Lebanon is “the Paris of the Middle East”
Lebanon is a small and beautiful country on the Eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It is located at the meeting point of three continents and, as such, has been the crossroads of many civilizations whose traces may still be seen today. Lebanon is rich in heritage with diverse geography which includes breathtaking coastal terrain, rugged alpine peaks and green fertile valleys. Its documented history dates back to ancient times. Today it is a multi-diverse, multi-religious tourist destination known as the Paris of the Middle East in beauty and culture, as well as the Switzerland of the region in finance and commerce.
The total area of the country amounts to 10,452 square km (4,500 square miles). Its coastline hosts the five famous cities of Beirut, Byblos, Sidon, Tripoli, and Tyre. It is bordered in the north and east by Syria and in the south by Palestine.
Its cities were major outposts and seaports during the Bronze Age. The Canaanite and Phoenician kingdoms flourished over a period of 1,000 years, as maritime and seafaring cultures. At various times in its history, the land and people were ruled by most of the world’s great empires, including the Greek, Roman, Egyptian and finally Ottoman empires.
Lebanon’s beauty is illuminated by its geography, its narrow coastal plane and two parallel North / Sounth mountain series. In between lays, the fertile Bekaa valley, with its Litani and Orontes Rivers, which separate these mountains and nourishes the terrain.
Residing majestically over the valley, Qournet Assaouda in the north of Mount Lebanon (altitude 3,083 meters or 10,112 feet) and Jabal al-Sheikh in the south mountsin Range (altitude 2,814 meters or 9,230 feet) remain as the highest peaks in the country.
This unparalleled natural splendour is enhanced by Lebanon’s moderate, Mediterranean climate. Lebanon enjoys about 300 days per year of sunshine. The winter is mild at the coast and snowy in the mountains while the summer is hot along at the coast and mild in the mountains. It is often possible during the spring months, April and May, to snow ski in the mountains and swim in the blue Mediterranean sea along the coast in the same day!
Today, Lebanon has a population of some 6-million people. Beirut is a bustling cosmopolitan city that serves as the epicenter for the country’s food and wine industries.
The great Cedars of Lebanon, under government reserve protection, have been used to build some of the holiest buildings in the world, including Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock and Solomon’s Temple. Famous for its beauty, glamour, history, European flare and hospitality, Lebanon has it all and is a must-see destination on any worldwide tourist list.