Syria and Lebanon Roundtrip 1310 , 8 Days

Damascus is welcoming you again! Syria has seen some turbulent last years with a war raging the country. But now it is slowly going back to peaceful life with parts of the country slowly opening for tourists again. Be one of the first to visit Damascus after the war and enjoy the historic, architectural and cultural sights in this amazing country. The tour can be combined with a visit to Lebanon, where you will be able to see some of the most important places worth visiting like Jeita Grotto (among the finalists in UNESCOs 7 Natural Wonders Competition), Beirut and Byblos - yes, the city that gave the name to the Bible. 


Itinerary:   

Day 1: Beirut
Arrival at Beirut International Airport, meet and assist, transfer to your hotel for overnight.

Day 2: Beirut - Baalbek - Ksara - Damascus
Breakfast. Drive to the Bekaa-Valley, which invites you to the heart of the most beautiful vine growing areas in the world. We visit the Ksara winery, located in the heart of the Beqaa, where several vineries produce exquisite wine and arak. Continue to Baalbek, a Phoenician city, where a triad of deities was worshipped. Baalbek was known as Heliopolis during the Hellenistic period. It retained its religious function during Roman times, when the sanctuary of the Heliopolitan Jupiter attracted thousands of pilgrims. Baalbek, with its colossal structures, is one of the finest examples of Imperial Roman architecture at its apogee. We cross the border to Syria and drive to Damascus for overnight.

Day 3: Damascus
Damascus’ old city contain a myriad of other points of interest: The National Museum of Damascus, which houses the finest collection of archaeological artifacts from around the country. Among its treasures are a fragment of the oldest known alphabet in the world, unearthed at Ugarit, and an 1800-year-old synagogue transported piece by piece from Dura Europos on the Euphrates River; the Umayyad Mosque, which is named for Islam’s first ruling dynasty, and is one of the great monuments to the ingenuity of early Islam; the Azem Palace, the luxurious home of the Ottoman governor; Souq Al Hamidiyeh; the bustling covered bazaar that fills the senses with colours and life; the Mausoleum of Saladin, the great leader who liberated Jerusalem from the Crusaders; the legendary Street Called Straight mentioned in the Bible, which spans the old city’s length from East to West; the Chapel of St. Ananias and St. Paul’s Window, from which St. Paul was lowered to escape the Romans; and Bab Touma, the Christian quarter with its charming alleyways and handicraft shops. Overnight in Damascus.

Day 4: Damascus - Ezra’a - Bosra - Damascus
Breakfast. Drive south to Ezra'a town, located on the west edge of the volcanic wilderness area of the Hauran in Syria. Ezra'a has one of Syria's oldest functioning churches, the Greek Orthodox church of Saint George (Mar Girgis) which was build in 515 AD. The church it is still standing and is a living historical monument, a witness to the famous ecclesiastical architectural style of that period. Then continue to Bosra (UNESCO Site), which was once the capital of the Roman province of Arabia, and an important stopover on the ancient caravan route to Mecca. Bosra boasts a magnificent 2nd century Roman theatre, early Christian ruins and several mosques within its great walls. Back to Damascus for overnight.

Day 5: Damascus - Sednaya - Crac des Chevaliers
On thye way to Crac we  stop en route to visit Sednaya, in Arabic Our Lady, which is renowned for its picturesque views and Christian heritage. After Jerusalem, Sednaya has been the most famous center for Christian pilgrimage in the east since the 6th A.D. Then continue to visit Crac des Chevaliers (UNESCO Site), which was built by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to 1271. With further construction by the Mamluks in the late 13th century, Crac des Chevaliers ranks among the best-preserved examples of the Crusader castles. Overnight Near Crac.

Day 6: Crac – Palmyra - Crac des Chevaliers
Early morning drive to Palmyra, An oasis in the Syrian desert which contains the monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centres of the ancient world. For a time, the so-called Islamic State or ISIS controlled the region around Palmyra, and some of the ruins at the site were destroyed. Back to Crac for overnight.

Day 7: Crac des Chevaliers  – Maaloula - Beirut
Drive to visit Maaloula, which attracts visitors both for its charm, and for its importance in the history of Syrian Christianity. Homes in Maaloula are gaily painted in violet and blue pastels, and perched abreast an imposing gorge between two mountains. Maaloula is also home to a population that still speaks a dialect of Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ, and to two historic Christian monasteries: one Greek Orthodox dedicated to St. Thekla, the other Greek Catholic dedicated to Saint Sergius. Continue to Beirut for overnight.

Day 8: Departure
Transfer to airport for departure

Lebanon Extension
Day 8: Beirut - Jeita Grotto - Byblos - Beirut
Drive along Beirut City seashore to the picturesque Pigeons rock; continue to Hamra commercial area and then visit the National museum or the Grand Serail. Last stop will be at the “Martyrs Square” to discover the beautiful old Beirut City Center with its newly discovered large archaeological excavations and recently renovated buildings with beautiful architecture, churches and mosques. Continue north on the slopes of Mount Lebanon to Jeita Grotto - an enormous cavern festooned with every shape and size of stalactite and stalagmite. The tour ends in Byblos (Jbeil), Located 37 km north of Beirut, Jbeil is thought by many to be the oldest city in the world - continuously inhabited for more than 7000 years. Remains of Neolithic, Middle Bronze Age, Amorite, Egyptian, Hyksos, Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Crusader origin are present. Byblos’ most important legacy is the famous sarcophagus of Ahiram, King of Byblos in the 13th century B.C. which carries a Phoenician inscription thought to be the first written alphabet. Byblos gave its name to the Bible. Back to Beirut for overnight.

Day 9: Beirut - Sidon – Tyre – Echmoun Temple - Beirut
Drive South of Beirut along the coast to Sidon (Saida). The visits start with the “Castle of the Sea” a crusader’s castle of the 13th century then proceed to Khan El-Franj, a typical Caravan Serail. Stop for a typical Lebanese lunch. After Lunch, continue further down the southern coast to Tyre (Sour) to visit the Necropolis excavations, the Monumental Arch and the spectacular hippodrome, the second largest and best preserved of the Roman era. Two kilometers ahead, visit of the imperial city excavation which offers a majestic avenue toward the sea giving access to the residential area with its remarkable designed public monuments.
 

Day 10: Departure
Transfer to Beirut Airport for departure.


Visa: Visa to Lebanon can be obtained at the airport upon arrival, currently it is free. Visa to Syria: please, send a scanned copy of your passport to us when booking the tour. We will apply in advance for visa approval to Syria, which might take 60-75 days. The approval is not the visa itself, the visa will be obtained and paid upon arrival at the border crossing (80-100 USD EUR depending on your nationality). There should be no Israeli stamps or visas in your passport!

Practical information: We recommend that you bring USD in cash for this tour. In Lebanon you can use also EUR and credit cards, but in Syria it is better to have USD in cash, which can be exchanged on spot. 
 


Price Includes:
3 overnights in a boutique 4-star hotel in Old Damascus
2 nights in good 3-star hotel in central Beirut
2 nights in standard hotel in Crac
breakfast
group airport transfers
visa invitation to Syria
all transport in AC coach
English speaking local guide
English speaking Penguin tour leader (at min. 8 p)
entrance fees
tips

Not Included:
Flight tickets
visa to Syria - to be paid at the border
drinks and meals not mentioned
tips
insurance
Syrian land border exit tax to Lebanon: currently 5 USD per person
personal expenses

Additional Services:
Entry visa to Syria depending on nationality: 80 – 100 USD. Visa is free for a group over 10 p. Lebanon extension price pp. 3 days/2nights: 4-5 p: 330 EUR 6-8 p: 300 EUR


Gallery


Syria and Lebanon Roundtrip (Rated 4.65 / 5 Based on 33 Reviews.)
Price
1310 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
320 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
Price
1310 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
320 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
1310 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
320 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-12
Reservation System Code
SYRUND
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