The main city of the Mediterranean coast of Syria and the main seaport of the country is Latakia. . It was built during the Seleucid dynasty in the 2nd century BC. There are not many historical sights in the city itself. Only the columns have survived, a Roman arch from the 2nd century AD. and the Turkish building Cann al-Dukan, which now houses a museum. But in the vicinity of Latakia, you can visit the ruins of ancient cities and medieval castles.
According to Top-mba-universities, 4 km north of Latakia are the ruins of the ancient city-state Ugarit, which flourished here in the 2nd millennium BC. During excavations in Ugarit, a clay tablet with the oldest alphabet in the world was found, now it is kept in the National Museum in Damascus. Also not far from Latakia is worth a look at the castle of Saladin, which under the Crusaders was called Saon. It was built by the Crusaders in the 12th century on a high hill on the site of a Byzantine fortress from the 10th century. The castle received a new name from the Arabs in honor of the famous Muslim commander who conquered this fortress from the Crusaders in 1188. The fortress is well preserved and practically not rebuilt.
In addition, in the vicinity of Latakia, to the north and south of the city, beaches stretch along the entire coast, and in the mountains there are numerous mountain resorts with a pleasant climate, mineral springs and picturesque nature, some of which operate in winter and are suitable for ski lovers. sports. It is worth noting that there are no specially equipped slopes and lifts here, so you will have to bring the necessary equipment yourself.
55 km south of Latakia on the coast is the city of Banyas. Not far from here, on a hill, one of the last crusader castles, built of black basalt, has been preserved – Al-Markab. Initially, in the 11th century, it was an Arab fortress. It was built on a 500 m high mountain, later the crusaders conquered the fortress. It was a truly impregnable fortress of impressive size, with 14 towers, surrounded by a deep moat, which even the Arab commander Saladin did not attack. Misaf summer resort is located 50 km east of Banyas at an altitude of 400 m. In addition to natural beauty, the resort boasts the Arab citadel of the same name, which was captured by the crusaders in 1103 and recaptured by the Arabs in 1140.
If you go even further south along the coast, you can get to the second most important seaport in Syria – Tartus. Ancient Tartus was the main seaport of the crusaders and at that time was called Tortosa. In Tartus, the castle of the Crusaders and the Cathedral of the Mother of God of Tartu, made in the Gothic style, have been preserved, which now houses a museum with archaeological finds. In the vicinity of Tartus in the mountains are the summer resort Draykish, famous for its mineral springs, and Safita. 3 km from Tartus in the sea is the island of Arvad, the only one belonging to Syria island. Boats depart from the mainland. The island is interesting for the fortress of the Crusaders of the 13th century, where the museum is now located, the Arab castle, inside which tourists are not allowed, and the remains of the Phoenician wall. There are souvenir shops at almost every step on the island.
The eastern part of Syria, occupied by the Eastern Plateau and part of the Syrian Desert, is no less interesting in terms of tourism in the western part.
In the center of the country, 210 km northeast of Damascus, is the village of Tadmor, in ancient times the prosperous city of Palmyra . Its name is translated as “city of palm trees”. Palmyra was called the “rival of Rome in the East”, since it was a rich Roman settlement, a major trading center, linking the West and the East, rising among the desert sands. The first mention of Palmyra dates back to the 20th century BC. Under the Arabs, the city lost its commercial significance. Palmyra owes to the source Afka… Only on the basis of it was it possible to form a rich oasis in the desert.It is believed that the sulfate waters of the source also have a healing effect.They help in the treatment of skin diseases, respiratory diseases, digestive organs and anemia, stimulate digestion and blood circulation. Archaeological Park next to Tadmor, covers an area of 6 sq. km In 1980, it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.The ruins of Palmyra are preserved here Roman period and structures erected in the 3rd century AD. under the Syrian queen Zenobia, who gave her life to fight against Rome. On the hill are the ruins of the 17th century Arab watch fortress Fakhr al-Din al-Maani. The main street, surrounded by a colonnade, runs through the whole city. Also in the park you can see the Bela (Baala) temple complex, the trading square, the Senate, the amphitheater, the triumphal arch, the ruins of residential buildings, the baths and the valley of the tombs with unique burials located in several layers. Of interest is the Palmyra Museum with an extensive collection of art from various periods (sculptures, mosaics, gold, bronze and pottery) and an ethnographic collection that tells about the folklore of Palmyra and the Syrian desert in general. Every year in the first week of May, the park hosts a festival during which camel races, folklore evenings with dances and songs, displays of costumes and products of local artisans are held. From Tadmor you can go on a trip through the desert on camels.
45 km southwest of Tadmor is the Al-Khir al-Gharbi Palace of the 8th century, and 110 km northeast of Tadmor is the Al-Khir al-Shargi Palace of the 8th century with a small mosque like the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus. Also of interest are the ruins of the Rasafa Palace, 160 km north of Palmyra.. The palace served as the residence of Caliph Hisham, who built the two palaces listed above. The Caliph’s residence was erected on the site of the church of St. Sergius, around which, several centuries before, the ancient city of Sergiopolis flourished.