two great rivers of antiquity join to create the Shatt al- Arab waterway.


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

Start Point: Baghdad, Iraq
End Point: Basra, Iraq

There is an add-on to Kurdistan available directly after this trip.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • All accommodation
  • All ground transport
  • Guiding
  • Breakfast
  • Visa support
  • Airport transfers
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • Any visa fees
  • Insurance
  • International flights
  • Entrance fees
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  1. Day 1 Arrival in Baghdad

    Arrive in Baghdad.

    We suggest people arrive on an early morning flight.

    Transfer to Hotel for briefing.

    If there is time, we will visit some places of interest in the capital.

    We will also visit the arch of Ctesiphon on this day if it is possible (at the time of writing it is closed for repairs)

    Overnight in Hotel in Baghdad

  2. Day 2 Baghdad – Samarra – Agar Gouf – Baghdad

    Day trip to visit the archaeological remains at Samarra, a UNESCO world heritage site and former Abbasid capital. This includes the eighth-century great mosque and its magnificent spiral minaret.
    Return to Baghdad via the Babylonian era Ziggurat at Agar Gouf.
    Overnight in Baghdad

  3. Day 3 Baghdad

    A full day in the Iraqi capital.

    We will visit the Iraq Museum (closed at time of writing but should be open for the time of the trip) and the Al-Shaheed monument as well as spending time in the old city and Mutanabbi Street.

    Overnight in Baghdad

  4. Day 4 Baghdad – Babylon – Karbala

    Travel from Baghdad to Karbala.

    En route visit the 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 Hotel in Karbala

  5. Day 5 Karbala – Najaf

    Visit the fort at Al Khaider in the morning. After lunch visit Al Khifal and its’ ancient souk then finishing in Najaf. You will be able to witness some of the holiest places in Shia Islam including the Shrine of Ali in Najaf.

    Overnight in Hotel in Najaf

  6. Day 6 Najaf – Nasiriyah

    Drive from Najaf to Nasiriyah
    Visit the remains of the ancient cities of Uruk and Ur.
    Overnight in Nasiriyah.

  7. Day 7 Nasiriyah – Basra

    A day experiencing life in the lush marshlands of Iraq. We will take small boats through the narrow waterways, seeing water buffalo and lunching on Masgouf (Iraqi carp – the national dish). We will also visit Al-Qurna and take to the water once again to see the point where the Tigris and Euphrates meet to form the Shatt al-Arab waterway.
    Finally, travel to Basra.
    Overnight in Basra.

  8. Day 8 Basra

    A full day in and around Basra including seeing the traditional merchant houses of the city, plus another boat ride to visit one of Saddam’s old palaces.
    Overnight in Basra.

  9. Day 9 Basra - End

    Transfer to airport in Basra.
    Fly to Erbil for Kurdistan Add-on.

    Those not joining the Kurdistan add on will fly from Basra.
    Trip ends in Basra.


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.
Optional single supplement is available for US$750 per person.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance.
Included in the price:
  • All accommodation
  • All ground transport
  • Guiding
  • Breakfast
  • Visa support
Not included in the price:
  • Any visa fees
  • Insurance
  • International flights
  • Entrance fees
  • Lunch and dinner
  • Drinks
  • Tips
  • Transfer at Baghdad airport ($10)

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

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

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

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.

Overall Rating


Package Confirmed Dates Trip Status Trip Status Price (PP) Excluding Flights Price (PP) Including Flights  
October 7, 2022 - October 15, 2022
Fully Booked
October 22, 2022 - October 30, 2022
Available to Book