At the time of writing, you can’t go: if you can, you shouldn’t. Peaceful protests that began in early 2011 have grown into an armed uprising against the Assad regime. A year later, and despite the UN and Arab League calling for an end to violence, the Syrian army continues to shell and shoot its citizens. Homs has become the most widely reported battleground, but there is violent conflict across the country.
How long this will continue is impossible to guess. When it ends, the wealth of historic sites, from Palmyra in the desert to the Crac des Chevaliers, within sight of the Mediterranean, will lure us back and the gracious hospitality of Syrians will warm us to their country.
As we have been unable to visit Syria, we have updated information by phone and email, and by asking advice and information from Syrians still in the country.
Syria: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Syria & Lebanon guide provides a selection of literature to get you in the mood for your trip...