Ask any taxi to take you to Karaj Dohuk, a patch of wasteground some distance from town where shared taxis wait for Dohuk-bound passengers. Iraqi taxis only take four passengers, and as this is close to a border and Dohuk is a major city not too far away, you won't have to wait long. 6000 dinars (roughly £3.50) is all it costs for the hour long...more
On the way to the bridge, you'll see a huge Kurdish flag on a traffic roundabout. These are a big feature of Kurdistan, and every town has several fluttering away in prime locations...but I didn't know that at the time, so took a few photos. Apart from the bridge and the flag, Zaxo is a fairly scruffy sort of place...friendly, and not unpleasant,...more
Zaxo's big attraction is the old stone bridge over the River Habur. It's not the easiest thing to find without a map, and Zaxo is bigger than it seems at first. Head to the big roundabout with the enormous Kurdish flag at the end of the main street, and turn right, which will take you down to the riverside, and the bridge is about 5 minutes' walk...more
At the western end of Kawa Street, look out for the tiny Al-Jazira Bookshop. It might seem like an odd recommendation, but even if you don't speak or read Kurdish or Arabic, you might be interested in buying a map of the region or a Kurdish flag. If you do read Arabic, then you can pick up a semi-useful Kurdish phrasebook (optimistically entitled...more
Getting to Erbil/Hewler is simple. By the Hotel Bircin (big hotel on Kawa Street, can't miss it) are several taxi offices which run services to Erbil and beyond. For 20,000 dinars, your taxi driver will take you and three other passengers to wherever you want to go in Erbil (ask for Bazaar-e Qaysari for the centre of things). One concern is that...more
Touristic signposts all over town point you towards the Azadi Panorama, but nobody seemed to know what on earth it was. I tried following the signs, but they didn't really lead me anywhere, so i gave up....until my taxi driver coming back from Amedi drove past it and pointed it out. The Azadi Panorama will be a brand new park with a stunning view...more
Akre isn't a touristy place, and there isn't really the culture of eating out here as there is in other Kurdish cities. I noticed a bakery and a basic snack place on the main square behind the bazar, and that was about it in Old Akre. In the newer part, there is a "touristik restyrant" on the main road close to the Hotel Sepal, although it looked...more
Although Akre is very much a Muslim town now, with a not very visible Christian minority, it once had a sizeable Jewish population, and if you clime to the top of Zarvia Dji, you can see the remains of a holy Jewish site. I'm not entirely sure what it was, but the ruins are fairly extensive so there's probably more to it than just an ancient...more
Shared taxis leave from Erbil's Karaj-e Shimaal (Northern Garage), a few hundred metres north of the citadel and within walking distance of the bazar area if you haven't got too much luggage and are prepared to ask for directions on the way. Akre isn't a popular destination, so i had to wait for ages, and eventually came to an agreement with a...more
If you're able to communicate and make people trust you, you'll be able to get the key of this minarete and climb it. The view from above is fantastic and this is a unique thing you will never forget.
The key is kept with a local old man that sometime no one knows where he really is. This "getting the key" process might take a while, and you also need the central mosque chief authorisation.