COMPILED BY M RAZA JAFFER
Beautiful, bountiful, Beleaguered Lebanon is a tiny, chaotic and culturally colliding country like no other on earth. Blessed with serene mountain vistas and the majestic remains of ancient civilizations it’s also scarred both emotionally and physically by decades of civil war, invasions and terrorist attacks.
To the traveler, Lebanon comes across as a place of contradictions: home to a bubbling-hot nightlife in Beirut, a fistful of ski resorts in its loftier climes, and a dozen cramped and poverty-stricken Palestinian refugee camps. Combine all this with 18 official religions, three widely spoken languages, Lebanon’s got it all.
Nevertheless, if you keep well abreast of the news, Lebanon remains a safe and undeniably fascinating destination for travelers.
What is Lebanon called in Bible?
“ Lebanon,” known in Latin as Mons Libanus, was the name of a mountain. The Hebrew word “Laban” means white. Because the mountain was covered with snow, and because its soil had a light coloration, the ancient Phoenicians and other nomadic tribes called the mountain “Lebanon”- “the white mountain.
Area: 10,400 Sq. Km
Country Code: 00961
Official Name; Republic of Lebanon
Population: 5353,950 URBAN: 96.6%
Money: Lebanese Pound or Lebanese Lira
£1= 18,247 Lebanese Pound
Beirut population; 2,421,000
Climate & when to go
Is best for hiking, since the fields and slopes are green, lush and sprinkled with flowers. By May, the weather’s often warm enough for a dip in the Mediterranean-and you could even try taking to the ski slopes in the morning and swing on the coast in the afternoon, as the Lebanese are at great pains to point out.
Summer (June to sept)
Is the time for sun seekers, when Beirut’s beach clubs are hot, in more ways than one. It can however, get very sticky on the coast, particularly in the polluted hearts of Beirut and Tripoli. Summer is also the season for festivals, many of which are held outdoors in spectacular locations, but be aware that during peaceful years, summer accommodation prices rise steeply as flocks of Lebanese expats descend.
Is another prime period for hiking but be aware outside Beirut things can be extremely quiet: Summer tourist spots shut up shop while ski resorts are still oiling their ski lifts. Ramadhan should not affect your travel plans too much in Lebanon, since most towns are a mixture of Christians and Muslims.
Is optimum if you’re keen to hit the ski slopes, when resorts like the
Cedars open for business, the ski season usually cranks up in early December and can last until early May. Make sure, countrywide, that your hotel room has some sort of heating and hot water, though, or you may have to wear your socks both in bed and in the shower.
The early years of independence
Lebanon was officially declared independent in 1943, when on 22 Nov, France-which had held its mandate since the end of WW1-gave into the country’s demands for independent rule. In 1946, the last French troop withdrew, and in jubilant Lebanon was left to fend itself.
Following the 2006 war with Israel, its tourist industry was hard hit, and homes and infrastructure countrywide were damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, the world’s media continues to speculate that renewed conflict between Israel and Hezbollah-allegedly rearming furiously-is an ever-increasing likelihood.
The element of national identity, however, that will most profoundly affect visitors to the country is the justifiably legendary hospitality of the Lebanese towards their guests who, as the Lebanese saying goes, are a ‘gift from God’. You will be assured a warm welcome every step of the way, and will barely have to pause on a street corner for someone to offer your assistance, refreshingly free of strings.
Though it is hard to generalize about such a traditionally factionalized country, family life, as in most Middle Eastern destinations, is central to all in Lebanon. Extended families often like close together, and many children live at home until married. Alongside the importance of family and marriage, a university education is highly valued in Lebanon. Drinking heavily, sleeping around or taking drugs is frowned upon in Lebanese society.
It’s a largely urban population, with 96 % of people living in cities, of which Beirut is the most highly populated, followed by Tripoli, Sidon, and Tyre. Lebanon has a youthful population; more than a quarter is currently under 14 years of age.Today Youth population in Lebanon is 1.7 million.
Lebanon hosts 18 ‘official’ religious sects, which are Muslim (Shiite, Alawite, Ismaili and Sunni), Christian (Maronite, Greek Orthodox and Catholic, Armenian, Georgian, Syrian Orthodox, Jacobite, Nestorian, Chaldean, Copt, Evangelical and Roman Catholic), Druze and Jewish. There are also some population of Bahai’s, Mormons, Buddhists and Hindus.
Muslims are today estimated to compromise around 67.8%. Traditionally, Muslim Shiites have largely inhabited the South of the country, The Bekaa Valley and southern suburbs of Beirut. Sunni’s, meanwhile, have concentrated in Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon, The Druze in the Chouf mountains and Maronite Christians (the largest Christian group) have populated the Mt Lebanon region.
In summer, many towns and villages hold fabulous dance and music festivals. Balbeck’s international is particular highlight on the calendar. Beirut has its own lively arts scene, and is well equipped with theatres, cinemas and venues for the visual and performing arts.
Ancient architecture in Lebanon can be found at Balbeck’s spectacular remains, in the traces of the Romans in Beirut and aat the Umayyad ruins at Aanjar.
Though Lebanon is one of the smallest countries in the world, its terrain is surprisingly varied and diverse. Four main geographical areas ran almost parallel to each other from north to south. They are (from west to east): the coastal plain, the Mt Lebanon Range, The Bekaa valley and the Anti-Lebanon Range.
The Mt Lebanon Range includes Lebanon’s highest summit, Qornet as-Sawda (3090m) and an example of the famous Cedars of Lebanon
and Syria. Its highest summit is Jebel ash-Sheikh (Mt Hermon) at 2814 m.
food & drink
Lebanese cuisine has a reputation as being one of the very best in the Middle East. The proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating, so sample as much of it as you possibly can.
Fresh ingredients including numerous types of fruit, vegetables and pulses, are plentiful in Lebanon. Mezze, small dishes often served as starters, are a godsend for vegetarian even in the most far-flung parts of the country, with hummus, tabbouleh and salads galore, while sea food and grilled meats are staunch favoritesof carnivores. In Beirut, the diversity and quality of food on offer matches any international city: want tapas at two in the morning, or sushi at six? You’ll find it all here.
Arabic or Turkish coffee is particularly popular in Lebanon-look out for the men dispensing tiny, strong cups of it from the back of battered old Volkswagen vans- while delicious freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices are on offer almost everywhere throughout the summer. Alcohol, too is widely available in Lebanon.
Diving Atlantis: diving college:
cycling beirut by bike: 03-435534
blue carrot adventure club
European two-round-pin-plugs are needed to connect to Lebanon’s electricity supply (220 VAC -50 Hz).
Lebanon uses the metric system for weight and measurers.
British Embassy in Beirut: 00961 1 960 800. 24 hours.
National Carrier is MEA. TEL; 01-737000
Has an extensive network including flights to and from Europe and to the Arab world. Its reliable and has decent safety record.
You can drive from one end to other end in Lebanon in half a day.
Syria land crossing
There is only one land crossing from Lebanon into Syria. If you want to travel overland, make sure you have a visa for Syria. Syria does not allow visa on arrival. We at Alavi Travel can arrange visa of Syria in 2 working days but for US CITIZEN it takes 20 days. Contact; 00447713622402 WhatsApp call only. Email; firstname.lastname@example.orgemail@example.com. Web; www.alavitravel.com
It takes 4 and half hours to reach Damascus from Beirut. You will need two hours for border crossing and checks. This border is open 24 hours. It costs $200 one way to for taxi fare.
To return to Lebanon from Syria you will need double entry visa for all countries. Visa on arrival rule applies again.
Beirut (01) pop 2,421,000
Beirut, the nation’s capital, is a fabulous place of glitz, glamour, restaurants and beach clubs-if that is, you’re one of the lucky ones. The university districts of Hamra and Ras Beirut, with their plethora of hotels, bookshops, cafes and restaurants, is the preferred base for many travelers. Directly north of Hamra ruins the Sea front Corniche, or Ave de Paris, along which are stringed Beirut Beach Clubs and most of its top hotels. To the south is affluent Verdun, home to designer clothes shops that line the Rue Verdun. East from Hamra, you’ll reach the beautifully restored Beirut central District or Downtown, at the Centre of which is the landmark Place d’Etoilee, also known as Nejmeh Sq., lined with pavement Cafes. Just eat again is the place des Martyrs, where the huge Mohammed Al Amin Mosque (reminiscent of Istanbul’s Blue Mosque) is another useful landmark.
- Saint Georges, Rue de hospitalOrthodox,Achrafieh,Beirut,+9611441000
- American University of Beirut, Bliss Street, Beirut, +961 1 350 000
- Batroun Hospital, Batroun, +961 6 642 566
- Hammoud Hospital, Saida, +961 7 721 021
- Jbeily Hospital, Saida, +961 7 721 558
- Jabal Amel Hospital, Tyr, +961 7 343 852
- Ghandour Hospital, Nabatiyé,+9617761590
- Marjéyoun,Governmental Hospital, +961 7 830 066
- Subline Governmental Hospital, Chehim, +961 7 971 722
- Arab Hospital, Jeb Jannine, +961 8 660 911
- Kherbet Kanafar Hospital, +961 8 645 294
- Khoury General Hospital, Zahlé,+9618807000
- Dar El-Amal El-Jami3i, Baalbek, +961 8 340 620
- Rayak Hospital, +961 8 901 300
- Assi Hospital, Hermel, +961 1 200 313
Useful Emergency numbers:
- General Security Offices, Adlieh, Beirut, +961 1 425 610
- Internal Security Forces, +961 1 425 000
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs, +961 1 213 510
- Fire Brigade, 175, +961 1 445 000
- Police (operation): 112
- Lebanese Red Cross: 140/ +961 5 924 017/ 18/ 20, +961 1 322 986
- 24 hours open: Pharmacy Berty, facing ABC Achrafieh, Beirut, +961 1 200 767
Airport and territorial border points:
- Hariri International Airport, Beirut, +961 1 628 000
- General Security office at the airport, +961 1 629 150
- Masnaa Border (Bekaa), +961 8 620 014/ 016
- El Qaa Border (Bekaa), +961 8 225 101
- Arida Border (North Lebanon), +961 6 820 101/ 2/ 3- +961 6 820 101
- Abboudieh Border (North Lebanon), +961 6 815 250
Financial Assistance – Beirut:
- Western Union, +961 1 391 000
- Cash United Money Gram, +961 1 390 111
- Air France, +961 1 369 201
- Middle East Airlines, +961 1 629 999
- Sky Fly, +961 1 888 289
- Nakhal Travel, +961 1 389 389
AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT MEDICAL CENTER
TEL; 00961 1 350 000
Considered as one of the best hospitals in the Middle East with English and French spoken languages.
There are ATMS’S all over the city, money changers are dotted plentifully along Rue Hamra.
Its free of charge,on arrival for: British, US CITIZEN AND CANADA, EUROPEAN UNION (27 COUNTRIES). Other countries are mentioned in the bottom of this guide which can get visa on arrival free of charge.
For Pakistani, Indian we can arrange it for £110. Double Entry.
Dangers & annoyances
The biggest danger-and annoyance-in Beirut is the traffic. Rules both on and off the road are non-existent and pedestrians should take particular care when crossing the road. Try to avoid political demonstrations.
Stretching roughly from Pigeon Rocks in the south to the St George Yacht club further north, the seafront corniche is every Beirut’s favorite promenade spot, especially in the early evening around for sunset, and then on – aided by backgammon, nargilehs and barbecues- late into the night. And if it’s something more serene you’re looking for, walk on down to Pigeon Rocks. If you fancy a dip, several of Beirut’s chic, silicone-friendly beach clubs are situated along this stretch (note that the word ‘beach’ is used loosely, since there barely a grain of sand to be found in any of them).
Built on the site of a Roman City of the Dead, Achrafiye is an attractive and largely sedate area, historically one of the preserves of Beirut’s Christian population and today dotted with galleries, antique shops and churches.
Beirut for children
At the southern end of the corniche, kids will have all things flashy and screechy at Luna Park, whose Ferris wheel offers guest views from its pinnacle. Meanwhile, further up the Corniche, the St George Yacht Motor Club has a nice children’s pool, a playground and grassy lawns to dash about on.
Hotel Gems is 4*
Lancaster Tammar is a 5*
Pearl of Beirut 4*
top end hotels
KEMPINSKI SUMMERLAND HOTEL & RESORT BEIRUT
MOVENPICK HOTEL BEIRUT- SEASIDE
LE ROYAL HOTEL BEIRUT
INTERCONTINENTAL PHOENICIA HOTEL – MINET EL HOSM 8.9 RATING
Beirut i’s love to eat out, whether at chic top end brasseries or at tiny hole in the wall. Shawarma joints; and the city stays open late for its diners, with few arriving for dinner before 9 pm or 10 pm. The best thing about Beirut is the breath of culinary choice, and things change fast on the culinary scene: by all means sample our own personal highlights, but don’t miss the opportunity to breach out to seek your own.
With traditional Lebanese cooking prepared to its own special recipes, this is one of the best places for a tableful of mezze, including one mean red pepper hummus.
Every sector of Beirut is blessed with its own complement of falafel Kebab, fruit juice and shawarma stands, and a good rule of thumb, as ever, is to go where the locals seem to be going.
Getting there and away
For information on transport between Syria and Beirut.
Buses minibuses and service taxis to destinations, north of Beirut leave from Gemmayzeh’s Charles Helou Bus station and the Dawra transport Hub 7km North East of Town. To the south and southeast they leave from the cola transport Hub about 2 km south of Beirut Central District.
to/from the airport
Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport
Is approximately 5 km south of Beirut city Centre.
If you can stretch your budget, the most hassle-free way to get to town is to pre arrange a taxi with your hotel $20 for a ride.
Highlights of pigeon rocks
Pigeon Rock is one of Beirut’s iconic sights. It consists of two stones standing on the Mediterranean Sea on the edge of the city. The rock has wary stripes formed by sea water, one of which is shaped like an arch. The rising rocks are just like the finishing touch on the open sea, making the scenery in front of you three-dimensional, especially when the sun sets in the west, the silhouette of the rocks reflects the quiet beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. Next to it is the pedestrian avenue of the seaside, on one side is the Mediterranean Sea and on the other side is downtown Beirut.
Beit mery and brummana
Set in pine forests 800 m above and 17 km east of Beirut, Beit Mery-its name meaning ‘House of Master’ in Aramaic is a lazy weekend getaway for Beirut i’s seeking respite from the city smog, and offers sweeping panoramic views over the capital. The town dates back to Phoenician times and is home to Roman and Byzantine ruins, including some fine floor mosaics in a nearby 5th century Byzantine church (ask locally for directions). About 4km northeast of Beit Mery is Brummana, a more bustling resort town connected to Beit Mery, by a continuous strip full of hotels, eateries, cafes, shops and nightclubs. In summer its equally popular with Beirut i’s escaping the city heat and has a carnival-like atmosphere, particularly on weekends. There is nothing particular to be done except to eat, drink and be merry. Be aware that its extremely quiet outside summer season and weekends.
Jeita grotto (09)
00961 9 220841
Opening Hours: 9 am to 5pm. Tue-Sun, Monday is closed.
In Winter, the lower level is closed.
ENTRANCE FEE: 8 USD
For many visitors to Lebanon, the stunning Jeita Grotto is one of the highlights of the trip. One of the world’s most impressive agglomerations of stalactites and stalagmites. It is also one of the Lebanon’s tourist attractions. Extending around 9 km back into the mountains, the caves were used as an ammunition store during the civil war.
To get to the grotto, which lies about 18 km northeast of Beirut, take a return taxi trip from Beirut should cost around 30 USD.
Jeita Grotto are two interconnected underground water caves that are truly a marvel of nature. The caves were discovered in 1836 which are now among the top visited destinations in Lebanon. It is one of the largest and well preserved natural grotto. The geological formations in the caves are awe-inspiring and make a sight to behold. The boat ride in the lower grotto is short but simply breath taking. Unfortunately, photography inside the caves is strictly prohibited. A visit to these magnificent underground water caves is a must when you are in Beirut.
The lower cave was discovered by Reverend William Thomson in 1836. The caves can only be visited by boat since it channels an underground river that provides fresh drinking water to more than a million Lebanese.
In 1958, Lebanese speleologists discovered the upper caves 60 meters(200ft). The grotto was one of the finalists in the New 7 wonders of Nature competition. The Jeita cave is situated in the Nahr-al-Kalb valley, its natural entrance is about 100 meters (330ft) above sea level.
World’s longest stalactite is here
The Jeita upper cave has an overall length of 2130 meters (6,990 ft.) of which only 750 meters (2460 ft.) are accessible to visitors via a specially conceived walkways; access to the remainder of the cave was restricted to prevent ecological damage which may occur due to the flocking tourists. The Upper contains a great concentration of a variety of crystallized formations such as stalactites, stalagmites, columns, mushrooms, ponds, curtains and draperies. The upper gallery is famous for its formations, lit by an effective lighting system. It is entered through a 11 meters (384 ft.) long concrete tunnel. The part accessible by visitors has three huge chambers. The first is called White chamber, the second Red chamber, due to the colour of the formations. White dripstones are pure calcite without defilement, the red colour is given by iron oxide, has a red colour instead of the brown beige colour which is common in northern countries. The reason is different chemical reaction caused by the high temperature which produces a different kind of iron oxide. The white chamber is medium-sized, but has the most impressive formations of the cave. The red chamber is up to 106 meters (348 ft.) high, and 30 meter (98ft.) wide. The third chamber is the biggest of all three chambers and has a height of more than 120 meters (390ft.). The longest stalactite in the world is located in Jeita’s white chamber; it measures 8.2 meters (23 ft.) long.
The lower cave which has an overall length of 6,200 meters (20,300 ft.) is located 60 meters (200 ft.) below the upper gallery. It is traversed by a smooth under water river and lake (the “The Dark Lake”). The river is broken up by several small cataracts and rapids.
The lower caves’ “Thompson’s Cave”, is a massive hall with impressive speleothems such as the Eagle Obelisk Stalagmite. Other halls in the lower gallery include the Pantheon, Grand Chaos and Shangri-La. Visitors are transported in the lower gallery by electric boats for a distance of 500 metres (1,600 ft.) In winter the lower level is closed when the water level is too high.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Jounieh is 16 km (10 mi) north of Beirut, is now a high-rise strip mall hemmed in by the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Famous as the home of noisy bars, camp restaurants catering to Saudi Sheikhs. This is reachable on a day trip from Beirut: the soaring heights of the Teleferique (Tele cabin).
Jounieh Telefrique Cable car
Tel; 00961 9936075
Tue-sun 11am – 7pm
Cost; ad. 570,000 l.l. chi; 285,000 l.l.
Below 8 yrs. free accompanied by adult
Runs cable car from Jounieh to the mountain top Basilica of OUR LADY OF LEBANON at Harissa. The views from the summit are spectacular.
The cable is 1570 m
The altitude of Harissa arrival station is 530 m
The maximum slope is approximately 80%
The passenger traffic flow is 480 passengers / hour in each direction (Total of 960/hour)
The average traveling speed is 3.15 m/s.
A one-way trip takes 9 mins.
Harissa & lady of Lebanon shrine
Is also known as Our Lady of Harissa, Arabic; Sayyidat Lubnan, French: (Notre Dame du Liban), is a Mariam Shrine and a pilgrimage site in the village of Harissa in Lebanon. It is one of the most important shrines in the world honoring Mary, Mother of Jesus. The Shrine is highlighted by a huge 15-ton bronze statue. It is 8.5 m high and has a diameter of five meters. The virgin Mary stretches her hands towards Beirut.
The shrine of Our Lady draws millions of faithful both Christians and Muslims from all over the world. It was erected in 1907 on top of a hill, 650 meters above sea level. The land was donated by Yousef Khazen. The statue and shrine was inaugurated in 1908.
Mon-Sat: 7-8-9-10-11-12pm. And 4-5-6—9 pm.
Sun: 7-8-9-10-11.30-12.30 pm and 4-5-6-9 pm
Every day: A prayer of the rosary at 7.15 pm
Every Wed: Rosary Prayer and Mass with procession at 8.30 pm.
Chez sami 910520
Rue Maameltien, Mains, US $ 35
Considered one of the best sea food restaurants in Lebanon. It’s a simple but stylish and offers great seaside views and a lovely summer terrace, there’s no menu so take your pick from the catch of the day, come early.
A pretty fishing port with a plethora of ancient remains and some international fishy fossils, Byblos is one of the highlights of the entire Middle Eastern Mediterranean coast.
Byblos also known as Jubayl, is a city in the Keserwan-Jubeil Governorate of Lebanon. It is believed to have been first occupied between 8800 and 7000 BC and continuously inhabited since 5000 BC, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. During its history, Byblos was part of numerous civilizations, including Egyptian, Phoenician, Assyrian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Fatimid, Mamluk and Ottoman. The city is UNESCO World Heritage site.
Situated approx. 42 km (26 m) north of Beirut, Byblos is re-emerging as an upscale touristic hub. The city is known for its fish restaurants, open air bars, and outdoor cafes. Yachts cruise into its harbor today as they did in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The Roman theatre was built around AD 218. It has a wax museum, statues of characters’ dates of origin from Phoenician times to current days. The Byblos fossil Museum has a collection of fossilized fish, sharks, eel, flying fish, and other marine life, some of which are millions of years old.
MEDIEVAL CITY WALL
The old medieval part of Byblos is surrounded by walls running about 270 m from east to west and 200 m from north to south.
Byblos Castle was built by the Crusaders in the 12th Century. It is located in the archaeological site near the port.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH
Work in the church started during the Crusaders in 1115. It was considered a cathedral and was partially destroyed during an earthquake in AD 1170. It was later given to Maronite bishop as a gift by Prince Yusuf Shihab.
POP. 237,909 TEL; (06)
Tripoli, 85 km north of Beirut, is Lebanon’s second largest city and the north’s main port and trading Centre. Famous for its medieval Mamluk architecture, including a large Souq area considered the best in Lebanon, Tripoli’s main specialty being halwat Aljubn a teeth-jarringly sweet confection made from curd cheese and served with syrup.
The city is well known for containing the Mansouri Great Mosque and the largest Crusader Fortress in Lebanon, the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles. It has the second highest concentration of Mamluk architecture after Cairo.
These are the two cities named Tripoli were established same time-700 BC- they are not connected in any way except that the people who established Tripoli Lebanon (the Phoenicians), they established Tripoli Libya at the same time.
The Turkish steam bath is popular in the Arab World.
To bcharre, cedars & baalbek
Bcharre (Bushra) (06) & qadisha valley
The trip up to the pretty town of Bcharre takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in Lebanon. The road winds along mountainous slopes, continuously gaining in altitude and offering spectacular views of the Qadisha valley, a UNESCO world Heritage Site and home to rock-cut monasteries and hermits’ dwellings, and teeming with wildlife, the Qadisha River, with its source just below the Cedars Ski resort, runs along the valley bottom, while Lebanon’s highest park, Qornet as-Sawda (3090 m) above sea level.
Bcharre is the only town of any size in the area, and is particularly famous as the birthplace of Lebanese poet Khalil Gibran. Bcharre is also home to Lebanon’s oldest skiing area, the Cedar’s Ski Resort, and to the Country’s first Ski lift, built in 1953. The resort is about two-hour drive and 130 km (81m) from Beirut.
THE CEDARS (ALARZ) (06)
One of Lebanon’s most attractive Ski Resorts, The Cedars is also Lebanon’s oldest and most European in feel. The village takes its name from one of the country’s few remaining groves of Cedar Trees, which stands on the right hand side of the road as you head up towards the ski lifts. A few of these slow-growing trees are thought to be approaching 1500 years old, and fall under the protection of raveling to the Patriarch of Lebanon, who holds a festival here each August.
The Ski season takes place here from around Dec to April, depending on snow conditions, and there are currently eight lifts in operation. Equipment can be rented from a number of small ski shops at the base lifts, coming in at around $10 USD, TO $15 per day. An adult day pass to the slope costs USD $25-30. M-F $35 for weekends. www.skileb.com
WHY ARE CEDARS OF LEBANON SO VALUABLE?
One reason Lebanese Cedars are so rare is that they make fewer cones that have lower seed germination rates than the other species, and the seeding grow slowly. The wood is hard and extremely durable and retains a delightful Cedar fragrance for many years. An essential oil extracted from the wood is used in perfumes.
Why were cedars cut in Lebanon?
The Cedars of Lebanon were almost depleted 1700 years ago. Depletion of the Cedar forests can be explained by the high demand among the ancient rulers of Egypt, Mesopotamia and ancient Israel. The rulers of many kingdoms used Lebanese Cedars for their royal building projects.
Known as the Helipolis or ‘sun city’ of the ancient world, Baalbek’s Ruins, without doubt, compromise the most impressive ancient site in Lebanon and are arguably the best preserved in the Middle East. Their temples, built on an extravagant scale that outshone anything in Rome, have enjoyed a stellar reputation throughout the centuries, yet still manage to maintain the appealing air of an undiscovered wonder, due to their position in the middle of quiet, bucolic Baalbek. The Town itself 86 km northeast of Beirut and administrative headquarters for both the Bekaa valley and the Hezbollah Party, is small, quiet and friendly, only really coming to life early July with the arrival of the famous annual Baalbek festival. www.baalbek.org.lb
The very best time to visit the site is during the early morning or even better-late in the afternoon, when the light’s great, the crowds’ thinnest and the temperature cooler.
It’s highly recommended to take an accredited guide at the entrance to the site around $14 USD for an hour who will bring the stones to life.
Nabi / prophet shaith is buried in shaith village same name, district of baalbek.
A mosque was builton the burial-site and it contains the grave Shaith Nabi. A rival tradition placed Shaith’s Tomb in the Palestinian village of Bashsheet, and likewise in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
Daughters of imam Hussain a.s. Syeda Khawla and Syeda nafisa s.a. 2622+jm6, opens 8 am.
It is said that these two daughters of Imam Hussain were buried here while after the tragedy of Karbala in 61H. It is a Shrine and Mosque and next to it is a great restaurant with good tasty Lebanese food.
A Cheerful and bustling town with some nice riverside restaurants and a holiday feel in the summer months, Zahle makes a great lunch time or evening shop in the way between Beirut and Baalbek.
The following 81 countries, including 27 eu members and 54 other countries can enjoy the free Lebanon visa on arrival:
Armenia, Barbados, brazil, costa Rica, Iceland, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Samoa, south Korea, turkey, Uruguay, Andorra, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Dominican Republic, Iran, Liechtenstein, Moldova, north Macedonia, Peru, san Marino, Switzerland, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Antigua, Barbuda, Azerbaijan, Belize, Chile, Georgia, japan, Macao, Monaco, Serbia, Norway, Russia, Tajikistan, uk, Venezuela, argentine, Bahamas, Bhutan, china, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Montenegro, panama, saint kits and Nevis, Singapore, Turkmenistan, usa.
British overseas passport not allowed.
Compiled by: m raza jaffer
Tel; 00447713622402 WhatsApp only.
total words used; 5190