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Lebanon

LEBANON TRAVEL GUIDE

Lebanon, situated on the eastern Mediterranean coast, boasts of sea and snow, an unusual combination for any country its size. Its people and society are also a unique blend of tradition and sophistication, Christian and Muslim cultures. Shell-shocked Beirut, its capital city, has recovered from the ravages of 17 years of civil war and is now known as the party city. Lebanon is populated by very open and educated people, especially in places like Beirut, Mount Lebanon and some of the larger cities. Attitudes and behaviour tend to be more conservative in the Bekaa Valley and rural north and south.

 

Lebanon and Beirut were once called the Switzerland and Paris of the Middle East. The recent wars have diminished this status, but the Lebanese have learned to adapt. Their pursuit of happiness and fun overshadows their financial capabilities and political problems.

 

Lebanon is indeed a country with a long and rich history. Phoenician, Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman, Arab, Crusader, and Ottoman ruins are scattered about the country and the most important of them are easily accessible. Byblos, Beirut, Tyre and Sidon are among the oldest continuously populated cities in the world. There are Roman baths in Beirut, as well as the Cardio Maximus - to name a few.

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LEBANON QUICK FACTS

  • Capital: Beirut
  • Currency: Lebanese pound (LBP) (Also called Lira - lērä - [LL]) / (US dollars widely accepted)
  • Area: 10,452 km²
  • Population: 6,849 million (2018)
  • Language: Arabic (official), French, English, Armenian
  • Electricity: 110-220V/50Hz (European and UK plugs)

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LEBANON PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

  • 1 January, New Year
  • 6 January, Christmas (Armenian community only)
  • 7 January, Christmas (Eastern Orthodox only)
  • 9 February, St. Maroon’s Day
  • 1 May, Labour Day
  • 6 May, Martyrs’ Day
  • 25 May, Liberation of the South
  • 15 August, Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • 1 November, All Saints Day
  • 22 November, Independence Day

Business openings and work schedules may be significantly affected by Christian, Eastern Orthodox Christian, and Islamic holidays and festivals.

FESTIVALS IN LEBANON

Lebanon

BEST TIME TO VISIT LEBANON

Lebanon has four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

  • Spring is generally a pleasant time to visit Lebanon, with temperatures starting to warm up after the cooler winter months. The weather is usually mild and dry, with some occasional rain.
  • Summer is the hottest and driest time of year in Lebanon, with temperatures often reaching the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit).
  • Autumn is similar to spring, with mild temperatures and occasional rain.
  • Winter is the coolest and wettest time of year, with temperatures often dropping below 10°C (50°F). The mountains in Lebanon receive a lot of snow during the winter, making it a good time to visit if you're interested in skiing.

 

The best time to visit Lebanon depends on what you're looking to do and see while you're there. The country has a Mediterranean climate, which means that it generally has warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

 

If you're interested in outdoor activities, the best time to visit would be in the spring or autumn, when the weather is mild and pleasant. The summer months can be very hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching the mid-30s Celsius (mid-90s Fahrenheit).

 

If you're interested in skiing, the winter months are the best time to visit, as the mountains in Lebanon receive a lot of snow. The winter can also be a good time to visit if you're interested in cultural events and festivals, as there are many celebrations and events that take place during this time of year.

 

In general, it's a good idea to avoid visiting Lebanon during the summer, as this is the peak tourist season and prices for accommodation and flights are often higher.

LEBANON WEATHER SYNOPSIS

Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate characterised by long, hot summers and short, cool winters. Lebanon receives 80 to 90 days of rain per year, mainly in the winter. Coastal areas experience an average temperature of 20°C that ranges from 13°C in the winter to 27°C in the summer. Cold north winter winds from Europe bring cool, wet conditions to northern Lebanon, while hot Khamsin winds bring warmer temperatures during fall and spring.

Lebanon

LEBANON TOURIST SEASONS

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

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AUGUST

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OCTOBER

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SPORT & ACTIVITIES

SNOW SPORT IN LEBANON

HIKING & CYCLING IN LEBANON

BEACH OPTIONS IN LEBANON

SURFING IN LEBANON

KITESURF IN LEBANON

Kitesurfing spot details and weather

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TRAVEL SAFETY IN LEBANON

Always consider the current safety risk of each destination and do not travel without travel / medical insurance

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HEALTH RISKS IN LEBANON

Be aware of possible health risks in 

Lebanon

Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.

Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.

Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.

For the latest travel health notices and recommended precautions click

LEBANON TRAVEL COSTS

The cost of traveling to Lebanon will depend on a number of factors, including your point of origin, the time of year you're traveling, and your travel style. Some general estimates for the cost of a trip to Lebanon are:

  • Flights: Prices for flights to Lebanon will vary depending on where you're coming from and when you're traveling. On average, you can expect to pay around $1,000-1,500 for a round-trip ticket from the United States or Europe.
  • Accommodation: Prices for accommodation in Lebanon vary widely, depending on the type of accommodation you choose and its location. You can find budget hotels and hostels for as little as $30-40 per night, or you can opt for a luxury hotel for $100 or more per night.
  • Food: Prices for food in Lebanon are generally very reasonable, with a meal at a local restaurant costing around $10-15. If you're on a budget, you can find even cheaper options at street food stalls and local markets.
  • Transportation: Lebanon has a good public transportation system, with buses and taxis available in most cities. Prices for public transportation are very reasonable, with a one-way bus ride costing around $1.50 and a taxi ride starting at around $5.

Overall, you can expect to spend around $50-100 per day on a budget trip to Lebanon, not including the cost of flights. If you're planning a more luxurious trip, your expenses will be higher.

LEBANON TRAVEL TIPS

Here are a few travel tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable trip to Lebanon:

  • Research your destination: Lebanon is a country with a rich history and culture, and it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with local customs and traditions before you visit.

  • Get a good map: It's a good idea to get a good map of Lebanon before you arrive, as roads and addresses can be difficult to navigate.

  • Learn some basic Arabic: While many people in Lebanon speak English, learning some basic Arabic phrases will go a long way in helping you communicate with locals and make your trip more enjoyable.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: As with any foreign country, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions to stay safe.

  • Respect local customs: Lebanon is a predominantly Muslim country, and it's important to respect local customs and traditions, especially when it comes to dress and behavior.

  • Stay hydrated: Lebanon can get very hot in the summer, and it's important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

  • Try local foods: Lebanon has a rich culinary tradition, and trying local foods is a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.

  • Shop locally: Lebanon has a thriving handicrafts industry, and shopping locally is a great way to support local artisans and businesses.

SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF LEBANON

Lebanon is a small country located in the Middle East, with a diverse landscape and a rich history and culture. The main regions of Lebanon are:

  • Beirut: The capital of Lebanon and the largest city in the country, Beirut is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city with a rich history and culture. Highlights of Beirut include the National Museum, the Sursock Museum, and the Corniche, a popular seaside promenade.

  • Mount Lebanon: Located in the western part of the country, Mount Lebanon is a mountain range that runs from north to south and is home to many ski resorts and scenic villages. Highlights of this region include the Cedars of God, a grove of ancient cedar trees, and the Cedars of God Nature Reserve.

  • North Lebanon: Located in the north of the country, this region is known for its beautiful coastline, sandy beaches, and ancient ruins. Highlights of this region include the ruins of the Roman city of Batroun and the Qadisha Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Bekaa Valley: Located in the eastern part of the country, the Bekaa Valley is a fertile agricultural region known for its vineyards and wineries. Highlights of this region include the ruins of the ancient city of Baalbek and the Château Ksara winery.

  • South Lebanon: Located in the southern part of the country, this region is known for its beautiful beaches and charming villages. Highlights of this region include the Tyre National Park and the Sidon Sea Castle.

Some of the best things to do in Lebanon include:

  • Visit the National Museum: Located in Beirut, the National Museum of Lebanon is home to a wide range of artifacts and historical objects that provide an overview of the country's history and culture.

  • Explore the Cedars of God: Located in the western part of the country, the Cedars of God is a grove of ancient cedar trees that are over 3,000 years old. The trees are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction.

  • Visit the ruins of Baalbek: Located in the Bekaa Valley, the ruins of Baalbek are a well-preserved example of ancient Roman architecture. The site includes the Temple of Jupiter, the Temple of Bacchus, and the Temple of Venus.

  • Go skiing in the mountains: Lebanon has several ski resorts in the mountains that are popular with tourists. The resorts offer a range of skiing and snowboarding options for all levels of experience.

  • Explore the Qadisha Valley: Located in the north of the country, the Qadisha Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is home to a number of monasteries and hermitages. The valley is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

  • Visit the Sidon Sea Castle: Located in the south of the country, the Sidon Sea Castle is a well-preserved medieval castle that was built by the Crusaders. The castle offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and is a popular tourist attraction.

  • Shop in the souks: Lebanon has a number of traditional souks, or markets, where you can find a wide range of locally made handicrafts, jewelry, and textiles. The souks are a great place to shop for souvenirs and get a feel for local life.

Lebanon

WHAT TO EAT IN LEBANON

Lebanon is known for its delicious cuisine, which is influenced by a range of different cultural and culinary traditions. Some of the best dishes to try when visiting Lebanon include:

  • Hummus: A popular dip made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Hummus is often served as a starter or as part of a mezze platter.

  • Falafel: Fried balls of ground chickpeas or fava beans, served in a pita bread with vegetables and tahini sauce.

  • Shawarma: Thinly sliced meat (usually lamb, chicken, or beef) that is cooked on a spit and served in a pita bread with vegetables and sauces.

  • Kebabs: Grilled skewers of meat (usually lamb or chicken) served with rice or vegetables.

  • Tabbouleh: A refreshing salad made from parsley, tomatoes, onions, and bulgur wheat, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

  • Fattoush: A salad made from mixed greens, tomatoes, onions, and crispy fried pieces of pita bread, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil.

  • Baklava: A sweet pastry made from layers of filo dough filled with nuts and honey.

  • Knafeh: A sweet cheese pastry served hot, with a crispy layer of shredded phyllo dough on top.

  • Arak: An anise-flavored liquor that is popular in Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East. It is often served with mezze dishes and mixed with water and ice.

LGBTQ IN LEBANON

Lebanon

WHERE TO STAY IN LEBANON

There are many different options for accommodation in Lebanon, depending on your budget and preferences. Some options to consider include:

  1. Hotels: Lebanon has a range of hotels to choose from, ranging from luxury hotels to budget hotels and hostels. The capital city, Beirut, has the largest selection of hotels, but there are also hotels in other cities and towns throughout the country.
  2. Airbnb: Airbnb is a popular option for travelers to Lebanon, with a range of apartments and houses available to rent in cities and towns throughout the country.
  3. Guesthouses: There are many guesthouses in Lebanon, especially in the more rural areas of the country. Guesthouses are often run by local families and offer a more authentic experience of local life.
  4. Camping: Lebanon has a number of campgrounds and campsites, especially in the mountains and along the coast. Camping is a good option for travelers who want to experience the great outdoors.

It's a good idea to do some research and compare prices and reviews before choosing your accommodation in Lebanon. If you're planning to visit during the peak tourist season (June-August), it's a good idea to book your accommodation in advance to ensure availability.

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