Four Seasons is pleased to help customise itineraries for your group or party in the oldest inhabited city in the world. Known as the cradle of civilization, Damascus is a testament to the many civilizations and religions that have made the city home since 5000 BC. The following is a sample group itinerary. We invite you to discuss your needs with us.
Arrival at Hotel
Four Seasons staff will meet your group at the airport and assist with transfer to the Hotel. Upon arrival, relax, refresh and unwind with welcome amenities.
Begin with a welcome drink at XO followed by dinner at Al Halabi, where you will experience the best of the Aleppo cuisine of Northern Syria, with specialties that combine European culinary sophistication with Eastern spices.
Day 2 - Old City Souks and Christian Villages
Visit the Old City of Damascus as a Four Seasons guide leads you through the city’s historical landmarks and most popular souks.
- Following breakfast on Il Circo terrace overlooking the finest example of Ottoman architecture in Damascus, start your journey into the past and enjoy an authentic shopping experience in the old city.
- For lunch, enjoy traditional Syrian cuisine at Narenj restaurant, opposite the Meiramiyeh Church. Ask for the regional cuisine of the Syrian coast, such as burghul bil hummus (semolina with chick peas) or burghul bil banadora (semolina with tomato sauce).
- In the afternoon, step back in time with a chauffeured drive into the mountains to experience the ancient Christian village of Maloula, where the locals still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ. Visit the Convent of St Thecla, St Paul’s pupil and one of the earliest Christian martyrs. Her escape route, St Techla Gap, is the main attraction, and it resembles the Siq (gorge) in Petra.
- Head on to the Monastery of St. Sergius, where you can listen to the Lord ’s Prayer in Aramaic and taste their homemade wine.
- Continue to Sednaya, spread out over a hilltop, surrounded by vineyards and olive groves. Feel the atmosphere of centuries past as you visit the Convent of Virgin Mary, the world’s second most popular pilgrimage site after Jerusalem. Look for the portrait of the Virgin Mary painted by St Luke and don’t miss her image that was created many years ago from a drop of olive oil in the middle of the stairs on the way up to the convent.
- Return to the city and shop for spices, soaps, jewellery, embroidered fabrics and fashions, and brush up on your bartering!
- Return to Four Seasons to experience authentic Northern Syrian (Aleppean) specialities at Al Halabi (the restaurant of choice for visiting dignitaries) paired with a glass of Arak, the anise-based liquour that’s the traditional drink of the Levant.
- Then head out for a night-time walk in the Old City.
Day 3 - The Roman City of Plamyra
Syria’s most famous attraction, Palmyra is the astonishingly well-preserved ruin of a Roman city – within a three-hour drive of Four Seasons. It’s worth a full day to explore this magnificent desert site, including the vast sanctuary of Bel and an in-depth archaeological museum. An additional enhancement that the Hotel can offer includes a take-away lunch or snack boxes for the journey.
- Stop at the famous Baghdad Café en route for a glass of chai.
- Return to Four Seasons to the XO Bar and Terrace and reflect on your memorable day over an aperitif.
- Enjoy a special authentic Italian dinner in Il Circo – the venue of choice for the social set in the city.
- No trip to Damascus is complete without tasting handmade ice cream from Bakdash, the 1898 landmark shop in Hamidiyeh souk. Try the ice cream with Arabic gum and pistachio.
Day 4 - The Roman Times
- Follow your in-room breakfast on our own private terrace with a visit to the Tekkiye Mosque and bazaar complex - a five-minute walk of the Hotel - and take in the finest example of Ottoman architecture in Damascus.
- Then get ready for a one-day tour to the South, where you will visit the first Nabatean city, Bosra, and its famous Roman theatre that dates back to the second century. Stop in town, which has many other vestiges such as Nabatean ruins, Roman ruins, Byzantine traces and finally some Islamic vestiges, such as the Mabrok and the Arous Mosques.
- Have a lunch at the Bosra Al Cham Hotel, and on your way back to Damascus visit Izraa, home of the oldest continually used church in Syria, which dates from the sixth century.
- Return to Four Seasons and enjoy the Hotel's Spa, which offers ancient local treatments and authentic Asian massages.
- Enjoy dinner at Art House hotel and view some of Syria's most striking artistic works. Northwest of Damascus, on the bank of the legendary Barada River, Art House stands on a 400-year-old mill.
Discover the intricacies of Syrian art with a gallery tour of Straight Street and Al Amin Street and meet with local artists, such as sculptor Mustapha Ali.