As the country on the land that may have played host to the Garden of Eden, the story of Gilgamesh and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Iraq boasts a rich and varied past.
It’s an amazing destination for history buffs. The region has been influenced by societies including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and Ancient Persians, as well as more modern people, which has created a unique culture. The best time to visit is during the spring or autumn; at other times, you might find the climate too hot and dry, with the mercury pushing 40°C during the summer months.
You may want to start your journey in the port city of Basra rather than Baghdad, where international flights land regularly. The Basra International Hotel or famous five-star Mnawi Basha Hotel make excellent bases for venturing into Basra's attractions, such as Sinbad Island, Sayab's House of Ruins, the Basra Sports City and Sayyed Ali al-Musawi Mosque. Weather-wise, it's one of the hottest cities in the world, so be prepared. A strong Islamic presence exists in most parts of the country, so be sure to dress modestly.