Today we take you through the landscapes of the country that has gained a bad reputation during the long civil war. Despite this, did you know that Lebanon is one of the most beautiful countries in the Southern Mediterranean?
Lebanon is a small country and is located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, between Syria and Israel. This beautiful country is one of the few where you can spend hours of the morning on the beach, and in the afternoon we go to the ski resorts and ski slopes.
In just three hours drive, you can reach from one end to the other of Lebanon and although this is a small country, it does not mean that it will not have what to see and visit.
In Lebanon, every step will run into a centuries-old history and culture, as well as the beautiful natural beauty. Lebanon is a country full of ancient Phoenician and Roman ruins, especially in the cities of Baalbek, Byblos, Sidon and Tyre. Many of these cities are among the oldest settlements in the world. The capital of Lebanon is Beirut.
Lebanon was a favorite among the wealthy in the West, because everything that someone wanted a small space he was there within reach – down the Mediterranean with incredible beaches and top class hotel chains – up proud Lebanon mountain peaks permanently shackled snow, premium wine, fruit, music, nightlife incredibly classy capital .
When to travel?
Though is a relatively small country, weather conditions in Lebanon can significantly vary from one end to the other.
You can be on the same day swim in the Mediterranean Sea and ski in the mountains. Lebanon is a good destination throughout the year. For a tour of the country a great period is from March to May and from September to November, when the climate is hot and dry in most parts of the country, without extreme heat. This is the ideal time to explore the mountains and wine tasting. When it comes to visit Beirut, warmer months from June to September are perfect for swimming, sunbathing and enjoying a cup of coffee. In winter you can ski in the mountains. In December and festive atmosphere descends to Beirut, to cooler evenings made enjoyable.
1 Day Baalbek
If you are visiting Lebanon, you need to visit Baalbek city, there is a complex of ancient temples.
In the hills of Lebanon is located in the town Baalbek temple complex, one of the most enigmatic sacred sites of ancient times. According to Orthodox archaeological theory, the story of Baalbek is old about 5,000 years. Excavations around the Roman temple of Jupiter discovered the remains, which date back to the early Bronze Age.
Today, we are going around the temple and the surrounding town scramble only foreign tourists. This city is culturally and historically very important for Lebanon and is therefore one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lebanon.
2 Day Byblos
Thirty kilometers north of Beirut, wide highway that its size more like an airport runway, we arrive at Byblos (in Arabic: BAIL), the oldest city in the world, by which the Bible got its name.
Byblos is a small town on the coast, with old stone houses, several Maronite church and lots of greenery. In the city, on a hill which is in the form of a semicircle forward towards the sea, there is the site of Byblos.
With a dominant fortress from the relatively recent period, and the remains of temples, sarcophagi, a small amphitheater and the like, the history of this town dates back to prehistoric times, i.e Neolithic period. There were the ancient Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians and many others – the history of Byblos has kept them all in the layers above and below the earth’s surface. Former ancient Phoenicia State (famous for its ship fleet ) , just lying on the surface of today’s Lebanon.
Byblos is an ancient Phoenician port city, filled with friendly people, old streets and ruins. The city is a mix of tradition and modern humans. Outside the progressive city unearthed the remains of the ancient city, Crusader castle and church, as well as the old market area. There is much that you can explore in this historic city. Intriguing ruins can best be seen if you climb to the top of the castle. The wax museum is located near the castle, depicting scenes from the history of Lebanon and rural life in the country. The city of Byblos offers a variety of restaurants, hotels and shops.
3 Day Beit Ed Din
Not far from Beirut, in the middle mountains of Lebanon, is the city of Beit Ed Din . There was a only museum in Lebanon, who worked during the war, and who are (from other museums) , passing their national treasure to keep him out of the whirlwind of war. The museum building is actually a renovated palace of a prince of the past, which can be seen and Turkish bath areas with hot, medium and cold water. One part of the museum is dedicated to the famous leader of the party, since this part of Lebanon, saying “the end of the assembly.” From classic exhibits in the museum, we saw archaeological excavations from the Greek, Roman and Islamic periods, such as: glass bottles for perfumes and narcotic herbs. In the basement of the museum in his backyard, there are floor and wall mosaics in the form of a huge carpet, from the Byzantine period. Above the museum, on a hill, there is a luxurious hotel ” Mir Amin Palace”, with a mosaic of Persian carpets in the outdoor pool. On the way out of town, we find a very strange and seem uninhabited castle, which resembles a mini fortress Disneyland. The castle was once built a poor Lebanese, who as a child loved to dream to live in a castle, so it due to unrealistic fantasies constantly punished at school.
However, he was very persistent and vowing to realize his idea for years, they say, collecting stone by stone, and finally, to general astonishment, realized his dream.
4 Day TRIPOLI AND NORTHERN LEBANON
At just over 100 km north of Beirut, is the city of Tripoli. Another city by population in Lebanon, Tripoli is the real Arab city. The old medieval center at the foot of the Crusader castle is covered with many mosques, including Al – Muallaqa Burtasiyat Madrassa, Al – Qartawiyat Madrassa, Great Mosque and Taynal. His hectic ends have a fantastic atmosphere and they are required to visit
East of it, and almost at the very north of the country, in the hills, mountain ranges merge Lebanon and Anti- Lebanon, creating a beautiful nature. The mountains are steep, a small town built so that the houses on the cliffs, valleys and canyons look like. On the cliffs, in the rocks, there are a large number of small and large cavities, where they once lived ascetic monks. Heavy moisture from the sea, which is not very close, produced in the valleys of vapors in the form of down the fog. In the hills above disinfection, is the summer residence of the Maronite Patriarch.
5- 6 Day VALLEY Beqaa Mazda Anzar
Fifty kilometers from Beirut (as the crow flies), a slightly longer route through the mountains we descend into a wide plain between two mountain ranges. It is Beqaa valley, which lies at about 950m above sea level, and that, because of its favorable climatic conditions, managed to “feed ” the whole of Lebanon. There are mainly vineyards and orchards, and then the wheat fields and vegetable gardens. In the valley there are towns such as Zahle , Anzar, Baalbek and Stura, and around them, or in their immediate vicinity, often very well preserved remains of settlements from the ancient period. For centuries here grown grapes and make wine, and at this point you can enjoy a wide selection of different wines. One of the most commercial wineries in this area is the ” Chateau Ksara’’.
The small village Mazda Anzar lies at the foot of the eponymous site. To this village we climb on foot and on top we find very badly preserved fortifications. At first glance – nothing in particular, around the fort while we figure out a deep hole in the ground proper shape . Locals tell us that the UNESCO before the war wanted to send archaeologists to explore the subterranean passages beneath the fortress, where they lived Romans and Phoenicians. The war has begun and that was dropped. And it all started when one morning, after heavy rains, and soil erosion, a resident of the hill on the terrace ” dropped” chandelier from the Roman period. Then they seem to work excavator, every man for himself, but when he finds more! They say that during the war, many wonderful antique pieces sold to wealthy collectors from abroad.
7 Day Anjar
Anjar is a city in the valley with a predominantly Armenian population. There is a large area in square shape is an old Phoenician city. The two main streets that intersect at the center of the city, and a host of side walls house specifically in layers of stacked stone in reddish, or white, so that the impression of railways.
8 Day Jeita Grotto
Throughout history, primitive peoples have used caves for shelter, burial, or as religious objects. Everything is in caves, protected from the climate and animals. The caves are archaeological treasures that give us the chance to learn about these people. These subterranean jewels once again confirm that the nature of a miracle.
Jeita Grotto Caves are an example of the natural beauty of Lebanon, and these caves are the most popular attraction of Lebanon, and are also one of the most unusual and the most amazing caves in the world. Caves are from the Paleolithic era, were discovered in the 1830s.
The lower galleries are decorated with natural stone sculptures, as well as a beautiful waterfall, while the upper galleries have dramatic stone curtains, canyons, and valleys.
This cave is on the list of natural, and cultural sites of world cultural heritage. Because of the scientific importance is recognized by the international scientific community.
9-10 Day Beirut
Beirut, the capital of modern Lebanon, is a magical city that deserves very special attention. There are a few names. Due to the well-developed business, and hope in the new banking system deserves the title “Mediterranean Switzerland ” because of the colorful nature of the “Pearl of the Middle East”, due to great shopping, and plenty of opportunities for fun ” Paris of the other .” Character, and heroic history of the city better than anything his fourth title describing the “city of Phoenix.”
Seven times was destroyed, occupation and always come back again and again rising from the ashes. Beirut is a smallish piece of Europe in the Arab world. You will see not only the mosque, and the beautiful buildings of the past, but also modern skyscrapers and boutiques, fancy hotels, luxurious clubs, expensive restaurants, and the largest casino eastern world.
Landing at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri airport is a real experience. Since it is on the coast, in front of you is revealed beautiful panorama of the whole city, and especially the Corniche promenade by the sea. This is one of the most pleasant places for an afternoon, or evening out. On one side the sea and on the other there are most elegant residential buildings, famous restaurants, cafes, clubs, and representative offices of foreign companies.
Cornish framed the entire West Beirut to the north and west sides. On it always there was fishermen who sit with long hooks, sellers offer anything and everything a customer is more. It is always crowded, especially during the warm evening and there can only be met by all strata of society and ethnic groups. In the sea, only a few dozen meters from the shore rising two not large rocks called rocks Blue or Blue cave, special charm gives them that resulting from hitting the sea waves. About circling them many legends, especially those related to being unlucky in love. And only 400 meters away from the long sandy beach, the only regulated and free in the city.
The capital of Lebanon will delight you, its architecture. In an extraordinary combination, but also very limited, spun the characteristics of different epochs. Walking through the streets you will encounter artifacts from ancient times, the magnificent monuments of the Middle Ages and rearing in height, modern skyscrapers. Noisy boulevards are in the neighborhood with quiet streets where, it seems, time stopped as it once was, at the time of Ottoman rule. Such contrasts are mesmerizing and amaze all newcomers.
In Beirut, be sure to visit some of the museums, a national imperative which is stored ancient Phoenician alphabet. If the time for swimming Cornish will reach rock pigeon or Rock suicide, behind which are placed extraordinary beach. Here some love getting a tragic epilogue. In the summer months the real fun for tourists are local guys who skillfully master the abyss of jumping in the waves of the Mediterranean.
Of course, the rich directly from the luxury hotel, apartments in Lebanon, underground tunnels beneath the Cornish go to sea, and the world elite members of the Yacht Club in the magic of luxury mere mortal can not peek. Millionaires are like those in New York’s Park Avenue, the size of the golf course.
What to see?
National Museum – This is the epicenter of culture in Lebanon and a place where you can meet with many Phoenician artifacts.
Mosque of Mohammad Al-Amin (Muhammad Al Amin) – Located on the square in the center of Beirut. This imposing mosque with blue dome, was built between 2002 and 2007, by former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, who was next to her and buried.
Bourj Hammoud (Burj Hamood) – Beirut has a vital Armenian Catholic community, especially in the district BurjHamood, which is mostly inhabited by Armenians and. They are the survivors of the genocide of the Armenians, who were forced to mass deportation in the early twentieth century. Then he killed over a million Armenians.
Nicolas Sursock Museum (Nikolas Sursok) – Nice Museum of Modern Art, the main attraction of the rich historical and Christian district of Beirut, Achrafieh Herding private villa is one of the most respected aristocrats in the city, from the late nineteenth century, is now a museum, which contains an incredible collection of Lebanese and international art.
Raouché (rose) – The most prominent natural landmark of Beirut is located in the coastal part of the county Rocher. Known as dove wall or walls of suicide, these two huge rocks stand like giant sentinels, and are a popular destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.
Food and Drinks:
A special place belongs to the miraculous Lebanese cuisine.
The restaurants primacy given beans food, seafood and fresh fish and also all kinds of vegetables and fruits. First, as a rule, serves bouillon or broth, usually based on tomatoes and rice. Meat dishes are prepared from poultry, goat and lamb. Flavored with fresh lemon juice, sesame or olive oil, garlic, and spicy vegetables. All kinds of hot and cold dishes are called “mezze”. That is, usually, from 10 to 12 feed saucers. Lebanese kitchen is very diverse and rich and consumed slowly because it is a real pleasure and enjoyment. Is one of the most famous in the world. Be sure to try and thin bread, habiz Libnah, which is used instead of forks and spoons.
Completely separate segment sweets known all over the world. Only in Beirut, there are more than 10 types of baklava or puddings and cakes of semolina. Or ice cream ground with cedar berries, bananas or rice.
Have you ever tried it?
Lebanese coffee with cardamom, tea with mint, much Ayran (yogurt), beer “Laziz”, “Almaz”, “961” and all possible wines, mostly from the Bekaa valley. And then slowly dropped hookah …