The Middle East’s most glamorous city, Beirut is a place where East meets West with a vibrant energy. The city offers breath-taking Mediterranean seascapes, pulsating nightlife, world-class hotels and amazing food, coupled with a fascinating history as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. After check-in at the hotel, you have the rest of the day to enjoy at leisure.
Surreal Caves and Ancient Cities
After breakfast, proceed for a journey to some of the popular attractions near the city. We begin at the Jeita Grotto, a place full of stalagmites and stalactites, nominated as one of the seven new wonders of the world. The Jeita upper cave has 750 metres (2, 460 ft) of accessible walk-way, known for having the longest stalactite in the world. After visiting the upper caves, take a small boat-ride into the lower caves; a truly unique experience. We then move on to a cable-car ride to Harissa, known for the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon, one of the most important shrines in the world honouring the Virgin Mary. Our last stop, Byblos, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has survived the Phoenicians, Romans, the crusades, and Ottomans. The city charms visitors, with its souks (markets), a magnificent harbour, Crusader castle, and sea-side promenade.
Beirut Sights and Traditional Villages
On a full-day exploration of Beirut with your local guide, see popular sights like the Maghen Abraham synagogue – the largest synagogue in Beirut; and Martyrs’ Square with the impressive Martyrs’ Statue -- a memorial for Lebanese nationalists who were hanged during World War I by the Ottomans. Next, we step outside the city to explore two well-preserved traditional villages.
Beiteddine (Beit El Dine), where you will find the magnificent Beiteddine Palace, was built at the beginning of the 19th century. With its arcades, galleries and rooms decorated by artists from Lebanon, Damascus and Italy, the palace is a fabulous model of Eastern architecture. Next, head to the village of Deir El Qamar (Deit El Kamar), a charming place with a historical centre, traditional souks, and ancient Lebanese architecture. After a relaxing lunch of traditional meze (Middle Eastern small dishes) and tapas at a Lebanese restaurant in town, continue your tour to Deir El Qamar’s most famous ruins – the Mosque and Castle of Emir Melhem Shehab. On the way, look out your window to see Moussa Castle, a beautiful, yet tiny castle built by a Lebanese visionary over a period of more than 60 years.
Roman Temple, Lebanese Wine, and an Umayyad City
After breakfast, step out to explore the most popular sights of the nearby region. Start at Baalbeck, the largest and most noble Roman temple ever built, towering high above the Bekaa plain with its monumental proportions a sign of the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The temple is also considered as one of Lebanon's greatest Roman treasures among the wonders of the ancient world. Stop for lunch before continuing your tour to Ksara for a delightful afternoon of wine tasting. Next, visit Anjar, which dates to the Umayyad-period and was excavated only 40 years ago.
Sea Castle, Coastal Town, and Phoenician Temple
After breakfast, step out for another day visiting the historic sights of Lebanon. Start at Sidon, where you will have the opportunity to visit the sea castle, a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th century on a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway. Stop to see the caravanserai and the old souk, before continuing to Tyre, considered the Queen of the Phoenician coast; an island city of unprecedented splendour, and a place that attracted the attention of many jealous conquerors, among them the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. Here, you will visit the triumphal arch and the hippodrome in antiquity that remains almost intact today, as well as an amazing Necropolis. Stop for lunch, before heading back to Beirut. On route, visit the Phoenician Temple of Echmoun, the God of Death and Birth.
Depart for the airport where you will catch your flight to onward destination.
Signature Experience: Explore the area with knowledgeable locals.