Ugarit, Saladin’s Castle & St. Simeon

A short drive away from Latakia the ancient city of Ugarit dates back to 6,000 years BC.

An ancient cosmopolitan city perhaps because it was both a port and the entrance of the inland trade route to the Euphrates and Tigris lands, Ugarit sent tribute to Egypt and maintained trade and diplomatic relations with Cyprus, reaching its zenith between 1450 and 1200 BC.

The first written alphabet in the world was invented here and was adopted by the Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. It is still being used today by a large number of the people around the world.

The ruined site, although mostly down to its foundations contains a royal palace laid out around enclosed courtyards, private dwellings, temples and libraries.

Visit Ugarit and continue to Saladin's Castle. Recognized as a masterpiece of military architecture was considered impregnable and was defended by the Knights Hospitaller.

A powerful citadel controlling one of the passages between the Orontes valley and the sea and at the same time an advance defense port for the city of Antioch.

Dedicated to Saladin, it played its part in Syria's history under three different and competing authorities, Byzantine, Frankish and Arab.

During the Byzantine influence, Northern Syria had some 300 sites flourishing in Christianity. St Simeon is the site where the saint is believed to have lived for forty two years atop a pillar exposed to mountain winds, blazing sun and the bitter cold of winters as a result of a revelation he had in a dream.

Shortly after his death the most beautiful church in the East was erected centering on the column he had taken up residence all those years, reduced today to a stump of about 3 meters high.

Four cross shaped basilicas opened into an octagon building covered by a dome. The sacred pillar stood in the centre of the church.

 

Special Notes:
Comfort stops available at a local restaurant en route to and from St Simeon.

Toilets available at Ugarit and Saladin’s castle.

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

Comfortable clothing, walking shoes and hat recommended.

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

Long flights of stairs at the castle. Rough uneven ground within the castle and at St Simeon.

Participants change into small vans at the bottom of the hill for an easier and smoother ascend to the top because of the narrow and winding road.

No suitable venues for lunch ashore; a lunchbox from the ship is essential.

 

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 Latakia Port

00hr00 -> 00hr30 Drive to Ugarit
00hr30 -> 01hr30 Visit Ugarit
01hr30 -> 02hr15 Drive to Salah El Din Castle
02hr15 -> 04hr00 Visit the Castle
04hr00 -> 07hr15 Drive to St Simeon
07hr15 -> 08hr45 Visit St Simeon

08hr45 -> 12hr15 Drive to Latakia

 

Tour Details

Tour Name:
Ugarit, Saladin’s Castle & St. Simeon

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

Tour ID:
LAT-07

Duration:
Approximately 12hr30

medium excursionsnakc provided on tour

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