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Lovely Lebanon 07 Days Tour

0
  • 07 Days
  • Max Guests : 20
  • Wifi Available
  • Apr 07 - 14

Tour Details

LEBANON
Lebanon is located in the heart of the Middle East but, believe it or not, over 40 per cent of its population belongs to different branches of Christianity, including Protestants, Armenian Apostolic, Greek Orthodox and Melkite Catholics, just to name a few. Today, both Muslims and Christians coexist together, in peace and this can be seen not only in the Lebanese daily life but also in the city’s architecture.

An absolutely enchanted corner of the Mediterranean, there are many reasons why you should travel to Lebanon. The food is legendary, its stormy past, too. There are countless things to do in Lebanon, many places to visit, people to meet and stories to tell.

From the hipster cafés and underground clubs of Beirut to Palestinian and Syrian refugee camps, remote Christian monasteries, the most impressive Roman ruins, the best food and wine in the region, combined with our beloved Middle Eastern chaos and souks, Lebanon is an often misunderstood and underrated country which, despite its small size, is home to huge cultural diversity, adaptable to any kind of traveller and budget.

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From900€
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Price Includes:

  • Accommodation with Breakfast (3*)
  • English speaking professional guide
  • Transfer from Beirut Airport/to hotel.
  • Transport.
  • Approvals for visa.
  • Entrance fees to all sites mentioned in the program.
  • Departure tax.
  • 6 full-day tours

Price Excludes:

  • Airline tickets to Beirut – approximate fares to be expectedLIS-FRA-BEY €515 per person, one suitcase. ** LIS-DXB-BEY €583 per person, one suitcase. **
  • Drinks, Lunch, Dinner.
  • Personal expenses.
  • PCR Test (100 $) for non - vaccinated.
  • Tips for guide and driver.
  • Travel Insurance

** pricing advised is an estimate value based on survey performed in May22.

Extra:

– Plane ticket reservation: €30

Itinerary

Day 1 - 07 Apr 2024 - Arrival – Beirut

Meeting at the airport according to the schedule of your arrival.
Transfer to the hotel.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2 - 08 Apr 2024 - Baalbek - Anjar - Chateau Ksara

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure towards Baalbek.

In Baalbek you will visit the Stone of the pregnant woman one of many gigantic stones used in building the temples of Baalbek. Situated inside a roman quarry a few Kilometers away from the temples of Baalbek, the stone of the pregnant woman weighs a whopping 1,000 tons and held the title as the world’s largest hand carved limestone block up until 2014; when a second stone behind it was discovered. The weight of the new stone which is partly excavated is 1,673 tons!

After viewing the megaliths in the quarry and comprehending the effort that went into building the three Roman temples: the temples of Venus (Goddess of Love Beauty and Fertility), Bacchus (the god of wine and parties), and Jupiter (God of all Gods). The Temple of Jupiter is the world’s largest ever‐built Roman temple, with the world’s largest Roman Columns. Only 6 Columns remain standing today. Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the last Ottoman Ruler, took one of the seven standing columns at the time as a souvenir and used it as a support column in the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The temple of Bacchus on the other hand fared much better than the temple of Jupiter and is considered to be one of the largest well‐ preserved Roman temples in the world.

In the second part of the tour, we will visit the Ruins of Anjar. These ruins belong to Umayyad Caliphate with its development started at the beginning of the 8th century. The Umayyads were headquartered in Damascus and wanted to expand their sphere of influence into the Bekaa Valley by building this new city on the crossroads of an important trade route. The Caliph Walid bin abd‐al Malik contracted Byzantine Romans that still lived in the area to build the city’s columned streets and roman inspired baths. After a decade of planning and building the city, it was only a couple of years from being completed and inhabited. Then the Caliph passed away suddenly due to illness and without a clear heir and soured the relationship between both brothers who both claimed heir as the new Caliph. This feud led to civil strife for the remaining of the Umayyad dynasty, resulting in Al‐Walid’s vision for Anjar never completed. The city became deserted and fell to ruins.                                                                     

Our final stop will be Chateau Ksara Lebanon’s most famous winery. We’ll visit the natural caves which are used by the winery and enjoy a wine tasting of your choice!

To Beirut. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 

Day 3 - 09 Apr 2024 - Beirut – Jeita - Harissa - Byblos

Breakfast at the hotel.

We will start our day with the Mystical Jeita grottos.
The caves were discovered in 1836 by an American missionary (Reverend William Thompson) while on a hunting expedition looking for wild boars and other game. He followed the riverbank of the dog river and came across the lower caves, shot his riffle, and heard a long echo and knew the caves were of importance in size. His discovery of the lower cave lead to the subsequent discovery of the upper caves approximately 100 years later.

The caves have been developed into a touristic site and were voted as a finalist in the new seven world wonders of nature competition.
In the upper caves you will be able to walk in, while in the water‐filled lower caves we’ll be taking a short boat ride.

After the caves we will go to Jounieh where we will take the cable car to Harissa where the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon sits… religious stuff aside… there you will be able to find one of the nicest views in Lebanon. To add a little adventure to your journey, you will have the option to paraglide back down.

The final part of our day is Byblos. Byblos claims to be one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world (9,000 years). There you will see the Byblos crusader castle, the surrounding Phoenician archaeological sites and roman archaeological sites, the old souk which has been modernized, and finally the Phoenician Harbour.

Back to Beirut.

Day 4 - 10 Apr 2024 - Sidon - Tyre

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Sidon.

In Sidon, we will start with the Sidon Sea castle. A 13th century crusader castle, one of many crusader castles in Lebanon that served as military outposts during in the attempted conquest of the holy city of Jerusalem. The Famous Mamluki commander Salah‐al‐din occupied all the castles and retained control over Jerusalem. The Mamluks were ex‐slaves freed under Islamic rule and fought on behalf of the Islamic faith.

We then continue our visit to Sidon by visiting the souks (traditional Arab marketplaces) for a cultural experience. The Souks of Sidon are one of the last remaining traditional and historical marketplaces in Lebanon. The rise of real‐estate prices has caused many of these historical markets to be closed down. In the Souks of Sidon, we will visit the soap museum to learn about the importance of soap in Lebanese history, followed by a traditional palace; the debbane palace.

In Tyre we will visit the Beautiful Port area and enjoy breath-taking coastal views of the Mediterranean Sea. Originally built on an island, Tyr, the Phoenician, was the queen of the seas.
Her wealth was derived from her colonies scattered on the shores of the Mediterranean, but especially from the purple industry. Thus, it was the focus of the great conquerors of antiquity, including the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar and the Macedonian Alexander the Great.

We will check out the two different Roman sites.

  • The Roman Hippodrome and necropolis

  • The Beautiful columned roads, aqueducts and water reservoirs, and the remains of roman baths.

Back to Beirut

Day 5 - 11 Apr 2024 - Beirut - Beiteddine palace - Al‐chouf Cedar Reserve

We start our day in Beirut with a downtown walk and cover: politics, financial crisis, civil war, and the mass protests that brought down the government (Lebanese Revolution).

We then view the port where the blast happened on August 4 2020. It was caused by a fire on a storage facility containing ammonium nitrate and resulted in one of the largest non‐nuclear explosions in the world.

We take a stroll down Zeituna bay and Ain Mraisseh; visit the most expensive district in Lebanon and talk civil war, politics, and view the assassination spot of prime minister Rafic Hariri on Feb 14 2005.

*Optional visit to the national museum of Beirut

*Visit pigeon rocks. 2 gigantic rock formations off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

* Lunch

Following lunch, we will continue to Deir El Kammar.
Deir El Kammar is the place where the Ottoman Ruling princes ruled mount Lebanon. It is a very charming small village today.

Beiteddine Palace is a masterpiece of 19th century Lebanese architecture, it was home to one of the latest ruling princes. Today it is Lebanese tradition that the president goes and stays there a couple of nights annually as a summer vacation.

The Al‐chouf cedar reserve is the largest nature reserve in Lebanon making it 5% of all Lebanese territory. There you will enjoy a small 1-hour hike. The Lebanese cedar is an import symbol and is featured on the Lebanese national flag.

The importance of cedar wood goes back to the Phoenician times, where they used cedar wood to build the best fleet of trading ships. The Pharaohs of Egypt were so impressed with the Phoenician’s ships that they contracted them to build their fleets as well. The Romans thought of the Lebanese cedars as the most valuable and highest quality wood in the world, for this reason the Romans used this wood to build temple doors and roofs. Up until recently the cedars of Lebanon were used for luxury furniture around the world. The cedar trees today are protected by various decrees protecting against the cutting of the tree and exploiting it as a resource.

Back to Beirut.

Day 6 - 12 Apr 2024 - Kadisha Valley

Breakfast at the hotel.

First, we will stop quickly at the Mseilha fortress on the way to Tripoli. This fortress was built on top of a rocky hill to overlook the trade route between Beirut and Tripoli (the two most important cities).

The Valley is arguably one of the most beautiful places in Lebanon. The ride alone and the stunning views makes it worth it. The Kadisha valley is home to many monasteries, most importantly the monastery of Saint Anthony in Qozhaiya which we will visit.
We will then go to the city of Bcharreh, the hometown of the famous Lebanese, Poet and Painter Khalil Gibran and the museum with the largest collection of his work.

The final Part of the day is The Cedar of God Forest. It is home to the oldest and largest cedar trees. We will do a 2 hour walk/hike in the oldest cedar forest in Lebanon.

Day 7 - 13 Apr 2024 - Chouwen lake - Departure

We Begin Our day with a Hike and Swim to Chouwen lake.

The hike is moderate with some minor difficult stretches. Once we reach the lake, you will enjoy a snack and have the opportunity to swim. Following the hike to Chouwen we will head out to Afqa where you can enjoy lunch right by the waterfall.

                          

Departure from Beirut
Transfer to the airport according to the time of your scheduled flight.                                                                                            

Group minimum 06

Rates:

EUR900 Per person sharing 

​Accommodation in Double/Twin rooms, increment 1 single room.

# Admission prices are changing constantly. Pricing may increase at time of booking your tour.

Essentials: 

Will be sent with full itinerary when confirmed

Check List: 

Will be sent with full itinerary when confirmed

Passport:

Click here to check the visa requirements


Weather:

While it has four distinct seasons, uniquely for a Middle Eastern country, and so can be visited all year-round, the best time to go to Lebanon is definitely spring. The weather is pleasantly warm and dry, ideal for the coast, the mountains and exploring the country’s many historic sites.

Lebanon is nowhere near as arid as other Middle Eastern countries, with a quite moderate climate and four distinct seasons. Late spring, May and June, as well as the autumn months of October and November, are the best months for trekking in places such as the Kadisha Valley or Horsh Ehden and wine tasting in the Bekaa Valley. 

Summer temperatures can be oppressive on the coast where many cities are situated, up to around 25°C to 28°C in Beirut, whereas it’s substantially cooler at higher elevations. The best time to go to Lebanon is the spring and autumn, when it’s far milder, the scenery is at its most beautiful, and the archaeological sites are not at all busy.

 


Currency:

The official currency is the Lebanese Lira or Pound (LBP), which is divided into 100 piastres. US dollars are accepted throughout the country.

ATM machines are widely available in Lebanon except in isolated towns and cash can be withdrawn from banks during business hours.
Credits cards are widely used.

There is a tipping culture in Lebanon. It is customary and service staff are usually tipped around 10% to 15% of the bill. Porters, hotel staff, valets, and doormen usually receive a nominal fee, depending on the area, service, and establishment.
(5-10% for normal service at a normal restaurant – 15% at fine dining restaurants with excellent service)

Lebanon’s currency has undergone hyperinflation during the past 3 years. Although the Lebanese currency is still officially pegged to the US Dollar at $1 = 1515 LL the actual rate of exchange is much higher at $1 = 32,400 LL at exchange bureaus (as of September 1st 2022) to follow up on the real-time value of the Lebanese currency you can reference the site www.lirarate.org .
Exchange bureaus will take between 1-2% commission on the displayed amount


Vaccination:

Passengers must have:
– a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated at least 14 days and at most 6 months before departure; or
– a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated and received a booster dose; or
– a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 48 hours before departure from the first embarkation point; or
– a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test taken at most 24 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. The test certificate must have a QR code.

The PCR test is only required if you are unvaccinated, or you have 2 doses and your last dose was administered more than 6 months ago. If you have 3 or more doses of vaccine you are considered fully vaccinated and you will not need a PCR test.
If a PCR test is needed it must be done before 48 hours to arrival.

 


Trip Highlights:

Beirut
Byblos
Tripoli
Sidon
Tyre
Jeita

 

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