lebanon

Lebanon lies on the Mediterranean Sea at the junction of Europe and Asia. This nation forms part of the "Fertile Crescent", a huge arc of well-watered land connecting Egypt and Iran and inhabited since earliest times.

 

The Temple of BacchusThe Jeita Grotto, boat tourPigion RockNational Museum of BeirutBeit ed-DinCorinche Seafront Boulevard

One of the highlights of visiting this diverse country is the constant reminder of its long standing role in the history of the world with evidence of Roman and Phoenician occupation in abundance. With its superb natural landscape consisting of coastal plains, mountainous areas and valleys, you are constantly aware of Lebanon's plethora of breathtaking sites.

Beirut, known as "the city that would never die" and "the Paris of the east", was recently named by Conde Naste Traveller as one of the top ten cities of the world and with its old world charm, mountains, beaches and incredible ruins it is easy to see why.

The young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh and Achrafiye provide first class dining and partying where the main mantra seems to be not to worry about tomorrow. Beirut happily concedes its reputation as the party capital of the Middle East.

Jeita Grotto is the tourism jewel for Lebanon and consists of two enormous grottoes containing an impressive array of stalagmites and stalactites. The upper grotto, with half a mile of galleries, leads through a series of chambers sprouting unusual rock formations where concerts are sometimes held thanks to the great acoustics. The lower grotto is filled with water and therefore only accessible by boat taking you through a maze of colourful chambers where the Dog River originates.

Byblos with its ancient fishing harbour, Roman remains, Crusader Castle and beautifully restored souk is a fascinating destination for the discerning traveller. The Crusaders Castle built with Roman Stones consists of five towers encircling a courtyard and offering wonderful views of both the city and surrounding areas. The Memoire du Temps fossil Museum and old souks provide vivid images of a place that was a seat of worship for Adonis and Egyptian mythology.

Baalbeck is a charming city and considered an important archaeological site with its majestic Roman temples and the world's largest freestone. The Temple of Jupiter with its thrusting columns and peristyle structure edging into the skyline is a must visit. The Temple of Venus built in the 3rd century A.D. allows you to wallow in the Byzantine period and bask in the splendour of this unique tribute to The Goddess Venus. Nearby Aanjar founded by Walib I Ibn is the only historic example of an inland commercial centre. This unique site features The Great Palace, Grand Mosque and the Public Baths.

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