A Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon thrives between the Mount Lebanon mountain range and the Mediterranean Sea. Multicultural influences lend a cosmopolitan aura to its larger cities of Beirut and Tripoli, while on the coast in between the two, the UNESCO-designated fishing village of Byblos reveals layers of Lebanon’s ancient history, with its Phoenician port, Roman road and 12th-century Crusader castle.
The ancient sites in Lebanon are also natural landmarks, including the limestone caves of Jeita Grotto and the Baatara gorge waterfall at Tannourine. Visitors to Lebanon should save time for a visit to the Chouf Mountains in order to explore the Beiteddine Palace museum, its elaborate terraced gardens and impressive collection of 5th- and 6th-century Byzantine mosaics.
Among the many outstanding ancient sites in Lebanon, the Qadisha Valley is home to the Gibran Museum, which occupies a 19th-century former monastery in Bsharri. The museum showcases the paintings and drawings of Khalil Gibran, the revered author of “The Prophet,” who is interred in the monastery chapel. Other notable landmarks include the archaeological ruins of Al-Mina and Al-Bass, and the 2nd-century Roman hippodrome in the coastal city of Tyre.
Beyond its ancient landmarks, Lebanon offers natural beauty to its visitors. Vibrant European-style ski resorts such as Cedars and Mzaar bring snow-capped Mount Lebanon to life with first-class restaurants and luxury hotels. Down on the coast, visitors to Lebanon enjoy clear seas and rock formations at Chekka, and the 13th-century fortress, mosque and labyrinthine souks of the ancient Phoenician city, Sidon.
Once dubbed ‘The Paris of the Middle East’, Lebanon’s capital city of Beirut charms visitors with its new-world flair and old-world intrigue. Travellers to Beirut can stroll along the Corniche, view collections of gilded bronze Phoenician figurines at the National Museum of Beirut, and see contemporary Middle Eastern art on show in the Sursock Museum.
Lebanese cuisine is world-famous, and visitors savour opportunities to sample classic cuisine such as tabbouleh, kebbeh and man’ousheh, traditional bread topped with thyme, oregano and spices mixed with olive oil, cheese or minced lamb.
With its wealth of ancient sites, forward-looking capital and natural beauty from sea to mountain peaks, Lebanon offers travellers extraordinary memories as the perfect destination for your next holiday destination.