Starting in the capital city of Beirut before heading south to the coastal city Tyre, travellers get a taste of local life with a traditional breakfast at the old souk. Dating back to around 2750 BC, Tyre’s archaeological sites have UNESCO World Heritage Site status. There is an overnight stay at an ecolodge in the grounds of St Anthony’s Monastery in the Qadisha Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests wake to the sound of bells calling the monks to mass and experience rural Lebanese life and homemade food. The trip also visits the Bekaa Valley and Roman cellars at Ksara, Lebanon’s oldest and largest winery, where they can learn about the wine-making process and taste the red wine the region is famous for.
The trip ends in Beirut with a tour of the city followed by a traditional mezze meal consisting of tabbouleh and fattoush, baba ghanoush, falafel, skewered meats or grilled fish and pita bread, finished with a dessert of baklava. The eight-day Highlights of Lebanon trip costs from $2040pp and includes internal transfers, seven nights accommodation, seven breakfasts and three dinners, and an Explore Leader. The 2019 departures are set for 21 September, 12 October and 9 November; 2020 departures are 21 March, 11 April, 23 May, 13 June, 1 August, 26 September and 17 October. www.exploreworldwide.co.nz