Apamea & Hama

Built in 300 BC by Seleucus Nikator, ruler of northern Syria and Mesopotamia following the death of Alexander the Great he named the town after his Persian wife Afimia.

Overlooking the Ghaab plain from the right bank of the Orontes river Apamea flourished attracting distinguished visitors such as Cleopatra, Septimus Severus and Emperor Caracalla. Its population numbered half a million.

In the Christian era Apamea became a centre of philosophy and thought.

Most of the uncovered ruins date back to the Roman and Byzantine ages. Distinguished for its high walls and main thoroughfare surrounded by columns with twisted fluting the street was about 2km long and 87m wide.

The ruins of the Roman theatre are now a great mass of stone, its colonnade 145 m long. Erected in the 2nd century, it was destroyed in the 12th century by two violent earthquakes but some columns are still standing.

Hama's history dates back to 2,000 BC when the town was the crossroads between the Mediterranean Sea and the East.

Renamed Epifania under the Seleucid dynasty the town became an administrative centre of minor importance continuing through the Roman and Byzantine eras.

Today, Hama is a very clean and conservative town with parks and riverside gardens. It boasts a citadel in the old quarters, an orthodox church as well as a great mosque built during the Umayyad dynasty.

It also has a palace which was the governor's residence during the Ottoman era but Hama's most prominent feature is the Norias.

They are huge wooden wheels which have been scooping water from the Orontes River pouring it into irrigation canals using a very ancient technique.

An orientation drive of Hama will bring you close to the water wheels where a photo stop will be made. Their groaning sound as they spin scooping the water is ancient, quite relaxing and soothing to the mind.

Enjoy a simple tasty lunch in a local restaurant before commencing the return drive to Tartous.


Special Notes:
Comfort stops available at site and restaurant in Hama.

Tour not suitable for wheelchair confined persons or with restricted walking conditions.

Comfortable conservative clothing, walking shoes and hat recommended.

A considerable amount of walking is involved on uneven cobblestones and ruined passages at Apamea.


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 -> 02hr30 Drive to Apamea
02hr30 -> 03hr30 Visit Apamea
03hr30 -> 04hr15 Drive to Hama
04hr15 -> 04hr45 Orientation drive of Hama with a photo stop at Norias
04hr45 -> 05hr00 Drive to restaurant
05hr00 -> 06hr00 Serving lunch
06hr00 -> 08hr30 Drive to Tartous


Tour Details

Tour Name:
Apamea & Hama

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:

Approximately 08hr30

medium excursionmeal included with tour

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