Mail to us

SYRIA AT A GLANCE.
THE ARAB REPUBLIC OF SYRIA.
 
The country is situated in the Middle East along a coastal line of about 124 miles (200 Km). It also has access to the Mediterranean Sea, as together with Lebanon, it forms the Western bound of the country. Syria has borders with Turkey to the north, with Irak to the east and with Jordan to the south. Its total area is of 114,700 square. miles (185,000 square Kilometers).
 
Its capital is DAMASCUS with more than a million inhabitants. Its commercial capital and second city is ALEPPO.
 
Before the year 1918, the word Syria was better assigned to the territory that now is formed by modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. That means that in Biblical times Syria was covering an area from the Euphrates River up to the Mediterranean Sea.
 
The Old Testament registers plenty of battles within the people from Israel and the Syrians. It has been also times in its history mentioning as Syria as fighting the side either from Judea or Israel.
 
Biblical sites belonging to Syria but now to Turkey are Antioch and Seluccia.
 
SYRIA presents an array of very interesting and historical sites, not only at its western regions due to the vicinity of the Mediterranean but because also it counts with the mountain ranges of the Antilebanon and Mr. Hermon with summits up to 6,560 feet (2.800 m). Its principal river is The Orontes, that is born in Lebanon but crosses the western part of Syria, from South to North, up to the frontier with Turkey. Interior lands are desertic and with steps, with the exception of a few Oasis.
 
Most of its 12 million inhabitants are of Syrian origin and they speak Arabic. There it exists other minorities such as the Armenians, Kurds, Turcomans and Europeans.
 
Most of half of its population works in the agricultural field as they form collective properties in where they crop olives, grapes, figs, cereals, sugar cane, vegetables, rice, cotton and fruits. These last ones of excellent quality.
 
Through artificial irrigation, they are now in the project of creating new zones for cultivation.
 
Its most important economy is coming from Oil exploitation and its refineries are situated in the coastal line. Another important source of income is the textile industry, sheep for wool, cotton, as well as hand confection or carpets and kilims, tobacco, fruits in sugar syrup, leather and sisal.
 
CLIMATE.
Inland and at its southern part Syria presents a continental climate, with dry and hot summers and cold winters; At their northern zone, climate is Mediterranean, with warm summers and soft winters but rainy.
 
LANGUAGE
The official language is the Arabic; commercial language, first line is French and least is the English.
 
CURRENCY.
The money unit is the Syrian Pound, and such is divided in 100 Piastras.
 
ELECTRICAL CURRENT.
It is of 220 Volts.
 
SHOPPING
Shopping offers a great variety. Its handicrafts are famous because of its beauty such as brocades, hand made glass objects, hand made stitchery, pieces engraved by hand in copper or silver and even in gold, and wooden pieces and furniture with shell inlays. In this last ones, its motives are Islamic and of an outstanding beauty.
To shop at their bazaars (zoccos) at Aleppo or even at Damascus, is like to be shopping inside a page of a Tale as such situation counts with no words for a full description.
 
CUISINE.
At the big cities there are good restaurants that offer international cuisine. In smaller cities, kitchen is local. Specialties are the Mezze that if it is served in the correct manner, it is a feast. The Kebab with pickles, the Mahsaf, the special food of the Bedouins that is made of stuffed lamb meat and a kind of yogurt, is even more delicious if such is accompanied by rice.
 
DAMASCUS. The Capital of Syria is a modern city that has kept the good of is old quarters. A lot of civilizations have come and have left its flavor through the ages. Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines... The Omeya Mosque, rebuilt on top of a Christian Church of St. John the Baptist, is a jewel within jewels and also very impressive. The National Museum, keeps a great collection of also great archaeological value and it is worth a visit.
 
ALEPPO. Situated at 223 miles (360 km.) North of Damascus, is the second most important city in Syria and one of the oldest cities in the world. It is located in a large and well fitted Oasis. The Bazaar with local handicraft has tunnels for 8.68 miles (14 km). Its Citadel, is an architectural master piece in the military rank. Its main mosques are the one of Altunbuga and Zawiyah.
 
CRAC DES CHEVALIERS. It is located at 40 miles (65 km) west of Hama. If you visualize a fantastic sandcastle built in a beach, you are, instinctively looking at this marvelous ruins, quite well standing. It is a castle from a history book; it is a castle from a Tale account. It is the paragon of castles. Its true name, today, is Qalaat al-Hosn. Looking at it, alive, it is more big, more complete and more beautiful that ever dreamed. And of all castles in Syria, it is the one that evokes two centuries of implacable warfare and it remains as a symbol of an entire epoch. A skilled work of restoration has been gone since 1934 to bring it back to its former beauty and power.
 
PALMYRA. It was risen from the sand the middle of the desert and it was the former capital of the Roman Province of Arabia (it was proclaimed a Roman Colony by  the Emperor Caracalla in the year 217)  and it had a grand splendor until the Rebelion of the legendary Queen Zenobia occurred in the year 270. At Palmyra it is found the architectonic compound of Syria in where the Hellenistic-roman aspects are mingled as well as other of partian character. In the Valley of the Tombs –to the east of the city-, the “houses of the dead”, veritable underground palaces were decorated with particularly fine sculptures and frescoes known as the Hypogeus of the Three Brothers. Also, in this Valley there are found the Funerary Towers that rise against a blue sky with no clouds. The Temple of Baal, the Colonnade, the Agora and the Hyre Palace are at the site where the main city was.
 
Palmyra is one of those exceptional places where art and history have fused to produce a synthesis that will dazzle succeeding generations. The reddish colour of the limestone of the upper parts of the colonnades and buildings exposed to oxidation from the air, through centuries, shows the dept of the sandstone that sometimes can be found three or four meters deep. Some discoveries of this ancient Arab and Syrian city that enjoyed uninterrupted prosperity for four hundred years – as a centre of a caravan traffic-, are relatively recent like the Agora, the Theatre, the baths and the Temple of Nabo amongst others. The city is gradually being restored like the one of the great Temple of Bel (Baal), one of the finest monuments in all the east. Not so long ago, the inhabitants of Palmyra had used the Temple as centre of their village and a whole new settlement had to be built for them outside the walls of the old city to accommodate its around 30,000 actual population.
 
HAMA. Situated at 86.8 miles (140 km.) South of Aleppo, it is notorious because of its typical wooden waterwheels that have been in service through several centuries for the carriage of the water up to the irrigation channels. Within its most important sites you can visit extra an apart of the waterwheels: The Museum and the Great Mosque.
 
APAMEA. It is located at 34.1 miles (55 km)  Northeast of Hama. It is a Greco-Roman City built circa 300 aD. As crossroads from the East, Apamea received many distinguished visitors. Cleopatra came here on their return from a visit to the Euphrates, accompanying Marc Anthony who was campaigning there against Armenia; Septimus Severus arrived in the year 179, when he was legate of the 4th Scynthian Legion and, later, in the year 215, the Emperor Caracalla called her on his way home from a journey through Egypt. In the 4th Century, Apamea was still conscious of a pagan past, of the glory that her school of philosophers had brought to the city and, that, despite the vigor of its bishops who were well known even in distant Constantinople. Later, the city became a centre of Monophysisum, the doctrine denying the duality of the nature of Christ, which shook the Eastern episcopate to its foundation and led to the establishment of the Syriac-speaking Jacobite Church.
 
At the beginning of the 5th Century, Apamea, with its view over the Orontes and the Ghab Plain, was the capital of Syria Secunda whilst Antioch was the capital of Syria Prima. It was also the home to the headquarters of an archbishopric. This period of peace and prosperity enjoyed by the town was not to last due to a series of Persian invasions during the 6th Century. Apamea was spared from the Persian’s pillages until the year 573. It fell into their hands again from 613 to 628 and was to remain so until the Arabs conquered it in the year 638. In 975, Byzantines arrived and occupied Apamea for eighteen years until 993. In 1106, it was conquered by the Crusaders. Forty three years later, in 1149, the town was once again taken over by Nur Al-Din Ibn-Zanki.
 
In actual times, as it lies in the heart of the golden Ghab, half way between Masyaf and Djisr ech Choghour. The Ghab can be seen in all its lush new fertility. Wide irrigation canals now contain the waters of the Orontes which only yesterday flowed to waste in insalubrious marshland. Behind an area of trees, the water tanks of a fish farm give the impression of an oasis as it is a green spot amid the golden cornfields.
 
BOSRA. It is located at 73.2 miles (120 km), south of Damascus. It counts and it is famous for the best conserved amphitheatre in the world. It was built during the 2nd Century and it has a capacity for 15,000 persons. Bosra has been an extraordinary town. The ruins of this past rise among the houses of the present settlement: columns with splendid acanthus capitals and minarets; gigantic arches which now span unimportant streets, great pools built to supply a metropolis with water, now seem out of all proportion. The main street is being dug up to find the paving of the former decumanus. Groups of patriarchal figures, white-turbaned and mustachioed, pursuing their endless conversations in shady corners, only to serve to enhance the impression of timelessness given by this extraordinary town.
 
MAALULA. Maalula sleeps at 32.9 miles (54 km.) from Damascus, within mountains and at a height of 4,920 feet (1,500 m.) above sea level. Driving from the capital, the first part of the road has a steep climb all the way. Then, once on top of a limestome plateau, the road now follows a narrow path at the foot of a line of cliffs. The light is blinding and the landscape is bare as there is no one single tree but a few crawling vines to relieve the stony ochre but brilliant panorama. Suddenly, a narrow fissure appears and wildness soon into a deep Valley. There are patches of green, fig trees here and there and gardens surrounded by apricots. Slender poplar trees appear before entering the oasis and before the last bend of the road that will bring us into Maaloula.
 
The city counts with a long history registration. It shows with houses hanging from the cliffs as they would be the nests of big birds. The houses are one on top of the other and are constructed in such a way that the roof of one can be used as part of the alleys and walking paths that run along.
 
UGARIT. It is located at 9.92 km. north of Latakia. During the 16th Centurty, it reached its peak moment in culture, administration, religion, diplomacy and economy. Ugarit is the site of the first alphabet in the world, that one of cuneiform letters. Great libraries with books written on clay tables have been unearthened in Ugarit.
 
LATAKIA. It is located at 115 miles (186 km.) southeast of Aleppo. It is one of the five cities built during the 3rd Century by Selecucos Nicator. Today, is the first Port of Syria at the Mediterrannean Sea.

- TOP -


SYRIA
AND ITS OLD CITIES
Guaranteed Departure Starts with Minimum 02 persons.
ITINERARY:
Day 1: Sunday Arrival DAMASCUS airport - transfer to the hotel Overnight.
Day 2: Monday Departure to PALMYRA: visit (Temple + Tombs) Overnight.
Day 3: Tuesday Palmyra – CRAC des CHEVALIERS – ALEPPO (first visit) Overnight.
Day 4: Wednesday ALEPPO (Citadel + Mosque) – ST- SIMEAON (Archaeological Site) HAMA Overnight.
Day 5: Thursday HAMA - APHAMEA – MAALOULA – DAMASCUS Overnight.
Day 6: Friday DAMASCUS: visit of Damascus : Museum , Azem Palace , Mosque Overnight.
Day 7: Saturday DAMASCUS: Free in Damascus – in the late evening transfer to Airport

 - TOP -


CITY:   HOTELS 3*/4*  HOTELS 5* NIGHTS
Damascus Carlton 4* Ebla Cham 5* 3
Palmyra Villa 3*L Palmyra Cham 5* 1
Aleppo Dar Zamaria 4* Chahba Cham 5* 1
Hama Borj Hama 3* Aphamea Cham 5* 1
  
Guaranteed departure start from minimum 02 pax traveling together :
Hotels 3*/4*  Hotels 5*
Price per person sharing Double or Triple Room US $ 665.00 US $ 817.00
Supplement SGL US $ 214.00 US $ 268.00
OPTIONAL:
Excursion to Shahba , Qanawat and Bosra on Day 7:   US$ 67.00 per person
(include guide , transportation and entrance fees).
Supplement for 1 extra night H/B (Half Board) :
Hotels 3*/4*  Hotels 5*
Price per person sharing Double or Triple Room US $ 61.00 US $ 91.00
Supplement SGL Room US $ 37.00 US $ 61.00
 
Supplement for private transfer airport – hotel (or v/v) (per transfer):
02 persons 03 persons 4/5 persons 6/7 persons 8 + persons
US$18.00 per person US$15.00 p.p. US$13.00 p.p. US$11.00 p.p. US$10.00 p.p.
  
Dates of operation (Sunday) :
January 07 21
February 04 18
March  04 18
April 08 29
INCLUDED :
·        Accommodation. at hotels as mentioned or similar on H/B (Half Board) basis , from dinner of DAY 1 till breakfast of DAY 7.
·        English guide.
·        Entrance fees.
·        Transfers airport – hotel – airport.
·        Transportation.

 

 NOT INCLUDED :
·        Other meals.
·        Extras , drinks and personal req.
·        Personal insurance.
·        Individuals visa.
·        Tips for guide and driver.
  - TOP -
Connie Scheller
México
Sunday 24.Dec.2000; 16h17