Lebanon

Aerial View of Byblos
Aerial View of Byblos
Ruins of Byblos
Ruins of Byblos
The Crusader Castle, Byblos
The Crusader Castle, Byblos
View of ancient wall, Byblos
View of ancient wall, Byblos
Boats in the harbour, Byblos
Boats in the harbour, Byblos
Ruins of Tyre
Ruins of Tyre
Triumphal Arch, Tyre
Triumphal Arch, Tyre
Harissa Church overlooking Lebanon Coast
Harissa Church overlooking Lebanon Coast
Skyline and Rouche rocks in Beirut, Lebanon cityscape at sea, Beirut
Skyline and Rouche rocks in Beirut, Lebanon cityscape at sea, Beirut
Night view of Beirut
Night view of Beirut
Sidon Sea Castle
Sidon Sea Castle
Great Palace of Umayyad Palace at Anja
Great Palace of Umayyad Palace at Anja
Dome roof cover over a circular niche in the Great court porticoes in Baalbek
Dome roof cover over a circular niche in the Great court porticoes in Baalbek
Deir El Qamar
Deir El Qamar
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Beiteddine Palace
Bacchus Temple, Baalbek
Bacchus Temple, Baalbek
Roman ruins at Baalbek
Roman ruins at Baalbek
Ancient Roman columns of the Temple of Jupiter (Roman Heliopolis) in Baalbek
Ancient Roman columns of the Temple of Jupiter (Roman Heliopolis) in Baalbek

A small country, dominated by great mountain ranges, Lebanon's impact on the history of the Mediterranean is out of all proportion to its size, for here is a stunningly rich archaeological history to explore. This is the homeland of the Canaanites/Phoenicians whose great coastal trading emporia supplied the known world with luxuries, including cedarwood, spices and metals.

When the region was absorbed into the Roman Empire by Pompey the Great in 64BC, Lebanon became part of the province of Syria. Under the Pax Romana the cities of the Levantine coast prospered, and the Romans built their largest ever temple at the cult centre of Baalbek. Castles, churches, mosques and souks recall the medieval period, when Lebanon was a battleground between the Crusaders and Islam and a vibrant mixing bowl of religions and cultures.

Modern Lebanon is an interesting experience; Beirut is a vibrant, modern and stylish city with an air of affluence and 'French polish". But not far away, in the hills and countryside beyond, there still exists a biblical feel in the villages and landscapes.

Andante's journey takes you through some beautiful scenery, hosted by a people for whom hospitality, identity and cuisine, remain paramount.

  • Explore Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world
  • The Roman remains at Tyre including the Hippodrome and monumental streets
  • Visit the great temple of Jupiter Heliopolis in Baalbek, and of Eshmoun in Sidon
  • The National Archaeological Museum including the sarcophagus of Ahiram with the earliest Phoenician inscription

Themes

  • Romans
  • Eastern

Itinerary 2019

Day 1

We fly from London to Beirut and upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: Snack in hotel room due to late arrival

Day 2

Byblos, site of one of the great trading cities of the early Bronze Age, and arguably the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world. Through its trading contacts with the Greek world, Byblos exported the alphabet to the West. Our morning includes visits to the citadel and St John’s Church, and in the afternoon, we visit the archaeological park, and monuments from the crusader period. We’ll also stop to view the inscriptions left by ancient armies at the Nahr-el-kalb (the Dog River), between Byblos and Beirut. *

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

All day in Beirut, a city reborn; the rebuilding programme following the civil war (1975 -1990) gave the unique opportunity for an archaeological study of the city. The earliest occupation dates to the Palaeolithic period, but the first urban phase belongs to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 3000BC). The Roman city of Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Berytus was famous in the third century for its law school. The major surviving monuments also date from this period, including a large bath complex and one of the main thoroughfares lined with shops. luxury houses and a laundry. We visit the National Museum with excellent collections of Lebanon's cultural heritage and the reconstructed heart of the city and the central archaeological zone with the remains of Roman Berytus. *

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

The great temple complex of Baalbek in the heart of the Bekka valley includes the vast Temple of Jupiter Heliopolis once the largest in the world (22.9 m high), with peristyles and hexagonal courts. To the side lies the Temple of Bacchus, the remarkable state of preservation of these temples, particularly the latter, show fine detail of their devotional purpose. We also visit the nearby quarries, which contain some of the largest monoliths ever quarried.

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Following the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the first Islamic dynasty the Umayyads saw themselves as heirs of Rome and Byzantium and used the architectural and artistic language of those earlier powers to express their own ideas. This fusion between east and west is nowhere more evident than at the planned city of Anjar. In the afternoon we will visit the temple of Dekweh and the also the two distinct groups of temples of the Roman period at Niha. The chief temple here is dedicated to the god Hadranus and has been well restored.

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We start our day with a visit to the Beiteddine Palace. Built by the Emir Bechir at the end of the 18th century in an opulent oriental style, today it also contains a museum of Byzantine mosaics. We also visit the contemporary town of Deir El Qamar before travelling back to Beirut.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Sidon grew wealthy from the production of glass and textiles, and held a favoured position with the great King of Persia. In their wars with the Greeks, the Persians relied on Sidon's navy. We visit the Temple of Eshmoun, patron god of Sidon, as well as evidence of the Crusader past with a visit to the Sea Castle. Tyre: "Say to Tyre, that city standing on the edge of the sea, doing business with the nations in innumerable islands " Ezekiel's description of Iron Age Tyre, one of the great cities of the ancient Near East. Its wealth, through trade and manufacture, particularly of purple dye from the murex, was the benchmark from which all others were measured, and the influence of the cities colonies spread right across the Mediterranean. We visit the two archaeological parks which show the wealth of Tyre in the Roman period.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

We take our return flight from Beirut back to London.

Meals: Breakfast included

 

* Please note that for the 7-14 December 2019 departure days 2 and 3 will be reversed due to the regular closure of Beirut National Archaeological Museum on Mondays.

Itinerary 2020

Day 1

We fly from London to Beirut and upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: Snack in hotel room due to late arrival

Day 2

Byblos, site of one of the great trading cities of the early Bronze Age, and arguably the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world. Through its trading contacts with the Greek world, Byblos exported the alphabet to the West. Our morning includes visits to the citadel and St John’s Church, and in the afternoon, we visit the archaeological park, and monuments from the crusader period. We’ll also stop to view the inscriptions left by ancient armies at the Nahr-el-kalb (the Dog River), between Byblos and Beirut.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 3

All day in Beirut, a city reborn; the rebuilding programme following the civil war (1975 -1990) gave the unique opportunity for an archaeological study of the city. The earliest occupation dates to the Palaeolithic period, but the first urban phase belongs to the Middle Bronze Age (c. 3000BC). The Roman city of Colonia Julia Augusta Felix Berytus was famous in the third century for its law school. The major surviving monuments also date from this period, including a large bath complex and one of the main thoroughfares lined with shops, luxury houses and a laundry. We visit the National Museum with excellent collections of Lebanon's cultural heritage and the reconstructed heart of the city and the central archaeological zone with the remains of Roman Berytus.

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 4

The great temple complex of Baalbek in the heart of the Bekka valley includes the vast Temple of Jupiter Heliopolis once the largest in the world (22.9 m high), with peristyles and hexagonal courts. To the side lies the Temple of Bacchus, the remarkable state of preservation of these temples, particularly the latter, show fine detail of their devotional purpose. We also visit the nearby quarries, which contain some of the largest monoliths ever quarried.

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 5

Following the Arab conquest in the 7th century, the first Islamic dynasty the Umayyads saw themselves as heirs of Rome and Byzantium and used the architectural and artistic language of those earlier powers to express their own ideas. This fusion between east and west is nowhere more evident than at the planned city of Anjar. In the afternoon we will visit the temple of Dekweh and the also the two distinct groups of temples of the Roman period at Niha. The chief temple here is dedicated to the god Hadranus and has been well restored.

Hotel: Chtaura Park Hotel
Meals: All meals included

Day 6

We start our day with a visit to the palace at Beit Eddine. Built by the Emir Bechir at the end of the 18th century in an opulent oriental style, today it also contains a museum of Byzantine mosaics. We also visit the contemporary town of Deir El Qamar before travelling back to Beirut.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 7

Sidon grew wealthy from the production of glass and textiles, and held a favoured position with the great King of Persia. In their wars with the Greeks, the Persians relied on Sidon's navy. We visit the Temple of Eshmoun, patron god of Sidon, as well as evidence of the Crusader past with a visit to the Sea Castle. Tyre: "Say to Tyre, that city standing on the edge of the sea, doing business with the nations in innumerable islands " Ezekiel's description of Iron Age Tyre, one of the great cities of the ancient Near East. Its wealth, through trade and manufacture, particularly of purple dye from the murex, was the benchmark from which all others were measured, and the influence of the cities colonies spread right across the Mediterranean. We visit the two archaeological parks which show the wealth of Tyre in the Roman period.

Hotel: Four Points by Sheraton
Meals: All meals included

Day 8

We take our return flight from Beirut back to London.

Meals: Breakfast included

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer
  2. Tour Manager
  3. Local Travel - Private a/c coach
  4. Meals - Most meals included
  5. Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
  6. Field Notes
  7. Hotels
  8. Flights

Travel Information

For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.

Enquire now

Have a question or just want to find out more?

Book now

2019 Tour Details

Sat 7th Dec - Sat 14th Dec

Call for Availability

£2,595

inc.

sgl supp: £295

LEB19B

Led By: Nick Jackson

Sun 8th Dec - Sun 15th Dec

Call for Availability

£2,595

inc.

sgl supp: £295

LEB19A

Led By: Tony O'Connor

2020 Tour Details

Sat 4th Apr - Sat 11th Apr

Call for Availability

£2,795

Full Price £2895 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £335

LEB20A

Led By: Tony O'Connor

Sun 19th Apr - Sun 26th Apr

Call for Availability

£2,895

Full Price £2995 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £335

LEB20B

Led By: Nick Jackson

Sun 25th Oct - Sun 1st Nov

Available

£2,895

Full Price £2995 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £335

LEB20C

Led By: Tony O'Connor

Sun 22nd Nov - Sun 29th Nov

Available

£2,895

Full Price £2995 Save £100

inc.

sgl supp: £335

LEB20D

Led By: Tony O'Connor

Guide Lecturers

Share tour with friends