"There's a lot. The castle of..." Lebanon Things to Do Tip by Sheri_Z

Lebanon Things to Do: 236 reviews and 260 photos

There's a lot. The castle of Deir al-Qamar and the village area near it. Also if you go here, be sure to see the little museum dedicated to Kamal Junblatt the late Druze leader, with all sorts of rare photographs. The castle, or palace was that of Amir Shihab.

Go to Byblos and visit the archaelogical area - very old, but doesn't take long, there is a miniature Greek-style theater, and a castle-fortress. Then a tourist-trappy area of little shops, but some people will be interested in the fossile fish in rock that they sell.

Eat lunch in this area, further south along the coast -- fantastic fish.

Another fun thing to do is to go the unbelievable caverns called the Jeita Grottoes that are between this area and Beirut. They are the most beautiful caves I think I've ever seen, with an upper chamber you can walk through and a lower chamber to go through by boat. They are lit up with blue and yellow lighting to enhance the stalagtites and stalagmites in the caves.

One special item they sell here is a video of Nidaa Abu Mraad playing his violin in the caverns and if you like Arabic music, this is a real find.

The caverns were used for musical events since they were first opened until they had to be closed during the war. When you come out you are in the mountians above the Nahr al-Kalb & in the right season this is incredibly green.

Then, Ba'lbak is one of the other wonders of the ancient world. This is where Salah Al-Din - that warrior who built citadels all over the Middle East grew up (he came here when he was 1). The ruins of Heliopolis pre-date him of course. So they are Roman and best to go with a good guide, or a very good guidebook if you want to know the specifics.

In August, there are music festivals in Lebanon including the Ba'lbak Festival and what a place to hear or see a performance. The main area used has massive columns and intact stairs.

Then there is also the smaller Temple of Venus, and don't miss the little tiny museum on the side.

If you are adventurous and have good car, you can drive from here - not back to Beirut, but on a through road all the way to the Cedars of Lebanon and Khalil Gibran's village, and then get to the north of Lebanon.

Or you can go up to Hirmil, as I did by mini-bus, and have a picnic by the 'Assi river.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 25, 2003
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