Lebanon is a country in Western Asia, located at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland. Its location has enabled its rich history, shaping a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. In Lebanon, the earliest evidence of civilisation spans back more than 7,000 years. The homeland of the Canaanites/Phoenicians encompassing their great coastal trading emporia traded globally with luxuries, which included cedarwood, spices and metals. Lebanon became part of the province of Syria, when Pompey the Great merged the region into the Roman Empire in 64 CE. The cities of the Levantine coast thrived, under the rule of Pax Romana, and the Romans built their biggest temple ever in the centre of Baalbek. During the medieval period, Lebanon was a battleground between the Crusaders and Islam, and a vibrant mixing bowl of religions and cultures are reflected in their castles, churches, mosques and souks.
A visa is not required to enter Lebanon and you are able to visit for up to 3 months, receiving a visa on arrival if you carry a UK or USA passport.
Lebanon is a country of religious diversity, with 18 official religions. Beirut, the capital, is home to a mixture of people, who dress conservatively and others who dress like Westerners. In Lebanon, you may dress how you like, there is no specific male or female dress code. Some areas are more conservative than others, so be aware of the kind of area you are going to and dress accordingly. As a general rule, in conservative areas it is best to cover your legs and shoulders (for men and women). In other parts, such as the Christian areas, the approach to clothing is more relaxed and you are free to wear whatever you want.
Lebanon is a small yet diverse country. The culture is fundamentally conservative and exhibits a great deal of respect for traditions. 95% of the Lebanese population is Arab, therefore the predominant unifying culture is Arab. However, lifestyles are strikingly Mediterranean for a Middle Eastern country. Personal integrity and dignity is still seen as an important virtue throughout Lebanon. It is arguably a reason why the Lebanese are particularly charitable and hospitable.
It is commonplace to add a tip for good service and up to 10% is acceptable. Andante Travels will take care of gratuities to restaurant staff, local guides and drivers.