Filled with cultural and religious heritage and steeped in beliefs that have sustained the fundamentals of an age old society, Lebanon should be on your “must do international holiday packages
list.” While the religious denominations within its borders are prevalent in the Western World’s news, this is one eastern country that is waiting to be explored.
The Lebanese sun is one that is hailed all around the world and some believe that it gives off a special kind of warmth on this wonderful country’s beaches and sets different kinds of shadows on its national monuments and heritage spots. Many different countries have governed Lebanon and you can still find their prints throughout the ancient land.
There are traces of cultures dating as far back as the 4th and 5th century and interestingly it was actually one of the home grounds of Christianity as carried out by the Roman Empire. Its capital, Beirut is by far one of the most popular cities in the world. Here, old and new amalgamate and shops and restaurants abound. Situated on the Mediterranean, Beirut is not only Lebanon’s largest city but its main seaport. Other notable cities along this beautiful coast include:
Byblos goes under two names: in Arabic it is referred to as Jubayl and Gebal in Greek, however today, it is still very much Lebanese and is believed to be “the oldest continuously-inhabited city in the world, making it a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site. Human habitation has seen it become a prominent ruin site, resulting in numerous archaeologists flocking to the quaint and architecturally beautiful town. No visit to this town would be complete without paying a visit to some of Byblos’ notable sites such as Byblos Castle, the Medieval city wall, the Historic Quarter and Souks and St John the Baptist Church, which has been cloaked in mystery since it was built during the Crusade in 1116.
The third largest city in Lebanon is also believed to be one of the oldest and most important Phoenician cities. Once conquered by the Egyptians, Greeks, Babylonians and Assyrians, the town is now a small fishing village inhabited by only about 265, 000 people. Be sure to pay a visit to Sidon Sea Castle, Old Souk, the tiny island of Ziri, the Corniche and the Castle of St Louis.
Tyre translates to “rock”, aptly named after the rocky formation that the town was first built on. Known as the legendary birthplace of Dido and one of the oldest Phoenician cities in the world, Tyre is incredibly rich in ancient history and is home to the Roman Hippodrome – a UNESCO heritage site. Be sure to catch a glimpse of the Triumphal Arch, the Almina excavation site with its ancient columns and other remains, and the weaving streets of the Christian quarter.
A world of Islam architecture and Roman ruins awaits those planning a trip to this small but beautiful country. There are plenty of international holiday packages
available that will provide you with an insightful glimpse into the society of Lebanon and her beauty.