Top 10 best tourist places in Lebanon

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Lebanon is a small sovereign country located on the Mediterranean Basin, in-between some of the most influential countries of the Middle-East. It boasts rich heritage simmered with cultural and ethnic diversity. With a population touching 6 million residents, Lebanon has developed a strong financial and commercial repute amongst the Arab world. Beirut, also known as the Paris of the Middle East, is the capital and the largest town in the country. The all-time stable Lebanese economy largely depends upon agriculture, commerce and infrastructure. Besides, it is more than a stunning holiday destination and offers its visitors a modern Arab experience. The vibrant nightlife, cultural traditions, mountainous ski resorts and carefully preserved heritage sites join to offer an unforgettable adventure to the tourists.

10) Baalbek

Baalbek is an ethological town located in Lebanon’s Beqaa Valley and houses invaluable paragons of Lebanese treasures. Amongst the structures, the Temple of Bacchus is the best preserved ancient shrine with majestic towers. Another famous tourist spot is the Temple of Jupiter with its prodigious columns. Annually, the place hosts Baalbek International Festival which is attended by international organizations and artists to work on the ruins of the medieval town. The surrounding green lands and farms also make up for an amazing outdoor experience.

9) National Museum of Beirut

The National Museum of Beirut is the paramount museum preserving the archaeology and paleontology of ancient Lebanon. It was designed in a French inspired style and was officially opened to tourists in 1942. The Museum conserves more than 100,000 antiquities, sculptures and artifacts dating back to the pre-historic and medieval times. It displays its exhibits in a chronological circuit according to the alteration of dynasties and ancient communities. The highlights from the museum’s collection include Phoenician statues and Byzantine gold jewelry. Due to the damages caused by the World Wars, it has gone through several renovations.

8) The Cedars

Known as the pride and symbol of the Lebanese heritage, the Cedars is a series of extensive forests located in the snowy mountains of Bcharre. The timber of these woods has been exploited for thousands of years and is considered holy. This former World Heritage Site offers good sightseeing and bird watching vistas.Surrounding the woodlands is the magnificent Qadisha Valley which provides terrific opportunities for hiking and skiing. The village has installed modern tourist facilities including a deluxe intercontinental hotel as well as campsites.

7) Byblos

Byblos is amongst the oldest cities in the world that has continuously inhabited over the years. It is suggested to be the first ever city established under the Phoenician dynasty and is a World Heritage Site presently. The small boasts rich history and is an important archaeological site. The remains of Crusader Castle is a famous tourist destination where people can walk around the cobblestone streets and ancient stone houses. Byblos is coastal fishing region and also functions as a cozy little port highly esteemed for its seafood and restaurants.

6) The Corniche

The Corniche is a renowned boardwalk area spanning approximately 5 km and is situated along Beirut’s coastline. The city’s main Boulevard runs alongside this promenade and the iconic Raouché rock arching out in the distant sea provide for a wonderful picnic spot for families, couples and tourists. Lined by lush green fences and palm trees, the Corniche is a popular place for joggers, walkers as well as travelers seeking for Lebanese restaurants. They also spend time at the nearby Luna Amusement Park to enjoy pole fishing and other thrilling activities.

5) Beit ed-Dine

Established in the 19th century on a mountain around a small municipality, Beit ed-Din is an impressive palace and a stunning example of the Lebanese architecture. With its ornately decorated courtyards and terraces, the palace reflects upon the luxurious lifestyles of its primeval emperors. Parallel to this mountainous town are steep valleys and beautiful gorges which offer panoramic views for the visiting groups of travelers. The place also hosts the annual summer Beit ed-Din Festivaal which is attended by thousands of devotees.

4) Kadisha Valley

Sometimes called the Holy Valley due to its extreme religious significance, Kadisha Valley is a gorge carved by the Kadisha River. It has sheltered Christian monastic groups for millennia and is of ancient traditional importance to the Christians still living there. It was also added to the list of World Heritage Sites in 1998. Kadisha Valley is encircled by the groves of Cedar woods and with snowy cliffs on either side; it is a good spot for outdoor leisure and wilderness experience. Hiking, photography, summer sports and pilgrimages are the most prominent activities in the area.

3) Tyre

Located in the southern region of the country, Tyre is a small town originally constructed on rocky base formations that reflects the ancient ruins of a great trading center. It is a primeval Phoenician city and is famous for its traditional sites including remnants, Roman hippodromes, and sea harbors dating back to as far back as 2750 BC. Today, Tyre is a bustling port town with all the amenities of a modern settlement. It is inhabited by some 0.2 million residents and is a popular tourist destination in the region.

2) Beirut Central District

The Beirut Central District is the historical square in Beirut known as the financial, cultural and commercial core of Lebanon. It is located on the northern shore of the city and easily accessible from all sections. Apart from the Lebanese Parliament and Government offices, it houses international offices such as UNESCO, World Bank and UNO. Following the Heritage Trail and the Shoreline Walk, tourists can explore the well-preserved classical sites including the Garden of Forgiveness, Nejme Square, Beirut City Museum and the Roman Baths. Alongside the trail there are fashionable boulevards and world class tourist shopping stores.

1) Jeita Grotto

Jeita Grotto is an interconnected cave system formed from breathtaking limestone formations over thousands of years. It is situated in Nahr-al-Kalb valley; about 20 km drive from Beirut. Tourists take up guided mini-boat tours through the natural river to reach the majestic entrance of the caves. The upper galleries of the grotto comprises of a series of chambers of colorful rock structures as well as the world’s largest stalactite. It also contains a great concentration of mushrooms and draperies. JeitaGrotta is a major tourist attraction in Lebanon and is labelled as a new Wonder of the World.

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