Why you should add Lebanon to your Indie/RTW trip
- Before the civil war, Lebanon was known as the Switzerland of the Middle East, both because it was the banking capital of the Arab world and because the country is surrounded by mountains.
- Beirut has been called the Paris of the Middle East because of its allure to tourists.
- The villages of Lebanon, such as Barouk, are charming, but the main attraction is Beirut.
- Although largely destroyed by the civil war, Beirut is slowly but surely recapturing that former swagger.
- Outside of Beirut, the main attractions of Lebanon are the archaeological sites.
- Baalbek, about two hours outside of Beirut, is known for temples built by both the Phoenicians and the Romans and the site is known for producing artifacts used to pay tribute to various Greek and Roman Gods.
- Beirut and the rest of Lebanon are not immune to the unrest that plagues the rest of the Middle East, however. Palestinians have taken refuge in the country and it also suffers from a severely unstable political situation. Check travel warnings and news media before you go.
Flights to Lebanon land in Beirut and arrive from London and Paris in Europe.
Lebanon has hotels in Beirut and Jounieh as well as a comfortable and extensive set of hostels providing backpackers with places to crash. Some of these places have closed down because of the war, but many of the hostels outside of Beirut remain open.