Add this tour as an extension to our tour of Jordan!
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Welcome to Lebanon! Upon arrival at the Beirut International Airport, you will be met and assisted, then transferred to your hotel in Beirut for check in and overnight.
Enjoy breakfast then depart for a Beirut city tour. We’ll drive to the downtown district to see the huge reconstruction project-taking place to create a new commercial and residential district of the 21st century. This project has actually discovered that the capital is standing on the site of a very ancient settlement going back at least 5,000 years. Recent excavations have uncovered important archaeological sites from Canaanite, Phoenician, and Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Omayyad, Abbassid, Crusader, Mamluke and Ottoman eras. The reconstruction project includes new buildings but constructed in the traditional style, besides hundreds of old structures that have been restored and renovated to its original shapes, including Beirut’s souks and historical mosques and churches. Next we proceed to the Corniche road and stop for a short walk along the favorite promenade of many Beirutis.
Further along, the road climbs steeply to a cliff edge, which is the headland of Beirut, with an array of cliff-top restaurants and cafes, a panoramic view of the bay and famous Pigeon’s Rock. The road then leads down, stretching out a beautiful sandy beach and a prestigious residential area of Ramlet El-Baida. Our city tour ends with a visit to the National Museum. After our visit to the museum we will proceed to visit Jeita, a beautiful natural wonder, and the best caverns in the Middle East. Transfer by cable car to the caverns, which consist of two parts, lower & upper galleries. The lower ones are visited by boat ride, while the upper caverns on foot. Enjoy the refreshingly cool temperatures, the sound of rushing water, columns and sculptures that have been formed by water and time, supported by an effective lighting system, and glimpses of the uppermost roofs of the caverns. After our visit we continue along the coastal road to Jounieh; take the cable car up to the outstretched arms of the Virgin of Lebanon in Harissa and enjoy a breathtaking view of the bay. Return to your hotel in Beirut for overnight. (B)
After breakfast we depart and cross the Mount Lebanon range and drive through the Beqaa Plain towards Baalbeck, 85km from Beirut, to visit Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasure, counted among the wonders of the ancient world. The site includes the temples of Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus, with the remarkable Great Court and the Hexagonal Forecourt. After exploring the site, we drive to Ksara Caves for wine tasting, with a stop in Anjar, to visit this historical Omayyad site, located in the southern part of the plain. In the late afternoon we return to your hotel in Beirut for overnight. (B)
This morning we will travel north up the coastline to visit Byblos. Discover a town that goes back 7,000 years; and the worlds oldest continuously inhabited. Located 37km north of Beirut, Byblos is a quite charming small town of great history. Visit its ancient sites, and then explore the old part of the town on foot, starting from the fishermen’s harbor, leading uphill towards the Church of St. John the Baptist and souks. Afterwards, we drive north to visit Lebanon’s second largest city, Tripoli. The city has a typical character of its own, for the historical wealth that goes back to 14th century BC. However, the most attractive is the old part of the city, which includes sites from the Mamluke era, such as narrow alleyways, colorful souks, hammams, khans, mosques and theological schools (madrassah). All are within easy walking distance of each other. The city tour includes a visit to the Crusaders’ Fortress of Raymond de Saint-Gilles. Return to your hotel in Beirut for overnight. (B)
Breakfast and transfer to Beirut Airport for departure. (B)
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