When it comes to potential Kurdistan itineraries and travel routes, it all depends on how and where you enter the region as well as how and where you plan to exit as well. The Google Map below offers a detailed look at the road system, as well as both major and minor places of interest in the region.
*Please Note: Roads highlighted in red are major ‘highways’. Roads highlighted in blue are lesser highways, secondary or rural roads. While major highways (red) typically offer the fastest routes, keep in mind that between some cities, these roads pass outside of the region controlled by the Kurdistan Security Forces. If you wish to remain within the safety of the Kurdish-controlled region at all times, consider taking the secondary roads (blue) only.
Zoom in and click on the individual markers for more details.
View Iraqi Kurdistan in a larger map
Here are a few possible routes that you could take:
- Turkey – Zakho – Dohuk – Amediyah – Barzan – Akre – Rawandiz – Erbil – Sulamaniyah
- Turkey – Zakho – Dohuk – Amediyah – Dohuk – Erbil – Sulamaniyah – Panjwin (for Iran)
- Turkey – Zakho – Erbil – Sulamaniyah – Dukan – Koya – Shaqlawa – Akre – Amediyah – Dohuk – Zakho (for Turkey)
- Turkey – Zakho – Dohuk – Amediyah – Akre – Rawandiz – Shaqlawa – Sulamaniyah – Erbil (for flights out) or Zakho (for Turkey)
- Erbil – Sulamaniyah – Shaqlawa – Rawandiz – Akre – Barzan – Amediyah – Dohuk – Zakho (for Turkey) or Erbil (for flights out)
- Erbil – Dohuk – Amediyah – Akre – Barzan – Rawandiz – Shaqlawa – Sulamaniyah – Erbil (for flights out) or Panjwin (for Iran)
- Sulamaniyah – Erbil – Shaqlawa – Rawandiz – Akre – Barzan – Amediyah – Dohuk – Zakho (for Turkey) or Erbil (for flights out)
The region of Iraqi Kurdistan is a relatively manageable size. Seldom are travelers more than a few hours away from one of the larger cities, thus allowing for any of the above routes to be changed around in any number of ways and as you see fit. Also, not every destination is included in the list of possible itineraries. There are plenty of more places (as found on the map above) that can be added.
It is also important to note that traveling along secondary or rural roads may require you to hire a private taxi. While a system of shared taxis covers much of the region of Iraqi Kurdistan, the most remote areas are not covered by such services.