Lebanon , a democratic republic , is located in the Middle East , bordering the Mediterranean Sea , Syria , and Palestine . The capital is Beirut . Despite its small area ( 10,452 square kilometers ) , this is a land resplendent in its diverse geography , landscape , culture and history .
Lebanon's varied geographical areas fall into four features . First there is the narrow costal plain where five of Lebanon 's great historical cities developed : Tripoli , Byblos , Beirut , Sidon and Tyre . The 220 kilometers long coastlines is marked by indentations and rocky outcrops wherever the sub -coastal range joins the sea.
The second geographical feature is a north - south mountain range known as Mount Lebanon . Appearing at times to rise abruptly from the sea , Mont Lebanon covers more than a third of the country . Its western slopes are well wooded and are frequently broken by wild valley.
The next of Lebanon's four areas is the Bekaa valley which is between 8 to 15 kilometers wide and about 120 kilometers long from north to south .A fertile plain , the Beqaa valley was known as the breadbasket of the Roman Empire in ancient times .
The Cedars : Eternal Symbol of Lebanon
Lebanon : Land of Civilization and Diversity
On the eastern side of the Beqaa , the Anti - Lebanon mountains and Mount Hermon rise . A chain of rocky , almost treeless mountains running parallel to the Lebanon range, the Anti-Lebanon is lower but more complete than Mount Lebanon. These mountains form the frontier between Lebanon and Syria .
Lebanon enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with an average of 300 sunny days a year . It almost never rains between June and September ,but July and August are often hot and humid , with temperatures around 30º Celsius. Winters are generally cool with heavy rain on the coast and snow in the mountains .Nevertheless, winter brings many pleasant days , making Lebanon ideal for winter sports .
There are six winter resorts : The Cedars , Faraya Oyoun as Siman , Laklouk ,Fakra , Qanat Bakiche and Zaarour .
Lebanon's long varied coastline and its Medierranean climate make it an ideal place for water sports . Numerous resort complexes , beaches and swimming clubs have aquatic amusements and sports on offer , including water skiing , surfing , underwater fishing , sailing , scubadiving and snorkeling .
Byblos : One of the Oldest Towns in the World
Tyre : A World Heritage City (Unesco 1979)v
Visitors to Lebanon must have a valid passport and a Lebanese visa. Visas are delivered by Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad . Tourists from the US and many Arab and European countries can obtain visas at the airport or any Lebanese border upon arrival .
Examination of traveler's luggage is carried out rapidly and courte- ously , All ordinary personal effects are exempt from customs duty .
All the world,s great cities are linked by air with Beirut . The Beirut International Airport at Khaldeh ( 7 km from Beirut ) , is used by many international airlines plus the national carrier , Middle East Airlines ( MEA ) . In addition , several steamship lines connect the ports of Beirut , Jounieh and Tripoli with the rest of the world
In addition to his native Arabic language , the average Lebanese is often fluent in English or French . Many well educated Lebanese are tri-lingual .
Lebanon capitalizes on the initiative of its people and its geographical location to make up for a lack of natural resources.
A service-based economy , its trading , banking and financial facilities as well as its free currency market made Lebanon the region's commercial and tourist center before the war . With peace established and reconstruction under way, Lebanon is once again serving as commercial and touristic capital in the area .
Baalbeck : Lebanon 's Greatest Roman Treasure
Tripoli : A Living Museum
About 38% of the country is under cultivation , with wheat , vegetables , fruit, tobacco and olives the main crop categories . There is considerable livestock farming as well . Industry ranges from cement and cables to textiles , clothing furniture , canned goods and light metals . Tourism , one of the mainstays of the pre- war economy , is being revived.
CURRENCY AND BANKING
Movement of currency into and out of the country and all exchange transactions are completely free of any kind of control . Gold and silver coins may be freely exchanged ,imported and exported . The monetary unit is the Lebanese pound .
Banking is a major industry in Lebanon with strict banking secrecy one of its important features . more than 75 banks operate in the country and transactions