Embark on a scenic day trip along the southern coast of Beirut, driving towards Sidon (Saida) and exploring its historical and archaeological treasures. This journey will take you through ancient ruins, Crusader castles, and vibrant cultural sites.
Your first stop is the “Castle of the Sea,” a 13th-century Crusader castle located in Sidon. This imposing fortress, perched on a small island just off the coast, offers a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Explore the castle’s well-preserved walls, towers, and courtyards, and learn about its strategic significance during the Crusader era.
Continuing your visit in Sidon, proceed to Khan El-Franj, a typical Caravanserai (Caravan Serail). This historical site served as a hub for merchants and travelers during the Ottoman period. Admire the architectural beauty of the Khan, characterized by its arched entrances, spacious courtyards, and intricate details. Immerse yourself in the ambiance of the past as you imagine the bustling trade and cultural exchange that took place within its walls.
After your exploration, take a break for a typical Lebanese lunch, savouring the flavors of the local cuisine. Indulge in a delicious meal, sampling a variety of traditional dishes that showcase Lebanon’s culinary heritage.
Once refreshed, continue your journey further down the southern coast to Tyre (Sour), another fascinating historical city. Visit the Necropolis excavations, where you can witness ancient burial sites and tombs that provide insights into the city’s ancient past. Marvel at the Monumental Arch, a grand structure that once marked the entrance to the city, and admire its architectural splendor.
The highlight of your visit to Tyre is the spectacular hippodrome, the second largest and best-preserved of the Roman era. Explore the remains of this ancient chariot racing arena, envisioning the excitement and grandeur that once unfolded within its walls. The hippodrome stands as a testament to the city’s Roman influence and offers a captivating glimpse into its glorious past.
Continuing your exploration of Tyre, two kilometers ahead lies the excavation site of the imperial city. Walk along the majestic avenue that leads to the sea, marveling at the remnants of public monuments and structures that once adorned the residential area. Gain a deep appreciation for the city’s rich history and the remarkable architectural achievements of its past inhabitants.
On your way back to Beirut, make a final stop at Echmoun, a garden known as Bustan El-Sheikh. This tranquil oasis is surrounded by temples and lush greenery, providing a serene atmosphere for relaxation and reflection. Take a leisurely stroll and admire the blossoming trees and the beauty of the ancient temples that dot the landscape.
As your day trip concludes, you’ll return to Beirut with cherished memories of Sidon’s Crusader castle, the historical Khan El-Franj, the ancient wonders of Tyre’s necropolis and hippodrome, and the serene beauty of Echmoun. This journey offers a captivating exploration of Lebanon’s rich history, archaeological treasures, and natural splendour.