13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS Tour
DAY 1: Arrival in Damascus
- Welcome by your guide at Damascus airport, assistance for obtaining the visa.
- Transfer to the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Damascus.
DAY 2: Damascus – Maaloula – Crac of the Knights
- Breakfast at the hotel . Departure towards Maaloula . Visit of 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.
- Continue to Al-Hosn, lunch en route . Afternoon, visit the Crac des Chevaliers .
- 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.
- Dinner and overnight at Crac des Chevaliers.
DAY 3: Krak of the Knights – Hama – Apamee – Saint Simeon – Aleppo
- Breakfast at the hotel . Departure towards Hama to admire its famous norias: large wooden wheels, installed on the edge of the Orontes and which have not stopped turning since the 14th century to raise the water to distribute in the city. The rustic beauty of these old machines is striking, their regular song seems to come from the depths of time.
- Second stage, Apamea .
- The city of Apamea 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.
- Lunch and continuation to Saint Simeon , 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.
- Road to Aleppo. Dinner and overnight in Aleppo.
DAY 4: Aleppo
- Breakfast at the hotel . Visit of the second 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 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 …
- Aleppo is also famous for the finesse of its gastronomy. As in all places where there is a large mixing of populations and cultures, there is a very rich cuisine with a wide variety of flavors. The cuisine of Aleppo has, among other things, been influenced by Armenian, Turkish, Lebanese and Syrian cuisine.
- At the end of the afternoon, you can relax in a hammam.
- Dinner and overnight in Aleppo.
DAY 5: Aleppo – Assad Lake – Rassafah – Palmyra
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards the Euphrates, stop at Lake Assad .
- Resumption of the road to the South and stop at Rassafa for the visit of the site. Rassafah is the city of Sergius, a 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.
- Arrival in Palmyra at the end of the afternoon.
- 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 …
- 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.
- Typical dinner, mensaf, under a Bedouin tent and overnight at the hotel .
DAY 6: Palmyra – Damascus
- Early risers enjoy it … The sun then appears, giving the columns changing colors.
- Breakfast at the hotel. Visit of Palmyra . Lunch during the visit.
- 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.
- The combined work of Unesco and many archaeological missions have made it possible to bring out the ruins of the sands and present them to visitors in an excellent state of preservation. The visitor has the privilege of walking there according to his moods and his desires, at any time of day and night. Dawn is probably the most magical moment but few are brave who venture to leave the hotel early for a morning walk in the ruins.
- Back to Damascus.
- Dinner and overnight in Damascus.
DAY 7: 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 8: Damascus – Bosra – Jerash – Amman
- Breakfast at the hotel . Departure towards the South of Syria.
- Visit Bosra , a very ancient city, already mentioned in the inscriptions of Akhenaton, in the 14th century BC. The most important of its monuments is the famous Roman theater (2nd century AD), the one of the most beautiful and best preserved in the world. It is 45 meters long and has a depth of 8 meters. Its stands can accommodate seventeen thousand spectators.
- Crossing the border and continuing the trip to Jordan. Lunch along the way.
- Stop at Jerash , visit the site.
- The second largest tourist site in the country after Petra, Jerash became a very important city from the Roman conquest (64-63 BC) to become one of the largest cities of the Decapolis towards the end of the 1st century AD The city reaches a considerable level of wealth; the remains of the imposing public works and monuments still visible today are the most eloquent testimony.
- Arrival in Amman . The Romans called it Philadelphia. It was one of the most important cities of the Roman province of Arabia. You can discover the old citadel and the Roman amphitheater. Possibility to visit the archaeological museum and the museum of arts and popular traditions.
- Dinner and overnight in Amman.
DAY 9: Amman – Madaba – Mount Nebo – Kerak – Petra
- Breakfast at the hotel . Departure by the “Route des Rois” towards Madaba .
- In the Greek Orthodox Church of St. George of Madaba you can admire the mosaic map of Palestine.
- You will then join Mount Nebo .
- It is the most revered site in Jordan since Moses was buried there after contemplating the Promised Land. In the sanctuary of the death of Moses and in the church of Saint Lot and Saint Procope, are mosaics in perfect state of conservation.
- Lunch along the way. Continuation towards Kerak , also located on the old “Route of the Kings”. It is on the territory of this city, quoted in the Bible under the name of Qer Harreseth, that was built an important crossed citadel, the Crac of the Moabites . In the literature, this fortress is often confused with the Crac des Chevaliers.
- Continuation of the road to the South and arrival in Petra in the early evening.
- Petra was the capital of the Nabataeans, a Semitic people from Arabia. They settled in this place around the 6th century BC. The site, consisting of about 600 monuments carved in the rock, extends over an area of about 6 km by 3 km. Petra is one of the magical places as there are few in the world. This “chaos of rocks” (meaning of Petra in Greek) shaped by the wind, the sand and the water is at the origin of a mixture of extraordinary colors.
- Dinner and overnight in Petra.
DAY 10: Petra
- Breakfast at the hotel. Day dedicated to the visit of the Petra site . Lunch during the visit.
- The “Treasure” (Al-Kanaz, in Arabic) : This is a gigantic royal tomb measuring 30 m wide and 43 m high. It is dug out of the rock and has fueled the imagination of many artists and novelists. It was built by the Nabataeans in the 1st century BC It is inevitably the culmination of a visit to Petra.
- Siq : It is a narrow canyon, with a width of 3 to 11 meters, and deep in places up to 100 meters. It was dug by the grains of sand carried by the wind and which eroded the very friable rock.
- The Royal Tombs : The Tomb at the Urn, which takes its name from the small urn located at the top of the pediment of the colonnades. The Tomb of the Silk, which owes its name to the veins of the rock and the soft colors of the sandstone. The Tomb of Sextus Florentinus, erected in honor of the Roman governor of the province of Arabia in the year 130.
- El Deir : The biggest monument of Petra. It is reached by a staircase of 800 steps carved into the rock. The Lions Tomb, so called because of two lion sculptures that guard the entrance.
- The Theater : It was dug in the time of Christ by the Nabataeans and then enlarged by the Romans.
- Dinner and overnight in Petra.
DAY 11: Petra – Beida – Wadi Rum
- Breakfast at the hotel and visit Beida , the little Petra.
- Departure towards the mythical desert of Wadi Rum .
- Wadi Rum is associated with the memory of TE Lawrence, who settled there with the Arab Revolt troops in 1917. Lawrence of Arabia left marvelous descriptions of this “open-air cathedral” in his book The Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
- Lunch. Afternoon 4×4 drive in the desert.
- Dinner and overnight in Wadi Rum.
DAY 12: Wadi Rum – Dead Sea – Amman
- Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards the Dead Sea .
- The Dead Sea, repeatedly mentioned in the Old Testament, has a deep spiritual and historical heritage because it is believed that it was on its shores that the important cities of Sodom, Gomorrah and Zebouin were built.
- The peculiarity that will not fail to surprise you is that it is almost impossible to sink in its waters four times as salty as ordinary seawater …
- Lunch and afternoon, return to Amman .
- Dinner and overnight in Amman.
DAY 13: Departure from Amman
- Breakfast at the hotel .
- Transfer to the airport according to the time of your convocation.
- Flight on regular flight.