Many people may associate Lebanon with sunlit coastal cities and blissful heat. While these are certainly wonderful reasons to travel there, here at Regent we also think a visit in the winter is well worth it. Explore Beirut, Byblos and Baalbeck in cooler weather, avoiding the sometimes punishing heat of summer, and ascend into the mountains to take advantage of the snow caps and the spectacular skiing.
If you're a snow sports enthusiast, this is the perfect destination. Test yourself on little-visited mountain slopes, avoiding the crush found in many ski hotspots, and indulge in plenty of culture and new experiences while you're here. On either side of your snow sports, visit cosmopolitan Beirut and ancient Byblos, with the chance to visit Baalbeck and its incredible ruins before you head home.
Arrive into Beirut where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Enjoy a guided tour of Beirut today and take in some of the city's highlights. First up is the National Museum, which showcases artefacts from archaeological sites all over the country. Move on to the Roman Baths for a taste of what life was like in Roman Lebanon. Continue on through the city, admiring the architecture and seeing first hand the work that has been done to rebuild after the war. Later take a walk along the Corniche, a popular spot with locals who can be seen enjoying the afternoon. (B)
Depart Beirut in a private car and head up towards Faraya, a ski resort village that sits 46km north of Beirut. The drive takes you through stunning mountainous scenery and the temperature will drop dramatically around you as you climb to the village, which lies at an elevation of 1850m. Drink in the crisp, snow-covered landscapes and keep an eye out for the skiers already making use of these splendid slopes. (B,D)
Today is set aside for you take advantage of the fantastic snow and exciting slopes. Strap on your skis and head out to test your skills against a selection of routes, with options for all types of skiers from beginners to pros. As you zip down the mountain, make sure to take a moment to take in the spectacular views that surround you on all sides. (B,D)
Enjoy a day at leisure to take your pick from any of the activities on offer. Head back up the slopes for some more skiing, or perhaps try out some snowshoeing, crosscountry skiing, or even skidoo.
Speak to a Regent specialist if you would like to add any specific activities while you are here. (B,D)
Head back down to warmer climes today as you leave Faraya and travel to the harbour town of Byblos, known as Jbail in Arabic. A comprehensive restoration means you can now explore the network of mediaeval alleways and ramparts with narrow souqs, all leading down to the harbour. Stop here a moment and imagine yourself back in time: boats have bobbed in the water here since the age of the Phoenicians. Take a tour of the Archaeological site, where you will see the impressive Crusader Castle surrounded by Phoenician ruins.
From here, head back to Beirut via the Jeita Grotto, which boasts one of the largest collections of stalactites and stalagmites in the world. Enjoy the evening at leisure in Beirut. (B)
Strike out again from Beirut this morning, and head up into the mountains to Baalbeck. Baalbeck is a massive Roman site which boasts some of the largest Roman remains in the world. Explore the Hexagonal Court and the Great Court, and don't miss the Temple of Jupiter (once thought to be a Temple of Helios) and the Temple of Bacchus. Once you have had your fill of the site, visit the local quarry. This is home to some of the most massive cut stone in the world, once destined for Baalbeck and now abandoned here for us to marvel at.
Move on to Aanjar, an Armenian village near the Syrian border, where you can explore the UNESCO World Heritage listed Umayyad ruins. After these two impressive sites, stop in the Ksaara Winery to learn about the vineyard - and of course try some of the wines before returning to Beirut! (B)
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)