Qalaat al-Ileiqeh (قلعة العليقة) was once a significant Ismaeli castle, though little remains today to justify the effort needed to reach it. A few walls and arches survive, as well as portions of a couple towers, but it takes a strong imagination to really appreciate the site. Nonetheless, the location is quite scenic and the views on the road leading to the castle are spectacular.
Getting There: Only a few microbuses per day make the trip from Banias (بانياس) to Qalaat al-Ileiqeh (قلعة العليقة). Rather than departing from the main microbus station, they leave from a small microbus lot along the seaside corniche, just north of the Qadmous company bus station. The journey takes between 30 minutes to an hour. Although the route is somewhat indirect, the microbus will eventually reach the base of the castle, leaving just a couple hundred meters to walk. If undergoing this journey, start early, as microbuses returning to Banias (بانياس) stop running in the early afternoon. Microbuses back to Banias (بانياس) continue running later in the afternoon from al-Anazeh (العنازة), about 8 kilometers to the northwest. Hiking and/or hitchhiking to al-Anazeh (العنازة), and continuing to Banias (بانياس) from there, may be the best solution if no direct public transportation from Qalaat al-Ileiqeh (قلعة العليقة) can be found.
Coordinates: 35°10’37.76″N / 36°07’21.91″E
Transliteration Variants: Qalaat al-Ileiqa, Qalaat al-Ileika, Qalaat al-Ileikeh, Qalaat al-Aleiqeh, Qalaat al-Aleiqa, Qalaat al-Aleika, Qalaat al-Aleikeh
Rating: (4 / 10)