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Friday, 28 November 2008


Off-the-beaten track Far Horizons has two unique tours for the truly inquisitive and adventurous in 2009: 24-days exploring Turkey and the independent state of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq in April, and 21-days through Lebanon, Syria and Turkey with the highlight the annual Baalbeck Festival in July.

The rare opportunity to visit Kurdistan will bring with it such surprises as thriving cities and towns, lush mountain regions, friendly people of Indo-European origin with their own parliament, flag, language and culture. There are luxury-car showrooms, modern supermarkets and 5-star hotels in the main cities and resorts, with others under construction.

And although largely Sunni Muslim (with a scattering of Christians, Jews, Yazidis and other sects) there's a liberal attitude towards alcohol in restaurants and hotels; sightseeing includes ancient palaces, souks (markets,) and fertile farmlands, the site where Alexander the Great defeated the Persian King Darius III, and even a "get-to-know-you" picnic with local residents in a park of roses and fountains patterned after those in Geneva.

The Baalbeck Festival that's the highlight of the Lebanon, Syria and Turkey tour in July is the oldest festival in the Middle East, featuring a wide program of dance, theatre, opera, jazz, modern music – and this year an Australian Ballet performance.

For fully-detailed itineraries of both these unique tours that are fully-escorted from Australia and include return air and taxes, all meals, all ground transportation and local guides, entry costs to attractions, and gratuities, phone 1800 083 141 or visit


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