Lebanon possesses exception scenery, such as its Mediterranean coastline and snow-capped mountains. With traditions steeped in ancient history and the emergence of a new generation of fun loving people, Lebanon is kicking off its civil war shackles and carving out a future as a vibrant and fashionable Middle East travel destination.
Stretching east towards Syria, the rugged mountains of the Bekaa Valley beg to be explored. Known as the “breadbasket” or “granary” of the Roman Empire, the region still continues to operate as the main agricultural province of Lebanon. The warm climate and fertile soil, make the Bekaa Valley the centre of wine production in Lebanon, housing some of the countries best vineyards . Because of the importance of the Bekaa Valley as a place of provision, some of the largest Roman temples ever constructed were located here. Today, well preserved shrines built in honor of the gods Jupiter and Venus combine perfectly with a visit to the vineyards to offer a major Lebanon tourism attraction.
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With Middle East travel to the temperate Mediterranean climate, Lebanon’s golden beaches are enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. From the coastal cities of Saida and Jbail visitors are greeted with excellent opportunities for snorkeling amongst Phoenician ruins while at Khalde you can scuba dive a wreckage of a World War II submarine. Meanwhile, the nearby Mount Lebanon Range in Chouf, offers some great hiking and camping. In the winter, the Chouf region turns into a major Lebanon tourism spot with blanket snow cover falling across high mountain peaks resulting in some excellent ski slopes. The ski resorts here are world class and Lebanon is one of the few Middle East travel destinations where you can actually ski. The ski season runs from December to April.
In the heart of Mount Lebanon country lays the Qadisha Valley. Dubbed the “Holy Valley”, the region housed some of the most important early Christian settlements in the world. Cut into steep rock faces, chapels, grottoes and monasteries dot the landscape. Many display lively frescoes dating from the 12th and 13th Centuries. Symbolic of Lebanon country, the valley contains the famous ancient Cedars of Lebanon. Proving popular Lebanon tourism activities, hiking, climbing and caving keep the more energetic tourists busy in some of Northern Lebanon’s fine National Parks.
Centre of an ancient Islamic trade post connecting Damascus to the Mediterranean Sea, the ruins of Aanjar are notable for its Umayyad Dynasty arcades and stone arches. Further to be found in the south of Lebanon, packed with Lebanon culture, Sour (Tyre) has seen just about every famous conqueror in ancient history. As such the archaeological and cultural legacy is astounding. Relics of the largest Roman hippodrome in the world and extensive city ruins and monuments nod to the presence of Alexander the Great, Crusaders and Phoenician Kings.
Touched by ancient civilizations and fashionable culture, Lebanon embraces the new while retaining a strong sense of tradition. Nowhere else reflects this heritage better than trendy Beirut. Showcasing the best of modern day Lebanon culture, visitors will find a progressive attitude. The cities gastronomic delights, cafe culture, bars and nightclubs in Archrafiye pulsate to youthful exuberance. As a centre of Lebanon culture, theatre, galleries, museums, chic shopping malls and top range dining mean you’re spoilt for choice in Beirut. Taking a sunset stroll along the coastline looking out to Pigeon Rocks jutting from the calm Mediterranean water, Beirut leaves you feeling like you’ve discovered a new version of Lebanon.