A first look at the trip to Syria and Lebanon in 16 days
TRAVELLERS:On this occasion, Isaac I'm going with the best company I could have on a trip, passionate travelers and old friendsJuve and Ruth (which have a blog that is also worth visiting: SECUOIAS) and more company. Lawrence of Arabia on the way to the unknown ...
TRAVEL TIME: It will be of 16 days, since work has prevented us from going to another day. A pity The date will go from April 3, 2009 to April 18, 2009, unbeatable!
TYPE OF TRAVEL: Travel with friends. Custom trip
ITINERARY:It will be updated in the "Travel Journal" section. Our trip is an exciting adventure, which will travel history in giant steps. Starting with the oldest city in the world always populated, Damascus, touring the desert of Syria on the way to Palmyra and Deir Ezzor, to return north in Aleppo, where we will make our first stop. From there the whole trip will be going down (Dead Cities, Hama, Knight Crack) to get into the heart of Lebanon, the Baalbeck Valley, the best preserved ruins in the Middle East and Anjaar. We will return to Damascus to face our final stage, Jordan. There the mystical city of Petra, the night in the lodging of millions of stars of the Wadi Rum and the end floating in the Dead Sea.
MAIN TRANSPORTATION: To travel to the Middle East there are several options, but to take advantage of 16 days, the only alternative is the airplane. We have been going around and around the possible options since September 2008. We have valued flying to Damascus and leaving through Amman, entering and leaving through Damascus, entering and leaving through Amman, going to Turkey and leaving through Jordan. Finally, for availability and economy we have opted to enter and leave through Jordan, since in 2 hours you plant in Damascus.
There are several alternatives to travel to the Middle East by stopping in some European capital, for example with Air France, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, etc… However, without intermediate scales there are only 2 options: SyrianAir or Iberia operating with SyrianAir on Sundays from / to Madrid-Damascus and with very bad schedules and Royal Jordanian or Iberia operating with Royal Jordanian several days of the week Madrid and Barcelona - Amman. If we value the purely economic point of view, in addition to the direct scales of SyrianAir/Royal Jordanian/Iberia comes into play Turkish Airlines with stopover in Istanbul.
Well, interestingly, after a thousand laps, the best option both economically, as per schedules, as by links (which we also do with the same company and we ensure the "not losing the right to fly") is the one of Iberia operating with Royal Jordanian (even being the same flight, Royal Jordanian was 200 euros more expensive). SyrianAir It took until 2009 to put the flights on sale (and more expensive for these dates). That yes !!!IMPORTANT!! In these dates the economic seats finish very fast. We took them on November 5, 2009 and in mid-November THERE were NO LONGER ECONOMIC SEATS, ONLY BUSSINESS. The explanation is that the agencies make reservations on these flights to offer their vacation packages.
ACCOMMODATIONS:They will be updated in the "Accommodations" section.
PASSPORT: Valid for 6 months. !!! IMPORTANT! For Syria it cannot have ANY seal of having been in Israel in Syria
VISA: Necessary in Syria (we manage it Silkroad Tours) and Jordan (you can make the borders and Airport). In Lebanon, on the same border we will manage one of 48 hours (in free theory).
ID: We carry it, although it would not be very necessary.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: Never leave WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE! It is an insignificant amount with respect to what it can cost you "a bad experience without insurance". We have traveled with all types of insurance although now we always travel with IATI after the good experience of the trip to Switzerland. Do not have the slightest doubt that we tell things as they happen to us, we do not want to lose the truth of our newspapers, and it also helps us to travel, so If you need insurance and you are a CHAVETAS reader, now you save 5% by clicking here (THE DISCOUNT APPLIES DIRECTLY AND IT ALREADY APPEARS IN THE PROCESS)
PRACTICAL DATA OF UTILITY:
LANGUAGES: In Syria the classical Arabic. In Lebanon also although they are more bilingual and dominate French. In Jordan both Arabic and English in a high percentage.
COINS: The currency of Syria is the Syrian Pound (around 55-60 SYP per EUR). In Lebanon we will find Lebanese Pounds (1890-1900 LBP per EUR). In Jordan the Jordanian Dinar (0.89 JOD per EUR).
CARDS: Credit cards can be used without problems in major cities and less in marginal populations.
GUIDES: Again the LONELY PLANET, both the new one from 2009 from Syria-Lebanon, as well as from Jordan.
GUIDE CHAVETAS.ES: As in Cuba and Japan, we will take our own guide with internet information and adventures that we want to enjoy. This time we will not publish it.
PHONE: Although expensive, it seems that Movistar Roaming will work in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.
INTERNET: Despite what you might think, there are multiple options and it works relatively quickly.
SECURITY: Syria today is a safe country, like Jordan in 2009. Lebanon is most influenced by possible revolts with Israel in its southern zone, the one we will not step on. Still, we have an alternative option for that day.
VACCINES: It is not necessary any
ELECTRICITY: In all 220V so no transformer is necessary. The plug in Syria is 3 round type L, in Jordan and Lebanon of various types. This link is very useful: PLUGS IN THE WORLD. We will carry adapter with several types of plugs.
TIME DIFFERENCE: At the time of the trip it will be +1 hour. EYE! They change the time during the trip.
RELIGION: The most widespread in Syria and Jordan is Islamism (90%). It is also the majority in Lebanon (65-70%) but the Christian is more present (30%)
Travel to Syria and Lebanon: An approximate budget
You can make this trip going backpacking very very cheap. Vacation packages usually make good deals on certain dates. During Holy Week, a "standard" trip of this style (16 days, 3 countries) by plane could cost 2400 € + 700/800 of expenses. In our case we are on average. A tailor made trip, with our licenses and whims, and our own route. This is our initial budget:
|TRAVEL TRANSPORTS (INTERNAC FLIGHTS, HYUNDAI VAN 15 DAYS, ETC ...)||4.000,00 €|
|VISAS AND FEES (€ 50 / pers)||200,00 €|
|ALL ROUTE ACCOMMODATIONS (€ 700 / pers)||2.800,00 €|
|TRAVEL INSURANCE||170,00 €|
|MEALS (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner not included in accommodation)||600,00 €|
|OTHERS (Tickets, Waters, Gifts, Extras, etc ...)||200,00 €|
|TOTAL TRIP (4 PEOPLE)||7.970,00 €|
|TOTAL BUDGET (PER PERSON)||1.992,50 €|
If we recently went to the Far East, now it is the Middle East. !! We're leaving again, Oe Oe Oeee !!!