Short flight, great climate, delicious food, unrivalled hospitality, rich history and culture â€“ all at affordable prices. Only four and a half hours flight from London, Syria has a unique and rich history, 22 civilizations has past Syria throughout the ages. Syria is the meeting point between east and west, the mixture of Jews, Christians and Muslims has been the deepest here alongside the Greek, Roman, Persian, Byzantine, crusaders, Arab, Ottoman and French, creating a rich and varied culture to be enjoyed by all that visit Syria. â€˜A hidden treasureâ€™ In Syria, the glorious past is present every step of the way, history is alive and tangible, something you can experience - see, touch and smell wherever you go. Many famous people have had links with Syria across the ages, including St Paul, Alexander the Great, Hadrian, Saladin, Tamerland, Agatha Christie and Lawrence of Arabia. History & Culture Escape to ancient cultures, and new encounters with Syria Travel. The shores of Lebanon and Syria were settled from around 10,000 BC. Ugarit near Lattakia, goes back to 6600BC. Mari on the Euphrates River 4500BC. The Phoenicians colonised the coast in to city-states around 2500 BC. Syria was the theatre for many conquests, that descended from the Anatolian born mountains or arrived at its shores from the sea. Its original inhabitants, migrants from the Arabian Peninsula, settled throughout the country. They were known as the Akkadians (2335 BC), the Amorites, the Canaanite, the Phoenicians, the Arameans or the Ghassanids, depending on the time of their migration and the place of their settlement. These settlers preserved their original characteristics despite the numerous conquests which they were to experience. In 636 AD, when Muslim Arab tribes entered Syria from that same Arabian Peninsula, they brought with them their language, Arabic, and their religion, Islam, both of which endure in modern Syria today. "The name Syria is believed to have first been applied by the Greeks, and by Roman times, it referred to the part of the empire that lay between Egypt in the south and Anatolia in the north." Syria & Lebanon, Lonely Planet. Agriculture first appeared in Syria thousands of years ago, when man discovered the possibility of growing hundreds of new plants from seeds. This discovery made it possible for civilization, as we know it, to begin. Men abandoned their caves and began building houses, and establishing settled communities. In ancient Syria, the secrets of hammering bronze and copper into shapes that would serve domestic and military activities was discovered. At Mari, numerous palaces, temples and murals, were found reflecting advanced cultural and commercial activity. The kingdom of Ugarit (Ras Shamra) near Lattakia, offered mankind its first alphabet. At Ebla, a royal palace was discovered containing one of the largest and most comprehensive archives of the ancient world, dealing with matters of industry, diplomacy, trade, art and agriculture. In Damascus, a visit to the market to watch the glass- blower at his brick furnace, might remind you of his predecessors, whom first invented coloured glass 3,000 years ago. The villages of Syria, whether they nestle in mountain valleys, or cluster along the coast, or border a great desert, are unique in their traditions and in the native costumes of their inhabitants.