The number one recommended guide in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Hi, I'm Haval Qaraman. I've been the first tour guide in Iraqi Kurdistan since 2010 and was recommended in the 2012 version of Lonely Planet's guide to Kurdistan. I would love to help you plan your next adventure and show you everything this beautiful country has to offer.
Is Iraq Safe?
This is a commonly asked question especially because Iraq is often viewed as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, however, it's important to note the difference between Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan. Iraqi Kurdistan is a semi-autonomous region in Northern Iraq and is much safer than the rest of the country. The travel blog, Against The Compass, provides a great write-up on the safety of Iraqi Kurdistan and an excellent guide to traveling the country in general.
Rawanduz is located in the Soran District, close to the borders with Iran and Turkey and located 10 km to the east of Bekhal Waterfall. Rawanduz was the capital of the historical Soran Emirate. The majority of its inhabitants are Kurds. In the past, Rawanduz was known as a center of Kurdish resistance against the Iraqi Government.
A beautiful city sitting on a mountain plateau in the sky, Amedi has a rich history of various cultures and religions dating back to 3000 B.C. The drive there is especially beautiful in the springtime when the hills are green and sheep roam.
Barzan Gorge is one of the most beautiful highlights of any trip to Kurdistan. Described by some of my American clients as the Horseshoe Bend of Iraq, it's a hidden landmark that's been visited by few tourists and locals alike.
The location of the tomb of Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir, main figure of the Yezidi faith – pilgrimage site of the Yezidis – one of the most mysterious people in the world. The ancient rituals of this people are fascinating and they are considered by many to be the remnant of the original religion of Kurdistan.
Experience an adventurous journey, climbing an active aqueduct, to the most beautiful river in Iraqi Kurdistan. You'll be rewarded with a refreshing swim in ice cold, crystal clear, turquoise waters from the Kurdistani mountain snow-melt. Only available from June to October.
The Amna Suraka Prison, or Red Museum, in Sulaymaniyah, is a harrowing reminder of the horrors committed by Saddam Hussein. It's also an important memorial for the 182,000 innocent Kurdish civilians murdered in the Anfal genocide, which occurred from 1986 to 1989. Recently a new wing was also opened to commemorate the brae Kurdish fighters who fell in the battle against ISIS.
Rabban Hormizd Monastery is an important monastery of the Chaldean Catholic Church, founded about 640 AD, carved out in the mountains about 2 miles from Alqosh, Iraq, 28 miles north of Mosul. It was the official residence of the patriarchs of the Eliya line of the Church of the East from 1551 to the 18th century, and after the union with Rome in the early 19th century, it became a prominent monastery of the Chaldean Catholic Church.
Mar Mattai is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in existence, founded in 363, and is famous for its magnificent library and considerable collection of Syriac Christian manuscripts.
The ruins of Saddam Hussein's vacation palace on the top of Gara Mountain with a beautiful view of the surrounding areas in Duhok province.
Bekhal Waterfall is located 10 km to the west from Rawanduz City and 135 km from Erbil. This waterfall is host for many visitors and tourists across the country.