The Kurdistan Region comprises parts of the three governorates of Erbil, Slemani and Duhok.
It borders Syria to the west, Iran to the east, and Turkey to the north, lying where fertile plains meet the Zagros mountains. It is traversed by the Sirwan river and the Tigris and its tributaries, the Great Zab and the Little Zab.
Area: 40,643 square kilometres
Population: 5,5 – 6,5 mln people
Capital city: Erbil also known as Hewler (about 1.5 mln citizens)
The mountains of the Kurdistan Region have an average height of about 2,400 metres, rising to 3,000–3,300 metres in places. The highest peak, Halgurd, is near the border with Iran and measures 3,660 metres. The highest mountain ridges contain the only forestland in the Region.
Annual rainfall is 375-724mm.
The climate of the Kurdistan Region is semi-arid continental: very hot and dry in summer, and cold and wet in winter.
Spring is the most beautiful season in Kurdistan and the time when Kurds celebrate Nawroz, the Kurdish New Year, on the spring or vernal equinox. Mean high temperatures range from 13-18 degrees in March to 27-32 degrees in May.
The summer months from June to September are very hot and dry. In July and August, the hottest months, mean highs are 39-43 degrees, and often reach nearly 50 degrees.
Autumn is dry and mild, and like spring is an ideal time of year to travel in the Region. Average temperatures are 24-29 degrees in October, cooling slightly in November.
Winters are mild, except in the high mountains. Mean winter high temperatures are 7-13 degrees Celsius, and mean lows are 2-7 degrees Celsius.