Panorama Iraq

  • 10 Days 9 Nights
  • Max Guests : 37
  • Difficulty : 3/10
  • Solitude Lv : 4/10

Panorama Iraq

Panorama Iraq! Mesopotamia, the land where the Tigris and the Euphrates converge, has a rich history dating back 7,000 years. It’s the birthplace of civilization, where ancient peoples like the Chaldeans, Akkadians, Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians flourished. Their contributions to writing, agriculture, law, mathematics, medicine, and architecture laid the foundation for human progress. Despite its turbulent past and present challenges, Iraq remains a testament to the resilience of humanity.

Exploring Iraq’s treasures, we embark on a journey through time, starting in Baghdad. Once the heart of the Abbasid Empire, Baghdad’s rich cultural heritage is evident in its majestic monuments and bustling streets. Visiting the National Museum and ancient ruins like Ctesiphon offers glimpses into its glorious past.

Heading north to Mosul, we encounter remnants of Assyrian civilization at Nineveh and delve into the city’s storied past. Despite recent conflicts, Mosul is undergoing a remarkable resurgence, showcasing its enduring spirit.

Continuing our expedition in Panorama Iraq, we traverse the desert to Karbala, a sacred city for Shia Muslims, steeped in religious fervor and tradition. Then, we explore the ruins of Babylon, a testament to ancient grandeur and ambition, before tracing the footsteps of Abraham in Ur, the world’s oldest city.

Crossing the Euphrates, we enter the mystical realm of the Arabian Desert, where ancient traditions of the Marsh Arabs persist amidst lush marshlands. Finally, we reach Basrah, once a thriving port city, now undergoing revitalization, blending modernity with historical charm.

As our journey draws to a close, we reflect on the timeless allure of Iraq, a land where history intertwines with legend, and resilience thrives amid adversity. Farewell to this land of wonders, as we return home enriched by its beauty and inspired by its enduring spirit. Panorama Iraq beckons, inviting all true travelers to embark on a voyage of discovery and rediscovery.

Price Includes

  • Air fares
  • Accommodation for 9 nights with half-board daily
  • Transportation
  • Entrance fees
  • Guided tours and excursions
  • English speaking local guides
  • One piece of luggage per person
  • Gratuities
  • Visa fees for countries where they are needed
  • Liability insurance
  • Travel folder with useful information

Price Excludes

  • Total taxes €890 per person
  • Due to the recent situation in Iraq, insurance companies do not offer travel insurance for that region.
  • What is not stated in the "Included" Section


01/05 - 10/05
01/05 – 10/05 Option 1 Option 2
Room Type Double Single
Category Classic Classic
Meal Basis Half-Board Half-Board
Price Per Person 2290 € 3080 €


  • Land of two Rivers: Tigris and Euphrates
  • National Museum and Monument to the Fallen visits
  • Samarra's spiral brick minaret and large mosque
  • Hellenistic Hatra and its unique Arabo-Hellenistic culture
  • Exploration of ancient Nineveh
  • Exploration of Baghdad's old city, including Abbasid Palace and Mustansiriyya School
  • Visit to Karbala's holy sites
  • Extensive tour of Babylon's ruins, including Hanging Gardens and Main Palace
  • Visit to the possible site of the Garden of Eden at Kourna
  • Exploration of Basrah's waterfront and central core


Day 1 - Athens - Baghdad

Afternoon departure via intermediate station for Baghdad. Arrival, transfer and installation at the hotel.

Day 2 - Baghdad

Straddling the banks of the Tigris River, Baghdad was put on the map by the Abbasids – the first Arab dynasty – during the early stage of their expansion into the Middle East. But it is to the caliph Harun Al Rashid that he owes the magic and opulence that “took off” like a flying carpet its glamor across the world. The story of the shadowy, fairy-tale and captivating story of the “Thousand and one Arabian Nights”, of Ali Baba, Halima and Sevah of the Sea. Legends, with which the name of Baghdad was inseparably identified. When it was adorned with palaces, mosques, hammams, madrasahs, minarets, gardens and bazaars of exquisite beauty and sophisticated wealth.
But the thrill takes off as we pass the gates of the National Museum which, after many years of reorganization, once again welcomes the few privileged visitors who make it this far. We continue with a visit to the excellent minimalist Monument to the Fallen. A blue drop “like a tear cut in two” seems to be floating in the vast white of the great square. A rare composition of new high aesthetics that is not often found in the Arab world. A little outside of Baghdad await us the ruins of ancient Ctesiphon, the most important city of Mesopotamia, during the Hellenistic and Sassanid periods. It is surrounded by an oasis of palm trees, which gives it a sweet romance at dusk. Amidst the extensive ruins stands its main attraction: the strangely well-preserved brick arch of the Throne from the 3rd century AD. -one of the rarest of its kind in the ancient world. Its construction must have been a marvel of architectural engineering, for the time.

Day 3 - Baghdad - Mosul

Today begins the second part of the journey that will bring us to northern Iraq.
The main stop is the old city of Samarra, capital of the Arab caliphate for 56 years, where it will fascinate us with its spiral brick minaret. The large mosque of the 9th century – although it is not used today – impresses with its size, reminiscent of a small stadium. The minaret, inspired by the ancient Ziggurats and the legendary Tower of Babel, stands right next to it at a height of 52 meters and truly evokes a feeling of uplifting the soul. Those who dare to climb to the top will enjoy the immensity of the plain with the golden dome of the Askarija Mosque as a background.
In direct contrast to the archaeological sites that exist in the country, Hellenistic Hatra is a kind of “brilliant exception to the rule”. We will meet her on our way and pay her the homage she deserves in a Palmyra, a Petra, a Baalbek and a Scythopolis… On the very outskirts of the eastern Roman Empire and on a branch of the Silk Road that led to Asia Minor, Hatra developed a rare Arabo-Hellenistic culture, similar to the Palmyraean of Tadmor in Syria. It looms like an apocalypse through the desert, with its heavy walls, fortified towers and arched gateways. In its center, the dominant presence is the massive Great Temple – a labyrinth of shrines of deities, but dedicated to the ruling god of the Sun.
Here we will become familiar with the entire peculiar pantheon of Hatra, which included such deities as Nergul, who symbolized the planet Mars, Sahiro (“Morning Star”) who symbolized fertility, which is evident in the abundance of its relief depictions. We will be especially concerned with a particular composition of statues and reliefs, – which seems to graphically narrate some religious myth – in which deities and musicians are entangled – and is the finest work of relief and sculptural art that remained intact in its place at Hatra. In the evening, we arrive at the legendary Mosul, once one of the most authentic cities in the Middle East, which formed a historical, commercial triptych together with Aleppo in Syria and Tripoli in Lebanon. But it was the one that suffered the most damage from the war with the Islamic State and was almost completely destroyed. Today it is recovering rapidly to an admirable extent and only the destroyed buildings remind of the nightmare that passed.

Day 4 - Mosul - Baghdad

The tour of Mosul will introduce us to the ancient world of the Assyrians. First we will stand on the walls of ancient Nineveh, the majestic capital where Ashurbanipal, Semiramis and the other Assyrian kings reigned 28 centuries ago. Then we will walk through the old town, with its historic mosques and Christian churches that are all working feverishly to bring it back to the form it had before the war. At the end we will enjoy lemon tea and traditional Kumba pie in one of the teahouses of old Mosul.
We continue to Baghdad after previously detouring a bit to visit the last attraction to the north of the capital. The Ziggurat of Agarguf built by the Kassites during the time of King Kirigolzu (1,500 BC). Late in the afternoon we end up in familiar Baghdad.

Day 5 - Baghdad

We change scenery as today we will walk through the old city of Baghdad. From the 8th “Golden Age”, mainly two important monuments were saved: the Palace of the Abbasids and the School of Mustansiriyya. The first has exquisite arches incorporating brick stalactite splints (muqarnas) in their decorative cladding. The second was fortunate to have the position of the most prominent university of the then Islamic world. In its serene spiritual spaces the boarders studied Arabic, theology, mathematics, astronomy, medicine and pharmacy. Almost parallel in layout, its spacious central courtyard is surrounded on four sides by “ivans” – wide arcades decorated with arabesque designs, Kufic inscriptions from the Koran and cool “gordia” compositions. Observing the most remarkable mosques of Baghdad, we quickly find that they all – more or less – present a “baroque” appearance, with domes and minarets heavily laden with blue tiles like those of Samarkand or covered with gold leaf.
One such is the Qandimiyya Mosque, which is the top attraction of today’s Baghdad. It arouses curiosity, spreading to the viewer the impression of two twin windows or of one “seeing” his image in a mirror. Its four minarets and two domes are masterpieces of majolica cladding, with glittering outer surfaces covered in gold. An endless multitude of believers come and go constantly, worshiping reverently at the graves of the great imams, a place accessible only to Muslims.
In the afternoon we return to Baghdad, where you can shop for local handicrafts in the souks of the old city. A walk along Abu Navas Boulevard will reward you with the rhythm of the city’s nighttime traffic. This seemingly endless boulevard stretches along the Tigris River, and takes its name from the famous Arab poet Abu Nawaz, a daring “bon vivant” and companion in the pleasures of the Caliph Harun Al-Rashid. In the evening, dinner awaits us in a traditional Baghdad restaurant with local cuisine.

Day 6 - Baghdad - Karbala

Leaving Baghdad behind, we will stop at the Bab Al Agha workshop of the most famous confectioner of Mesopotamia. Try authentic oriental sweets on site and give your dietician a… stroke. After the sweet break we will venture into the desert where we will tour the silent and enigmatic ruins of the palatial castle of Ouhaidar. Lost in the immensity of the Iraqi desert, it is awe-inspiring with its volume that is silently erased on the horizon. Up close, its imposing presence clearly shows that it is the most impressive and imposing fortress in the Arab world and is certainly one of the top attractions of modern Iraq.
After wandering through the interior spaces defined by the typical Umayyad architecture we will walk around the walls with the 48(!) towers and the impregnable gates. In the afternoon we end up in Karbala, the holy city of the Shiites of Iraq where new experiences await us. We will start with the square of Karbala facing the two mausoleums: Imam Hussain and Abbas and we will mingle with the endless crowd of believers who flock here for pilgrimage. Elaborate decorations and an endless river of pilgrims gives the mark of this city that lives in a world of its own.

Day 7 - Karbala - Babylon - Nasiriyah

Our entire interest today will be focused on the extensive tour of the ruins of the infamous Babylon. Most glorious city of antiquity, drowned in opulence, magnificence and moral decadence. She forged her name even in the Bible, thanks to the vanity of her kings – a naive delusion that was superimposed on the attempt to grope the divine heavens through the stepped Tower of Babel. The Walls and Hanging Gardens in this epic era are counted among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. King Hammurabi (1792-1750 BC) established here the seat of the first extensive empire to develop in Mesopotamia. He established the first legal code written in cuneiform on tablets and laid the foundations for the development of astronomy, mathematics, medicine, philology and geometry. The Chaldean King Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 BC) rechristened it the largest and most beautiful state in the then known world. Finally, Alexander the Great turned it into an ephemeral capital of his personal Eurasian empire, shortly before he died here in 322 BC. Built on the Euphrates, it was surrounded by a perimeter moat and a double protective array of walls. The outer walls were sixteen kilometers long, the inner eight! Its layout was particularly rational, with wide and straight streets, paved with plinth and bitumen. A central artery was the Route of Parades which crossed the Gate of Ishtar and ended at the stepped Tower of Babylon. From this street will begin our hiking tour of the -mostly- fundamentally or badly renovated ruins of the ancient city. The Gate of Ishtar is sadly stripped bare. The relief “carpet” of the facade cladding has been transferred to the Berlin Museum. Nevertheless, some relief depictions of bulls (symbol of the storm god Adat), dragons (symbol of the ruling deity Marduk in the Pantheon), and lions (symbol of the fertility goddess Ishtar) can be distinguished. The Hanging Gardens, famous throughout the ancient world, were part of the territory of these palaces. The current remains are unable to recreate the abundant sensuous beauty that justified their reputation. With illustrative descriptions we continue our journey to the foundations of the Main Palace. In this area we also find the “lone “Lion of Babylon”, carved from basalt.
From here we continue to the biblical ancient Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, and probably the oldest city in the world. This is where Mesopotamian people began to meet “in a common city” seven thousand years ago! Ur itself was the most prominent city throughout the “Dawn of Dynasties” when its ziggurat and temples were built. Its main attraction from ancient times to the present day: the monumental, three-dimensional ziggurat – the majestic brick pyramid of the Sumerians that captivates the visitor with its domineering and elevating volume. We will also tour the foundations of the temple of the Moon deity Nannor, residences of the period and the vast cemetery with two thousand graves. Overnight in the neighboring town of Nasiriya.

Day 8 - Nasiriyah - Arabian Desert - Basrah

We cross the Euphrates River where the scenery literally becomes Mesopotamian with date forests, dugouts, boats, marshy areas and a seductive calm of a dreamlike place. But the interest takes off in the water world of the swamps created by the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. Our introduction to the region begins with the village of Al Chibais, where the “headquarters” of the Alimara tribe, the “Marsh Arabs” who have been inhabiting the lands of southern Mesopotamia for 6,000 years, are located. We will board boats and navigate the maze of canals and waterways. We will visit Arab families living in traditional Mudif thatched huts, observe water buffalo foraging among the vegetation and meet local fishermen in the maze of canals. Another world that refuses to disappear.
Returning to land, we cross the road between the marshes and reach the city of Kourna where the biblical site of the Garden of Eden is defined!!! We will admire the scenery at the point where the most famous rivers of the Middle East meet. Here the Tigris and Euphrates join their waters at Kourna, forming for the next 155 km a water giant that will be called Sat El Arab (Arabian River). On the banks of this river is Basrah, which we reach in the late afternoon.

Day 9 - Basrah

Spread over the river trunk formed by the joint estuaries of the Tigris and Euphrates, the so-called Arabian River (Sat Al Arab), Basrah has always been Mesopotamia’s only outlet to the Persian Gulf and the wider world. You will of course remember its legendary, almost magical past. When her name was synonymous with that of Sevach the Seaman and his adventurous journey around the world. It was, throughout the Arab Middle Ages, the main transit trade port between the Near and Far East. From here the shrewd Arab seafarers set sail, bringing back much-sought-after goods from China, the Spice Islands, the Straits of Malacca, Taprovani, and the Malabar Coast. The wealth they brought to the city led to an explosive growth of letters and sciences, which reached its zenith during the Abbasid era. We begin our tour with a waterfront walk that gives a modern twist to bustling Basrah and gaze upon the dynamic metropolis from mid-river as we cruise the Arabian River to Basrah’s central core.
Then history in the making awaits us. The long-abandoned Old Basrah, where romantic, Ottoman-style houses have been scratched onto the edges of canals and are often linked by aerial wooden bridges, is undergoing an orgasm of ultra-urgent UNESCO restoration. We will see the already restored old Greek Consulate, the work of the craftsmen on the wooden lattice windows and the fixing of the canal. Over 40 old houses are waiting their turn to be regenerated. Enjoy your coffee at the private cafe-museum Al Hassoun, an oasis of art and coolness that spearheaded the regeneration of Old Basrah. We finish with a visit to the Fruit Market where you can buy Basrah dates which are considered the best in the world.

Day 10 - Basrah - Athens

We return via an intermediate station to Athens.


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Panorama Iraq | 01/05 - 10/05

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