Regency Park Hotel

P.O. Box 140 Zabadani Damascus Countryside Syria
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Photos

main restaurant & terracemain restaurant & terrace

see the sign on the wall? Hand Crafts Routesee the sign on the wall? Hand Crafts Route

fountain in damascusfountain in damascus

DamascusDamascus

Forum Posts

From Damascus to Kark de Chevaliers Castle

by jlanza29

Hello everyone got a question. How would I be able to get to see this wonderful castle the Krak Des Chevaliers from Damascus ???? Is it possible to do a day trip ??? Do you fly from Damascus or take the train or drive I read it's 280 KM away so I'm thinking that's at least 4 hr to get there and 4 hours back .... If I hired a taxi how much would I be expected to pay ???? Any info would help ... Thanks... jlanza29

Re: From Damascus to Kark de Chevaliers Castle

by Mel_H

Hi,

It`s 3 hours drive from Damascus to Krak de Chevalier and 3 hrs back and a day trip is the way to do it where you leave as early in the morning as you want , it`s done by car no train or flights as it is close to Homs in the north.Once in Damascus you might want to hire a private car for the day either form the hotel or travel agents around your area or ask around and negotiate a daily fare from recommnded drivers cum guide from hotel staff etc. With Travel agents you may join a daily trip with a group or have your own private one ,in which case it will come with a guide and lunch .We went to krak in November for the second time and left our hotel in old town at 8.15 , reached there at 11 am and had plenty of time to walk around and see jsut about everything then have lunch at the Al qalaa restaurant which is a building to the west of the castle and has superb views of krak, they have set meals of mezza and their famous grilled chicken , there are 2 other restaurants in the vicinity. The cost of a private car with driver for the day is in the range of 100 to 130 US dollars depending , once there you may hire a local guide if you want and the entry fee is inexpensive in Syrian liras. You might want to negatiate a fare with a local driver in syrian pounds for the day too just ask around in your vicinity.We squeezed in Homs too just for an hour. The other option is to do it by public bus which is inexpensive but highly unrecommended given the state of buses ,time ,inconvenience , public buses leave from i think harasta bus station in Damascus and they dont exactly disembark passengers at the entrance of the krak but on the outskirts (i think main country road) so due to the empty hilly winding rds nature of the area away from a proper town a lot of walking ,hiking or even hitch hiking needs to be done , not sure when or from where buses leave back to Damascus. Just keep in mind "the krak opening hours are 9AM-6PM (summer), 9AM-4PM (winter). The usual practice of closing Tuesdays is generally ignored for Krak des Chevaliers, on account of its popularity as a tourist destination - that said, in the middle of winter, it's a good idea to phone the ticket office ahead of time just to check.... 740 002."
In November winter was late and had not kicked in so we had longer daytime hrs ,however lately it has been snowing even in damascus and it gets dark early.
have a nice trip.

Re: From Damascus to Kark de Chevaliers Castle

by jlanza29

Hi Mel, thank you soooo much for such great information all in your response .... you answered all my question.... I will let you know how my trip goes when I come back ... thanks .. jlanza29

Travel Tips for Damascus

Good Arabic Teacher in Damascus

by Lars_Damas

Hello Everyone!
I have read your postings and just wanted to give you a tip for a really good Arabic teacher!
Her name is Reham Mohamad and she has given me private lessons for the last months. She's really good and professional in how she teaches and she only charges 500 SYP per lesson of 45 min (I normally take 2 lessons per time). She can teach you both Standard Arabic and the Syrian Dialect.

You can contact her on the following email: arabic_syria@yahoo.com or call her on +963 988 621 353

Best regards

Steps in the Omayyad Mosque

by themagiclake

My steps, following yours, my shoes in my hands
for the first time in my life i walked in such a place
never i felt so light never i felt so happy
belonging you it was like suddendly
all the answers were clear

Coffee

by uglyscot

Coffee is an art. Different places have different ways of making and serving it.
In a restaurant we were served by a 'awi' [magician], who made a great todo over serving the cofee. he was dressed in traditional clothes and was quite a character.

Packing List

by maykal

Women should bring a headscarf to enter mosques.
If you go in winter, take some very warm clothes as it get's surprisingly cold. My friends in England all laughed when I said it was freezing, but although it probably isn't as cold as England is, in Syria you feel it more because most buildings (hotels and especially houses) are inadequately heated, so it is impossible to get warm! You can get all kinds of toiletries and medical supplies (except good cough tablets) in Damascus. Films bought in good shops usually work fine, but outside Damascus and Aleppo, films should be treated dubiously! I got most of my films developed in Syria, and had no complaints. Any Kodak shop is good, as is the Photo Misr not far from the Cham Palace Hotel in the New City. You can normally get same-day service.
Passport photos can be taken in most of these shops (sometimes called studios, although that's a wee bit optimistic), although don't expect wonders - mine were taken using an antique camera (the photographer had to cover his head with a dark cloth!), but at least they were cheap. You will need countless passport photos for obtaining and extending visas (they always ask for one more than you've got, so be prepared!)

Daytrip to Seidnayya

by MalenaN

Seidnayya is situated only 26 km north of Damascus and can easily be visited on a daytrip using public transport, also including Ma'alula. Buses to Seidnayya leave from Ma'alula Garage in Damascus.

High on a hill above Seidnayya, almost looking like a fortress, is the Convent of Our Lady of Seidnayya. From the roof of the convent you will have a great view over the small town and the surrounding hills.

At the time of the crusaders Seidnayya was considered to be second only to Jerusalem as an important place of pilgrimage. The reason is a portrait of Virgin Mary said to have been painted by St Luke. The portrait can be seen in a small dark room beside the chapel, together with many more recent icons and silver crosses. Many miracles are attributed to the icon. An Iraqi man visiting the convent asked if I had seen the image of Jesus by the stairs, halfway up to the convent. I hadn’t, so he took me down to show me the image. The image is protected behind bars, and is said to have appeared after a man rested his oil jar on that spot.

The convent is believed to date back to the 6th century and to be founded by the Byzantine emperor Justinian. Not much remains that is very old. Of what can be seen of the building today much dates to the 19th century.

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