Latakia (anc. Laodi-cea), a town of Syria, 120 m. N. of Beyrout; pop. about 7,000. The town is on a rocky promontory, from 100 to 200 ft. high, which projects nearly two miles into the sea, opposite the N. E. point of the island of Cyprus. The harbor is a deep cove, almost surrounded by rocky banks, at the N. W. angle of the promontory, and has a pier on one side and a projecting tower on the other. The town is surrounded by groves of myrtle, pomegranate, mulberry, orange, lemon, and olive trees, and consists of two portions, the upper and lower town. The former occupies an elevated site at a short distance from the sea, and consists largely of modern houses, but is very dirty; the latter, called La Scala, extends along the shore in the vicinity of the harbor. Latakia and Alexandretta are the ports of Aleppo, and a great part of the important trade of that city with the adjoining provinces passes through the former place. The principal articles of export are tobacco, cotton, gall nuts, sesame seed, wool, wax, camels' hair, and several minor products.
In 1871 they were valued at $1,277,599. Grain can be exported only in times of scarcity in Europe, when the prices compensate for the heavy expenses of transportation, and then chiefly to Marseilles. A portion of the Aleppo wool shipped from Latakia finds its way to the United States. The principal article of trade, however, is tobacco of fine quality, of which large quantities are raised in the neighborhood. There is also a large trade in sponge. Latakia contains numerous remnants of ancient stone structures, and the surrounding cliffs are rilled with rock-cut tombs. (See Laodicea.)