Lebanon’s Highlights

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Beirut:
Beirut, with nearly a million inhabitants, remains the cultural and commercial center of the country. Some of its main landmarks are: The martyrs’ statue, the Souks (markets) and the parliament building, which are part of the design covering 1.8 million square meters. In extensive archeological investigations, historical periods ranging from Canaanite (3,000- 1200 B.C) to ottoman (1516-1918 A.D), have been revealed.

 

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Jeita:
One of the world's most beautiful cavern, it can be found about 20 km away north of Beirut.The lower caverns are visited by boat over a subterranean lake 623 meters long. A dry upper gallery can be seen on foot. After many years of exploration, Lebanese speleologists have penetrated 6,910 meters from the entry point of the grotto to the far end of the Underground River and 2,130 meters of the upper galleries. The main source of the Dog River (Nahr el Kalb) rises in this cavern.

 

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Byblos:
The coastal town of Byblos is located on a cliff of sandstone 40 km North of Beirut. Continuously inhabited since Neolithic times, Byblos bears outstanding witness to the beginnings of the Phoenician civilization. It has been closely linked to the legends and history of the Mediterranean region for thousands of years. Byblos is also directly associated with the history and diffusion of the Phoenician alphabet. A beautiful Mosque adds to the cultural mix in the old part of Byblos. Cafes and restaurants, plus an interesting wax museum can also be visited.

 

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Harissa:
It is located 600 meters from the coast and 26 km away from Beirut, with a wonderful panoramic view covering the Bay of Jounieh. Statue of the Virgin Mary was erected in 1908. Inside its base, a chapel with outside spiral staircase which leads to the top, as well cable car service is provided from the bay of Jounieh to the mountain of Harissa.

 

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Cedars:
The most venerable representatives of the Cedars of Lebanon, which once covered the country's mountains, are in the Besharre region in the North of Lebanon, Hundreds of trees stand on slopes 2,000 meters high in the shadow of the 3,088 meter peak of Qornet es- Sawda.
From Lebanon's cedar forests, Solomon got the timber to build his temple and palace, while the Egyptians Pharaohs used the wood carve their sarcophagi and 'sunships'.

 

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Kozhaya:
It is part of the Holy valley where Masonite’s used to hide during the Ottoman’s period. Monastry of St-Antoine of Kozhaya is one of the numerous monasteries built in this valley. It is built partly inside in the mountain and partly outside it. It is surrounded by a very beautiful panorama of forest and valley.

 

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Besharre:
In the north, the picturesque gateway to the Cedars of Lebanon is the birthplace of the famous Lebanese poet Gibran Khalil Gibran. Here one may visit the Gibran Museum and the many ancient churches and monastries.

 

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Baalbeck:
Heliopolis: the roman temples of Baal beck, located in the Bekaa valley 85 kilometers away from Beirut. It makes up the largest and best preserved corpus of roman architecture left around. The acropolis occupies the top of an artificial hill built up of different layers of habitation. Its temples, dedicated to Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus, were constructed between the first and the third centuries A.D. In the “Jupiter temple” six of the 54 giant columns that originally surrounded the sanctuary survived till today. The temple has an impressive podium and a vast rectangular courtyard where sacrifices were carried out. The sanctuary is reached through a propylaea (monumental entrance) and hexagonal forecourt.


The town of Baalbeck has major remains from Islamic times including the grand Mosque, built by the Omayyad’s with material borrowed from ancient monuments, and another mosque built in Mamluke times near the spring of Ras el –Ain

 

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Anjar:
Anjar is located in the Bekaa valley, 58 km away from Beirut. It was built by the Omayyad caliph al- Walid Ibn Abdel Malek in the early 8th century A.D. Inside the city’s strong fortifications are the remains of streets, three palaces, souks, two hammams and a Mosque. Located on the old route linking the Bekaa with Damascus,
Anjar was built in the neighborhood of an ancient stronghold called Gerrah, which location is still problematic. Today the name of Gerrah is retained in the word 'Anjar' which means 'source of Gerrah' (Ain Gerrah)

 

1200px-Château Ksara headquarters Bekaa Lebanon
Ksara:
Built during the Roman period then covered by sand for centuries, the Ksara caves were found by mistake in 1898 by the Jesuits who were looking for a wolf that was eating their chickens every night and was using the caves as a refuge.
It served during the First World War as a refuge for the young Lebanese Men who did not want to be enrolled in the Ottoman army. It is now the refuge of the well-known Ksara wine where thousands of the old wine bottles are preserved. A tasting of the best wines is done during the visit.

 

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Sidon:
The third great Phoenician city-state, Sidon's origins are lost from memory. The name was mentioned in the texts for the first time in the 14th century B.C. in the 'Tell El Amara Letters'. But it was during the Persian era, between the end of the 6th century B.C. and the mid-4th century B.C. that the city experienced its golden age. Sidon was an open city with many cultural influences, including the Egyptian and the Greek.

 

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Tyre:
Located on the southern coast of Lebanon, 83 km south of Beirut, the antique town of Tyre was the great Phoenician city that reigned over the seas and founded prosperous colonies such as Cadiz and Carthage and according to legend, was the place of the discovery of purple pigment. There are important archaeological remains, mainly from Roman times.
Nevertheless, the inner city has retained its industrious maritime character and its interesting old-style houses.

 

Maghdouché:
Maghdouché (also Maghdouche, Maghdoucheh or Maghdousheh) is a town in the South Governorate in Lebanon. It is located 50 km south of Beirut and 8 km southeast of Sidon. The village lies 3 km inland from the Mediterranean, occupying a hill with elevation ranging between 200 to 229 meters above sea level.

 

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Beiteddine:
Forty-three kilometer from Beirut stands this magnificent palace built at the beginning of the 19th century by Emir Bechir II, who reigned over Lebanon for more than 50 years. With its arcades, galleries and rooms decorated by artists from Lebanon, Damascus and Italy, this building is a model of eastern architecture.
Today the palace houses a museum of feudal weapons, costumes and jewelry as well as an archeological museum and a museum of Byzantine mosaics

 

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Deir El Kamar:
Deir El Kamar was the capital of Mount Lebanon, located 35 km away from Beirut, now it is a typical Lebanese village with its historical center, souk (market), museum, mosque & churches.

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