Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو) and nearby Kafroun (كفرون) are two of the most developed and picturesque of Syria’s mountain resorts, and offer beautiful places to escape the summer heat. On clear days, the often snowcovered mountains of Lebanon are visible at a distance from Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو), which also has numerous luxury hotels and restaurants. Kafroun (كفرون), in a valley below, is the location of many summer homes. Just a couple of kilometers beyond Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو) is Meghara al-Duayat (مغارة الضوايات), an impressive cave full of stalagmites and stalactites.
Getting There: The most common way of getting to Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو) is via Safita (صافيتا). There are very frequent microbuses between Tartus (طرطوس) and Safita (صافيتا). These microbuses depart from Tartus (طرطوس) on the northbound (eastern) side of the main boulevard, just south of the main bus station. There will generally be a long line of microbuses bound for Safita (صافيتا) waiting there. The trip takes about 30 minutes. From the microbus station in Safita (صافيتا), microbuses travel directly to Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو), passing by Kafroun (كفرون) along the way. The trip takes about 30 minutes. These microbuses are frequent until the late afternoon in the high season of summer (July and August), but are less frequent and may stop running earlier during the off-season. Alternatively, there are also microbuses between Mashta al-Helou (مشتى الحلو) and Homs (حمص).