Custom Tours

For over a decade, we have specialized in designing custom historical, archeological, and cultural tours as well as hosting high-level political and business delegations. We have even hosted the odd fly fisherman. Whatever it is you want to see in Kurdistan there is no one more capable of fulfilling your desires.

Explore Mesopotamia is owned by an American with nearly 30 years experience in Kurdistan. We have intimate knowledge of the region, its history, its leaders, and investment opportunities. We have an extensive Kurdish support staff and all tours conducted by our company are in cooperation with the Kurdistan Board of Tourism

Sample Itinerary: Treasures of Kurdistan

Arrive to Erbil International Airport in the capital of Kurdistan – Check into Hotel

Dinner at hotel’s main restaurant

Breakfast at hotel's main restaurant

9:00 AM – Depart for the 7000 year old Citadel of Erbil.

Visit Civilization museum and Chooli Minaret

Take lunch at one of the well known local restaurants

Tour the famous Textile Museum in the Citadel. The museum, housed in a 220 year old residence features ancient Kurdish fighting tools, traditional dresses, handmade rugs from different regions and eras of Kurdish history, jewelry and photos. In addition to Kurdish antiquities there are a number of pieces from Iran and Turkey.

Tour of Erbil’s Ancient Citadel – the oldest continuously inhabited city on earth (There are cities as old but not continuously inhabited). Erbil Citadel was once a Sumerian City called Urbellum or Arbella (4 gods) and it is believed that Abraham passed through this city on one of his journeys. It also once housed the Temple of Ishtar.

Depart for Dwin Castle, the ruins of a fortress built by Salahadin

Dinner at a fine local restaurant

Breakfast at hotel’s main restaurant and CHECK OUT OF HOTEL

Departure to the Dayro d-Mor Matay Monastery (St. Matthew’s Monastery (third Century) for a tour conducted by the Monastery’s Monks

Depart Monastery for Gaugamela – site of the famous battle between King Darius III and Alexander the Great which ended the Persian Empire

Xaringeha Niruj restaurant for lunch

See Jirwan – the oldest aqueduct and bridge ruin in the world built in the time of Sennacharib. Visit Lalish – pilgrimage site of the Yezidis who are descendants of the Zoroastrians

Depart for Duhok

Visit Chwar Stoon Cave where Zoroastrian fire worshippers performed rituals

Check in to Hotel,

Dinner at hotel or TBA

Breakfast in the hotel’s main restaurant

Visit Al Qush and see the tomb of Nahum next to the Mar Gorgis Monastery and Mar Mekha Church (third Century) and the third century Monastery (Hormizd) in the mountains above the tomb. Six hundred monks once inhabited the caves around the Hurmizd Monastery.

Enjoy lunch in Duhok’s Malta Restaurant serving traditional Kurdish fare as well as other dishes.

Visit Gara mountain that overlooks amazing touristic towns of Solav, Ashawa, Aneshki, and Bamerni.

Return to Hotel.

Have dinner at the well known Sadeer Restaurant or TBA

A buffet breakfast will be served before departing from Duhok in the main restaurant

Check out of Hotel

Depart for the ancient city of Amadiya (dating from Assyrian era) located on a high promontory above a breathtaking landscape and fed by a geothermal spring originating far below the mountain. 90 Km northeast of Duhok; about 1400 m above sea level 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 meters, built by Imaduddin Al- Zanki in 5-600 AD. A minaret is located in the middle of Amadiya. It is 30 meters 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.

Pass by a third Century Synagogue and enjoy tea by the Sulav Waterfall

Lunch at Kurdistan Restaurant 30 minutes from Amadiya

Depart for Rawanduz through breathtaking scenery in the region of Barzan where you will meet a local official and see the Mullah Mustapha Memorial (Father of modern Kurdistan) and continue through Soran passing by Shanidar Cave where some of the world’s first pre-historic remains were discovered.

Check into the Pank Resort Hotel

Dinner in the resort’s Pasha Restaurant

Evening – Enjoy the facilities of the resort including (if you wish) a toboggan ride through the deepest gorge in the Middle East

Breakfast in the resort’s Pasha Restaurant

Drive through the Hamilton Road, see Bekhal and Gali Ali Beg waterfall

Depart for Sulymani via the beautiful lake Dokan

Lunch at Kosrat restaurant in Dokan

Visit the Sulymani Zamwa Art Gallery and Sulymania Bazaar

Check into Hotel

Dinner at Hotel main restaurant

Breakfast in the hotel’s main restaurant on the top floor

Visit the infamous Red House where Saddam tortured and killed thousands of Kurds.

Visit Sulymani Museum to view Kurdistan’s largest collection of antiquities displaying local items dating back thousands of years. We have arranged for the group to meet with director (depending on availability) who will talk about how the home of irreplaceable treasures has withstood looting in chaotic times. There are other museums in Kurdistan but nothing to equal this one in Sulymani.

Lunch at Cultural Centre

afternoon visit to Halabjah.

Dinner in the hotel’s main restaurant or TBA

Depart for the ancient Qizqapan Cave and old Jewish city of Koisinjak en route to Erbil. Old Jewish house and Caravanserai (Hostel on the ancient Silk Road)

Lunch in The Bakery and More restaurant serving Lebanese, local and Int’l cuisine including pizza and various salads (Owned by Lebanese businessmen)

Over night in Erbil

Morning exploration of the capital or Q & A with one of the company’s owners

Lunch at one of best local restaurants

Afternoon return flight

Tour Price:

  • All hotels are best available in Kurdistan and 4-5 Star unless requested otherwise
  • Modern airport to airport transportation
  • All meals in Kurdistan in best available restaurants (alcoholic beverages excluded)
  • All tours, transportation, guides, etc

Options at additional cost
(please contact us for details):

  • Single accommodation
  • Experienced Tour Scholar who will accompany the tour in Kurdistan from beginning to end and lecture on all sites and other subjects as required (such as local politics and economy). All hotel and food expenses for Scholar are included.


  • Airfares are separate from the tour cost