Syria has always been a center where East and West meet with their varied civilization. It is no wonder that Syria is the cradle of civilization, which flourished throughout history. Monuments, the most important archaeological sites, impregnable castles, citadels and dead cities narrate the glorious history of ancient nations. The basaltic and the limestone ruins tell about a marvelous architectural art. The Corinthian columns, the khans spread all over the Silk Road, the castles still towering from the Medieval ages, the mosques and palaces are the witnesses of a great rich history. To know Syria is to have knowledge of a legendary world.
April 12 , 2011 Tuesday .- April 24, 2011 Sunday
S Y R
TURKEY - SYRIA Day 2
April 13 , 2011 Wednesday
SYRIA Halep (
The first wonderful surprise will be the Gate of Havva and the Roman road which lead the troops of the many and merchants to Anatolia through out the history since the time of the Romans.
St Simon Monastery
This citadel is
60 km north-west of Aleppo. It was named after the hermit Saint Simon (Sam'an),
a shepherd from northern Syria, who became a monk after a revelation
in a dream. Following Saint Simon's death in 459, the Emperor Zenon
ordered that a cathedral be built where the saint used to pray.
When we arrive in Aleppo, which will be late afternoon, we will immediately experience the great food of Syria at a very typical Restaurant built in an old city in the old part of Aleppo. The Syrian cuisine is varied and rich, in view of the fertility of Syrian lands and the abundance of their crops which enable the cook to be a master and to diversify in his choice and talent in the preparation of fresh meals made of vegetables, legumes and meats. The Syrian table is always decorated with the various delicious pastries famous all over the world. We will have our first experience of the Syrian food at lunch in Halep.
This afternoon we will visit Aleppo
the second capital of Syria
(350 km north of Damascus), and one of the oldest continuously
inhabited cities in history.
Old schools, churches, mosques, baths and ancient houses, some
dating back to the 15th century, like the al-Bunduqiah (Venetian)
Consulate, which contains superb ornaments and antiquities.
April 14 , 2011 Thursday
Abraham is said to have camped on the acropolis which, long before his time, served as the foundation of a fortress (where the Aleppo citadel is standing now). He milked his grey cow there, hence Aleppo's name: "Halab al-Shahba". Ever since the 3rd millennium B.C., Aleppo has been a flourishing city, with a unique strategic position. This position gave the city a distinctive role from the days of the Akhadian and Amorite kingdoms until modern times. It was the meeting-point of several important commercial roads in the north. This enabled Aleppo to be the link in trade between Mesopotamia, the Fertile Crescent and Egypt. The Amorites made it their capital in the 18th century B.C. This position made it subject to invasions from various races; from Hittites, Egyptians, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and Romans. Aleppo was prominent in the Christian era; it became a Bishopric and a huge cathedral was built in it, which is still standing. The conflict between Byzantium and Persia, however, resulted in the latter's occupation of Aleppo in 440. The Persians robbed the city, burned considerable parts of it and damaged many of its features. Though expelled by Justinian, the Persians still threatened Aleppo and frightened its inhabitants until the Arab Islamic conquest came in 636. The city then regained its status, both cultural and commercial.
Apart from the Omayyad and Abbassid periods in which Aleppo flourished the Hamadani state established by Sayf al-Dawla in 944 made Aleppo the northern capital of Syria. Sayf al-Dawla built Aleppo's famous citadel, and in his days the city enjoyed great prosperity and fame in science, literature and medicine, despite this leader's military ambitions. Mention should be made of the two most prominent poets, al-Mutanabbi and Abu al-Firas; of the philosopher and scientist, al-Farabi; and of the linguist, Ibn Khalaweh, all of whom lived in Sayf al-Dawla's court and were renowned for great knowledge and scholarship. Aleppo was famous for its architecture; for its attractive churches, mosques, schools, tombs and baths. As an important center of trade between the eastern Mediterranean kingdoms and the merchants of Venice, Aleppo became prosperous and famous in the centuries preceding the Ottoman era. Many of its "khans" (caravanserai) are still in use even today; one of them is called "Banadiqa Khan", "Banadiqa" in Arabic being the term for "inhabitants of Venice". In the Ottoman age, Aleppo remained an important center of trade with Turkey, France, England and Holland. This caused various types of European architecture to be adopted in Aleppo which can be seen in many buildings today.
The National Museum; this includes in
particular documents and relics from Ebla and Mari. After the museum
of Bagdad was demolished, this museum stands as the best museum for
documenting the history of Mesopotamia.
-Halawiyeh Madrasa This Koranic school was founded in 1124. It
is found on the site of the Cathedral of St. Helena, mother of the
Emperor Constantine who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 326.
SYRIA Day 4 April 15 , 2011 Friday Humus( Homs)
Hama Water Mills Ebla Tablets from Assyrian Era Apamia Roman city
Dinner and overmight at the hotel in Humus Homs
Hama is considered as
one of the oldest inhabited areas in the Arab World. Located in the
central region of Syria 120 km from the Mediterranean Sea, the area
combines a spectacular mixture of steppe, mountains and river plains.
The area is dominated by the Al-Aassi river, known internationally as
the Orontes river.
Apamea is located on the right bank of the Orontes, about 55 km to the northwest of Hama. It overlooks the Ghaab plain. It was built by Saluqos Nikator, the first king of the Seleucids in Syria in 300 B.C. He named it after his wife, Afamia. The city flourished to an extent that its population numbered half a million. As an Eastern crossroads, it received many distinguished visitors: Cleopatra, Septimus Severus and the Emperor Caracalla. In the Christian era, Apamea became a center of philosophy and thought, especially of Monophostism. Most of the uncovered ruins in it date back to the Roman and Byzantine ages. It is distinguished for its high walls and the main thoroughfare surrounded by columns with twisted fluting.
The street is
about 2km long and 87m wide. The ruins of the Roman theatre, which
have been frequently disturbed, are now a great mass of stone. Its
colonnade is 145 m long. Erected in the 2nd century, it was destroyed
in the 12th century by two violent earthquakes; some columns are still
standing nevertheless. To the west of the city, stands the Mudiq
citadel which once formed a defense line along the Orontes. Fierce
battles with the Crusaders attempting to conquer it took place in the
12th century, and Nur al-Din finally surrendered it in 1149. The
citadel has huge towers, overlooking the Ghaab plain. It also has a
khan built by the Turks in the 16th century, and
transformed into an archacological museum which houses Apamea's
mosaics.To the south of Mudiq castle lies the citadel of Shaizar
overlooking the Orontes. In the Middle Ages it could only be reached
by a draw-bridge. The main tower of the citadel is square in shape and
overlooks the defensive fortresses. Arabic inscriptions from the
Mamluk periods appear over its entrance. The citadel was rebuilt by
the Mamluks after it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1157. The
Crusaders tried to occupy it several times, but in vain.
Many churches still stand in Homs from the days of early Christianity in Syria. One of these churches is said to possess the girdle of the Blessed Virgin. The church of St. Elian is unique for its collection of fine frescoes discovered in 1970. These bear inscriptions in Greek and Arabic, and date back to the end of the 12th century. The Nuri mosque also dates back to the 12th century, distinguished for its beautiful entrance.
SYRIA Day 5 April 16 , 2011 Saturday Palmira
Palmyra, is like a pearl in the heart of the desert, Palmyra, rising from the sands, is one of the most graceful and splendid ancient sites in the East, for the glory and the greatness are still evident and fully years after its construction by the Arab Queen Zenobia. It remains as one of most famous capitals of the ancient world. We will have a camel ride at sun set and wills end the evening in the oasis of Palmyra
SYRIA Day 6
April 17 , 2011 Sunday Sam (Damascus)
St. Tekla was one of the most loyal disciples of St Paul. In order to follow St Paul on his Missionary journey, he had dressed as man and followed him where ever Paul had traveled on his long journey.
After we visit her church, we will proceed to a winery where since the time of the Assyrians wine was being made and offered to the Gods. We will get a chance to to taste the wine that once made Gods happy/Damascus is the largest city in Syria and may be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. We will check in to our hotel before we go out for another great dinner experience.
SYRIA Day 7
April 18 , 2011 Monday
We will start the day with city site seeing.
After lunch we will spend the afternoon at the souks of Damascus. We
will see wood carvers, motherof pearl being engraved in wood, weavers
Tomb and its neighboring Schools
SYRIA Day 08
April 19 , 2011 Tuesday
Souk The magnificent old city of Damascus inhabits a wide range of souks that cater to different needs. One takes a trip to the old city in order to attain a sense of Syrian national heritage and a culture that seems to be unique to the masses. Our first stop will be Hamadiyeh souk. We followed a straight line of 500 meters from the west of the old city to the Ommayyad Mosque. The souk dates back to the Ottoman Rule under Sultan Abdul-Hamid, after whom the souk "hamidiyeh" was named. The souk is covered with high iron vaulting and the hot sun's rays are filtered through its shields, with holes that emerged from gun fire attacks in the mid 20th century under the French mandate. A major commercial center up until this day, the shops in Hamadiyeh sell almost everything with a wide array of products displayed at the main street. Exquisite handmade brocades, mosaic, and copper inlaid with silver were superbly displayed, perplexing to the shopper's initiative due to their abundance. Ice cream, sweets, and the delicious `tamary ka'ak' will be continuously tempting us as we walk through the souk . Branching out to the right of the souk, close to its mid-point, we lead our way through to Souk Al-Saghah. Confined in its covered ceilings and walls as well, Souk Al-Saghah is limited to jewelry only, The window displays present a numerous range of precious metal accessories, genuine yellow and white gold, with diamond or pearl details. From necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, engagement rings, wedding rings, all of which are copious to the senses. Barganing is the name of the game in this souk. In the evening we will have a dervish performance. Dinner will be served in a private home. Overnight in Damascus.
A M M A N
AMMAN Day 09
April 20 , 2011 Wednesday Amman ,
We will cross the border to Amman and our first stop in this country will be one of the most intact roman site, Jarash. We will relive the history as we watch a gladiator show. then we will continue to the Amman, Capital of Jordan .The seven hills of Amman are an enchanting mixture of ancient and modern. Honking horns give way to the beautiful call to prayer which echoes from the stately minarets which grace the city. Gleaming white houses, kabab stalls and cafés are interspersed with bustling markets. tonight the feast will be a kebab that you will never forget. ( For the vegetarians we have eggplant kebab)
AMMAN Day 10
April 21 , 2011 Thursday Petra,
Petra is the treasure of ancient world, hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains, boasting incomparable scenes that make it the most majestic and imposing ancient site still-standing nowadays.. It has been said "perhaps there is nothing in the world that resembles it", actually, for sure, there is nothing in the world that resembles it. The rock-carved rose-red city of Petra is full of mysterious charm, it was "designed to strike wonder into all who entered.
AMMAN Day 11 April 22, 2011 Friday Petra, Jordan
Petra is considered the most famous and gorgeous site in Jordan located about 262 km south of Amman and 133 km north of Aqaba. It is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in southern Jordan more than 2000 years ago. Admired then for its refined culture, massive architecture and ingenious complex of dams and water channels, Petra is now a UNESCO world heritage site and one of The New 7 Wonders of the World that enchants visitors from all corners of the globe. Dinner and overnight will be in this magical city.
AMMAN Day 12April 23, 2011 Saturday Dead Sea , Amman
Drive to the Dead Sea Return to Amman
We will have a feast along the sea shore. those who might be interested can go swimming. Make sure you bring your swimming suits today.
We will return to Amman for dinner and overnight.
AMMAN Day 13 April 24, 2011 Sunday Departure Fly out of Amman
Single room supplement US$ 750.-
The tour price includes
The price does not include
ARRIVAL IN ISTANBUL
PLEASE IGNORE THEM ALL! THE PERSON WHO IS WAITING FOR YOU WILL NOT BE AMONG THAT CROWD.
1.After you leave the customs gate, turn LEFT
VISA FOR SYRIA AND JORDAN