In Lebanon we have a Country small enough to get around in a short amount of time, yet enough diversity, history, and fascinating landmarks to last a life time! Here we review six of the ‘must do’s’ for anyone visiting this beautiful Middle Eastern Country.
Given the small size of Lebanon Beirut is a perfect base to access other parts of the Country easily. Although it can be chaotic at times with all the hustle and bustle of the crowds, scratch under the surface and there is a wonderful fusion of restaurants, museums, bars and clubs to be found offering more than enough to keep a traveler knee deep in discovery for a few days! Top places in the City include The National Museum of Beirut, Grand Serail and for a more natural landmark check out the Jeita Grotto.
Not to be missed this UNESCO World Heritage Site is steeped in mystery and ancient history. Nestled in a high valley 86 kilometres north east of Beirut Baalbek is the remains of what was an intricate temple complex. Renowned for being one of the most holy places of ancient times and dating back almost 5000 years ago, this is certainly one box you will want to tick off during your stay.
No visit is complete without checking out Lebanon’s second largest City. You can spend hours strolling around and taking in the breathtaking medieval Mamluck architecture, also be sure to take in the vibrant Labyrinthine souque that is renowned in the Country as being the best there is. There are both an old and modern part to the City, with the port area of Al-mina 3km to the west along the seafront.
The historical Phoenician City of Tyre is another World Heritage Site which back in its glory days was home to a great civilization who reigned over the seas fusing together great colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage. Most noted as the place where a purple dye was first discovered in which was reserved exclusively for nobility and royalty. A place steeped in legend and somewhere that no trip to Lebanon is complete without seeing.
For a more coastal experience Byblos offers the opportunity to witness one of the starting places of the Phoenician civilizations. There is much debate as to whether it is actually the oldest City in the World, which for that reason alone is worth investigating. Wander around taking in the ancient ruins whilst imagining times gone past and taking in the fresh sea air.
Like most places in Lebanon Batroun is again steeped in history dating back almost 5000 years. What is fascinating here is the sea wall, originally built by the Phoenicians to protect them from tidal waves, incredibly still stands today, The area also has some fine beaches and wineries if you’re are looking for something a bit different.