Syria


Journey Through Time...

Home to Damascus, the world's oldest inhabited city, Ugarit, where the world's first alphabet was found and Ma'aloula, where Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken, Syria has been a meeting place for 12,000 years.
 
Egyptian, Babylonian, Greek, Roman, Sumerian and Phoenician civilisations have left a country rich in archeological and cultural remains. The bazaars of Aleppo, the Crusader fortress at Crac des Chevaliers, the waterwheels of Hama and the Roman sites of Bosra and Apamea are just some of the highlights in a country with a living, breathing history.
 
Timeless offers a range of individual and group programs in Syria. We book tours, stopovers, transfers, hotels, car hire (not recommended in Syria) and individualised programs from 3 – 13 days. We design each program individually to suit clients’ needs. Many programs in these countries involve car with driver and local guides at major sites. Contact us for details.
ARTICLES ON SYRIA:

USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT SYRIA...

Population - Approx.13 million, 90% Arabs, including some 10,000 Bedouin. The remainder is made up of small groups of Kurds, Armenians, Circassians and Turks.
 
Language - Arabic is the official language. French and English are generally understood in the tourist areas. Aramaic (the language of Christ) is spoken in Maloula and two other villages.
 
Climate - Close to the coast, Syria has a moderate climate with hot dry summers and mild winters. Inland it gets progressively drier and more inhospitable. On the coast average daily temperatures are 29C in Summer. Winters are generally cold and it sometimes snows in Damascus. In the steppe and desert areas (eg Palmyra) it is significantly warmer.
 
Accommodation – Five, four and three star hotels are generally very good. Two star is available and is ‘clean and comfortable’.
 
Major Attractions - Bosra, Damascus, Maloula, Lattakia, Qalat Marqab, Tartus, Krak Des Chevaliers, Hama, Apamea, Aleppo, Palmyra, Raqqa, Deir Ez Zur, Doura Europos, Mari
 
Shopping – One of the best Middle Eastern country for shopping. A wide range of goods and handicrafts are to be found in all the souqs (covered markets) in each main city, but particularly in Damascus and Aleppo. Excellent prices, and bargaining is both expected and undertaken by all store owners in a pleasant manner.
 
Tipping - Not quite as universal as in most Middle Eastern countries, but is generally expected in larger hotels (porterage to and from) and restaurants. Conserve all small notes as they can be difficult to obtain.
 
Safety – Syrians are, for the most part, very friendly and visitors are made to feel very welcome. Avoid asking any questions concerning domestic politics or the ruling party.
 
Phone and Post - IDD service is available. Mobile phones generally work OK but you should check with your local service provider. Postal services outside main towns are in general, poor and erratic. No English newspapers.
 
Public Holidays – All Moslem holidays are observed, including Prophet Mohamed’s Birthday, Ramadan and Eid el Fitr. Sep 1 is Revolution Day.
 
Voltage and plugs - 150/220v. 50Hz. Blackouts are not uncommon.
 
Dress – Syrians dress conservatively and the general rule of thumb is ‘cover your limbs’ especially for female travellers. Women must be covered when entering a mosque.
 
International Transport - Good connections from Australia with Emirates, Gulf Air and Royal Jordanian/Qantas. Regular services from Europe.
 
Domestic Transport - Bus and mini bus services operate to all major cities. Services from Damascus to Aleppo are excellent and to most major tourist sites they are OK. To other places they can be irregular and overcrowded. Major highways and roads are all sealed.
 
Food and Drink - Typical Syrian meal starts with an excellent mezze. Meat (lamb is a favourite) chicken or fish follows with rice and salad. Fresh fruit juices are widely available as most Syrians don’t drink, however beer and local wine is available in better quality tourist hotels and restaurants. Syrian pastries are excellent – a throwback to French occupation. A hot drink of Arabian coffee or Shai(tea) is served at the end of the meal. 
 
Tap water is not potable. Bottled water is widely available.
 
Entertainment - Limited to restaurants, cinemas and shopping.
 
Photography – Not a problem but avoid photographing police, army personnel or military establishments.
 
Health – Drink bottled water. Take normal precautions e.g. washing of hands. Food is generally of a good standard and very palatable. Please check with your local doctor regarding requirements prior to travel.
 
Visas – A visa is necessary and must be obtained before entry. Valid for 15 days and must be used within one month of date of issue. A yellow entry card is filled out on entry and must be presented on leaving the country. Best to obtain a multiple entry visa to cover any possibility of visiting Baalbek in Lebanon during your stay in Syria. The cost in Australia changes but is approximately $80. An Israeli stamp in your passport – or any evidence of having visited Israel (eg a Jordanian exit stamp from King Hussein Bridge) - will prohibit entry.
 
Currency & Exchange - Currency unit is the Syrian pound (SYP) - often referred to locally as "lira". Coins: ¼, ½, 1, 2, 5, 10, 25. Notes 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500. 1000. Smaller denomination notes are fairly difficult to acquire, and the 500/1000 pound note is not really practical for most travellers. A tourist exchange rate operates through banks (approx. 40 SYP to A$1 as well as an official rate of approx. 15 SYP to A$1). Hotels that exchange US dollars often offer a poor rate of exchange (for credit card payments also) so it is recommended you pay for any extras with Syrian pounds. Major credit cards accepted in most tourist areas. Departure tax: USD 10 (subject to change).
 
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Adventure in Archaeology343.48 KB
Delicious Damascus116.38 KB
Road to Damascus127.65 KB

For further tour information or to book a tour, please contact Timeless Tours.

  • We reserve the right to change all prices and programs without notice
  • All prices are per person unless otherwise stated
  • All prices on this website are in Australian Dollars unless otherwise stated