Lebanon has everything a traveller can ask; beautiful beaches, warm climate, snow-capped mountains, ancient ruins and a recovering cosmopolitan city of Beirut again with a spectacular night life and a superb scenery from the surrounding mountains.
Beirut (pictured) is Lebanon's capital and largest city with a population of 1.4 million. Before the war (1975-92), Beirut was known as the Paris of the East, but after 17 years of conflict its motto is now "the city that wouldn't die". Its war wounds are still visible -- whole neighbourhoods, including the city centre, were severely damaged -- but today Beirut is once again showing the world that it is a city that wants and knows how to live.
The ports of Sidon and Tripoli are the terminal points of the petrol pipelines from the Iraq and Saudi Arabia. These pipelines were not operational during the civil war, but once again getting ready to operate.
As the second biggest city in Lebanon, Tripoli consists of two parts; the port district of El Mina, on a small peninsula; and the city proper, which is 3 kms. inland, and is in turn divided into two districts.
Sidon is a small city but an important fishing center of the country. There are important ruins from the Crusaders period. The ancient city of Tyre is built on a small rocky coastal promontory, which was an island in ancient times. Zahle is the third largest city in Lebanon. It is only 50 kms. to Beirut and located on the slopes of the Anti-Lebanon range.