Qalaat al-Hosn (قلعة الحصن), more famously known as Krak des Chevaliers, is arguably the best preserved and most impressive Crusader castle surviving today. It is one of the highlights of a visit to Syria, and should be considered a must on any itinerary. The castle was been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2006.
More details on this site will be added soon. Meanwhile, the Wikipedia article on the castle is fairly detailed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krak_des_Chevaliers.
Getting There: Qalaat al-Hosn (قلعة الحصن) is located on the hilltop above the village of al-Hosn (الحصن), which can be reached directly by microbus from Homs (حمص). The trip takes roughly one hour, though these microbuses are not particularly frequent. If coming from Hama (حماة), it is necessary to transit through Homs (حمص). If coming from Tartus (طرطوس), take any microbus headed towards Homs (حمص) and get out at the turn-off, from where the castle is about ten kilometers to the north. If there is not already a microbus waiting at the turn-off, one should pass by. Public transportation to/from al-Hosn (الحصن) becomes infrequent in the late afternoon, though it shouldn’t be difficult to find a microbus to Homs (حمص) from the highway late into the evening.
Note that Deir Mar Jerjes (دير مار جرجس) is located in the valley below Qalaat al-Hosn (قلعة الحصن), about three kilometers to the northwest. It is a very pleasant hike between them on a quiet farming road. Allow about forty-five minutes going down to the monastery and an hour hiking up to the castle. From Qalaat al-Hosn (قلعة الحصن), locate the school to the north of the castle. The road which passes by the school continues west in the direction of the monastery. If starting from Deir Mar Jerjes (دير مار جرجس), the road to the castle is the first right as you head east from the monastery, then an almost immediate left at the fork in the road. Microbuses traveling between Homs (حمص) and Marmarita (مرمريتا) pass by Deir Mar Jerjes (دير مار جرجس), making it easy to visit both sites in the same day and only hike one direction.
Coordinates: 34°45’24.71″N / 36°17’39.61″E
Transliteration Variants: Crac des Chevaliers
Rating: (10 / 10)