12 DAYS / 11 NIGHTS Tour
DAY 1: Arrival in Damascus
- Welcome by your local guide at the airport.
- Assistance in obtaining the entry visa.
- Transfer to the hotel.
DAY 2: Damascus
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure for the guided tour of the capital of Syria, Damascus . Lunch during the visit.
The National Museum : Its visit provides an overview of the civilizations that have succeeded in Syrian soil. It contains statues, seals, jewelry, masks, mosaics, tablets and weavings from the most important sites in the country.
The Umayyad Mosque : Located in the heart of the Medina, the mosque is distinguished by its prayer room, its courtyard and its walls covered with mosaics.
El-Azem Palace : Not far from the Great Mosque, in the labyrinth of the souk is the palace El-Azem. It is considered as the sumptuous model of the Damascene house whose exterior simplicity and sobriety do not suggest anything about a beautiful and rich interior, with many varieties of flowers, fruit trees and water jets.
Saint Ananian Church : It is of particular importance because it is attached to the memory of Saint Paul. Before his conversion to Christianity he had a vision here that blinded him for several days and gave him an unshakeable faith.
Dinner and overnight in Damascus.
DAY 3: Damascus – Maaloula – Crac of the Knights
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Maaloula . Visit the monastery of Saint Serge de Maaloula. This monastery, whose Syriac name means “the entrance”, seems to be hanging on the rocks. Here the Aramaic language, the language of Christ, is always spoken.
- Hike : Walk from Saint Sergius Monastery to St. Thècle Convent via the Maaloula pass.
- Continue to Al-Hosn. Afternoon, visit the Crac des Chevaliers . Lunch during the visit.
- Crac of the Knights : The crusaders made it the basic element of their system of strongholds on the coast. This citadel is so vast and so impregnable that it has become the symbol of a whole era of bloody struggles between Muslims and Crusaders … It covers three hectares and has thirteen great towers. It is a sublime example of the architecture of the Crusader era. It is the French architect Paul Deschamps who restored the Crac in 1936.
- Hike : Walk in the Moushtayé region from the Crac des Chevaliers to the Saint Georges Monastery.
Dinner and overnight at Crac des Chevaliers.
DAY 4: Crac of the Knights – Ugarit – Chateau de Saladin
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Ugarit , coastal town north of Latakia.
- Ugarit : It became famous thanks to the discovery of tablets of the oldest consonantal alphabet known to date. The first habitat, a large fortified village, dates back to the 8th millennium BC. The two immense palaces, later constructions, yielded archives and literary archives, attesting to an astonishing diversity of languages and five writing systems, including the consonantal alphabetical or Ugaritic script which dates from the 14th century BC AD
- Lunch and visit the Castle of Saladin , located in the Jebel Ansariyé.
- Castle Saladin : Beautiful citadel built by the Franks in the middle of the forest, on a rocky peak. It allowed to control the roads coming from and going towards Latakia. The history of this stronghold is long: the Phoenicians had already fortified the place, Alexander the Great seized it, as well as the Byzantines a few centuries later. It is the Crusaders who, in the twelfth century, will give the castle its current appearance. At the time, it was called “Château de Saône” (named after a crusader). Its current name was only awarded in 1957, commemorating Saladin’s seizure of the place in 1188.
- Hiking : Hiking in the surrounding nature of the castle. You will walk in the woods, along a river … in the footsteps of Saladin.
Dinner and overnight at the Château de Saladin.
DAY 5: Saladin Castle – Slenfeh – Apamee – Sergilla – Aleppo
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Slenfeh , Syrian resort located a few kilometers from the Castle of Saladin.
- Hiking : Hiking in Slenfeh, in the forest.
- Lunch and resumption of the road to Apamea .
- Apamea : The city was founded around 300 BC and became a flourishing city. Great figures of history stayed there: Cleopatra, Mark Antony, Septimius Severus and Emperor Caracalla. The city is distinguished by its long ramparts and its main artery lined with twisted columns, as well as its Roman theater, one of the largest known ancient theaters, whose scene is more than 145 meters.
- Before arriving in Aleppo, stop in Sergilla : one of the best preserved among the dead cities.
- Continue to Aleppo.
- Dinner and overnight in Aleppo.
DAY 6: Aleppo – Saint Simeon – Aleppo
- Breakfast at the hotel . Excursion to Saint Simeon.
- Saint Simeon : This is a place dedicated to the hermit at the column. Simeon will give up his activity as a shepherd at the age of 13 to consecrate himself to God. He lived all his life austere, performing many fasts and spending long and recurrent periods without contact with the world. It was at the top of a column whose deck surface did not allow him to lie down or sit down that he spent the last 40 years of his life. Hence its name Simeon the Stylite. The basilica built in his memory is considered one of the most beautiful of the East.
- Picnic at Saint Simeon.
- Hiking : You will walk in the surroundings of Saint Simeon, in the limestone massif … in search of churches and abandoned villages.
- Back to Aleppo.
- Possibility of relaxing in a hammam.
- Dinner and overnight in Aleppo.
DAY 7: Aleppo
- Breakfast at the hotel . Visit of the second largest city of Syria.
- A flourishing metropolis since the 3rd millennium BC, Aleppo has been fighting with Damascus for the title of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city. The old city has undoubtedly the most beautiful souks of the Middle East.
- The citadel : It stands in the middle of the city and dominates it from the height of its fifty meters. It has admirably designed towers and stands out with its perfectly finished entrances and iron gates.
- At lunch, Syrian specialties in a typical restaurant.
- Caravanserais : They were intended for the accommodation of traders on the move and their goods. They are famous for their decorated facades, high arched entrances and huge wooden doors that closed at nightfall …
- The ancient souks covered with Aleppo : They are distinguished by their coffered vaults and their enormous cupolas. Most date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. These are real living museums that offer us a true image of what were the commercial districts and the animation that reigned in the Middle Ages. Each souk specializes in selling a type of product. In the charming souks you can also find authentic Bedouin handicrafts, as well as rugs, fabrics and many varieties of delicacies to enjoy, such as the famous Aleppo pistachios, honey-based pastries, almonds and fruits. dry that will make happy the most greedy. You will do the best shopping in the Orient …
- Dinner and overnight in Aleppo.
DAY 8: Aleppo – Lake Assasd – Rassafah – Halabieh – Deir Ez-Zor
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Rassafah and stop at Assad Lake .
- We are moving away from the Euphrates for a visit to the site of Rassafah , the city of Sergius, Syrian soldier converted to Christianity who, according to legend, was beheaded for refusing to make a sacrifice in honor of Jupiter becoming a martyr and a saint.
- Lunch along the way.
- Resume the road to Halabieh , from where you will enjoy a superb view of the Euphrates. The site contains beautiful remains and ramparts dating from the Byzantine era.
- Hiking : Hike to Halabieh along the Euphrates.
- Arrival at Deir Ez-Zor at the end of the afternoon. Deir Ez-Zor, a small agricultural town nicknamed “Pearl of the Euphrates, fiancée of the desert”.
- Dinner and overnight at Deir Ez-Zor .
DAY 9: Deir Ez-Zor – Palmyra
- Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the Deir Ez-Zor museum and discover the Bedouin market. Departure for Palmyra. Lunch along the way.
- Hiking : Near Palmyra, hiking in the nature reserve of Al-Talile. This reserve surrounded by a wall of sand is used for scientific purposes; we study the capacity of certain plants to adapt to a desert climate and we find among others two kinds of gazelles. There is also a sulfur source.
- Arrival in Palmyra before sunset. In the afternoon, the sun begins to descend, giving the site a last brushstroke before disappearing behind the mountains and the Arab castle. Finally begins the reign of the night that envelops Palmyra in an atmosphere of magic and mystery. Some monuments are illuminated, others not, we guess them in the dark, under the starry sky and in the cold.
- Dinner and overnight in Palmyra .
DAY 10: Palmyra
- Breakfast at the hotel. Visit the site of Palmyra. Lunch during the visit.
- The one that the Romans baptized Palmyra (the city of palms) and that the Syrians call Tadmor (miracle in Aramaic) is the most important oasis of the Syrian desert. Located 240 km from Damascus, Palmyra is the city of all superlatives. It arises in the midst of golden sands that extend to infinity. An oasis of columns, remains and palm trees that testifies to the splendor of this city that made, one day, tremble Rome …
- The temple of Bel : It was for the Palmyrenes what Zeus was for the Greeks. Its temple is the largest and most majestic building in Palmyra, a unique example of fusion between Greco-Roman and oriental-inspired architecture.
- The theater and the large colonnade crossing the city for more than a kilometer through which caravans arriving from the desert passed.
- Tombs including tombs towers, tombs dug, tombs temples or individual tombs.
- Hike : Hike in the desert to arrive at Sad Abyiad. Dam that aims to harvest rainwater from the desert. Unique water point surrounded by a tiny green belt in the middle of the sands.
- Typical dinner, mensaf, under a Bedouin tent and overnight in Palmyra.
DAY 11: Palmyra – Mar Moussa – Palmyra
Breakfast at the hotel . Departure to Mar Moussa, monastery located in the mountains. The chapel contains murals that are worth seeing.
- Hiking : Hike to Mar Moussa.
- Lunch and return to Damascus for a last stroll in the old city and an unforgettable shopping in the souks.
- Dinner and overnight in Damascus.
DAY 12: Departure from Damascus
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- Transfer to the airport according to the time of your convocation, flight on regular flight.