Expedition with professional photographer to the worlds' oldest cities and to antiquities of Palmyra

SYRIA


April 9 – 16, 2023
Tour Syrian Arab Republic

Syria, Damascus, Palmyra, Aleppo, Krak des Chevallier, Bosra, expedition to Syria, tour to Middle East, Homs, trip to Syria

Syria is a land of true ancient treasures from the Neolithic, Byzantine and Crusader periods. The rich architecture of Damascus, the Christian cities of Sayedna and Maalula, the Roman theater of Bosra and the famous Norias of Hama are of enormous historical significance.
Here miles of oriental bazaars flow smoothly into the ruins of ancient civilizations: the Castle of Saladin, Krak de Chevalier Castle, Syria's oldest city Aleppo and one of the richest cities of late antiquity, the Syrian Palmyra!

MARHABA!

Syria is a land of true ancient treasures from the Neolithic, Byzantine and Crusader periods. The rich architecture of Damascus, the Christian cities of Sayedna and Maalula, the Roman theater of Bosra and the famous Norias of Hama are of enormous historical significance.
Here miles of oriental bazaars flow smoothly into the ruins of ancient civilizations: the Castle of Saladin, Krak de Chevalier Castle, Syria's oldest city Aleppo and one of the richest cities of late antiquity, the Syrian Palmyra!

MARHABA!

SCHEDULE & COST:
Dates: April 9 – 16, 2023

Duration: 8 days / 7 nights

Number of participants: 7 – 12

Cost of participation per person:
– 1 590 USD subject to 11 – 12 participants,
– 1 690 USD subject to 9 – 10 participants,
– 1 790 USD subject to 9 – 10 participants,
– 1 890 USD subject to 7 – 8 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before November 9, 2022)

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Damascus roundtrip,
- international medical insurance,
- visa on the border (35 USD for Russians, 70 USD for non-Russians),
- lunches and dinners.

Estimated cost of flight Moscow – Damascus roundtrip: USD 650 – 750 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).
Estimated cost of flight Damascus/Beirut to Baghdad one way: USD 150 – 200 (Usually bought on your own, we consult you).


Single supplement: 330 USD (single accommodation is provided for all nights)





TRAVEL PROGRAM: Tour to Syria

Day 1. April 9, 2023 (Sunday). ARRIVAL IN DAMASCUS

Direct flight from Moscow at 22:15 or from another city.
Arrival in Damascus, the capital of Syria, at 3:40 am on April 10. Fix the visa at Immigration office at the airport. Transfer to the hotel. Check-in and rest in the Beit Al Wali hotel 5*.

* Also you can fly to Beirut (Lebanon) and take our included car transfer from Beirut to Damascus (110 km, about 3 hrs driving, including border crossing). Visa of Lebanon is not required.

* Recommended flight from Moscow to Damascus:
- flight from Moscow to Damascus with Syrian Air, departs from Moscow at 22:15 on April 9, arrives in Damascus at 3:40 am on April 10,
- or any other flight, arriving in Damascus any time on April 9 or in the night from April 9 to April 10.
- or any other flight, arriving in Beirut (Lebanon) any time on April 9.

Accommodation included: Beit Al Wali hotel 5*or similar
Meals included: no


Day 2. April 10, 2023 (Monday). DAMASCUS

Breakfast and rest in the hotel until noon.
Meet the Russian speaking guide. Start Damascus city tour to visit Umayyad Mosque, Al Hamadeyeh Souk, Saladin Mausoleum, House of Ananias, Slim I Mosque, Citadel of Damascus and National Museum.
Damascus, the capital of Syria, the oldest capital in the world and, according to some, the fourth holiest city of Islam. The Ancient City of Damascus was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
Dinner at traditional restaurant at your choice. Night in the hotel 5*.

Accommodation included: Beit Al Wali hotel 5*or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 3. April 11, 2023 (Tuesday). DAMASCUS – SEDNAYAH – MAALAOULA – ALEPPO (375 km, 5 hours driving)

After early breakfast in the hotel, we drive to Sednayah to visit the Convent of Our Lady of Saidnaya. Proceed to Maalaoula, visit to Christian Convent of Saint Thecla.
Evening arrival in Hama. Visit water wheels.
Proceed to Aleppo. Dinner in traditional restaurant at your choice. Check-in and overnight in Aleppo Palace hotel 4* (or similar) in Aleppo.

Accommodation included: Aleppo Palace hotel 4* or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 4. April 12, 2023 (Wednesday). ALEPPO

After early breakfast in the hotel, we dedicate full day to discovering Aleppo. A flourishing metropolis since the 3rd millennium BC, Aleppo has been fighting with Damascus for the title of the world's oldest continuously inhabited city. The old city has undoubtedly the most beautiful souks of the Middle East.
We visit Aleppo museum, Castel of Aleppo. The citadel stands in the middle of the city and dominates it from the height of its fifty meters. It has admirably designed towers and is distinguished by its entrances made with perfection to prevent any enemy intrusion and its iron gates.
Visit to Caravanserais. They were intended for the accommodation of traders on the move and their goods, and are famous for their decorated facades, high arched entrances and huge wooden doors that closed at nightfall.
Visiting the famous souks (markets) of Aleppo distinguished by their coffered vaults and their enormous cupolas. Most date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. These are real living museums that offer us a true image of what were the commercial districts and the animation that reigned in the Middle Ages. Each souk specializes in selling a type of product. In the charming souks you can also find authentic Bedouin handicrafts, as well as rugs, fabrics and many varieties of delicacies to enjoy. You will do the best shopping in the Orient.
Lunch during the visit.
Dinner at traditional restaurant and overnight in 4* hotel in Aleppo.

Accommodation included: Aleppo palace hotel 4* or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 5. April 13, 2023 (Thursday). ALEPPO – HOMS – KRAK DES CHEVALIERS – ALMISHTAYA (245 km, 3.5 hours driving)

After early breakfast in the hotel, we leave Aleppo and drive back southward. Spot in Homs to visit to Saint Mary of the Holy Belt Cathedral, a historical Syriac Orthodox cathedral. The present structure dates from the mid-nineteenth century, but the site over which the church is built is claimed to have been one of Christian worship since 59 AD.
Proceed to the castle of Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusader castle, which appears one of the most important preserved medieval castles in the world! The site was first inhabited in the 11th century by Kurdish troops garrisoned there by the Mirdasids. Since 2006 the castle of Krak des Chevaliers have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Site.
After sunset very short transfer to Almishtaya. Check-in at Villa Rosa hotel 3* with the view on Krak des Chevaliers.

Accommodation included: Villa Rosa hotel 3* or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 6. April 14, 2023 (Friday). ALMISHTAYA – PALMYRA – DAMASCUS (465 km, 6 hours driving)

After early breakfast in the hotel, we drive east up to Palmyra. Palmyra appears of the most important historical place of ancient times. Archaeological finds date back to the Neolitic period, and documents first mention the city in the early second millennium BC. Palmyra changed hands on a number of occasions between different empires before becoming a subject of the Roman Empire the 1 century AD.
Full day discovering Palmyra ancient city, including Theater, Temple, the Tombs, Amphitheater, the ancient columns. During the Syrian civil war in 2015, the Islamic State destroyed large parts of the ancient city, which was recaptured by the Syrian army in March 2017.
Drive to Damascus. Check-in and rest in the hotel 5*. Dinner in traditional restaurant at your choice.

Accommodation included: Beit Al Wali hotel 5* or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 7. April 15, 2023 (Saturday). DAMASCUS – BOSRA – DAMASCUS (270 km, 4 hours driving)

After early breakfast, we drive to the south, to Bosra. Bosra was the first Byzantine city which the Arabs entered in 634 in the phase of Islamic expansion. Today, Bosra is a major archaeological site, containing ruins from Roman, Byzantine, and Muslim times. Further, Nabataean and Roman monuments, Christian churches, mosques and Madrasas are present within the city.
We visit Roman theatre, citadel, baths, colonnades and other ruins.
Drive back to Damascus. Overnight at the hotel 5*. Dinner in traditional restaurant at your choice.

Accommodation included: Beit Al Wali hotel 5* or similar
Meals included: breakfast


Day 8. April 16, 2023 (Sunday). DAMASCUS – RETURN FLIGHT

After lazy breakfast, visit to Al Hamadeyeh Souk. Last souvenirs shopping. Early in the afternoon transfer to the airport. At 16:00 flight to Moscow (or another city).
Also you can take our included car transfer to Beirut, Lebanon (110 km, about 3 hrs driving, including border crossing). And take flight from Beirut to Europe or to other city.

* Recommended flight from Damascus to Moscow:
flight from Damascus to Moscow with Syrian Air, departs from Damascus at 16:00 on April 16, arrives in Moscow at 21:15 on April 16,
or any other flight, departing from Damascus any time on April 16.
or any other flight, departing from Beirut (Lebanon) any time on April 16.

Or, for those, who continue travelling to Iraq, take direct flight from Damascus to Baghdad (if available according to flight schedule!)
Also you can take our included car transfer to Beirut, Lebanon (110 km, about 3 hrs driving, including border crossing), and take flight from Beirut to Baghdad.

* Recommended flight from Damascus to Baghdad:
– direct flight to Baghdad with Cham Wings Airlines, departure from Damascus at 18:30 on April 17, arrival in Baghdad at 20:30 on April 17 (this flight schedule may change!) (in this case extra night in Damascus is to be paid),
– or flight from Beirut (Lebanon) to Baghdad on April 16 or April 17 with Middle East Airlines, departure from Damascus at 14:55, arrival in Baghdad at 16:25,
or any other flight, departing from Damascus for Baghdad any time on April 16 or April 17,
or any other flight, departing from Beirut (Lebanon) in the afternoon on April 16 or any time on April 17.

Accommodation included: no
Meals included: breakfast


* The program can be changed or delayed according to the conditions of the trip, depending on the arrival and departure time, traffic restrictions, authorities' decisions, or under any other circumstances.
Cost includes:

• Accommodation in hotels 5* (in Damascus 4 nights), 4* (in Aleppo 2 nights) and 3* (in Al Mishtaya 1 night) as per the program (in TWIN / DBL rooms)
• Breakfasts
• Drinking bottled water throughout the whole trip
• Pick up transfer from inside the airport and returning to airport,
• All transfers according to the itinerary by Hyundai H1 8-seats minibus (4 to 6 pax) or by Hyundai Country Bus 20 seats bus (7 to 13 pax) with A/C and local experienced driver,
• Transfer from/to Beirut (Lebanon) by minivan/minibus (depending on number of pax)
• All sightseeing as outlined in itinerary, all entry fees as per the program
• All permits, security clearance
• Facilitation and approvals for visa
• Russian speaking professional local guide throughout all trip
• Russian- and English speaking team leader professional photographer throughout all itinerary
• Departure tax



Cost excludes (additionally paid):

• International flight ticket to Damascus roundtrip (650 – 750 USD)
• International medical insurance
• Visa on the border fee (35 USD for Russians, 70 USD for other citizens),
• PCR COVID test before departure from Syria for non-vaccinated travelers (2-stages vaccination) at 100 USD (this requirement may change)
• Lunches, dinners and drinks (some 200 USD)
• Tips for local team
• Personal expenses
• Single accommodation




To take with:

• long sleeve wear set, wear set for hot weather
• very light jacket for cool nights of airplane
• comfortable trekking or running footwear, light footwear (sneakers or slippers)
• cap/hat
• scarf for women for visiting Mosques and Shrines (the one also be provided by our team)
• big backpack/bag for luggage (not more than 80 liters capacity), suitcase is also suitable
• small backpack for radial walks for personal stuff and photo-, video cameras (20-25 l)
• 2-stages vaccination certificate OR, for non-vaccinated travelers, PCR COVID test negative result taken no more than 72 hours before arrival (this requirement may change!)
• sunblock cream
• sunglasses
• personal hygiene items
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydrone, court plaster, your personal medications)
• photo and video camera,
• batteries and power bank
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