I will have about 15 days in July and want to use them to travel by bus from Jeddah to Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. I need guidance and suggestions from the experienced travellers in this forum on how to do it. I am specifically interested in visiting Damascus and Beyrut and experiencing the countryside of Turkey.
Thanks in advance.
Do you just want to travel to Turkey the fastest way or do you want to see the countries too? Because 15 days is not enough time to see Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.
I think it will take you about 2 days to get from Jeddah to Damascus by bus. So if you need to go back to Jeddah at the end of your trip you'll have 11 days. That is just enough time to see the highlights of Syria - Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra and Crac des Chevaliers.
I can spend four days each in Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. The main objective of the trip is to experience a comfortable and affordable overland tour that covers these countries. I need suggestions for the itinerary and guidance to get to places by bus. I will also consider train.
You forget about travelling time.
If you go by bus (and I mean public transport) I will take you about 10 hours to get from Jeddah to Aqaba in Jordan. From Aqaba to Amman it will be another 4 hours. From Amman to the Syrian border it will be 1 hour and then another 2 hours to get to Damascus.
That is just the time you spend on the bus, this does not include the time you need to wait for the shared taxi or the bus to leave. For example: When I went from Wadi Musa to Aqaba took the minibus from Wadi Musa to Maan and then wanted to go on to Aqaba. I sat in Ma'an for 3 hours waiting for the departure of the bus to Aqaba.
Damascus to Turkey is even worse. It takes about 14 hours by direct bus to get from Istanbul to Gaziantep or Adana, the 2 big cities near the Syrian border. From there to Latakia it is about 2-3 hours and another 6 hours from Latakia to Damascus.
Considering the travelling time and your timeframe I recommend that you skip Turkey. It would take you too long to get there unless you fly.
See this thread:
Especially look at what magykal1 wrote:
I reckon in 16 days you could just about fit in Beirut-Baalbek-Damascus-Palmyra-one of the Crusader Castles-Jerash-Amman-Petra.
[ Edit: Edited on 21-Jun-2009, at 06:09 by t_maia ]
I think this is an excellent advice. Yes, I can skip Turkey but, for sure, I don't want to miss Syria and Lebanon. Appreciate if you can suggest an itinerary and, of course, how to get to those places by bus and other modes of overland public transportation.
other modes of overland public transportation.
Three main options:
I've been looking into the same area mate, you want to look at:
Krak des Chevaliers
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jun-2009, at 03:05 by bertles86 ]
kabandung, if you are still looking for information on how to get around by bus, go to www.lonelyplanet.com and enter the "shop". Buy the relevant "pick and mix" chapters from the guidebooks "Jordan" and "Syria&Lebanon", maybe also from "Middle East".
You can also search on the web. Note that information in English on buses in Saudi-Arabia is hard to find. Ask somebody who knows Arabic very well and who has an Arabic keyboard about busses from Jeddah going north to Jordan.
The buses in Jordan are run by JETT, maybe http://www.jett.com.jo/ has some info on schedules. http://wikitravel.org/en/Jordan might also help. The JETT buses also run to Damascus and I think it is a JETT bus that goes from Amman to Jeddah, but I am not sure.