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Day 1: Arrival Damascus Airport - Damascus Hotel
Upon arrival at Damascus airport our representative will meet and assist you through immigration. Then transfer to your hotel in Damascus, check in, rest of the day is free.
Day 2: Damascus Hotel - Damascus City Tour - Damascus Hotel (B)
After breakfast we begin the full day city tour of Damascus starting with the Via Recta (straight street) already mentioned in the Bible. We visit a the Azem Palace housing the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions and the impressing Umayyad Mosque with the tomb of Salah ad-Din. We continue to the chapel of St. Ananias built in the first century. Then you have the possibility of shopping in the Souq and end the day by passing the Church St. Paul's Window. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Damascus Hotel - Maaloula - Crac des Chevaliers - Amrit - Lattakia Hotel (B)
Depart to Maaloula, a picturesque village about 60 km.from Damascus where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Then we head for the Crac des Chevaliers, the best preserved fortress from Crusader times in Syria. Next stop will be Tartous, the ancient Antarados built by the Phoenicians. On the way we visit Amrit, a Phoenician site, corresponding to the old Marathus. A necropolis and a temple are still to see of the vanished town. Overnight in Lattakia at the Mediterranean Sea.
Day 4: Lattakia Hotel - Salah ad-Dins's Castle - Marqab - Ugarit - Lattakia (B)
After breakfast we visit the castle of Salah ad-Din, a masterpiece of military architecture, built on a rocky buttress. We also see Marqab, an impressive Crusaders castle, built on the coastal route overlooking the sea and the Alawit mountains. In the afternoon we continue to Ugarit, 9 km north of Lattakia, where were found the remains of the capital of the Syrophoenician kingdom Ras Shamra. In Ugarit the first consonantal alphabet was put together in the 14th century B.C. Overnight in Lattakia.
Day 5: Lattakia Hotel - Apamea - Hama - Serjille - Baouda - Ebla - Aleppo Hotel (B)
Today we head to Aleppo across the Alawit mountain toward inner Syria to visit Apamea, the most important and beautiful Hellenistic site in the country. We see the Great Colonnade, the Agora, the theatre and the caravanserail built by the Ottomans in the 16th century housing a Mosaic Museum. In the town Hama we view the Norias, large water wheels dating from the time of Umayyad dynasty in 8th century. In northern Syria are 350 Dead Cities from the 3rd to the 5th century located, as examples we drive to Baouda and Serjille. Last site for today is Ebla, one of the most important archeological sites of Syria revealing marks of an important kingdom of the 25th century B.C.Overnight in Aleppo.
Day 6: Aleppo Hotel - Aleppo City Tour - St. Simeon - Aleppo (B)
The city tour in Aleppo, the second largest city in Syria, starts with the National Museum, then to the Great Mosque and the most famous Souqs of Aleppo dating back to the 16th century. The tour will be ended on the Citadel, already in Hellenistic and Roman times the acropolis of the town. In the afternoon excursion to the monastery of St. Simeon the Stylit. The holy man lived for 42 years on top of a column, in 18 meters high. After his death a beautiful cathedral was built around the pillar, considered as the finest and greatest Christian monument in the Middle East. Overnight in Aleppo.
Day 7: Aleppo Hotel - Qalaat Jabar - Rassafa - Halabia - Deir Ezzor Hotel (B)
Across the valley of the Euphrates we head around 335 km to Deir Ezzor. On the way drive above the barrage of the Euphrates to visit Qalaat Jabar, an Arabic fortress from the 12th century located on an islet in the artificial Assad lake. Next destination are the remains of Rassafa, which rose-coloured marble encrusted with gypsum sparkle in the sunlight. On the right bank of the Euphrates we visit the impressive castle Halabia, a late Roman Byzantine huge fortification. Overnight in Deir Ezzor.
Day 8: Deir Ezzor Hotel - Doura Europos - Mari - Palmyra Hotel (B)
In the morning we drive 85 km to Doura Europos, an enormous square fortified Hellenistic town founded by Seleucus Nicator in the 4th century B.C. Sixteen temples of different religions have been discovered here. Capital of an important Sumerian kingdom was Mari or Tell Hariri, situated halfway between Babylon and the Mediterranean dating back to the 28th century B.C. Very interesting statues and mosaics were discovered and on the site we visit the inside structure of the palace of Zimri-lim, king of Mari. The palace consisted of 300 rooms, court-yards, stores and a library with 20.000 cuneiform tablets. In the afternoon we proceed to Palmyra for overnight.
Day 9: Palmyra - Damascus Hotel (B)
Palmyra, called the Bride of the Desert, was an important oasis city, gaining wealth due to its location along the caravan routes. To get a general idea of the city we begin the day in the museum, visit then the Triumphal Arch, the Great Colonnade, the Agora, the Theatre and the Baal Temple. In the afternoon we drive back to Damascus for overnight.
Day 10: Damascus Hotel - Damascus Airport (B)
After breakfast transfer to Damascus airport to say farewell and board your international flight.
B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner