Two weeks, it allows you to take your time to travel around Lebanon and follow in the footsteps of the different civilizations that this country has travelled through, through the many archaeological sites and remains of ancient times. But Lebanon is also a great city between tradition and modernity and incredible natural sites. Be careful, you will only be able to reach certain areas if the security conditions allow it. Be sure to check before you leave.
The city centre, its archaeological remains and pedestrian streets are a must-see stopover. You can continue your walk to Achrafieh and admire the beautiful residences of the Sursock and Gemmayzé districts. Further south, the National Museum brings together the country's archaeological wonders. A short visit to the Museum of Prehistory is possible.
The streets of Damascus and the districts of Bachoura and Sodeco have kept the last traces of the years of civil war. The streets of the Basta quarter are an opportunity to enjoy the beyrouthine life. The cave of the Pigeons in Raouché deserves a look. A walk to the sunset sun along the sea is remarkable. You will end up in the evening in a bar in Gemmayzé or in a discotheque on the roof of a downtown building.
Jeita's caves are impressive natural treasures. The old town of Byblos, one of the oldest in the world with its 10,000 years of history, and its small port are a pleasure. The village of Amchit preserves many traditional houses of great beauty.
You will visit the old town of Batroun on foot with its 220 m long Phoenician wall, 1867 church, and lemonade. Smar Jubayl offers the ruins of an imposing citadel overlooking the village. You will not be able to miss the beautiful castle of Mseilha on the motorway, which is required from the top of its headland.
The peninsula of Enfé once housed a Crusader castle. In Tripoli, the castle of Saint-Gilles offers a splendid proximity to the sea. The souks of Tripoli are a maze of alleys with a thousand colours and scents. You will end the day with a walk on the ledge of El Mina.
The visit to the Kadisha Valley begins with the ruins of Qasr Naous, two Roman temples from which the entire Koura plain can be seen. Kadisha is home to many monasteries and troglodytic hermitages clinging to the cliffs (Deir Qannoubine, Qozhaya). The cities of Edhen and Bécharré are worth a visit. Above Bécharré, you will see the last cedars of Lebanon, sometimes thousands of years old.
In the Akkar plain, do not miss the pleasant walks in the Qammouah forest and discover the remains of the Sfireh and Akkar el Aatiqa sites (if security conditions allow!).
From Akkar, you will pass to the Bekaa plain (if the situation is calm, once again!). You will be surprised by Qanouat al Hermel, a 27 m pyramid dating from the 1st century in the middle of arid lands. Baalbek, the city of the Sun God Baal, is the most beautiful site in Lebanon. The temples of Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus built during the Roman Empire are wonders. Anjar keeps the remains of the Umayyad dynasty, the first dynasty of Islam.
Lebanese wine lovers will be able to visit the cellars of Kefraya and Ksara and make a gastronomic stopover in Zahlé, known for its mezzé. The South Bekaa offers many Roman sites such as the temples of Ain Hourche, Dekweh or Manara.
Return to Beirut. Visit the ruins of Beit Meri overlooking the Beirut urban area with the remains of an ancient Roman temple and the remains of a 5th century Byzantine church. You can then admire the sunset on the site of the steles of Nahr el Kelb.
Before arriving in Saida, you can admire the Roman temple of Chhim and the archaeological site of Echmoun. The old town of Saida offers many cultural and architectural attractions. The castle of the Sea dating from the Crusaders, the Soap Museum, the Debanné Palace, built in 1721, and the Khan el-Franj are to be discovered.
The Jazzin region offers a pleasant break with a walk in the beautiful pine forest and a typical Lebanese lunch above the waterfall.
The Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine ruins of Tyre bear witness to the richness of this ancient commercial city. You will not be able to miss the imposing tombeau de Hiramroadside. The site of Qana, the site of Christ's first miracle, shows several people carved in rock who could represent Christ and his disciples. You can continue your journey to the citadel of Tibnine.
Deir el Qamar is a charming little village that was the residence of the Maan Emirates from the 16th to the 17th century. A synthesis of all the architectural trends in Lebanon, the Beiteddine Palace is a marvel. From there, you can reach the forest of the Barouk cedars.
Last day in Beirut to do some culinary shopping and souvenirs. The Hamra district is the most lively with a wide variety of shops. Verdun Street is home to international franchises. In the evening, you can dine in one of the restaurants in Ashrafieh, Badaro or Hamra.
© Dominique Auzias & Jean-Paul Labourdette