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Wonderful Lebanon

March 30 to April 08, 2020

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. 

This trip has a Pre trip to Syria & a Post extension to Syria

pre trip to Cyprus (March 24 to 31, 2020) Or Kurdistan (March 23 to 30, 2020)

Per person sharing in double occupancy (Air and land from NYC): $4,995.00
Single Supplement: $700.00       

Credit for not using our included airfare $900.00

Led by Barbara A. Porter, archaeologist and Director of the American Center of Oriental Research

Price based on a group size minimum of 6 and maximum of 14 participants

Your tour does not include

  • Airfare supplement from cities other than NYC (price differs depending on gateway city).

  • Entry visa to Lebanon - currently not required for US citizens.

  • 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 including taxes and security fees.

  • 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 (5*) at the selected hotel for 8 nights on bed and Breakfast basis.

  • Lunches on tour days including 1 soft drink.

  • Gratuities to guides, drivers, porters, restaurant and hotel staff.

  • 11% VAT at present time.

Trip Grade:

I Easy - Reasonably paced sightseeing, easy walking, and leisurely days. No particular physical challenges.

Lodging Level:

**** Luxury: Regular style- usually large- hotels, typical western standard with ample venues, and full amenities. (4 or 5 stars)

About your lecturer, Barbara A. Porter has led numerous archaeological tours from Algeria to Iran in the decade before becoming the Director of the American Center of Oriental Research in Amman in 2006. She received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College and her M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D. from Columbia University. From 1978 to 1986 she was on the curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Egyptian Art and Ancient Near Eastern Art) and in the 1990s taught at New York University. She presided over ACOR’s 50th anniversary year in Jordan (www.acorjordan.org). She grew up in Lebanon in the 1960s and due to her service on the board of the American Community School at Beirut since 1996, she has returned to Lebanon often.

View Tour Itinerary

Monday, Mar 30
USA - Beirut

Depart your home town to Beirut, arriving the next day.

Tuesday, Mar 31
Arrival Beirut

Meet, assist and transfer to Rotana Arjaan hotel or similar for check in and overnight. (D)

Wednesday, Apr 01
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)

Thursday, Apr 02
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)

Friday, Apr 03
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)

Saturday, Apr 04
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)

Sunday, Apr 05
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)

Monday, Apr 06

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)

Tuesday, Apr 07
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)

Wednesday, Apr 08
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