The Coast and Mountains of Syria is a region in the west of the country. It is green and fertile, relatively Christian, somewhat liberal, and dominated by Phoenician and Crusader history.
The region has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Hike Saydeh Mountain. A scenic hike to a popular mountain in the region. See the link for the GPS track and video of the route. Start at the main square in Mashta heading southeast out of town, passing by many restaurants and views of the valley. Stay on the wide sidewalk as the road descends. At the large intersection, there is a small zoo to the left. Continue straight slightly to the left. Follow the winding road all the way to the top. Initially, olive trees hug the road with an occasional fig tree. As you get closer to the top, the trees give way to full views of the villages. Often, you can see Safita Tower and the Lebanese Mountains. From the top, either walk back down, or schedule a taxi to drive you.
- Hike Mashta to Kafroun. The most scenic and quiet hike in the area. See the link for the GPS track and video of the route. Very few people drive on this road let alone walk it. Start at the main square in Mashta heading southwest on the narrow road going uphill. Take the first right and follow this road all the way through. Beautiful views all the way through. At the end of the hike, take a taxi back from Kafroun. The main road back to Mashta is busy and dangerous.
- Geocaching. Find geocaches in the area.
As of 2018, Latakia and Tartus Provinces have remained under government control for the entire war. Latakia and Tartus, therefore, are by far the safest area of Syria for travel, and well worth a visit even now.