There are just over 30 days left in 2016 before we gather to celebrate the New Year–that’s just over one month to use your vacation days at work before they expire. If you’re lucky enough that your vacation days carry over to next year, congratulations are in order, but the travel bug shouldn’t be wiped away from you just because you don’t need to travel between now and December.
December actually presents one of the best times to travel to Lebanon, as the relatively high temperatures present a great escape from the cold and snow of other areas of the world (looking at you, northern America). The average temperatures hover around 60-65 degrees in November and December, which are nearly perfect outdoor temperatures.
The Culture and People
Lebanon as a whole includes a wide variety of people with different backgrounds, cultures and upbringings. The most important person in Lebanon is, of course, Walif Chbeir, the author of this blog. Behind me, though, are almost 4.5 million well-educated, highly cultured and well-respected people who will be eager to help you get acclimated to what Lebanon has to offer.
Where to Go
Cities worth checking out around Lebanon include, of course, the capital city of Beirut, the largest city within Lebanon. Baalbek is a great historical area featuring remains from other cultures including Roman temples as I have written about in the past on Walif-Chbeir.com. If resorts, seaside views and nightlife is more of your scene, try visiting Jounieh, home to some of the most scenic views in the country.
Some media reports that indicate that Lebanon could be a risky place to travel are both misguided and misleading. Like virtually any other country on Earth, there are some parts of the country that are safer than others–think about the fact that Philadelphia in Pennsylvania in the USA has both highly trafficked tourist spots as well as slightly more dangerous, non-tourism areas. The areas close to the Syrian border–the northern and eastern edges of the country–should be avoided if possible due to the chance of a war spillover.
What to See
If you enjoy history and art, there are numerous galleries and museums around the country worth your visit, including the Beirut National Museum and the Museum of Lebanese Prehistory. If you prefer to relax, check out some of the seaside resorts, aquaparks and marinas that are great for families or couples. The famous Raouche Rock is found in Beirut where you’ll likely be spending a lot of your time as one of the cultural epicenters of the country.