Yasmin Davis of Miami is a business owner and avid traveler. In the following article, Yasmin Davis provides a guide of five of the best places locals recommend visiting in the compact and vibrant country of Lebanon.
Compact. Vibrant. Diverse. Those three words form the basis of Lebanon, the gorgeous little country on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. Traveling to the culture-filled destination is a must-do on many jetsetter’s bucket lists. But what are the must-see places when they land?
Yasmin Davis says that looking to Lebanon locals for travel advice is the best way to ensure travelers try the delicacies and visit only the most stunning spots on their perhaps once-in-a-lifetime trip. From Beirut to Cedars of God to Bcharré to Tripoli, the country’s residents speak of the perfect Lebanon destinations.
Yasmin Davis says to Tour Beirut
Vacationers can’t go wrong with bunking down in Beirut — practically all roads lead to this exciting, vibrant city.
Boasting a far more liberal culture than other cities across the Middle East, the party scene is huge here. Whether tourists want rooftop nightclubs or wild beach clubs, locals say they can find it all in Beirut.
Yasmin Davis of Miami says that alongside the nightlife, centuries of history reside in the center. It’s an homage to the amalgamation of cultures, oozing diversity from every vertex.
From the National Museum of Beirut to the cafes on Hamrun Street to the Beirut Souks, people could spend their entire trip in the city and never get bored.
Top Local Tip: Those who choose to stay in Beirut should take an afternoon trip to Jeita Grotto (a 30-minute drive). Located just outside the city boundaries, the grotto is a two-limestone-cave affair. Adventurers will find a river providing fresh water to Lebanon locals, which they can traverse by boat alongside footpaths through the world’s largest stalactites.
Known as Sour (pronounced “soor”) in Arabic, Tyre was once the most important urban area on the entire Mediterranean. Today, the southern Lebanon city stands as a historical landmark with Roman ruins atop the sea, a small town, and wildflowers bursting with color.
Locals say that the moment tourists arrive, they never want to leave — and those who’ve been there understand why. The location provides a home-like atmosphere, offering tranquility and beauty to those who care to look.
For travelers who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of popular “touristy” spots, Yasmin Davis of Miami notes that Tyre is the place to be. Despite the appeal of the location, it’s a lesser-known destination to many backpackers.
Driving to Bcharré (Bsharri in Arabic) gives travelers the chance to experience the winding Qadisha Valley roads, naturally eroded canyons, and misty mountains. The views alone are enough to warrant a place on the list, say residents.
The town is well-known for being home to the famous writer, poet, and artist Kahlil Gibran. The Gibran Museum, once a home for hermetic monks, now holds Gibran’s resting place alongside a selection of his drawings and texts.
Cedars of God Park
Yasmin Davis of Miami reports that cedars are the symbol of Lebanon. Proudly adorning the Lebanese flag, the trees were applauded for their mighty strength. Throughout history, the beautifully grained wood was used for boats and even tomb resin.
The locals reminisce about the area’s cedars since there aren’t many left standing today — immense deforestation has caused their dwindling numbers.
Nowadays, Yasmin Davis reports that the best place to see the once-flourishing tree species is in the Cedars of God Park, located just outside Bcharré. Hiking through the reserve allows travelers to marvel at their beauty up close. Although, seeing so few will undoubtedly make the environmentally aware hikers emotional.
The remaining cedars are vehemently protected, with reforestation efforts underway. But since they take so long to mature, Lebanon won’t experience abundant cedar forests for several decades.
Yasmin Davis explains that last (but certainly not least) locals recommend visiting Tripoli (called Trablous in Arabic). Even as the second-biggest city in the country, it’s generally left off most travelers’ must-see lists.
Of course, the locals appreciate the limited tourism. However, those who do visit will be welcomed by the warmth of the residents and the charm of the architecture.
The city has experienced tough times, but there are so many corners of beauty — souks, Mamluk architecture, and friendly people eager to show people around.
A Country of Vibrant Culture Awaits
Yasmin Davis of Miami says that traveling to Lebanon is a wonderfully revitalizing experience, and visiting these places recommended by the locals will further enhance tourists’ trips.