Lebanon is a small country in the Middle East, bordered to the west by the Mediterranean sea and to the east and south by Syria
. The capital and largest city of Lebanon is Beirut
, which is centrally located in the country.
Lebanon has been settled by a civilisation for at least 7000 years. It was home to the ancient Phoenicians, a nation of seafarers who developed the precursor of the modern alphabet.
Over the course of the centuries Lebanon has been ruled by the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantynes, Arabs, Ottomans and the French.
With the foundation of Israel after World War II Lebanon has been subject to a series of wars and unrest and is nowadays home to a large number of refugees. Between 1975 and 1990 Lebanon experienced the Lebanese civil war which devastated parts of Beirut. These were reconstructed after the end of the civil war.
From a tourist perspective, Lebanon is a very interesting country because of its geographical diversity with coasts, high mountains and high plains and its rich history and cultural diversity. Lebanon is home to a number of different people and different religions. The coast to the south and north of Beirut consists mostly of steep cliffs with small, stone beaches and relatively few sandy beaches. A mountain range with up to 3000m high peaks runs parallel to the coast, splitting the country into a coastal area and a high plains area, the Bekaa valley.
Despite the poor infrastructure Lebanon has a relatively high standard of living. The traffic on the street consists mostly of car (many high end cars) and few motorbikes.
The security situation in Lebanon is not bad considering all the turmoil in the region. On the streets there are many checkpoints of the military and sensitive places, such as churches and mosques are guarded by the military on festive days.