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Tartus Region

Tartus
طرطوس

Tartus (طرطوس) is the second largest city on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, a provincial capital, and home to an important seaport. It is most well-known for its important role during the Crusades, when it was called Tortosa, but its history dates back to the Phoenician period. It is a well-developed city that has numerous parks and a generally quiet, slow-paced atmosphere.  Historic remains include the old …

Arwad
ارواد

Arwad (ارواد) is Syria’s only inhabitable island, located 2.5 kilometers offshore from Tartus (طرطوس). The densely populated island has a long history dating back to the Phoenician period, but is more well known among Syrians for its numerous fish restaurants. While nothing from the Phoenicians remains, there are two small fortresses on the island, one left by the Crusaders which is open to visitors. This …

Amrit
عمريت

Amrit (عمريت) was a Phoenician religious center, and in terms of the visible remains it is arguably the most impressive Phoenician site in Syria. The ruins include a temple complex and numerous tombs, though the site was also a continental port for the settlement on Arwad (ارواد) island. The architectual styles show Persian and Egyptian influence, and the Romans built a stadium here in the 4th century. Amrit (عمريت) …

Qalaat al-Marqab
قلعة المرقب

Qalaat al-Marqab (قلعة المرقب) is a massive Crusader castle dominating a hilltop overlooking the main coastal highway between Tartus (طرطوس) and Lattakia (اللاذقية), just outside the town of Banias (بانياس). One of the most impressive castles in Syria, it should be considered a must-see if visiting the coastal region.   Getting There: It is easy to visit the castle from either Tartus (طرطوس) or Lattakia (اللاذقية), first by taking a …

Burj al-Sebi
برج الصبي

Burj al-Sebi (برج الصبي) is a single Crusader tower which now overlooks the main coastal highway. It is located on the southern edge of the town of Banias (بانياس) and southwest of Qalaat al-Marqab (قلعة المرقب). Historically, Burj al-Sebi (برج الصبي) protected access to the port and coastal route of Qalaat al-Marqab (قلعة المرقب). It is about 15 square meters and has two floors of accommodation and a basement, and …

Qalaat al-Kahf
قلعة الكهف

Qalaat al-Kahf (قلعة الكهف) is perhaps the most romantically situated of all castles in Syria, perched on a rocky mountain ridge between two gorges, steep cliffs offering a natural defense. The castle is surrounded by tall mountain peaks and almost completely hidden from view. Qalaat al-Kahf (قلعة الكهف) rivals Qalaat Salah al-Din (قلعة صلاحالدين) with regards to the beautiful setting, and most travelers who make …

Mashta al-Helou & Kafroun
مشتى الحلو و كفرون

Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو) and nearby Kafroun (كفرون) are two of the most developed and picturesque of Syria’s mountain resorts, and offer beautiful places to escape the summer heat. On clear days, the often snowcovered mountains of Lebanon are visible at a distance from Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو), which also has numerous luxury hotels and restaurants. Kafroun (كفرون), in a valley below, is the location of many summer homes. …

Safita
صافيتا

Dominated by an imposing Crusader keep, the scenic mountain town of Safita (صافيتا) is well worth a visit. Safita (صافيتا) has a charming and picturesque old town and a certain open and liberal feel to it. The population is predominantly split between Alawites and Christians. The area surrounding Safita (صافيتا) is known for beautiful mountain resorts, popular in the summer to escape the heat. Safita (صافيتا) makes …

Hosn Suleiman
حصن سليمان

Hosn Suleiman (حصن سليمان) is a magnificent ancient temple complex located in a remote stretch of mountains. Although this had been a religious center for centuries before, most of the current construction dates from the Roman period. Most impressive, perhaps, is the size of the stones used to construct the outer walls of the complex, which are similar in size to those found in Baalbek, …

Qalaat Yahmur
قلعة يحمور

Qalaat Yahmur (قلعة يحمور) is a small, compact fortress about 12 kilometers southeast of Tartus (طرطوس) in the center of the village of Yahmur (يحمور). It is in a great state of preservation, and has recently undergone some restoration. A family lived on the bottom floor of the central keep until recently, but it is now abandoned. While this is a fairly minor site compared …