Wigan to Iraq Tour


Please be aware the itinerary is subject to change due to possible train cancellations.

1 06/09/2025

A Night in Wigan

• Start the tour in Wigan, the base of Lupine Travel.

• Walking tour of the town in the afternoon. We will see the George Formby and 'Face of Wigan' statues, the George Orwell plaque (where he stayed while writing his 1937 book, "The Road to Wigan Pier") and the 16th Century Parish Church.

• Go for a group dinner in the evening.

Day 0 photo 1

2 07/09/2025


• Morning departure from Wigan North Western Rail Station to London.

• Arrive in London Euston and make our way to St Pancras International train station for the Eurostar service to Paris.

• Check into our hotel and evening at leisure in the French capital.

Day 1 photo 1

3 08/09/2025


• Free morning and early afternoon to relax in bars and cafes or explore the sights of Paris. Follow the tourist hordes to the Champs Elysées, The Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame Cathedral, or catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum. For an alternative view of the city, visit Montemartre and take in the atmosphere of the old Latin quarter.

• In the late afternoon, we will take the TGV Duplex train to Munich. Once in the Bavarian capital, we will have a couple of hours to grab some supplies or have a quick dinner before boarding the overnight train to Zagreb.

Day 2 photo 1

4 09/09/2025


• Morning arrival into Zagreb and transfer to our hotel.

• Free time around the Croatian capital, where you can enjoy the gothic twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral and St Mark’s Church. Don’t forget to check out Tkalciceva Street for its lively atmosphere.

Day 3 photo 1

5 10/09/2025


• In the early afternoon, we take a train to Belgrade, where we will stay for two nights.

• Arrive in the Serbian capital in the evening and transfer to our hotel.

Day 4 photo 1

6 11/09/2025


• No train today. Full free day in Belgrade. Visit the famous Belgrade Fortress, take a walk around Kalemegdan Park or head over to the vintage street of Skadarlija, which is lovely both day and night.

Day 5 photo 1

7 12/09/2025


• Early morning departure to Sofia, with transfer stops at Nis and Dimitrovgrad.

• Arrive in the Bulgarian capital in the early evening.

• Transfer to our hotel, where we’ll stay overnight.

Day 6 photo 1

8 13/09/2025


• Free day to explore one of Eastern Europe’s oldest cities.

• Chance to see the medieval Boyana Church, Rila Monastery and the impressive Aleksander Nevski Cathedral.

• In the early evening, we return to the train station to take the overnight train to Istanbul.

Day 7 photo 1

9 14/09/2025


• Early morning arrival to Istanbul and transfer to our hotel.

• Spend the day at leisure in the hustle and bustle of the city, where you will have the chance to visit the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazar, Hagia Sophia and countless other destinations.

Day 8 photo 1

10 15/09/2025


• A further chance to explore Istanbul today before a late afternoon departure to Ankara, the Turkish capital.

• Arrive in the evening and transfer to our hotel.

Day 9 photo 1

11 16/09/2025


• After breakfast, we return to the train station, where we will take the 21-hour sleeper train east to the Kurdish capital of Diyarbakir.

Day 10 photo 1

12 17/09/2025


• Morning arrival in Diyarbakir.

• Today, we will take a guided tour of Southeast Turkey's biggest city, where we will walk around the ancient city walls. Then see the Great Mosque, the Four-Legged Minaret, the Armenian and Cyriac churches and two restored caravansaries.

• Evening at leisure.

Day 11 photo 1

13 18/09/2025

Journey South to Iraq

• The train journey ends, and we'll transfer to a private bus for the remainder of our tour. This leg of the trip will loosely follow the original train route. The train line used to run down from Eastern Turkey into Syria and then Mosul before snaking south to Baghdad. Nowadays, large sections of this line are temporarily out of action due to conflict.

• We will travel south and alongside the Syrian border before arriving at the Iraqi frontier. We then undergo border formalities before crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan.

• Drive through Zakho before travelling to Duhok, where we will stay overnight.

Day 12 photo 1

14 19/09/2025

Yazidi heartland of Lalish

• After breakfast, we will take a walk around the streets and bazaars of Duhok before visiting the town of Alqosh to visit Rabban Hormizd; a Monastery of the Chaldean Catholic church built into the mountains around 640 AD.

• We then travel to the remote mountain village of Lalish, the spiritual heartland of the Yazidi people.

• Afterwards, we will drive to the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Erbil, where we will stay overnight.

Day 13 photo 1

15 20/09/2025

Erbil tour

• Take a tour of Erbil. We will see old Erbil early in the day, visiting the Kurdish Archaeology Museum, the Mound of Qalich Agha and the ancient Citadel before stopping for a drink in one of the old tea houses.

• In the evening, we will head out to Ainkawa for food and drinks in the Christian district.

Day 14 photo 1

16 21/09/2025

Hamilton Road

• Along the road, stop at Bekhal Waterfall and Gali Ali Bag Waterfall. We also pass through the towns of Shaqlawa, Harir, Soran and Rawanduz.

• We will have a lunch of home-made Kurdish food in the house of a local family.

Day 15 photo 1

17 22/09/2025

Red Prison

• After breakfast, we will travel to Sulaymaniyah. En route, we will visit the Qshla of Koya Citadel and the beautiful Dokan Lake, where it is possible to take a boat ride, and then we will stop for lunch.

• Upon arrival in Sulaymaniyah, we visit Amna Sukhara, also known as ‘The Red Prison,’ a former headquarters of Iraq’s intelligence service under Saddam Hussein. Within these walls, the regime imprisoned and tortured Kurds. Today, a beautiful memorial made from 182,000 mirror pieces and 5,400 lights commemorates the destruction committed by the Hussein regime. Each piece of mirror signifies one Kurd killed by Saddam Hussein's government, and the lights represent each Kurdish village destroyed.

• Afterwards, we'll take a walk around the bazaar before checking in to our Sulaymaniyah hotel.

• We will go for dinner in the evening and for drinks in a local bar.

Day 16 photo 1

18 23/09/2025


• Visit the town of Halabja. On March 16th 1988, the city was subjected to the worst genocide in Iraq's history. For five hours, chemical weapons were used against the civilians of Halabja, with 5,000 killed and up to 10,000 injured.

• We go to the Halabja Monument Museum before having a short walk around the town and stopping for lunch.

• Afterwards, we will return to Sulaymaniyah, with the rest of the evening spent at leisure.

Day 17 photo 1

19 24/09/2025

Return to Erbil

• In the morning, we will walk around the streets and markets of Sulaymaniyah before returning to Erbil, where we will have free time for some last-minute souvenir shopping then enjoy our last dinner together before departure the following day.

Day 18 photo 1

20 25/09/2025

Tour Ends

• The tour ends today. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.


  • - Train and bus transport throughout itinerary
  • - 3 and 4 star hotel accommodation and train sleeper (3 nights)
  • - Iraq visa support for those who need it
  • - Lupine tour leader accompanying
  • - Tours with local guides in Iraq and Diyarbakir
  • - Return flight from Erbil
  • - Visa fee for Iraq (€70 VOA for most nationalities)
  • - Food and drink unless otherwise stated and personal expenses
  • - Travel insurance
  • - Tips for guides
  • - Optional extras (self driving rollercoaster, cable cars & Dokan Lake boat ride)
  • Tour Price: £2895
  • Deposit: £750
  • Single Room Supplement: £450
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