GPS coordinates 35.949098, 44.961376
Dukan has long been famous across Kurdistan and Iraq because of its lake. It later gained more prominence after the construction of the Dukan Dam. Seventy km from Sulaymaniyah, it is a small town with wonderful nature, which draws tourists from home and abroad. Many national festivities are celebrated in Dukan.
Dukan lake Resort
The resort contains, 16 new projects, newly built hotels, cabins, restaurants, and other tourist facilities either in the upper side of Dukan by the lake or downward by Qashqoli River. The famous Dukan Lake is one of the most beautiful sites in the Kurdistan region. Surrounded by circular yellow and green hills, the bright blue lake is ideal for swimming, boating, and fishing. A visit is highly recommended.
Hazar Merd Cave
Dorothy Garrod, the world famous British archaeologist, first discovered the Hazar Merd Cave in 1928, 13 km west of Sulaimani. The site thought to be from the Paleolithic times, it is the second oldest cave in the Kurdistan region; the name means ‘the cave of the thousand men’. Archaeologists believe the site could be more than 50,000 years old.
Three caves are set into the foot of a mountain in the Bazyan area. They are known as the Palagawra Caves and are thought to have been the homes of the ancient people living in the region thousands of years ago.
Barda Qaraman means ‘The Rock of the Hero’. During the British invasion of Iraq, King Mahmood resisted the British troops behind the Barda Qaraman. Today there is a tribute to him on the site. It is 35 km west of Sulaimani on the highway to Kirkuk.
Sartka Citadel lies in the Qashqoli area, where the river meets Dukan Dam. Overlooking the river, the castle was built by Prince Muhammad, Prince of Soran (1837-1813) and parts of its walls and rooms and still intact.
The resort belongs to Dukan town consisting of several complexes built on both sides of the small zab river; it is a great place for swimming and boating.
Sarsir Summer Resort
Located 36 km north of Sleimani city, Sarsir Resort is surrounded by trees and several fresh water springs as well as recreational facilities that attract many tourists.
Ga'war Strait Sculptures
Ga'war strait is situated 45 km to the south of Sleimani city within the Goshan valley in the Qaradagh area. The sculptures are around 4000 years old; the site also contains the statue of the Naram-Sin, the Akkadian King who ruled from 2254-2218 BC.
Qaradagh located north of Sleimani, the site is known for its adjacent high mountainous sites (Qopi), each is three km away from the other. The peak is 5,978 ft high. There are water springs that attract people who come to enjoy the natural beauty. The tourists take rest at the resort cabins. The area has many important historical sites such as the King of Lullubi who reigned in the 3rd millennium BC, as well as ancient stone graves and various holy places.
Historical remains of Bazyan Strait
The remains of the old citadel and the gates to the strait lies 1 km from the main rock. Today the area is converted into an historical site where the statue of King Mahmood guards the site surrounded by an impressive curtain wall. The compound contains visitor-recreations for tourists.
Sargalu is a village in the Jaffayati valley some 65 km from Sulaymaniyah. The village is rich with orchards, farms and water resources. Saragalu village also served as a base for Kurdish revolutionaries and the Voice of Kurdistan radio broadcast from Sargalu.
This beautiful site is located 57 km west of Sulaymaniyah and 30 km east of Dukan. Dukan’s main resort, Jami Resan, is perched on a wide river valley, densely covered with trees and vines. On the eastern bank, Baval Waterfall gushes down from the mountain peak. A modern resort at the foot of the waterfall caters to tourists and visitors.
Merkaban is located behind Pira Makron Mountain, 31 km west of Sulaymaniyah. The mountain is named after a famous sheikh who is buried there. Snow lovers visit the mountain during summer, when snow is gathered and sold to neighboring villages. Because of the area’s beauty, it has been turned into a resort and there are many tourist facilities available, including a motel and artificial lake.
Zirzi cave is located on the edge of a village at the foot of Mount Zrza Kounkotr, and is characterized by its semi-circular entrance. The cave dates back to the Stone Age when it was used for shelter. Researcher Dorothy Karon excavated the cave in 1988 and discovered many stone tools and animal bones.
Jami Rezan Caves
Just one km away from Bavel, this site includes several large caves. The caves were the headquarters of Voice of Kurdistan radio and the Kurdish revolution in 1961. There were used again for the same purpose during later revolutions.
Gazzkaban sculptures are located 50 km west of Sulaymaniyah in the river valley near the Risan cave. These sculptures date back to the era of the kingdom of Media. The site consists of a variety of rooms, three tombs, statues and sculptures.
The cave is located 50 km east of Sulaymaniyah, between Sordash and Dukan. When British forces bombed Sulaymaniyah in February 1923, Sheikh Mahmood sought shelter in Sordash and the Jasna cave. He brought his printing press with him and used it to publish the first edition of the newspaper Banki Haq, or Voice of Rights.