Latakia is Syria's main sea-port on the Mediterranean (186 km southwest of Aleppo). It has retained its importance since ancient times. Latakia was one of the five cities built by Saluqos Nikator in the 2nd century B.C. He named it after his mother, Laudetia. Not many ancient remains have survived in Latakia, but there are four columns and a Roman arch from the time of Septimus Severus (circa 200 A.D.), in addition to a beautiful Ottoman construction called "Khan al-Dukhan", which is now a museum.
Latakia is the sea-gate to Syria. There is beaches, mountains, archaeological sites and many relics of the Crusaders, all within a few hours from each other.