Walk in Iraqi Kurdistan
Discover the beautiful landscape, rich history, and wonderful culture and hospitality of Iraqi Kurdistan.
October 16-22, 2020
Kurdish Region of Northern Iraq
This journey will follow the rocky spine of Iraqi Kurdistan. Guests have the opportunity to feel the landscape for themselves, and to become the most recent incarnation of walkers to leave footprints across these mountains that have played host to so many before. We travel from west to east, striking out from dry desert hills and heading towards lush green valleys, roaring white-water rivers, and finishing amongst towering, snow-capped peaks. Along the way we pause to hear stories in fortress cities and from lone shepherds, and to drink from the springs that have satiated pilgrims, armies, travellers and walkers for millennia. We speak, as we move, to people who have lived, worked and walked here for decades, and who are the guardians of the trails and histories of the region.
We see how Kurdistan fits into the old world, but also into the new, ever-changing mould of the Middle East. Above all we walk and, through that, we listen, share and are immersed in one of the jewels of the region where the layers of history, culture and faith are right beneath our very feet.
Dates: October 16-22, 2020
Location: Kurdish Region of Northern Iraq
Physical Considerations *Important*
The course is demanding in terms of physical activity. Hikes will be an average of 16 – 22 km per day involving walking uphill, downhill, and on rough terrain. To that purpose, we strongly advise participants to be prepared for physical activity in hot weather on this course.
In October average high temperatures are around 27°C, and average low temperatures are around 15°C. There is a <16% risk of precipitation on any given day in October, but it is still advisable to bring a light rain jacket.
Participants are required to have the appropriate gear and clothing for the walk. We will be walking in widely varied terrain: open fields in full sun, wadis and narrow valleys, forests, and alpine meadows. A suggested packing list will be included as part of the pre-departure information pack with ample time for questions.
We recommend bringing an additional $300 in cash for other personal expenses. US Dollars are accepted universally in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Abraham Path Initiative (API) is an international nonprofit that invests with local partners to achieve shared goals for a fruitful future. Since 2007, API has seeded walking trails in the Middle East to introduce people to an ancient land. API envisions the simple act of walking as a way for people from around the world to connect with one another, and as a creative space for stories that highlight the unique culture, heritage and hospitality of the region. API is non-religious and non-political.
Leon McCarron is a writer, filmmaker and adventurer from Northern Ireland. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a recipient of the 2017 Neville Shulman Challenge Award, and an Abraham Path Fellow.