February 22 to March 03, 2019
Lebanon has always been a well-traveled bridge between East and West, sea and desert that is dense with history. Above the layers of antiquity lies a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrast from the modernity of Beirut, once known as the Paris of the Middle East to the lush Cedars. Experience the warmth of its people, the tastes of its world-reknown cuisine, the aromas of its souks, the majesty of its past and explore some of the best-preserved Roman and Byzantine cities in the Near East as well as some of the most stunning Byzantine gems as well as many of the Islamic architecture jewels! Explore the Phoenician cities of Sidon & Tyre and the well-preserved Roman city of Baalbek, and the town of Byblos with its multiple layers of civilizations.
Per person sharing in double occupancy (Air and land from NYC): $4,995.00
Single Supplement: $550.00
Credit for not using our included airfare $900.00
Led by Dr. Mehreen Chida-Razvi, lecturer, historian and archaeologist
Price based on a group size minimum of 6 and maximum of 14 participants
This tour has a possible extension to Kurdistan (March 03 – 10, 2019)
Your tour does not include
Any increase in fuel surcharges or taxes or VAT imposed by airlines or Lebanese government
Airfare supplement from cities other than NYC (price differs depending on gateway city).
Entry visa to Lebanon - free at present time on arrival.
Beverages with or without meals.
Trip surcharge to operate below required minimum participants.
Items of a personal nature (camera fees at sites, laundry, phone calls, emails, excess luggage, etc.).
Transfers if not arriving/departing on scheduled flights/tour dates.
Dayroom necessitated by changes in airline schedules.
Travel protection insurance (HIGHLY Recommended).
Your tour includes
International airfare from New York (or some select gateways from East Coast) including taxes & Fuel surcharges
Meet and assist at Beirut airport on arrival and departure + transfers Airport/hotel/Airport.
Transportation by deluxe air conditioned coach for the excursions.
English speaking guide for the excursions.
Entrance fees to the visited sites.
Hotel accommodation (4*) at the selected hotel for 7 nights on bed and Breakfast basis.
Lunches on tour days including 1 soft drink.
Tips to guides, drivers, porters, restaurant & hotel staff.
10% VAT at present time.
II - III Active – Some hikes, slightly more demanding walks at or to sites, few elevations, comfortable but busy schedule and some long rides.
**** Superior: 4 stars’ hotel with western style service and comfort level acceptable to western standards.
About your lecturer Dr. Mehreen Chida-Razvi; earned her BSc and BA from the University of Florida, Gainesville, before moving to London, England where she completed an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a second MA and a PhD in the History of Art & Archaeology from SOAS, University of London. She specializes in the history of Islamic art, architecture and material culture in the early modern era, with a particular emphasis on the Persianate regions of Mughal South Asia, Iran and Central Asia. Dr. Chida-Razvi’s primary research examines the history of architecture and the built environment and she has carried out extensive fieldwork and site-research in Pakistan and India. Another area of particular interest is the cultural and artistic interactions between Europe and the Persianate world and the social and historical circumstances which allowed for such connections to take place. Since 2007 Mehreen has given lectures and taught courses on Islamic art and architecture in London and Oxford, and has furthermore been an academic contributor and consultant for a documentary on Taj Mahal.
View Tour Itinerary
Friday Feb 22
USA - Beirut
Depart your home town to Beirut, arriving the next day.
Saturday, Feb 23
Meet and assist, transfer to hotel in Beirut. Check in at Ramada Downtown hotel and overnight. (D)
Sunday, Feb 24
Beirut – Jeita
After breakfast, visit the Jeita Grottoes. The Grottoes is the slow work of the nature during the past thousand years. Visit of the upper cave on foot, which is access by a cable car then to the lower cave by small boat on the internal lake via the Coastal highway. Afternoon, enjoy Beirut city tour and visit of Downtown, Corniche and the solider reconstruction project day. Return to your hotel for overnight (B,L)
Monday, Feb 25
Tyre – Sidon
Breakfast and full day tour to visit the South. First visit to Tyre, visit this magnificent sight including the sanctuary and the Hippodrome. Continue in the afternoon to Saida, town on the coast. Visit of the Sea castle and the souk. Afterwards return to your hotel in Beirut for overnight. (B,L,D)
Tuesday, Feb 26
Beirut - Harissa – Bkerke
After breakfast, depart to visit Beirut National Museum, also visit AUB Museum, after lunch proceed to Harissa, climbing by cable car to the Holy statue of Notre Dame for a view of Jounieh and Beirut. Visit Bkerke and meet with Maronite Partriach after making an appointment. Afterwards return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Wednesday, Feb 27
Beirut - Beiteddine - Deir El Kamar
The day will start with the visit of the Chouf Mountain. First village is Deir El Qamar, the historic residence of the Governors of Lebanon. Continue to Beiteddine, where a superb Palace stands over the valley, with its typical Lebanese architecture of the 18th and 19th century. Visit the museum, the unique exhibition of mosaics. Proceed to the Moussa Castle. After lunch in local restaurant in Beiteddine visit of Druze Leader Mr Joumblat Walid in his residence in Moukhtara (after making appointment) and visit Maasser el Chouf, Arc En Ciel. Return to hotel in Beirut for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Thursday, Feb 28
Cedars - Bcharreh – Qozhaya - Cedars
Drive north and climb to the Cedars where only some 400 trees remains but some are aging more than 2000 years. Walk through the forest which is today an eco-museum. Continue to Bcharré, village over the Qadisha valley and home town of the Lebanese poet Gebran Khalil Gebran Discover his work at the museum. Besharreh and Kozhaya are famous mainly for their magnificent, excellently preserved sites, such as the Gibran Museum and the Monastery of St Anthony. Afterwards return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L)
Friday, Mar 01
Drive across Mount Lebanon then descend towards the Beqaa Valley to reach the world greatest historical sites: Baalbeck. Visit the place with the Temple of Jupiter and Bacchus. Visit the Ksara winery for a taste of the Lebanese production. After lunch proceed to Anjar; the only Omayyad site in Lebanon, recognized to be one of the major market place on the Silk Road. Also, visit the farms of Taanayel then return to your hotel for overnight. (B,L)
Saturday, Mar 02
Tripoli – Byblos
Day excursion to Tripoli (the largest city in the north and the second largest in Lebanon), situated 60 miles north of Beirut. Modern day Tripoli combines the past and present with many historical structures dating back to the Crusade and Islam periods, still standing intact and inhabited. Particularly famous are the old Souks or “Khans” where tradesmen still trade since thousands of years ago, 5,000-year-old Tripoli Castle and one of the oldest ports in the world. We will visit the Crusader’s castle, the Turkish Hammams, and the Old Souk. Tripoli is particularly famous for its Middle Eastern desserts and Sweets where we will sample some with coffee during a break. Continue to on the northern coast to Byblos, the oldest town in the world continuously inhabited for the last 5000 years. Visit the Citadel, the St John church and the harbor. Afterwards return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,L,D)
Sunday, Mar 03
Beirut – USA OR to Erbil, Kurdistan
Pick up from the hotel and depart Beirut airport
We (STS) reserve the right to change hotels, restaurants or the order of activities if/as needed