The city lies on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, It is the second largest port city in Syria (after Latakia) bordered by the Alawite Mountains to the east. Arwad, the only inhabited island on the Syrian coast, is located a few kilometers off the shore of Tartus. Tartus occupies most of the coastal plain, surrounded to the east by mountains composed mainly of limestone and, in certain places around the town of Souda, basalt.
Tartus has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen Csa) with mild, wet winters, hot and dry summers, and short transition periods in April and October. The hills to the east of the city create a cooler climate with even higher rainfall. Tartus is known for its relatively mild weather and high precipitation compared to inland Syria. Humidity in the summer can reach 0%.
The History of Tartus goes back to the 2nd millennium BC when it was founded as a Phoenician colony of Aradus. The colony was known as Antaradus (from Greek “Anti-Arados → Antarados”, Anti-Aradus, meaning “The town facing Arwad”). Not much remains of the Phoenician Antaradus, the mainland settlement that was linked to the more important and larger settlements of Aradus, off the shore of Tartus, and the nearby site of Amrit.