When to Go

The best time of year to visit Lebanon is spring (March to May) when the weather is mild and wildflowers are in bloom. If your timing is just right, you may be able to live the Lebanese cliche and, at the end of the snow season, ski in the mountains in the morning and swim on the coast in the afternoon. If you can’t make the spring, aim for autumn (September to November), between the intense heat of summer and the cloud of winter.

Like anywhere, if you are heading to Lebanon during school holidays, you should book accommodation well in advance. Religious and state holidays should not seriously disrupt any travel plans – transport, hotels, restaurants and many businesses function as normal. The Muslim fasting month of Ramadan may require a bit more planning: some cafes and restaurants close during the day, and some offices operate reduced and erratic hours. Ramadan nights, particularly during the final three days of the Eid al-Fitr can be particularly lively. You may wish to schedule your trip around annual festivals, such as those at Baalbek, Byblos, Palmyra and Bosra.

Beirut

Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon. Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon’s coastline with the Mediterranean sea, it serves as the country’s main seaport. The first mention of this metropolis is found in the ancient Egyptian Tell el Amarna letters, dating to the 15th century BC, and the city has been continuously inhabited over the centuries since.

Beirut holds Lebanon’s seat of government and plays a central role in the Lebanese economy with its Downtown, Hamra, Verdun, and Ashrafieh based corporate firms and banks. The city is also the focal point of the region’s cultural life, renowned for its press, theaters and cultural activities. After the destructive Lebanese civil war, Beirut underwent major reconstruction,[2][3][4] and the redesigned historic city center, marina, pubs and nightlife districts have once again rendered it a popular tourist attraction.

Lebanon

Lebanon , officially the Republic of Lebanon or Lebanese Republic, is a small, predominantly mountainous country in Western Asia, on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. Due to its sectarian diversity, Lebanon evolved a peculiar political system, known as confessionalism, based on a community-based power-sharing mechanism. It was created when the ruling French mandatory powers expanded the borders of the former Maronite Christian autonomous Ottoman Mount Lebanon district.

The flag of Lebanon features a cedar in green against a white backdrop, bounded by two horizontal red stripes along the top and bottom. This is a reference to the famous cedars of Lebanon, that were mentioned in the verses of the Tanakh/Old Testament, mostly in Psalms and the Song of Songs.

Until the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the country enjoyed relative calm and prosperity, driven by the tourism, agriculture, and banking sectors of the economy. [4] It is considered the banking capital of the Levant and was widely known as the “Switzerland of the East” due to its financial power. Lebanon also attracted large numbers of tourists to the point that the capital Beirut became widely referred to as the “Paris of Western Asia.”

Immediately following the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. By early 2006, a considerable degree of stability had been achieved throughout much of the country, Beirut’s reconstruction was almost complete, and an increasing number of foreign tourists were pouring into Lebanon’s resorts. Israeli air attacks during the 2006 war caused major damage to civilian infrastructure from July 12, 2006 until a ceasefire went into effect on August 14, 2006.