Bordering both the warm ocean waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the inhospitable Sahara desert, Libya is a country with two faces to show anyone who takes a peak.

Formerly part of the Roman Empire, Libya was part of Italy until 1951, when the UN stated that Libya should become its own state. Eight years later, the discovery of large natural oil deposits significantly boosted the economy of Libya and led to the development of major urban centers along the northern coast.

What to do

You have two distinct options during your time traveling in Libya. You can spend time touring the cities along the beach, or spend your time in the desert, getting to know the Sahara.

Whichever you choose, you should include trips to Libya's ancient ruins. The ancient city of Leptis Magna is now reduced to the skeleton of its former self, but it was once the largest city in the Roman Empire aside from Rome.

Getting there

If you're not from somewhere in Africa, you'll need a visa to get into Libya. Then you'll need a flight to Libya. Flights arrive in Libya's capital city, Tripoli, near the coast.

Where to stay

Hotels in Libya are bunched along the coast, where a majority of residents live. Tripoli hotels run the gamut from one to five stars and the prices at these places correspond to their quality. You'll find hotels in nearly every major city as well as hostels, however there is a custom in Libya for locals to take in travelers to their homes and feed and house them, especially if that traveler takes an interest in their history and culture.

Looking for more info on Libya? You'll find it all on the message boards where curious travelers post and answer questions about Libya and the rest of Africa.