Dore Canyon, Barzan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq

Visiting Dore Canyon Near Barzan, Iraqi Kurdistan

Updated February 2024, Visiting Dore Canyon Near Barzan, Iraqi Kurdistan was originally published in July 2020

Near the town of Barzan, located about 140 kilometers from the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil sits the beautiful Dore Canyon. Akin to scenes from the much more famous Horseshoe Bend, this more lush and green version is a must-visit on any trip to Iraqi Kurdistan. Carved by the Rubar Shakiu River, a tributary of the Great Zab River Dore Canyon is an impressive sight.

Start planning here: A Quick Iraqi Kurdistan Travel Guide
Grab a copy of Bradt Iraq to help you organize your visit

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Dore Canyon Map
Click map to view on Google Maps

How To Get To Dore Canyon

Located about 10 kilometers from Barzan as the crow flies, Dore Canyon doesn’t appear to be that far away, but following the road you’re looking at a 25 kilometer ride. From the main Rezan-Shanider Road that Barzan is located on, you’ll need to turn north onto Rezan-Mergasu-Soran road and follow it part of the way up. You’ll want to park just off the side of the road and from here walk the short remainder of the way to the edge of Dore Canyon.

By car: This is the easiest way to get to Dore Canyon as there isn’t any public transport that comes here. From Erbil, it’s a 140 kilometer drive via Route 3. You can also reach Dore Canyon and Barzan from Akre and from Amedi.

By shared taxi: I’m unaware of any shared taxis that go to Barzan (if there are and you have info, please don’t hesitate to comment at the end of this post!). The nearest place you could try is to Soran which you can find minibusses leaving the Diana Garage in Erbil bound for (6,000 IQD). From Soran you could try your thumb at hitchhiking to Barzan, or at least to the turn off for the Rezan-Mergasu-Soran Road.

Looking for other things to do nearby? Why not check out Gomi Felaw?

Dore Canyon, Barzan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Iraq

Dore Canyon makes for a great outing, especially if you’re planning a day or more for visiting Barzan, Rawandiz, and even Gomi Felaw. You can hike down into Dore Canyon and explore more of the Rubar Shakiu River area. You’ll find that Dore Canyon also makes for a perfect picnicking spot for Kurdish families looking for a weekend escape on a Friday or Saturday.

Plan your time in Erbil: The Erbil Travel Guide


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