Overland Journeys: Grand Tour of the Middle East

The small country of Lebanon has been at the crossroads of civilisations for centuries, a site of conflict but also retaining a rich historical heritage from the empires who have left their mark here. Lebanon was home to the Phoenicians, one of the great civilisations of the ancient world, though only small traces of its legacy remain today in cities such as Tyre, Byblos and Sidon. The Romans left some spectacular ruins, particularly at Baalbek, while occupation by the Ummayads, Crusaders and Ottomans have all contributed to the country's history that makes Lebanon such a fascinating country to explore. Additionally Lebanon's natural beauty includes rugged mountains, fertile green valleys and the ancient cedar tree forests that are the country's symbol. Explore in depth highlights of Lebanon.

Travel Information for Lebanon
Time zone:GMT +2 (Lebanon standard time)
Daylight savings:GMT +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Main languages:Arabic
Other languages:French, Kurdish, Armenian
Currency: Lebanese pounds (LBP)

1 = 1725, $1 = 1546, £1 = 0.00

(rates as of Sep 2016)

Internet Domain:.lbInternational Dialling Code:    961

For help planning your trip to Lebanon including visas, vaccinations, currency exchange, flights, accomodation and insurance, see our Lebanon trip planning page.

Further information on Lebanon

Discover more about Lebanon - the country's geogrpahy and natural features, an assessment of its status on freedom and rights and data on the country's population and economy.

Geography & Natural Features

Map of lebanon

Total area: 10,400 sq km (170 sq km under water)

Coastline: 225 km (Mediterranean Sea)

Neighbours (border lengths): Israel (79km), Syria (375km)

Climate: Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild to cool wet winters, with snow in mountain areas. Spring and autumn are the best times to visit.

Highest mountain: Qurnat as Sawda' (3,088m)

Freedom & Rights

Summary status and rankings for Lebanon from classifications of different organisations measuring political and economic freedom, democracy and civil rights. See more details of these rankings.

Freedom in the WorldPartly Free -
Democracy IndexHybrid regime 98/167
Economic FreedomMostly Unfree 94/179
Press FreedomNoticeable problems 96/179
ILGA LGBT rightsNo rights -
Corruption PerceptionsHigh corruption 136/174
Overall Ranking:    138/195

Other Data & Links

Full name: Lebanese Republic     Status: Independent Country

Population: 5,882,562 (rank: 108/196)     Density: 565.6 people/sq km (rank: 11/196)

Ethnic groups: Arab 95%, Armenian 4%, other 1%. note: many Christian Lebanese do not identify themselves as Arab but rather as descendents of the ancient Canaanites and prefer to be called Phoenicians

Religions: Muslim 59.7% (Shia, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite or Nusayri), Christian 39% (Maronite Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Melkite Catholic, Armenian Orthodox, Syrian Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Syrian Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Chaldean, Assyrian, Copt, Protestant), other 1.3%

GDP (PPP): $64.31 billion       GDP per capita: $15,800 (rank: 68/195)

Information derived from the CIA World Factbook. Other country profiles: BBC News.