Can anyone suggest a guide/driver for exploring Syria in April? Or is renting a car and driving ourselves a good idea?
Try Ahamd magribi/ Aleppoguide.wordpress.com
He is an accredited fully qualified tour guide and driver
You can hire a car and drive your self it is not too hard except driving in the city can be stressfull.
Abdul the driver was scaked from Damascus Hostel for breaching code of ethics for drivers.That is to be upfront,honest and direct with clients.
The Hostel does not recommend or employ Abdul or his drivers.
It is a fact that abdul was sacked from working at the hostel cos he breached the guide lines That is to be direct upfront and honest with clients
It is a well known fact also to Tripadvisor Management that abdul has had several screen names(dozens) and scores of fake/fabricated reviews on this forum. The readers on the forum has the right to know this information.
Tripadvisor is the readers,travelling community forum.
I am currently travelling throughout Syria with Ahmad Margrib. He is an excellent guide, completely dependable. Importantly he uses competent drivers, essential in some of the big cities. Check him out on aleppoguide.com
We went through http://www.mytrip-syria.com/ , a local agency set up by a lovely mix couple, Saqer who is Syrian married to Salina from Switzerland. They can arrange driver, hotel, guide and typical tourist tour as well as more unusual experiences: hiking trip (St Simeon...), night with the Bedouin ...
Saqer either do the tour himself or only hires driver he knows and trust.
Saqer was honest, reliable and great company. He also has this unique ability to sense the kind of things you like and make suggestions to match these. He just made our trip so special !!!
I've just (yesterday) got back from 17 days in Syria. For 7 of those we travelled with Ahmad Magribi and his driver.
I would entirely agree with norrisgrey’s comments about Ahmad. He was very helpful when I was planning the trip, and patiently answered my endless questions beforehand. He made good suggestions for hotels and restaurants, and planned an intinerary that gave us a comprehensive experience of Syria, according to our own particular interests.
He was thorough, dependable and enhanced our experience of Syria immensely. Like norrisgrey, I felt very confident with the skills of his driver (in this case Mohammed). Both were excellent company, and we were very sad to depart at the end of our trip
We had a fantastic time in Syria and would have no hesitatation in recommending Ahmad
I will write a report of our trip later, but in the meantime I am happy to answer any PMs
In April my friend and I travelled around Syria. On one "Friday" we decided to take a taxi from Palmyra to Aleppo as opposed to the bus. We used a man called MAHMOOD MOOTLAK. His telephone is 00963 944/417442-031/5912687.
His e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mahmood was very pleasant and skillfully and safely took us through Hama. In Aleppo he took us straight to our hotel which we could not find when we were out for a walk. I would highly recommend this chap.
Scott from Scotland
We're just back from a trip to Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and had a wonderful time. We used Abdul Ibrahim, as a driver who has been much maligned above. I just don't get it, there's definitely some local politics going on here, but I'm going to stick to my own experience which is what I a can vouch for.
We used Abdul for a 5 day trip and had an amazing time with him. He's open, interesting, engaged and understands a Western perspective because he lived in the US for years. We had fun with Abdul and felt we learnt a lot about Syria. He helped me with the itinerary before we left and gave me advice on Jordan as well. After we left him in Aleppo when things were heating up politically he arranged another driver for us and called constantly to make sure we were ok.
We travel a lot, and Abdul is among the best drivers we've ever had. We had such a good time with him, I'm considering another trip to Syria!
Have a look at the photos of our trip on my blog, Syria really is a wonderful place to visit.
Obviously this is not a fake review, I've been a member of Tripadivsor since 2005 and have made plenty of contributions, hopefully my opinion counts for something. I don't want to get into a vitriolic debate, I just want to post my own experience about a driver we really liked.
Thank you so much for the report and that your blog is great. You did exactly the trip I want to do but will wait until next year. The hotel in Aleppo is great...I have found some great places on i-escape too. (I think that is where you got it). Based on your report as well as other research I have done I have also noted your driver and will contact him for our trip. Seems like some "local politics" on the board have resulted in posts as above. If the only thing he has done is ask his happy clients to write a word about him on TA or elsewhere then I don't see any reason to badmouth him at all. His other reports are excellent just like yours and his website very helpful. Again...thanks for taking the time to report.