Lebanon is a country filled with beauty, fascinating culture, friendly locals and fantastic food. It's now a much safer country to visit and it's rich in history. As the memories of past troubles fade Lebanon will soon be a tourist hotspot. Wander the streets of Beirut, the capital, and often called the 'Paris' of the Middle East.
There are impressive clubs and bars, like B-108, once a bunker and now with a retractable roof so you can dance under the stars. Locate a rooftop bar for sunset drinks as the lights of Beirut shine. One of the best has to be Bar ThreeSixty; there are numerous others with fabulous views and vibes. On-street level or below, experience the bohemian theme, laid back music – Beirut has them all. At Anise, sample a wide variety of homemade arak produced from vines all around the country – a Levantine spirit with an anise flavour is a Middle Eastern signature. Lebanon is one of the oldest wine-producing sites in the world and the first drop for wine lovers.
Beirut overlooks the beautiful Mediterranean coast with a casual lifestyle enjoyed by locals. As Lebanon is a small country, you can see everything from the capital on a day trip. Kibbeh is Lebanon's national dish, and its crazily delicious spicy fried meats are mouth-watering. The food scene is incredible but can be expensive. Nevertheless, enjoy the best of Middle Eastern dishes like hummus, fattoush, za'atar salad and falafel. Then there is the rich history.
Lebanon is considered the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East. In Kozhaya, see a monastery carved in rock. Byblos is one of the oldest continually inhabited places in the world dating over 7,000 years and the location from where the Bible gets its name. Check out the harbour, restaurants and wander the ancient cobblestone streets. Jump a tram in Jounieh for a fantastic ride from the seaside to the world-famous pilgrimage site, Our Lady of Lebanon and the statue of Mary.
The country has an abundance of ancient ruins and archaeological sites. There is the UNESCO site of Anjar, Sidon and Tyre, south of Beirut on the coast, The Valley of the Cedars and the Jeita Grotto and that's for starters. Nature lovers head to the Chouf mountains, a perfect place for day hikes to explore the countryside and the glorious views. Lebanon has everything covered.
Spring and autumn are the two best seasons to visit as the temperatures are milder, the scenery beautiful and often the archaeological sites are not as busy. Currently, most tourists are from surrounding countries and Europe, so attractions are crowded, especially religious ones. Revolving around four seasons the climate is variable, even though it is the Mediterranean. There is little rain between June and September and winters get colder the further away from the coast and up into the mountains which can experience heavy snowfalls attracting skiers to Lebanon's slopes in winter. Summer can be hot and humid, especially along the coast and in Beirut, so it's best to avoid hiking.