Lebanon for first-timers: What to see
There is so much to see in Lebanon, but this small country has stayed off the tourist radar due to civil unrest in its neighbouring countries. However, Lebanon is home to some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, archaeological mysteries and vibrant cities. Planning an upcoming trip? Check out these recommendations for places you shouldn’t miss on your first visit – they are sure to inspire you!
Beirut National Museum
The quickest, and perhaps most intriguing, way to learn about Lebanon’s history is to pay a visit to the Beirut National Museum. The museum was closed for over 40 years due to the Lebanese Civil War, but has been open to the public for the last couple of years after a long restoration process. All the artefacts on display were found in Lebanon and depict the country’s complicated history. One of the most fascinating sights on display are the 31 anthropoid sarcophagi. These marble mummy cases are stunning, with intricate carvings that depict portraits of the dead. There are many reasons to visit the museum and the artefacts shown here are one of a kind! For any history lover or archaeology fanatic, this is a must see.
Every country has a natural wonder, and Jeita Grotto is Lebanon’s. One of the most visited places in Lebanon, this tourist attraction is an impressive depiction of mother nature. See stalactite, stalagmite formations as you discover limestone landscape of the lower and upper caves. A day’s visit will involve a scenic cable car ride, a walk through the upper cave and a short boat trip through the lower cave. There’s no way you will leave disappointed – it’s 100% worth the visit!
Baalbek Roman Ruins
The Baalbek Roman ruins are impressive and have puzzled historians for decades. How was the world’s largest stone carved? How could was the 23-metre-tall Temple of Jupiter assembled? The ancient Phoenician city, previously known as Heliopolis to the Greeks and Romans, includes 3 grand temples that have survived many an earthquake and still retain a great level of detail. They are a truly fascinating example of Roman architecture, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a remarkable history lesson.
The Port of Byblos
Visit one of the oldest continuously lived-in settlements when you travel to Byblos. This lovely village has a slice of everything from ancient harbor to medieval town centre and UNESCO world heritage archaeological ruins. Combine that with excellent seafood (it is a port after all!) and a collection of perfect sandy beaches. Byblos is worth a night or two – whether it’s simply to enjoy the seaside air, or to embark on a historical adventure, this is one place that will fascinate every kind of traveller.
Bala’a Sinkhole / Baatara Waterfall
Only found in 1952, the Balaa Sinkhole is an incredible set of limestone caverns that are separated by three rock bridges. These natural rock formations are magnificent! Visiting in the winter months would be an advantage, as the snow and rain mean that the waterfall would be in full swing. In the summer, there might not be any water running but the view of the bridges is enough to occupy anyone.
Interested in visiting Lebanon? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or your favourite Lloyds Travel Agent and we’ll answer any questions you may have to help you plan your best vacation yet!