Having lived in
The ruins are not nearly as complete as Krak, but the crumbling stone walls and overgrown interior areas are evocative and romantic in their own way. Its location is also more dramatic: it’s perched on top of an “island” that rises dramatically from the surrounding forest and valley. The castle walls encircle the entire top of the ridge.
To get there, you have to take a taxi from the nearby
On the other side of the ridge, the castle descends into an overgrown area that was once the residential area of the castle. Guide books claim that it is inaccessible, but we proved them wrong on a recent visit. From the lower, western part of the ridge, you can cut through the brush and find a rock outcropping to sit on and enjoy the view.
Syrian tourist sites are rarely busy, and Qala’at Salah ad-Din is no exception. Sometimes you’ll run into a school group or two, but they usually make their rounds fairly quickly and then the castle is left to you alone. Even if there are quite a few visitors there when you go, the grounds are big enough that it is still possible to lose yourself in some forgotten corner of the ruins. We’ve been there several times throughout the year; in my opinion, the best time to go is in late February or early March when the flowers are just beginning to bloom, the sun is shining but not hot, and crowds are nonexistent.