The cruise port is about a 10 minutes drive from the city center.
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Latakia is a port in north-west Syria on the Mediterranean Sea. It is Syria's most important port, exporting cotton, fruit, and tobacco. Probably founded in the 3rd century BC, Latakia was ruled by the Phoenicians and Romans and subsequently was occupied at various times by the Byzantines, Crusaders, Arabs, and Turks. Between World War I and World War II, the city was administered by the French but became part of Syria in 1942.
Some attractions in the city include a museum, that was an old Ottoman khan which served as the governor's residence during the French mandate. The museum houses some interesting examples of pottery, glassware, clay tablets from nearby Ugarit, and contemporary paintings. Another attraction to the city is a Roman gateway (Tetraparticus) that consists of four columns.
Latakia has some decent beaches and cruise lines often make arrangements with a local hotel for guests to use their facilities.
There will be several excursions offered to historic sites, most of those a couple of hours away and difficult to arrange independently, like Aleppo (186 km) with its Citadel and a very nice souk and Crac des Chevaliers.
Crac des Chevaliers Stand and gaze at the mighty structure of the Crac des Chevaliers, once the most important castle of the Middle Ages.
Saladin castle (Soane castle) is 55km. from Latakia, situated on top of a very slippery rocky mountain overlooking the surrounding green forests.
Local products to buy in Syria: silk brocade, brass and silver inlays, mosaics inlaid with mother of pearl, hand-woven rugs, hand blown glass products, all types of delicious sweets and pictures of epic and folk heroes painted on glass or cloth.
Popular Syrian salads include small diced tabbouleh and fattoush. Baba ghanoush is a delicious eggplant spread.
Syrians often serve selections of appetizers, known as meze, before the main course.
Cafes which offer free WiFi for customers are found in all the major cities in Syria. Many use DSL and are very up-to-date. In luxury hotels the price is from $6. to $7. per hour; in regular cafes from $1. to $2.
Despite being depicted in some of the Western media as a land full of terrorists, Syria is very safe for travelers - one of the safest countries in the world. Even women traveling alone find few problems. Urban crime, which plagues most modern cities, is virtually non-existent in Syria.
Shops are usually open daily from 09.00 till 20.00 and some close on Fridays or Sundays.
Banks are open sat - Thurs. from 09.00 till 14.30.
Museums, historical sites and many tourist attractions are closed on Wednesdays.
1 january; 8 march: Revolution Day; 17 april: National Day; 1 may: May Day; 6 may: Martyrs Day; 1 august: Army Day; 6 october: Liberation War of October Say; 16 november: Correctionist Movement Day; 25 december: Christmas Day.
March/april: movable Catholic Easter and Orthodox Easter.
Muslim holidays are governed by the Hegira calendar: Eid Al-Fitr, End of Ramadan; Eid Al-ADha; Al-Hijira, New Year's Day and Moulmoud, Birthday of the Prophet.
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