Palmyra-Gateway to Babylon

Depart from the port of Tartous in a/c motor coaches for a drive through regional towns, cultivated land and stretches of undulated expanse of desert to the stunningly beautiful ancient city of Palmyra.

Known as Tadmor in antiquity, the city of palms, its existence dates back to Neolithic times almost 1,000 years B.C.

Under the Assyrians, Tadmor became an important caravan town for almost a millennium and later a strategic outpost of the Greek Empire for 200 years.

An oasis situated in the middle of the Syrian desert, Palmyra established itself as a staging post between the Orient and the Mediterranean world becoming a necessary stopping place for camel caravans traveling from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean as well as those on the Silk and Spice Road, crossing the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Babylon, all the way to India and China.

Palmyra’s golden age was reached during the reign of the warrior queen Zenobia, half Greek and half Arab, believed to be a descendant of queen Cleopatra. Powerful and ambitious, she ruled Palmyra after the death of her husband and managed to capture Syria, Egypt, Arabia and Anatolia and set her armies to fight against the Roman Empire itself.

Defeated by Aurelian in 271AD, queen Zenobia was taken prisoner and carted off to Rome and her city pillaged by the Romans.

In 1089AD Palmyra was totally destroyed by a severe earthquake, its ruins covering an area of 6 square kilometers.

Arriving in Palmyra, visit the museum and tombs. Take time out to enjoy lunch at a local hotel and afterwards visit the enclosed Temple of Bel, the city’s principal deity.

Originally a Babylonian god, it was identified by the ancient Greeks as Zeus and by the Romans as Jupiter.

Continue on foot through the partially restored Monumental Arch down the Great Colonnade, once the city’s main thoroughfare.

See the Theatre, Market Place, Banquet Hall and the numerous baths, buildings and lesser temples of the city.

 

Special Notes:
Not wheelchair accessible. Participants must be able to stand for long periods of time.

Comfortable clothing, walking shoes, hat, umbrella and sunglasses recommended.

A considerable amount of walking is involved on uneven cobblestones and ruined passages in the open air ruined city of Palmyra.

No shade within the ruins.

Comfort stops will be made in the city of Homs going and coming from Palmyra.

Toilets available at temple of Bel and hotel.

 

Tour Timings:

Tours begin at times suitable for the ship's arrival in port. The breakdown of the excursions is as follows:

00hr00 -> Excursion departs from Tartous Port

00hr00 -> 03hr00 Drive to Palmyra with comfort stop en route
03hr00 -> 03hr45 Visit museum
03hr45 -> 04hr00 Drive to the Tombs
04hr00 -> 04hr45 Visit Tombs
04hr45 -> 05hr00 Drive to restaurant
05hr00 -> 06hr30 Serving buffet lunch at hotel
06hr30 -> 06hr40 Drive to the Temple of Bel
06hr40 -> 07hr25 Visit Temple of Bel
07hr25 -> 09hr00 Guided walk through main site
09hr00 -> 12hr00 Drive to Tartous with comfort stop en route

 

 

 

Tour Details

Tour Name:
Palmyra-Gateway to Babylon

Sightseeing Shore Tours
Cultural Shore Tours

 

Tour ID:
TTS-01

Duration:
Approximately 12hr00

medium excursionmeal included with tour

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