Latakia (اللاذقية) is a major port in Syria - population 550,000.
Lattakia is a city extending back to Ancient Greek times, and continues to be an important commercial port for Syria today. The city itself consists largely of white stucco highrises and streets lined with palm trees, and the most popular beaches are along the coast to the north of the city. Lattakia is home to one of Syria's largest universities, Tishreen University, and the city tends to be relatively socially progressive and liberal (by Syrian standards), with a mixed population of Christian, Alawi, and Sunni inhabitants.
Frequent, air conditioned, inexpensive buses connect Lattakia with Aleppo, Damascus, Hama, Homs, and Tartous. The bus station, located next to the train station on the southern end of the city, has departures throughout the day to each of these cities. Travel time from Lattakia to Damascus is 4-5 hours.
Much of Lattakia is accessable by taxi, and there is little other public transportation to speak of. One can walk along the corniche, although it is otherwise not a very walkable city, due to distances between points in the city (beach, downtown, resort hotels, Ugarit, etc).
Pay no more than S£50 to use taxis for getting around Latakia.
Lattakia region is known for its diversity of landscapes, from the green mountains to the sandy beaches, with many important archeological sites like the Saladin Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006) and the ruins of Ugarit close enough to see on a day trip from Lattakia.
There are a few routes to run on with views of the sea and near green parks. However, carefully watch your step. There are too many obstructions along the way: holes, loose rock, gravel, construction, and garbage bags. Even cars share the side-walk.
Loop run around Latakia Sports Complex, . See the link for the GPS track and video of the route. Quiet run around the sports complex completely on side walks off road. During the winter months, the area was mostly deserted of cars and people, save a few runners, walkers, and soccer players. The traffic is heavier in the summer. The complex is about 8km away from the center of Latakia. There is a geocache inside the complex. (N35.5539760,E35.7531140)
Loop run along Latakia water front, . See the link for the GPS track and video of the route. Long run 12km that circumnavigates the city, mostly close to the water. It is busy near the train station. Otherwise, it is very nice on wide sidewalks. Extend this run by linking it with the other loop around the Sports Complex. You will meet many people exercising on this route: speed-walking and jogging. (N35.5210150,E35.7905280)
There are a few caches in Syria and some in Latakia. Check for availability on geocaching.com
There are several neighberhood parks suitable for children to play on structures and in open spaces. List with map, descriptions, locations, and pictures is on waymarking.com
Safwan Hotel, al kornish al gharbi, facing city hall, ☎ +963(933)376900 (email@example.com). run by a TINTIN fan Mohammad Ziadeh & his family,one of the friendliest budget hotels in town, hospitable & open minded owner Mohammad Ziadeh, 22 different roooms & a popular roof dormitory
Hotel an-Nour, Sharia 14 Ramadan, ☎ +963(41)423980 (fax: +963(41)468340). Simple, clean hotel, rooms overlook main street. TV and Fridge, owner can organise trips in the locality
Le Meridien, (About 10km north of the city center), ☎ +963(41)428736 (fax: +963(41)428732), . The most expensive option in the city, but with a superior private beach and full amenities of a Le Meridien hotel
Cote d'Azur Cham Hotel, (About 10km north of the city center), (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A large (3,000 bed) Syrian-run hotel that rivals the Le Meridien in price and somewhat in service. Private beach in one of the better areas on the Lattakia coastline.
Saladin Hotel and Hostel, Yousef Alazma Street (located down a narrow alley north of Al-Ajan Mosque, the second building on the left. Across from Alattar shop, a small grociery store. It's best to ask locals for directions), ☎ +963(932)354441 (email@example.com). checkin: 2PM; checkout: noon. Double and triple bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms. All rooms include an air-con, TV, and digital receiver. Dorm beds available for between 200 and 250 SYP. from US$6 pp/night.