Reasons to Visit
Lebanon is a real melting pot: you'll find Lebanese Christians and Muslims of various denominations, as well as Armenians and Palestinians in smaller numbers. What all Lebanese have in common is their friendliness and hospitality towards strangers, and this, combined with the mix of cultures and religions, is what makes Lebanon a fascinating place to visit.
Countless great civilisations have left their mark on Lebanon - from the Phoenicians to the Greeks, the Crusaders to the Ottomans and many, many more in between. The ruined cities left behind are amongst Lebanon's greatest attractions.
One of the world's most vibrant cities, Beirut is a great place to enjoy a strong, thick cup of coffee, whilst watching the locals go about their business. There are a range of cafes - from cheap local student hangouts, to swish establishments that wouldn't be out of place in Paris or Milan.
Lebanese dishes such as tabouleh, hummus, falafel and baba ganoush are commonly replicated around the world, but the authentic dishes prepared in the country really are the tastiest and cannot be beaten.
Lebanon's second city of Tripoli is a traditional town which could not be more different to the glitzy capital Beirut. Tripoli is famous for its colourful and lively souqs, where the maze of narrow alleyways includes medieval mosques, madrassas and public baths which are well worth exploring.
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998, the stunning landscape of the Qadisha valley is just a few hours drive from bustling Beirut and provides the perfect contrast. The exceptional backdrop is a great destination for activities ranging from gentle strolls to full day treks.
Lebanon is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, and its offerings rival some of Bordeaux's finest. The southern Bekaa Valley is home to many of the regions best wineries including Ksar Massa and Château Ksara, and you will find the world famous Châteaux Musar roughly 30km to the north of Beirut.
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North Africa & the Middle East
Explore Byblos' crusader castle ruins.
Beirut is now reconstructing and developing itself into a cosmopolitan city after the destruction of the civil war and is well-known for its café culture.
Originally a Phoenician settlement, Baalbek’s foundations date back to the 3rd century BC. It is Lebanon’s key historical sight.
Situated about 40km north of Beirut, Byblos can be considered one of the oldest cities in the world. From the time of the Phoenicians, it was one of the most active trading ports in the...
Travel south to visit Sidon, an important harbour nestled amidst banana and citrus groves. The city of Sidon is mentioned in documents dating from the 14th century BC, but driven by the...
With tourism slowly awakening again in Lebanon after many troubled years, now is the time to visit this fascinating melting pot of different religions and cultures. Beirut, one of the region's most vibrant cities, is surprisingly European in atmosphere - but travel a few miles up the coast and you'll come across tiny villages with people still living off the land as they have done for centuries. Elsewhere, the remains of one of Ancient Rome's most ornate temples at Baalbek are a must see, whilst the coastal towns of Tripoli and Byblos offer medieval souqs, ancient harbours and delicious seafood.
7 Days from £1,825pp
A short stay in arguably the most exciting and fascinating city in the Middle East, with a day to explore the Roman ruins, beautiful mountain scenery and rolling vineyards of the interior.
5 1/2 hours (Beirut)
GMT +2 to GMT +3
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout LebanonCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:EgyptIranJordanLibyaMoroccoOmanSyriaTunisia
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