The Road to Damascus

Drive through regional towns, cultivated land and stretches of steppe like countryside to the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, the capital of Syria, Damascus.

The Aramites were the original inhabitants of Damascus and in the 2nd millennium BC it was already a prominent centre known as Dar-Misiq, the irrigated house. An ancient Pharaonic script also refers to it as Dameska. Greeks, Romans and Byzantines left their mark on Damascus before the city fell to the Omayyad in 661AD, becoming the capital of the first Arab state.

In Damascus visit the city's museum housing artifacts from the Bronze Age to the present day.

Walk through Al Hamidieh, the covered souk in the old quarter where you can try your skills at bargaining for exotic kilims, woven rugs, carpets, bronze, brass and a myriad other things on display.

Enjoy Syrian hospitality and sample some of the delicious oriental salads and barbeques cooked the local way.

Arrive at Omayyad Mosque for a visit. The Roman temple of Jupiter was originally built on this site but in the 4th century AD it was replaced by a church dedicated to St John the Baptist.

The Moslem conquest of the city brought the destruction of the church and the building of the present mosque in 714AD.

Continue on foot to Azem Palace built by Assad Pasha Al Azem, the governor of Damascus in 1849. Today it is a museum housing popular and traditional arts with lovely exhibits on display.

Visit Bab Charqui, the early Christian quarter where the House of Anania (Hanania) is found. One of the first followers of Christ mentioned by the Apostle Luke, he offered sanctuary to St. Paul when on the road to Damascus from Palestine he converted to Christianity.

Step back into biblical times as you walk through the narrow lanes of this ancient part of the city where black clothed women covered from head to toe pass silently by and scenes from daily life are reminiscent of medieval times.

The house is an underground room connected to the latter build church and other rooms with staircases and ladders.


Special Notes:
Tour not wheelchair accessible nor for persons with restricted walking.

Participants must be able to walk and stand for long periods of time.

Comfortable clothing and walking shoes recommended.

No shorts or sleeveless tops for men and women as you will be visiting a mosque.

Shoes are removed during the visit to the mosque and carried.

A considerable amount of walking is involved in narrow lanes within the old city.

Generally flat and even ground everywhere except for a couple of short staircases at Ananias’s House.

A flight of stairs at the restaurant. Few stairs within the museum.

No photography allowed in the museum.

Comfort stops will be made in the city of Homs going to and coming from Damascus. Additional toilets at all sites.


Tour Timings:

Tours begin at times suitable for the ship's arrival in port. The breakdown of the excursions is as follows:
00hr00 -> Depart from Tartous Port

00hr00 -> 03hr45 Drive to Damascus with comfort stop en route
03hr45 -> 04hr45 Visit Museum
04hr45 -> 05hr00 Drive to Al Hamidieh covered souk
05hr00 -> 05hr30 Guided walk through the souk to the restaurant
05hr30 -> 07hr00 Serving buffet lunch at restaurant
07hr00 -> 07hr45 Guided walk visiting Omayyad Mosque
07hr45 -> 09hr00 Guided walk visiting Azem Palace
09hr00 -> 09hr45 Guided walk visiting Hanania’s chapel
09hr45 -> 13hr30 Drive to Tartous with comfort stop en route



Tour Details

Tour Name:
The Road to Damascus

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:

Approximately 13hr30

medium excursionmeal included with tour

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