Crac des Chevaliers & Old Tartous

Described by T.E. Lawrence as ‘perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world” Crac des Chevaliers is indeed the greatest of all Crusaders’ castles and one of the greatest sights in Syria.

The knights of St John went far beyond the stolid adaptations of Byzantine models that had previously influenced castles of the first half of the 12th century by blending the best in both European and Middle Eastern designs to produce a masterpiece of military architecture.

Built at over 2,000 feet above sea level commanded the strategic valley between Homs in Syria and Tripoli in Lebanon, assuring its occupants authority over inland Syria by controlling the flow of goods and people from the ports of that area.

Originally a property of the Emir of Homs, it was taken from him by Tancred, the Regent of Antioch in 1110AD. The

Crusaders expanded the fort over a period of 100 years but were forced to surrender it to Sultan Baibars in 1271AD who allowed them to leave on the condition they left the country.

Enjoy a guided walk through the ramparts, terraces, squares and halls of the fort and admire the spectacular views of the outlying areas.

Back in the old quarters of Tartous take a brief walk through town and see the Cathedral of the Crusaders, Our Lady of Tortosa.

Located just outside the main wall of the fortress of Tartous the church was largely reconstructed under the guidance of the Templars in the 13th century when it took on its present day character.


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

Comfortable clothing, sunglasses, hat and walking shoes recommended.

Approximately 500 meters uphill walk on rough cobblestones to enter the castle.

Considerable amount of walking within the castle with lots of stairs and some may be steep and slippery.

Toilets are available at the fort


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 -> 00hr45 Drive to Crac
00hr45 -> 02hr30 Visit the Castle
02hr30 -> 03hr15 Drive to Tartous
03hr15 -> 03hr45 Guided walk in old part of Tartous viewing the cathedral

03hr45 -> 04hr00 Drive to the port


Tour Details

Tour Name:
Crac des Chevaliers & Old Tartous

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:

Approximately 4hr00

medium excursion

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