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Syria Aleppo Apamea PalmyraKrak Des Chevaliers Dura Europos Damascus Bosra


The lush Mediterranean coast rises quickly up into mountains hiding Crusader and Assassin castles. These drop to the Syrian inland - foothills scattered with secret Byzantine towns and olive groves - to orchards and rolling fields of wheat, sometimes marked by the traces of empires past, sometimes leaving no clue to what lies beneath. Villages cling to cliffs, valleys, languages, and traditions.

Life gives way to a desert stretching out to the horizon, broken by jagged basalt mountains, the sudden walls of a sand-covered city, and relieved only by the startling green oases - oases which for thousands of years have protected and nourished caravan way stations, and the lines of camels trudging from Africa to India. Suddenly the desert is cut in two by the mighty Euphrates, artery of the first human civilizations, and the fertile greens and browns provide temporary relief before the desert stretches on.

Damascus and Aleppo are the world’s oldest cities; where buying, selling, and trading continue as they have for five thousand years. The old towns thrive on constant renewal - streets and adobe houses follow the lines of a Roman temple, itself built on land already consecrated in the name of long forgotten gods.

The stunning Umayyad mosques, Damascus’ Azem Palace, the Aleppo Citadel have all drawn visitors for centuries. However, the most exquisite examples of Arab, Ottoman, and Byzantine architecture are found tucked around every corner, and it seems every street has its palace, its shrine, its souq - all built on the foundations of those that went before.

See the map above for an idea of where things are, and for some suggested itineraries Email Us