This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Umayyad Ruins of Aanjar, Anjar Lebanon
Lebanon boasted archaeological evidence of almost every stage of Arab history except for the Umayyads, an Islamic caliphate hailing from Mecca. The Umayyads under Caliph Walid Ibn Abd el-Malek founded the city of Anjar at the beginning of the 8th century. It is an example of an inland commercial centre, at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other linking Homs to Palestine crossing the Bekaa Valley. The city enjoyed only a brief existence. In 744, Caliph Ibrahim, son of Walid, was defeated and the partially destroyed city was abandoned. Visit the Great Palace, the remains of the mosque, the public baths and possibly the first mall in existence, with remnants of 600 shops in the shopping arcade.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Baalbek Roman Ruins, Baalbeck Lebanon
The city of Baalbek is a major city in the Northern Beqaa valley, approximately 85 kilometers from Beirut. This vibrant city is famed for its Roman remains of a large temple complex. It was known as Heliopolis in the Roman period. The image of six standing columns from the peristyle of the temple of Jupiter has become the icon of cultural tourism in Lebanon. The original temple complex included four monumental temples, those of Jupiter, Bacchus, Venus and Mercury; the last of which did not survive. It also includes enormous propylaea and vast courtyards.
Baalbek has been occupied by successive civilizations. Recent excavation dates some of its finds to the Bronze Age, however the Romans gave particular attention to this site because of its geographic location as an end of a series of cities in the eastern Mediterranean which was caravan stops for the commercial routes from Central Asia, India and China, among these cities is Palmyra in Syria. The city was also important for the successive Muslim dynasties that ruled the eastern Mediterranean especially for the Umayyads, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Stop At: Temples of Baalbek, Baalbeck Lebanon
Baalbeck, also called the city of Baal or Heliopolis, is known for having one of the largest temples of the Roman Empire. In Baalbeck, Romans worshipped the gods Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus – gods that may also have been related to the Canaanite deities Haddad and Astarte.
Though the Temple of Bacchus is the site’s largest ruin, there are actually three ancient temples at the Baalbeck Archaeological Site—the Temple of Venus, Jupiter, and Bacchus. The Temple of Jupiter originally featured 54 of the largest such columns in the world, some of which can still be seen today. The Temple of Bacchus is easily one of the best-preserved remains of a Roman temple in the world, and it is rumoured that its halls were once used for human sacrifice. The mammoth structure took 120 years and 100,000 slaves to construct, and today, its glory is a reminder of the history buried deep within Lebanon’s past.
The sheer size of the Baalbeck Temple is enough to astound visitors. It ancient columns loom high overhead and support an intricately decorated roof. The carving throughout the temple depicts Roman scenes and history-buffs will enjoy recognizing famous gods and goddesses in the artwork.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Stop At: Chateau Ksara, Ksara, Zahle Lebanon
Lebanon’s most famous wine producer, Ksara was founded in 1857 by Jesuit priests. It is Lebanon’s oldest and largest winery and the third most visited tourist attraction. When the winery was founded, Lebanon was under Islamic Ottoman rule; the Ottoman masters in Istanbul allowed the production of wine as long as it was used for religious purposes. Lebanon’s first red wine was created in the monastery and Ksara’s winemaking tradition began. Of course, one cannot describe Ksara without mentioning its iconic caves, a truly remarkable subterranean structure dating back to Roman times (most probably built at the same period as the temple of Bacchus in Baalbek nearby). These mile-and-a-half-long caves were used as cellars as they provided the ideal temperature and humidity levels to store the wines.
Duration: 45 minutes