Lebanon: Legend of the Levant - A Limited Edition Small Group Journey (2021/22)

Lebanon is blessed with magnificent mountain vistas, majestic ancient ruins and an indomitable, hospitable people.

Journey Overview

Lebanon is blessed with magnificent mountain vistas, majestic ancient ruins and an indomitable, hospitable people. Lebanon rewards the traveller with food for thought and a feast for the senses and the stomach, with a history dating back thousands of years and delicious local fare to satisfy any gourmand. Explore breathtaking hidden wonders and captivating cities, discover ancient monuments and heritage locales, as you immerse yourself in a culture and local way of life like no other.

Journey Highlights 

  • Visit the UNESCO heritage listed city of Tyre and its many ancient masterpieces 
  • Explore the otherworldly Jeita Grotto and the spectacular natural caverns 
  • Stand in awe of the 1000-year-old Cedars of Lebanon 
  • Tour and taste at a regional winery and arak distillery in the Beqaa Valley 
  • Savour flavourful fare with lunch at a local household in Hasroun
  • View the site of one of the most mysterious ruins of the Roman Empire at Baalbeck
  • Enjoy a privileged visit to the residence of Mr. Walid Jumblat, one of Lebanon's political Druze leaders
  • Typically features a small group size of 10–12 guests

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Beirut, Lebanon

Arrive in Beirut to a warm A&K welcome and a transfer to your hotel, where you will meet your Resident Tour Director and fellow travellers before a welcome dinner at Leila Zeytouna Bay restaurant.

Lebanon’s vivid capital, Beirut, is fast-paced, fashion-conscious and overwhelmingly friendly. Its energy, soul, diversity and intoxicating atmosphere make it a vital, addictive city. Exploring the character of the different districts, strolling the waterfront and diving into the city's wonderful restaurant and nightlife scene are major attractions.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: D

Day 2: Beirut | Historical Artefacts & Flavourful Street Food

After breakfast, drive downtown to witness the impressive reconstruction project-taking place to create a new, evolved Beirut. Admire the discoveries of recent excavations, uncovering important archaeological sites from Canaanite, Phoenician, and Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Omayyad, Abbassid, Crusader, Mamluke and Ottoman eras. The immense project will provide new buildings, preserving the traditional style of Beirut’s architecture, including the capital’s souks and historical mosques and churches.

Afterwards, discover the many wonders of Corniche road, the favourite promenade of many Beirutis. The road travels to a cliff edge, the headland of Beirut, with an array of cliff-top restaurants and cafes affording spectacular panoramic views of the bay and Pidgeon’s Rock below. If you so choose, you can continue down to the beautiful sandy beach below and explore the prestigious residential area of Ramlet El-Baida.

Afterwards, visit the National Museum, showcasing the country’s history and many significant icons. The collection begun after World War I, and the museum was officially opened in 1942.

Experience a walking street food tour. As you explore, your expert tour guide will be sure to point out the best tucked away culinary secrets, a feast for the senses.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: BL

Day 3: Tyre & Sidon | Ancient Archaeological Wonders

After breakfast, head to the heritage listed antique town of Tyre and be left in awe of the immense structures there, standing for thousands of years. See the Arc de Triumph, the Hippodrome and the many uncovered masterpieces from Crusaders, Romans, and Greeks, with heritage listed antiques and Byzantine era wonders. 

Continue onward to visit Sidon, whose shining star is the monumental Crusader Castle overlooking the harbour. The old town is still standing with its alleys and souks retaining much of their Middle Ages architecture. Due to plundering of its antiquities and ancient monuments at the end of the nineteenth century, much of its history is shrouded in mystery. 

Afterwards, stop at a local sweets stall for a demonstration and tasting of delicious local delicacies, before returning to Beirut for a rooftop sundowner.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: BL

Day 4: Byblos | Underwater Caverns & Charming Harbour Towns

After breakfast, journey to Jeita Grotto, a breathtaking natural wonder. Transfer by cable car to the caverns above, where you can choose to visit the lower caverns by boat ride, or explore the upper caverns on foot. Immerse yourself in the refreshing pools and admire the columns and sculptures that have been sculpted by the rushing waters over time, with the spectacular natural lighting allowing you to glimpse the uppermost roofs.

Continue to Byblos and visit its ancient sites, exploring the old town on foot with your expert guide, starting from the fishermen’s harbour, and leading uphill towards the Church of St. John the Baptist. Then visit the Crusades Castle. From the Roman pathway, columns appear as you approach the castle. The main gate that dates to the 3rd millennium B.C. brings into view a large skylight between two ancient stone walls.

After your explorations, check in to your hotel in Byblos with your evening at leisure.
Byblos Sur Mer | Meals: BL

Day 5: Byblos | Century-Old Cedars & Valley Cave Chapels

After breakfast, drive along the coastal highway and then inland toward the red-roofed town of Bcharri. En route you will be spellbound by beautiful mountain landscapes, drinking in spectacular views of peaks and gorges, including the famed Qadisha Valley. You’ll also have an opportunity to visit the Cedars of Lebanon, with some trees in this revered region over 1000 years old, and explore The St Anthony Monastery, and The Gibran Museum, formerly the Monastery of Mar Sarki.

Travel to Hasroun and be immersed in the local daily life as you savour lunch in a private home and share stories with your hosts.

Afterward, visit the Mar Antonios Qozhaya in the Qadisha Valley, filled with intriguing caves and rock shelters inhabited from 300 BC. to the Roman period, admiring the scattered cave chapels and monasteries cut into the surrounding rock.

Return to Byblos, where you may choose to explore the town further or relax at your hotel.
Byblos Sur Mer | Meals: BL

Day 6: Beirut | Exploring Magnificent Monuments

After breakfast, journey to the ancient palace of Beiteddine, with a walking tour through the charming town of Deir el-Qamar, a long-standing town with an urban edge, hiding within its walls some spectacular examples of 17th and 18th century architecture. 

Beiteddine Palace is a shining example of early 19th century Lebanese architecture, built over a 30-year period by Emir Bashir. Visit the palace complex and its museums, exploring exhibitions on costumes & weapons of that era, as well as a fine collection of well-preserved Byzantine mosaics. 

Savour lunch at Mir Amin Palace which offers panoramic views of the Shouf Mountains from the restored 19th century palace.

Proceed to Mokhtara for a privileged visit to the property of one of the political Druze leaders in Lebanon, Mr. Walid Jumblat. During your visit, explore the vast property and gain local insight from available staff and assistants. Afterwards, continue to Beirut with your evening free to explore the city.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: BL

Day 7: Baalbeck | A Spiritual Awakening

After breakfast cross the Mount Lebanon range to Baalbeck, visiting Lebanon’s greatest Roman treasures, counted among the wonders of the ancient world. Stand in awe of the temples of Jupiter, Bacchus & Venus, exploring the remarkable Great Court and the Hexagonal Forecourt.

Afterwards, it’s time to familiarise yourself in the local wines and spirits on a visit to Chateau Kefraya. The second largest winery in the Beqaa Valley, which uses native indigenous grapes and is also home to an arak (local spirit) distillery. Tantalise your tastebuds with a sampling of the fortified spirit, including a selection of cocktails. Enjoy a private winery lunch before a guided tour and tasting of the estate and its flavourful produce.

Return to Beirut with your evening at leisure. Explore the city on foot, and perhaps ask your Tour Director for the best places to sample local fare.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: BL

Day 8: Beirut | Design Your Day

Today, you can choose your own adventure with a selection of Design Your Day activities on offer: 

  • Admire spectacular structures on a Beirut architecture tour 
    Tour the city under the guidance of a local architecture expert, discovering the marriage of modern and historical architecture throughout Beirut. Marvel at religious structures, residences, and towering monuments aplenty.
  • Take a deep dive into history on a Beirut museums tour 
    A day for historians and art aficionados, you’ll visit the Museum of Minerals (MIM). The museum showcases more than 2000 minerals, considered one of the most significant private collections of minerals in the world. Afterwards, visit the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum, and its collection of contemporary local and international art, as well as a local art gallery. 
  • Meet local designer on a Beirut fashion immersion 
    For those with a passion for fashion, visit two local design houses in Beirut. Sarah’s Bag is a Lebanese fashion house that offers one-of-a-kind luxury hand crafted bags and accessories. They are created with care by a team of 200 women artisans, many of whom come from underprivileged backgrounds. Georges Hobeika is a Lebanese fashion designer of haute couture and fashionable dayware, a regular at Paris Fashion Week for over a decade. If the designers are available, you may have the opportunity to meet with them. 

Afternoon at leisure before a group farewell dinner with traditional entertainment.
Phoenicia Intercontinental | Meals: BD

Day 9: Depart Beirut

Transfer to Beirut International Airport for your onward flight.
Meals: B

Journey Details

Maximum Group Size: 18
Departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests.

Tour Inclusions

  • All accommodation as detailed with private facilities
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including welcome and farewell dinners
  • Services of English speaking A&K Resident Tour Director
  • Airport welcome
  • Porterage
  • Group transportation by private air-conditioned vehicle
  • Bottled water during transfers and touring
  • Wine & beer during lunches and dinners (selected by Resident Tour Director)
  • All entrance fees
  • Planning, handling, operational and communication charges
  • All tipping

Tour Exclusions

  • International flights to the tour start point and from the tour end point
  • Visas and other border fees
  • Insurance coverage of personal loss, injury, illness or damages incurred during your trip
  • Items of a purely personal nature such as drinks (unless specified), laundry, dry cleaning, internet, fax or phone charges
  • Transfers, sightseeing or meals not specified in itinerary
  • Excess baggage charges

Tailor Made Travel with A&K
If scheduled departure dates don’t work for you, or you would prefer to travel privately, talk to your A&K travel specialist or your travel agent about creating the perfect bespoke journey for your, or a small group.

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Phoenicia Intercontinental, Beirut

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Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

May 26, 2021 - Jun 3, 2021
Price AU$6,995pp Single Supplement AU$2,450 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
Sep 22, 2021 - Sep 30, 2021
Price AU$6,995pp Single Supplement AU$2,450 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book
May 25, 2022 - Jun 2, 2022
Price AU$6,995pp Single Supplement AU$2,450 Internal Air (From) AU$0 Availability Available Book