Syria is not a country to go and spend a fortnight on the beach, despite a lengthy stretch of Mediterranean coastline and a beautiful climate which welcomes sunshine for most of the year.
A holiday in Syria should be a journey, a feast of surprises and wonder in an underexplored corner of the world.
The names of Syria’s landmarks are evocative, exciting ones – places famed for millennia. Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra – these are ancient cities which have inspired writers and travellers alike for generations.
Whatever you read about these places, however, there’s no substitute for just diving in and exploring them for yourselves!
For a holiday in Syria one has to get going. Get walking, because in these labyrinthine streets of the old town there is no better way to experience the charm than to poke your head around the corner of an old wooden door and see a magnificently-appointed courtyard – or smell the jasmine as a donkey and cart bring boxes full of perfumes along the narrow cobbled streets to market. No two experiences of Damascus and Aleppo are the same.
Get talking, too, because Syria’s uniqueness extends to its welcoming people. The Syrians are not wearied of tourists, and they’re keen to chat. Part of the reason that these old towns have persisted is because of the affection the locals feel for them – their connection to it, which extends back for generations, can yield wonderful stories and charming narratives best experienced against the backdrop of a café on a busy street, watching the world go by.
And if you’ve ventured into a café, get eating! Syria’s cuisine is divine, similar to that of Lebanon and full of tempting grilled meats and delicious vegetables. Falafels, spices, spreads of dish after dish – you’ll never go hungry.
A holiday in Syria is one full of adventure and excitement. It may not be a well-travelled road, but it’s one as vibrant and thrilling as any road one could hope to take.