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After years of political turbulence and civil war, Lebanon is back on the tourist map and can be explored in a relaxed way. The country has an excessively rich cultural history to offer, unique archaeological monuments, an incredible beauty and diversity of the landscape, as well as friendly and open-minded Lebanese people.Its location at the Mediterranean Sea gives Lebanon a special flair. The cosmopolitan Beirut - the "Paris of the East" – is today a prosperous city with a European lifestyle. It offers plenty of sights to visit, great shopping opportunities, delicious local cuisine and exciting nightlife. The best way to explore Lebanon is off the beaten track: travel through the mountain villages, small seaside towns and the spectacular countryside. But for sure: whether you are looking for an active tour, culture or entertainment in this area, Lebanon has it all, whatever you need!
HISTORY AND CULTURE
An ancient land, Lebanon features in the writings of Homer and in the Old Testament. Its cities were major outposts and seaports in Phoenician and Roman times, just two of the great civilizations that touched this important Middle Eastern crossroads.
The cosmopolitan flair of modern-day Beirut, the gastronomic renown of the country’s food and wine, and an educated and outward-looking population complement a country that is both traditional and progressive in outlook. For all the flavors of its storied past and rugged natural beauty, Lebanon is a well-kept tourist secret that begs exploration.
Besides some of Lebanon’s best wineries, the Bekaa’s major attraction is the ruins at Baalbek “City of the Sun”. The construction lasted over 200 years, and the well-preserved temples honor the gods Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus.
THE LEBANESE COAST
The lovely Lebanese coast is framed by the Meditteranean Sea to the west and the Mount Lebanon Range to the east, its temperate climate bringing in sunny, hot summers and cool, rainy winters. Apart from the endless choice of beach resorts present all through the Lebanese coast, some coastal cities like Saida and Jbeil offer tourists the opportunity to snorkel amongst long-submerged Phoenician ruins.
THE LEBANESE MOUNTAINS
The Mount Lebanon Range includes numerous rivers, steep-walled gullies and also Lebanon’s highest summit, Qornet Es-Saouda (3,090m). In winter, the high peaks are blanketed with snow, lending Lebanon its name “Lubnan”, the Arabic word for “white”. Lebanon boasts a number of world-class ski resorts, one of only a couple countries in the Middle East where you can ski!
The Mount Lebanon Range is also the location of Lebanon’s Cedar Reserves. The great cedar forests of Lebanon, now protected, are famous for their use in the construction of some of the holiest buildings in the region including Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock and Solomon’s Temple.