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Flights to Lebanon
When visting Western Asia, travellers will find a variety of cultural treasures to behold, from Turkey down to Yemen and Oman. Lebanon also holds its own when it comes to historical and heritage legacies. Its location at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian hinterlands has affected much of its past and even up to the present. Its capital, Beirut, was also once called the 'Paris of the Middle East' due to its various cultural sights and beautiful surroundings, making it one of the most intriguing places to see in this part of the world.
Lebanon, however, has yet to recover from the long-ranging effects of its civil war between 1975 and 1990. It also faces various conflicts for harbouring Hezbollah, which Israel accuses of grave terrorist acts against its citizens. Despite such incidents, Lebanon still remains a relatively stable country for tourists even in the midst of the Arab Spring. One just have to keep a better-safe-than-sorry attitude during the trip, which can go a long way of keeping secure while enjoying the sights of this compelling country in West Asia.
What to see & do
Travelling to Lebanon can be an eye-opening experience due to the richness of its culture. One will experience this at the face of the Baalbek Ruins, where one can find the Temple of Jupiter, an ancient landmark dating back to 60 CE. Some of the largest building blocks ever used went into building of this magnificent structure which used to have a massive staircase. Now, one will see only six standing columns, which remain some of the largest in the world. One can then look around the Temple of Bacchus with its breathtaking ornate tablatures with the images of various gods. There is also the exquisite Temple of Venus to behold, where one can view fluted columns holding up a circular structure. To better appreciate the sights, one can join a group tour or hire a knowledgeable guide who will take visitors to a walkthrough about these stunning ruins.
From here, one can visit another cultural site in Byblos, where a restored 12th-century castle can be found. This structure built in the time of the Crusades takes one around the expansive site. Tourists can join a group to view the Temple of Resheph, Obelisk Temple, and the King's Well, an ancient spring that used to provide water until the end of the Hellenistic area. Other sites to find here is the Temple of Baalat Gebal, a temple dedicated to Aphrodite during the Roman period, and various other historical sites such as a Roman theatre and burial tombs.
After a tour of the archaeological sites, a trip to the landmarks of Beirut can cap the trip. Those going here will find contrasting worlds, from the sophisticated centre of the city to the dingy outskirts where Palestinian refugees live in abject poverty. One cannot help but be dazzled with the fascinating landmarks, however, which one can experience in St George's Orthodox Cathedral, which bears the scars of the long civil war. Built in 1767 yet bombed in 1975, it features the ruins of a Byzantine church in the museum where other displays show a set of tombs and the original mosaic floors of the old church. From here, one can check out the facade of the Grand Serail, an Ottoman-era building restored to its former luxurious look. It now houses government offices which do not allow access within a few metres to the boundaries of the building.
How to get around within Lebanon
Public transportation in Lebanon can be fairly reliable at best. One can board the buses or minibuses to arrive at various points of Beirut or go to other major towns in the area. Their road systems are extensive, making it feasible to ride these modes of transport. One can also ride around the cities and major towns on taxis, which can be more convenient to use. One has to verify the prices, however, before boarding. Those interested in driving in Lebanon can rent cars, but it is suggested that one take the public transport for general safety.
How to get there
Travellers thinking of visiting Lebanon can schedule connecting flights to Beirut-Hariri International Airport. Airlines serving here include Aegean Airlines, Aeroflot, Air Algerie, Air Arabia, Air Arabia Egypt, Air France, Air Serbia, Alitalia, Belavia, Borajet, Bosnian Wand Airlines, British Airways, Bulgaria Air, EgyptAir, EgyptAir Express, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, flydubai, Freebird Airlines, Germania, Gulf Air, Iran Air, Iraqi Airways, Jazeera Airways, Kuwait Airways, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines, Oman Air, Pegasus Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Saudia, TAROM, Tunisair, Turkish Airlines, UM Airlines, Vueling, Yemenia, and Zagrosjet.
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