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First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

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First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Hi,

I see that you have lots of responses about Lebanon which I thought would be easier to message you.

We are planning to visit Lebanon for 8 days in March and will be visiting some friends in Nabatiya (haris) in the south for few days, which we will be staying in Sour for. we also don't know if we should stay in Sour or Saida. Which is the best option as far as attractions go?

We're also trying to determine how safe is it to navigate the country and where we should stop, like can we go to Tarablis without fear of hitting the borders, can we trust people or drivers/taxi caps? What's the best way for transportation? what should we look out for or avoid? how is it at night time?

Initially, we were thinking 5 days in Beirut, then make day trips from there to near by cities/sights, and another 3 days in Sour or Saida (depending on which is best distance wise) to visit our friends and also see the attractions near by. Do you think that is a fair split? is it reasonable time frame?

What attractions combinations do you suggest make the most sense when we're staying in Beirut (North) then Sour (South)?

As far as hotels go, where is the best place to stay in those cities? is there a safest street or region that is reasonably priced like 3-4 star hotels. Do you recommend buying breakfast with the hotels or is it best to go out in the morning and experience the city local restaurants for the breakfast better taste experience (I heard a lot about Lebanese Yummy breakfasts)?

Thank you kindly!

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1. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Sour (Tyre) offers a much better hotel infrastructure than Saida. It is thus recommended to stay in Sour while visiting your friends in Nabatyieh.

The Roman Hippodrome in Sour can be combined with the nearby Qana Grotto.

It would be better to rent a car for your stay in the South Governorate and Nabatiyeh Governorate. There is 85 km between Beirut and Sour and 2 hours drive.

Allot not more than 2 days in Beirut, and

use it for all your one day trip. You don't need to stay in Tripoli or Byblos.

You will find a lot of 3 and 4 star hotels in the Hamra neighbourhood or downtown Beirut. Better to have the breakfast in the hotel because cafes in Hamra and downtown Beirut do not open before 9:00 a.m.

Tripoli can be visited without any concern.

The only coastal town where you need a written permit to get to is the Nakoura headquarter of the UNIFIL and part of the Nabatyieh Governorate bordering Israel.

Best regards

Edited: 27 January 2017, 01:40
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2. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Thank you, is there a good map that shows all the touristic attractions in Lebanon?

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3. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Thank you! Here is my updated Itinerary with our list to do per day. Can you please review and let me know if the order of sights makes sense? Day 0- Day 4 Will be spend in Beirut with Day trips as shown. day 5-8 will be spend in Sour. do the order of sights to visit make sense, combination wise and time wise per day or is it too loaded? is there a good map that shows all the touristic attractions in Lebanon?

Also on Day 5, does it make sense to stay in Beirut that night or just go Sour and on our way visit Sidon (saida) rather than driving back to Beirut?

We still need to figure out our options for transportation between all these sights. If you have any suggestions or recommendations on that it would be great. Hiring a driver that stays with us all day seems to be very expensive. How is driving in Lebanon, is it easy and safe to navigate? Can a phone GPS be used or google maps to arrive to destinations properly?

Is Cedar city different from the Chouf Cedars?

Can Tripoli be combined with other attractions to condense the trip days or does it have to be on its own day trip? if so, what other attractions near by that we can take advantage of? What in Tripoli should we focus on besides the souks?

Here is the Itinerary:

>>> Day 0: Sunday March 26th:

Arrive late to Beirut 3 pm (Eat Dinner, The Cornish & The Pigeon Rock (rosha), Beirut downtown so we can visit Al Ameen Mosque, The Martyr Square, Place Etoile and St George Cathedral, The Old Holiday inn)

>>> Day 1: Monday, March 27th:

Beit Elddine

Mousa Castle

Deir elkamar Square

Notre Dame Church & Fakhreddine Mosque

Chouf Cedars Nature Reserve the best largest one in Lebanon, located in the city of Maaser el Chouf and we will see the oldest most beautiful Cedars tree in the country. Hike in the Cedars Nature Reserve and visit Bekaa Kafra the highest village in Lebanon

>>> Day 2: Tuesday March 28th:

Jeita Grotto - Taxi is the only to go.

Jounieh to Harrisa take the cable car up to the 600 meters shrine of "Our Lady of Lebanon' virgin Mary statue in Harissa for a splendid view over the bay of Jounieh and the surrounding mountains

Byblos – The Crusader Castle - you can take a stroll down the old port continue to the souk visit the crusader castle. Continue around noon to Byblos to visit the Phoenician harbor and ruins, the crusader castle and the roman amphitheater

>>> Day 3: March 29th:

Baalbek - the big stone, Temples of Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus

Umayyad Ruins in Anjar

Eco museum in Terbol where rural living dating more than 2,000 years back.

>>> Day 4: Marcy 30th:

Tripoli - In Tripoli you can combine a visit to the citadel St. Gilles built in the 12th century with a tour in the city center and the old souks.

*****What else can I combine Tripoli with?

>>> Day 5: March 31st:

Sidon (Saida) – Shrine of Our Lady of Mantara in Maghdouché (where Holy Virgin Mary used to wait for Jesus while he was preaching in Sidon.

Sea Castle, the 17th century Khan el Franj,

The Soap Museum

****** Should we continue from here to Sour (our next stay) or should we proceed back to Beirut and come the next morning to Sour?

>>> Day 6: April 1st :

Roman Hippodrome (Tyre/ Sour),

Qana Grotto

Mleeta Resistence

>>> Day 7: April 2nd :

In the Nabatyeh Governorate, Bint Jbeil District, 5 km away from the Israeli border is the Tebnine Castle a major crusader castle

Israeli/Lebanon Border

>>> Day 8: April 3rd:

Spend Day with Friends, boat ride & kafta at the market, Nakoura restaurant, etc

>>> Day 9: April 4th:

fly back at 2 am

Edited: 27 January 2017, 05:49
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4. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Batroun can be combined with Tripoli : old Phoenician wall and Mseilha fort

looks like a solid itinerary.

Suggestion: Day 5 sidon and tyre, Qana can be visited the same day

Day 6 you can go to mleeta and jezzine

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5. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Awesome!

Can you please answer this part as well:

We still need to figure out our options for transportation between all these sights. If you have any suggestions or recommendations on that it would be great. Hiring a driver that stays with us all day seems to be very expensive. How is driving in Lebanon, is it easy and safe to navigate? Can a phone GPS be used or google maps to arrive to destinations properly?

Is Cedar city different from the Chouf Cedars? Where are the hight mountains close to?

What is to see in Ehden, Qadisha Valley – Qozhaya Valley – Bcharre ?

here are some changes we made to our plan:

Is staying in Sour closer to Saida or staying in Beirut?

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6. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

On day 1 after hiking in the Chouf Cedars Nature Reserve, it is impossible to go to Bekaa Kafra.

Bekaa Kafra, the highest village in Lebanon is in the North Governorate, it is the birthplace of St. Charbel, in this village you will find a museum and a church dedicated to St. Charbel.

After visiting Bekaa Kafra tourists usually hike in Kadisha Valley and visit the monasteries in the valley. Some prefer to hike in The Cedars Nature Reserve close to The Cedars Ski Resort. This reserve is smaller than the Chouf Cedars Nature Reserve and consequently easier to hike in.

Tripoli can actually be combined with the newly established Eco Village of Bader Hassoun Khan El Saboun in Dahr El Ein in Ras Masks Koura.

After visiting Sidon and the shrine of Our Lady Al Mantra in Maghdouche you can continue for one more hour to Tyre, where you can visit the Roman Hippodrome and the nearby Qana Grotto.

If you want to visit your friends in Nabatiyeh it is preferable to stay in a hotel in Tyre. (There are 85 km between Beirut and Tyre, and 44 km between Sidon and Beirut).

Best regards

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7. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

Thank you!

We still need to figure out our options for transportation between all these sights. If you have any suggestions or recommendations on that it would be great. Hiring a driver that stays with us all day seems to be very expensive. How is driving in Lebanon, is it easy and safe to navigate? Can a phone GPS be used or google maps to arrive to destinations properly?

where do you recommend adding/combining Bekaa Kafra and Chouf Cedars Nature Reserve, which day from the above plan?

Any recommendations on hotels in Sour? we're planning to stay in Sour for 4 nights.

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8. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

At 3,088 meters altitude Kornet El Sawda is the highest mountain in the Levant, it is close to The Cedars Nature Reserve and The Cedars Ski Resort.

The Cedars Nature Reserve and the nearby Ski Resort are located in the mountain town The Cedars. It is possible to hike in the reserve in winter and summer. Beka Kafra can be visited before hiking in the reserve.

The Chouf Cedars Nature Reserve is the largest Cedars reserve in Lebanon, divided into five forests, has four gates and located in the Mount Lebanon Governorate with only

one hour drive from the Beiteddine Palace.

Qadisha Valley is divided into Qozhaya Valley and Qannoubine Valley. St. Anthony monastery is located in the Qozhaya Valley and some five monasteries are located in the Qannoubine Valley.

If you like to explore Crusader style castles, then in addition to the Sea Castle in Sidon, Byblos Castle in Byblos and St. Gilles Castle in Tripoli you can add to this list the Beaufort Castle (Al Shqif) Castle in Arnoun and Tebnine Castle in Tebnine with free entrance for the last two.

Best regards

Edited: 28 January 2017, 03:45
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9. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

As many tourists have already done this it is cheaper to hire a car from AVIS in the U.S. and pick the car at any of his offices in Beirut.

www.avis.com

www.avis.com.lb

Regards and best wishes

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10. Re: First visit to Lebanon for 8 days itenarary plan

is it easy to navigate with the GPS? how about parking? do we need a driver's license? we have a US Driver's License.

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