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Lebanon

Lebanon lies on the Mediterranean Sea at the junction of Europe and Asia. This nation forms part of the “Fertile Crescent”, a huge arc of well-watered land connecting Egypt and Iran and inhabited since earliest times.

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Byblos with its ancient fishing harbour, Roman remains, Crusader Castle and beautifully restored souk make it a fascinating destination for the discerning traveller.

About ten miles out of Beirut and along the coastal road is the Dog River (The Nahr el Kelb) which many important armies have travelled through, leaving their inscriptions on the cliffs. Notables who have left inscriptions include Ramses II and Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.

Jeita Grotto is the tourism jewel for Lebanon and consists of two enormous grottoes containing an impressive array of stalagmites and stalactites. The upper grotto, with half a mile of galleries, leads through a series of chambers sprouting unusual rock formations where concerts are sometimes held thanks to the great acoustics. The lower grotto is filled with water and therefore only accessible by boat taking you through a maze of colourful chambers where the Dog River originates.

Byblos with its ancient fishing harbour, Roman remains, Crusader Castle and beautifully restored souk is a fascinating destination for the discerning traveller. Known as the birthplace of the modern alphabet and a favourite of the 60′s jet set this awe-inspiring place conjures up many emotions. The Crusaders Castle built with Roman Stones consists of five towers encircling a courtyard and offering wonderful views of both the city and surrounding areas. The Memoire du Temps fossil Museum and old souks provide vivid images of a place that was a seat of worship for Adonis and Egyptian mythology.

The beautifully fertile Bekaa Valley, nestled between the Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges and traversed by two rivers, is a stunning natural landscape with wheat, its biggest crop, providing two harvests a year.

Baalbeck is a charming city and considered an important archaeological site with its majestic Roman temples and the world’s largest freestone. The Temple of Jupiter with its thrusting columns and peristyle structure edging into the skyline is a must visit. Built under Nero’s rule this impressive monolith pays tribute to the God of Sun. The Temple of Venus built in the 3rd century A.D. allows you to wallow in the Byzantine period and bask in the splendour of this unique tribute to The Goddess Venus. Ksara is the oldest wine making cave in the Middle East where Jesuit monks planted vines and started making communion wine. Nowadays tours of this lush region are readily available giving you the opportunity to sample and buy these excellent wines. Nearby Aanjar founded by Walib I Ibn is the only historic example of an inland commercial centre. This unique site features The Great Palace, Grand Mosque and the Public Baths.