5 reasons to travel to Lebanon
There's no shortage of good reasons to head off and discover Lebanon. Here are five of them!
Discover a microcosm of the Middle East
With its mosques, churches, synagogues and archeological sites, Lebanon really is a microcosm of the Middle East. Here, you'll find all the civilisations that this area of the world has witnessed: from the Phoenicians to the Ottomans, including the Persians, the Arabs and the Crusaders. This particularly rich and turbulent history has turned the entire country into a giant cultural mosaic; sometimes the same town will be home to several different pieces (take Beirut, for example)!
Taste one of the best cuisines in the world.
Lebanese cuisine is by no means limited to falafel! Once you're there, you'll have the chance to discover flavoursome dishes of unrivalled elegance. Whether in the large cities or in the heart of the countryside, food is something that the Lebanese really do take seriously. You'll love every mouthful! Served in the form of mezzes as a starter, these small dishes allow you to mix different tastes and especially to share with others – because if there's one thing you should know, it's that friendship is key in Lebanon.
Enjoy a unique welcomeIn Lebanon, they don't do a welcome by halves. On the contrary, your hosts will do everything to ensure you feel comfortable and leave with a good impression of the country and its people. So don't be surprised if the people you meet ask you to join them or to share a meal. In the less touristy areas, people will sometimes come up to you just for a chat.
Spend time uncovering history
In Lebanon, you're never far from history. It's not rare to walk down a street and spot a centuries-old building. Whether religious buildings or structures specific to the region, Lebanon's cultural heritage resembles the country's more general outlook: particularly diverse. Although recent events have rendered them vulnerable, Lebanon counts no fewer than five sites listed as part of world heritage by UNESCO, as well as nine waiting to be approved.
Admire a still-lively crafts culture
Despite a pronounced taste for a certain kind of modernity, the Lebanese remain attached to their handicraft. While wandering through the alleys of the souks (in Saïda and Tripoli in particular), you'll notice the incredible gifting of the Lebanese craftsmen and the finesse of their work. Other distinctive thing is that the younger generation has taken up the torch, bringing various traditional objects back into style by working on new shapes and colours. To find them, you're best off heading to shops in the hip areas of Beirut (Hamra, Achrafieh, Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhaël etc.).