Damascus Bosra Lattakia Palmyra Deir Ezzor Krak des Chevaliers Hama Aleppo

One of the greatest cities of antiquity; it is situated in the. Syrian desert, halfway between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates. Sometimes called the Queen of the Desert, this
oasis city was the stopping place for the many caravans en route to the Arabian Peninsula and beyond.

The Bedouin settlement of Tadmor (the ancient Semitic name for Palmyra --a Greek name given to the ancient city, meaning City of the Palms, during the 1st Century B.C.) is adjacent to the Greco-Roman ruins. The dark green foliage of the dense palm groves is a startling contrast to the monotones of the desert; in spring, the pomegranate flowers blaze scarlet amidst the silver-green of the olive trees. Most of Tadmor's residents wear traditional dress. The women wear either satiny robes in emerald, gold and magenta hues or the more customary black shed or embroidered with regional designs. A visit to the souq (market) will introduce you to the wonderful and colorful fabrics and kilim rugs attractively displayed.

Depending on how much you want to see, one or two days will be needed to cover the site which requires a lot of walking. It is not recommended to wander during the heat of the day ( 1 to 4 pm -- time when the locals sensibly have lunch and take their siesta) and be sure to carry a large bottle of water, and wear a hat. The best time to arrive to the ancient ruins is 3 hours before sunset. The setting sun over the city viewed from the vantage point of Qalaat Ibn Maan is magnificent and a site not to be missed. One of the higWights of the visit is the Temple of Bel. It is a 200 meter square enclosure with a double row of columns, the second row in the Corinthian style, running on all sides. The dazzling sunlight reflected from the limestone ruins, combined with the size of the

temple, can be overwhelming. Another higWight is the 1.2 km colonnaded street and monumental arch joining the Temple of Bel with the Temple ofNebo, the Senate-House, the Amphitheater, the Tetrapylon, the Funeral Temple and the Temple of Baalshamin.

The Palmyra Desert F estival is held in early May, during that time hotel rooms are sometimes difficult to get we suggest booking well in advance.

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