Tour type: City Break
Group size: Min: 2 | Max: 12
Accommodation: 4-star hotel
Transport: A/C car/minibus/coach
Highlights: Beirut city tour, Pigeon Rock, historic town of Byblos, Harissa cable car, Jeita Grotto, optional tours to Baalbek, Beittedine Palace, Ksara Caves wine tasting and Aanjar
If exploring Lebanon's capital city of Beirut is your travel wish-list, then this short four-day tour is the perfect introduction into this fascinating city. During the tour you'll spend 3 nights in a comfortable 4-star hotel in the heart of the city with plenty to see and do within easy walking distance, including the popular Hamra Street. We also include a full day tour to explore the myriad rock formations in the Jeita Grotto, take a trip to enjoy the views over Harissa by cable car, visit the beautiful coastal historic town of Byblos and to explore some of Beirut's own historic and scenic landmarks. There's then a free day to explore independently or to take an optional tour to see more of the country, either heading to the Barouk Cedar Nature Reserve, the village Deir El Qamar and the Beiteddine Palace or to the amazing historic site of Baalbek, the Ksara Caves and ancient Aanjar.
This tour runs as a small group trip departing most Fridays throughout the year and can be extended with extra nights in the hotel in Beirut if you wish. You can also book the tour privately to run on any other dates just for your party. Please contact us for more information and prices.
Your Lebanon adventure begins in the capital city of Beirut. Your guide will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in the city, where we will brief you on what to expect over the next few days.
If you've had a long flight, you have the rest of the day to rest or if you arrived earlier, you have time to explore your new surroundings at your leisure.
Single room supplement (LBTMBC)
Extra day in Beirut - pre-tour
We start the day with a visit to the Jeita Grotto, which is a system of two separate, but interconnected, limestone caves spanning an overall length of nearly 9 kilometres. It boasts one of the world's largest and beautiful collections of stalactites and stalagmites.
Next, we visit Byblos, the world’s oldest continually inhabited city. Its charming Phoenician harbour is rich in history and heritage and is one of the most intriguing places to visit in Lebanon.
We then make our way to Harissa - a mountain village which is home to one of the most important Lebanese Pilgrimage sites, The Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon. We'll explore the village via cable car, taking in the breath-taking views of the city and its bay.
Later in the day, we'll explore the capital city, indulging in its beautiful architecture, tall modern buildings and we will also explore down-town Beirut, visiting the Corniche, the Pigeon Grotto and the Beirut Souks.
You have the day free to explore the city of Beirut at your leisure or you can choose to take an optional day trip. Prices are based on a minimum of 2 people travelling, with discounts available if more people take the tour. You can arrange these tours either in advance or while you are in Beirut.
Optional Tour 1: Visit Barouk Cedars - Deir El Qamar - Beiteddine Palace
This optional tour starts with a visit to the Barouk Cedar Nature Reserve, located in the Chouf district of Lebanon. The nature reserve is situated on the slopes of the Barouk Mountain and is home to the towering cedar forests of Barouk, Maaser el Shouf and Ain Zhalta-Bmohray.
The Barouk Cedar Nature Reserve is an important bird and eco-tourism area, in fact, the reserve is home to approximately 32 species of wild mammls, 200 species of birds, and 500 species of plants.
Next, we head to the Chouf Mountains to explore the village of Deir El Qamar, a name which literally translates to 'monastery of the moon'. The village was the capital of Lebanon in the 17th century.
We then visit the Beiteddine Palace built in the 19th century by Emir Bechir II Chehabi around a former Druze hermitage. The palace took over 30 years to build and today its considered to be one of the great surviving achievements of Lebanese architecture.
Optional Tour 2: Baalbek - Ksara Caves - Anjar
This optional tour starts with a visit to Baalbek, also known as Heliopolis or 'the City of the Sun' by the ancient Greeks and Romans who dedicated the main temple to Jupiter - the god of the sun and the two other temples Venus and Mercure - who partnered Jupiter in the triad of god.
Baalbek is one of the best-preserved temple complexes in the Middle East, with the monument staying intact through wars, earthquakes and much more. Next, we visit the Ksara Caves, which date back to the Roman period.
Your guide will take you on a tour of the caves and the winery here, which produces some of Lebanon's finest wine. Lastly, we visit Anjar, an important Umayyad site in Lebanon, which was founded in the 8th century by the Caliph Walid.
It is believed that Anjar was once an imperial residence due to its palaces, baths and mosques. It also has remnants of 600 shops, which indicates that the purpose of this settlement was primarily
Cedars, Beiteddine & Deir El Qamar tour
Baalbek, Anjar & Vineyards tour
You have free time to explore Beirut on your own today. You will be collected at your hotel and transferred to the airport to board your flight home. Additional nights in the same tour hotel may be added if you would like to extend your stay (subject to availability).
Extra day in Beirut - post-tour
Small group departures are available on this tour departing every Friday through the year. You can also book the tour privately on any other dates - please contact us for details and prices for your preferred dates and numbers.
The hotels and accommodations listed below are the ones we most often on this tour. From time to time we may exchange these for similar properties at the same level. In general, specific hotels cannot be guaranteed on our group tours, but you may select your preferred options if you are booking a tailor-made trip.
Our tours are designed to include all that you need to enjoy a really special time in the destination youre visiting. However, we do also offer some extra options to complement the tour and add some additional sightseeing or activities, or some extra time at either end of the tour.
All accommodation based options (e.g. Single supplements, extra nights, cruise upgrades) should be booked and paid for in advance so that we can make the appropriate arrangements. Other options may either be booked and paid for in advance or while you are on the tour, though we recommend booking in advance to ensure there are no issues with availability.
Many options are priced the same throughout the year, but some may incur single or high season supplements - full details are given on the tour reservation form or on request.
The detailed Tour Notes below have been written to give you some more detailed information about how the tour runs, what to expect, and how to prepare for your holiday. We recommend downloading an up to date copy of these shortly before you travel in case of any changes.
We use a good quality 4-star hotel on this tour, located in central Beirut and within walking distance of the popular Hamra Street with its many restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. There is plenty to see and do on foot around the hotel.
Please visit the accommodation tab of this tour for examples of the hotels normally used on this tour. If you have any specific accommodation requests please let us know and we'll be happy to provide you with a customised quotation.Please check the Single Room Supplement option for details on room sharing options and charges for solo travellers on this tour.
This tour is designed as a sample tailor-made tour itinerary. As such we do not offer set group departure dates that you can join. Rather, the tour is available for you to do privately starting on any date of the year. Guideline seasonal prices are given below, based on 2 people travelling. If you would like to adjust the tour itinerary, or there will be more or less people travelling, please contact us and we will customise a price for you.
If you would like to book a place on this tour, please complete the online reservation form on our website (via the Dates & Prices tab on the tour page). You may make a deposit or full payment online, or just hold a reservation if you prefer (full payments are due 8 weeks before departure). We will then contact you with more details about how to complete your booking. Payments may be made by debit or credit card (subject to a card processing fee), or by making a bank transfer, or posting us a cheque/bank draft. Full details will be provided in your booking confirmation email. Please contact us if you would like any more information or have any questions before making a booking.
Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event). More information...
You may arrange your own insurance, or you can take advantage of a comprehensive policy that we can arrange for you through Endsleigh Insurance which has been designed to be suitable for our tours. The policy is available to travellers of all nationalities and you do not need to live in the UK to take out the policy. For full details of cover provided, prices and to apply for one of our policies, please complete travel insurance application form.
Note: Any country that borders the Mediterranean is considered as 'Europe' for the purposes of travel insurance (including Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Morocco). If you are doing a tour that visits one country in 'Europe' and one that is 'Worldwide' (for example, an Egypt and Jordan tour), then you need a 'Worldwide' policy. When completing the form you should enter your travel dates including any extra days involved in overnight flights or connecting travel between your home and the tour. Our policies are not able to cover any extra time or activities other than your tour and options booked with us and your travel to & from home.
Note - to comply with insurance sales regulations, our travel insurance policies are only available to customers booking directly with us. If you have booked through a travel agent you will need to arrange your own insurance.
If you plan to arrange a hot air balloon flight locally, or do some scuba diving during your tour, you should check the small print in your policy to make sure these are covered (these are covered in our policy). Please also check the maximum altitude that you will be reaching and that full cover including emergency evacuation is provided up to this altitude.
If you are taking expensive camera gear or other electronic equipment with you then please check the coverage and the fine print of your policy to ensure that you have sufficient cover.
IMPORTANT: We must have your travel insurance details (policy number and type of insurance) before you depart or you may not be allowed to join the tour. If you haven't told us already, please let us know the details when you can. You should take a paper copy of your insurance policy with you as you may be asked to show this at the start of the tour.
We are a UK registered company and an ABTA Member (Y4447) and you can be confident when booking with us that your money is safe and protected.
Financial failure insurance is also provided through Affirma to protect all customers for the land portion of your tour.
Please see our website or booking conditions for more information.
It is impossible not to have an impact on the local environment, cultures and eco-systems when you travel. However, it is very possible to try and ensure that these impacts are as limited, or positive as possible. We are committed to ensuring that we try to leave our host countries in a better state than we found them and encourage and assist our travellers to help us with this.
The following are a few simple tips that require very little effort on your part but which will help ensure that any effect you have on the locations you visit is positive rather than negative.
All porters are employed and equipped following guidelines set by the International Porter Protection Group (IPPG).
You can stay in touch with us online by following us on Facebook and Twitter. We post updates on relevant travel news in our destination countries, special offers and discounts and other interesting travel related news and information.
www.twitter.com/encounterstravl (yes, without the 'e')
It is important when considering and preparing to travel anywhere in the world that you have a good understanding of the country you are visiting, its laws and customs, and the possible risks and situations that may occur. This includes specific risks related to your itinerary (eg. does it involve water & can you swim, are you fit enough for the activities included), as well as more general risks such as terrorism and natural disasters.
General details and links to more information about health risks, visa requirements, money, and travel insurance are given in these tour notes. We recommend that you re-read all these before your departure as well as the small print of your travel insurance policy so you know exactly what is covered and what is not.
You should take copies of your important travel documents with you and ideally also store them online securely as a backup. Make sure that you have given us your emergency contact details and told that person where and when you are travelling. Ensure you take enough money with you and that you have access to emergency funds.
Finally, you should read through and stay updated with the current official government travel advice for your destination. We are registered partners with the UK Foreign Office's 'Travel Aware' campaign which provides further useful and invaluable information.