Lebanon is a small and densely populated country, located at the Meditteranean coast of the Middle East. It is well-known for its many cedar trees, white mountain tops, lovely beaches, century-old culture, historic cities. And not to forget the bustling city of Beirut. But Lebanon is also famous for its widely acclaimed cuisine and exquisite wines. It is considered to be the best and most refined of the Arabic world. This is because the cuisine has had many influences from abroad.
There is a lot of contrast in the country, a lot of diversity in religion, education and lifestyle. There are 18 different religions in Lebanon that are officially recognized. But the main religions are either Muslim (60%) or Christian (40%), which used to be the other way around in the past. However, all Christians speak Arabic and some also speak French, English or Armenian. Because of these two main religions you will find churches on one side of the street and Mosques on the other side. Nevertheless, everyone is happy, and they let each other live their lives. It is also the reason that there is so much diversity in this country in terms of culture and food.
Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers, and cool and rainy winters. You will feel like being in the Middle East on the Mediterranean Sea. This feeling is even more reinforced by the various buildings, some are Mediterranean, and some are Arabic. Lebanon’s architectural scene is authentic and modern at the same time. This is also one of the reasons that makes an incentive in Lebanon worth your while.
Where to stay
The bustling city of Beirut is the capital of Lebanon, which has a lot of history. But it is also a city that always surpasses its image as modern centre in the Middle East. You will not easily get bored in this great city. It offers many trendy bars, excellent restaurants and luxury hotels. Below we like to highlight two of these hotels:
This luxury hotel is located in the mountains, overlooking the Mediterranean and about half an hour from the capital. Beautiful gardens surround the hotel and it offers fantastic views. The hotel has various restaurants where they serve authentic food. It is also the perfect venue for meetings, conferences, parties and weddings. Apart from the six meetings room, the hotel also has a spacious ballroom, a 350-seat amphitheatre, two outdoor locations and offers, of course, first-class accommodation.
This charming eco-hotel is located in the heart of the Chouf and a great place to enjoy nature and escape the busy urban life. Olive groves, lovely woods, wildlife and various endangered flora surround this hotel. Bkerzay is a great venue if you want to organize private meetings, seminars, team-building activities and other company outings. The hotel has several meeting rooms, all provided with the necessary equipment and facilities.
Places to visit
There are plenty of places you can visit in Beirut, but we like to highlight three of them.
Hamra is one of Beirut’s main commercial districts, with many shops, restaurants, bars and hotels which provide a great nightlife. It also offers a lot of culture. Why not visit the AUB campus and the archaeological museum or go to the Sursock Museum to see Middle Eastern paintings and artwork.
This is a trendy and creative neighbourhood packed with cosy restaurants, cafes and art galleries. You will also see a lot of street-art when you walk through the streets. It is also a fantastic place to visit at night to experience the great nightlife.
The civil war, that ended in 1990, completely destroyed this neighbourhood. Now, it has transformed into a business/residential area with great cafes, excellent restaurants and high-end designer shops. It is also a great place to visit if you like ancient history. Here you will find the remains of ancient Roman baths and a lovely small museum in the cellar of the St George Greek Orthodox Church.