Trip Tips: See and live history in Lebanon

Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:13pm EDT
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By Oliver Holmes

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Some travelers want to see history, others want to live it. In Lebanon, a slice of land between the Mediterranean and war-ravaged Syria, you can do a lot of both.

At the Roman ruins of Baalbek, some of the best preserved in the world, you can walk past the 70-foot (21-meter) high pillars alone - there have been no big crowds since the 2006 conflict with Israel.

Afterwards you can buy souvenirs - a bright yellow T-shirt emblazoned with the flag of Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group fighting in Syria, is always a popular choice.

Political turmoil has plagued the country since the start of the 15-year civil war in 1975, meaning that Lebanon’s cedar wood forests, ski slopes, seaside nightclubs and world famous cuisine are often overlooked.

Here are tips on getting the most out of a trip from Reuters, whose 2,600 journalists in all parts of the world offer visitors the best local insights.


In Beirut, the civil-war-era gunmen who used to patrol the seaside cornice are long gone, replaced by hairy-chested men playing bat and ball or women in full makeup jogging down the strip, some dragging their chihuahuas.   Continued...

A couple stands on the pier at Saint-George Yacht Club & Marina in Beirut August 19, 2014.   REUTERS/Jamal Saidi