Syria is one of the more modern countries in the Middle East and boasts a scenic location on the eastern tip of the tranquil Mediterranean Sea. Although it has been bickering with its neighbour Israel for numerous years, Syria is a good place to visit and the fact that it is home to the region’s oldest city, Damascus, makes it worth the visit alone.
Damascus is Syria’s capital which lies on the banks of the Barada River and the Ghouta Oasis that provide water resources for the Syrian people. Damascus’ history is believed to stretch back as far as 5000 BC and most come to visit the city centre Martyrs’ Square which is home to some of Islam’s greatest monuments and a whole host of restaurants and hotels.
If you travel 140kms south to Bosra, you will find a city which is fascinatingly made from black basalt and is also home to one of the oldest Roman theatres in the world. The second largest city in Syria is Aleppo, which also goes by the name of Halab. It is here that you will find fascinating markets alongside a citadel surrounded by water and a captivating museum. The region is also home to the ‘Dead Cities’ of Ruweiha, Serjilla, Jerada and Al-Bara.
It should go without saying that the best accommodation for foreign visitors can be found in Syria’s capital Damascus. Here, you can expect to find a double room in a three-star hotel for a reasonable price and a four-star hotel for the same as a mid-range hotel in a European city. There are also luxury five-star options.
Getting into Syria can be achieved by flying into Damascus International Airport with Syrian Arab Airlines or by jumping aboard a BMI flight on its way to Europe. If you have a lot of free time to travel around, why not take the train from Istanbul and soak up all the sights and scenery as you journey across the Mediterranean region into the heart of the Middle East.