Lebanon

Lebanon, with its kindly climate, fascinating history, superb shopping, lively nightlife and sophisticated modern culture is a Mediterranean jewel just waiting to be discovered.

Geographically, Lebanon is as diverse as it is possible to imagine in a country so small. In a very compact space there is a coastal plain with ancient historical cities strung along its length, a soaring mountain range with popular ski resorts and an agricultural plain bound in by a second mountain range. Culturally too, there is diversity: the ancient Christian heritage and the Islamic architecture mix throughout the country with the classic remains of earlier civilisations.

The country offers an immense variety of travel experiences. Baalbeck with the Temples of Jupiter and Bacchus is the most impressive historical site in Lebanon. Byblos is believed to be the world’s oldest continually inhabited town. The site has been occupied at least for 700 years. The historic harbour and the old city centre are still unspoiled and very picturesque. Sidon, once an important Phoenician city, and the Great Mosque and Phoenician Temple in nearby Echmoun are monuments of the great past of the country.

The second largest city of Lebanon, Tripoli, is situated in the northern part of the coast, the home of the famous Cedars. Many traditional crafts are found in the souks of Tripoli. The city is also known as the sweets capital of Lebanon, therefore a visit to one of the several Arabic sweet shops is a must for every guest of the city. For a relaxing day on the beach, Jounieh about 20 kilometres north of Beirut is the right place to go.

The famous cedar trees, the symbol of Lebanon can be seen in different parts of the country. The Jeita Grotto near Beirut offers a stunning series of caves. Boat rides with sound and light shows are offered to visitors. Another famous area is Grotto North of Beirut and the Afqa Grotto, believed to be the place where the god Adonis was killed by a wild boar.