Latakia

Latakia (اللاذقية) is a major port in Syria - population 550,000.

Understand

Welcome sign on the Lattakia Train Station

Lattakia is a city extending back to Ancient Greek times, and continues to be an important commercial port for Syria today. The city itself consists largely of white stucco highrises and streets lined with palm trees, and the most popular beaches are along the coast to the north of the city. Lattakia is home to one of Syria's largest universities, Tishreen University, and the city tends to be relatively socially progressive and liberal (by Syrian standards), with a mixed population of Christian, Alawi, and Sunni inhabitants.

Get in

By bus

Frequent, air conditioned, inexpensive buses connect Lattakia with Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs, and Tartous. The bus station, located next to the train station on the southern end of the city, has departures throughout the day to each of these cities. Travel time from Lattakia to Damascus is 4-5 hours.

If your plans don't match the bus-schedule, you can also take a service taxi (i.e. Hama, 2.5h, 100 SP) from the service taxi station a little north-east of the train station. Around there is also the bus station, but ask someone if in doubt.

By train

There are trains to/from Aleppo, Tartous and Damascus (overnight sleeper) - timetables are online . Note that the express trains are more comfortable and clean and obviously much quicker. A trip from Aleppo to Latakia is between 40 SP (normal train with student discount) and 120 SP (express train, without discount).

Get around

Much of Lattakia is accessible by taxi.

One can walk along the corniche, although it is otherwise not a very walkable city, due to distances between points in the city (beach, downtown, resort hotels, Ugarit, etc).

Pay no more than S£50 to use taxis for getting around Latakia and S£150 from Latakia to the resort area.

Bus

Latakia has a quite good bus system. Destinations are labeled in arabic, but the busses are numbered, operate frequently and follow predefined routes. Illustrative maps indicating intersections of bus routes are found in the busses. Safuan hotel is able to provide you with a hand-made map of bus routes 1 and 2. A ticket is 10 SP and valid for two rides.

See

Saladin's castle

Lattakia region is known for its diversity of landscapes, from the green mountains to the sandy beaches, with many important archeological sites like the Saladin Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006) and the ruins of Ugarit close enough to see on a day trip from Lattakia.

Do

View of the beach from Al Siwar Restaurant

In the city center, the American street attracts the young and fashionable at night. Also the Zira'a quarter and around the university are hip upcoming parts of the city.

Swim


Run

There are a few routes to run on with views of the sea and near green parks. However, carefully watch your step. There are obstructions along the way: holes, loose rock, gravel, construction, and garbage bags. Even cars share the side-walk.

Geocache

There are a few caches in Syria and some in Latakia. Check for availability on geocaching.com

Play

There are several neighberhood parks suitable for children to play on structures and in open spaces. List with map, descriptions, locations, and pictures is on waymarking.com

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Top End

Go next

To get there by public transport, take the green bus number 2 (Al-Jama'a) the brings you to the microbus terminal station (20 minutes, 10 SP for two tickets), from there take a service taxi to Al-Haffa (50 SP / person). From there it's a 6km walk (although the first 3–4km are not so interesting, however, check the route online before, if you plan to hike) or take a cab (~150 SP per taxi) to get to the caste. You can also start walking and hope for a hitch (the destination is quite popular) or hope for a cab that will be cheaper (i.e. 100 SP) on the way.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, April 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.