Have you ever thought about visiting Lebanon? If you have then you are about to find out what a fascinating country it is to explore and a great destination for travellers.
Why is Lebanon a great country to visit?
Lebanon’s history is long and varied, with influences from various civilizations, including Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman, evident in its architecture, ancient ruins and cultural heritage sites.
The country is a melting pot of different cultures and religions, making it incredibly diverse. You can experience this through its cuisine, festivals and by interacting with the locals who are extremely welcoming.
Lebanon also has the most stunning landscapes, from the Mediterranean coastline with its beautiful beaches to the towering peaks of the Lebanese mountains. The natural beauty here is breathtaking, with opportunities for hiking, skiing and many other wonderful activities.
Another good reason to visit is that it is currently a destination not on many travellers bucket lists and as a result the local people are very keen to make sure you have a wonderful time here. You may also find that due to its lack of popularity there's a good chance of grabbing some good deals on flights and accommodation.
So when would be the best time to travel to Lebanon?
Climate in Lebanon
Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate which means it has distinct seasons. Summers can get quite hot, especially in July and August with temperatures often reaching into the 30s and 40s degrees Celsius (86-104 degrees Fahrenheit) in many parts of the country. Spring and early autumn can be more comfortable times to visit if you're not a fan of the heat.
By planning your trip based on your weather preferences and the activities you'd like to enjoy is a very good idea to make the most of your time in this beautiful country.
Seasons in Lebanon
We’ll now take a look at Lebanon's different seasons to provide you with enough information to help you to make a decision based on what it is you want to do when you get there.
Generally, Lebanon experiences a peak tourist season during the spring and summer months, from April to September. This is when the weather is most pleasant and outdoor activities and beach resorts are at their prime. This is the time when most travellers visit, spending time exploring the scenic beauty, historical sites and vibrant cities that are found on Lebanon.
The winter months, from November to February, are considered the low season. The weather can be colder and wetter during this time, which might be off putting to many visitors but is an opportunity to experience Lebanon in a more serene and less crowded atmosphere. The Christmas season, however, sees lots of visitors due to the festive atmosphere.
Keep in mind that Lebanon's tourism industry has faced some challenges in recent years, affecting visitor numbers so it's always a good idea to check the current situation and travel advisories before planning a trip. In spite of all this, Lebanon's unique blend of history, culture, and cuisine makes it a fascinating destination year-round.
High Season In Lebanon (April to September)
Travelling during the high season in Lebanon is a great time to go. The weather is perfect for outdoor activities with lots of sunny days with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (around 24-30°C). It's a great time to explore Lebanon's stunning landscapes, including the beautiful Mediterranean coastline, stunning mountain scenery and many historical sites.
Here are some things you can do during Lebanon's high season
- Explore Lebanon's vibrant capital city, Beirut, visit the Beirut Souks and try the wonderful Lebanese cuisine at the local restaurants or just wander round the streets soaking in the lively atmosphere.
- Spend time on the beach. Lebanon has some lovely stretches of sand alongside its Mediterranean coastline, perfect for swimming, sunbathing or water sports like jet skiing and snorkelling.
- The high season is perfect for hiking in the Lebanese mountains. Visit the Qadisha Valley and the Kadisha Grotto as the trails are often at their best during this time, with lots of greenery and beautiful flowers.
- You can explore Lebanon's rich history by visiting ancient ruins like Baalbek, Byblos and there are many Roman temples to see. The lovely weather at this time of year make it a great time to wander around historical sites.
- Lots of cultural festivals and events take place during the high season plus music festivals, art exhibitions and food fairs.
- Lebanon has a burgeoning wine industry. If you love your wine then taking a wine tour in the Bekaa Valley is a great way to while away a sunny afternoon, relaxing in the sun while tasting some of the local drinks.
- Go souvenir shopping and find unique handicrafts, jewellery and traditional Lebanese products in markets and boutiques and monastaries.
The high season offers great weather and a wide range of activities, it can be a bit busier than at other times but as Lebanon is not currently a popular destination for travellers it will always be a peaceful place to visit.
Low Season in Lebanon (November to March)
In Lebanon, the low season typically lands during the winter months, from November to March. During this time, the climate is cooler and wetter compared to the rest of the year.
Winter in Lebanon sees average daytime temperatures ranging from 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), so it is cooler but not extremely cold.
It is the rainy season, so you can expect occasional showers, especially in December and January. The mountainous regions often have snow which is a beautiful sight.
Days are shorter with fewer hours of sunlight, so it's advisable to plan your activities accordingly.
What to do in Lebanon during the Low Season
- If you're a fan of winter sports, the mountains in Lebanon offer you the perfect opportunity to go skiing. Resorts like Mzaar Kfardebian are popular destinations.
- The winter time is a good time to explore Lebanon's rich history, visiting archaeological sites and historical landmarks such as Byblos, Baalbek and the National Museum in Beirut.
- Given the cooler and sometimes wet weather, it's a great time to immerse yourself in Lebanon's cultural scene by visiting art galleries, spending time enjoying the Lebanese cuisine in cosy restaurants, or attending concerts and theatres.
- Have a well deserved break in a luxurious spa resort, unwind and relax amongst the beautiful mountains or on the coast.
- The low season is an ideal time to visit wineries in the Bekaa Valley and try the lovely Lebanese wines.
Visit a Lebanese monastery
Monasteries in Lebanon are truly remarkable, offering a unique experience for travellers. They vary in size and architectural style, but most are amazingly perched in stunning natural settings, making them wonderfully peaceful havens.
Many Lebanese monasteries have a rich history dating back centuries, often serving as centres of religious worship, meditation and reflection. Some famous ones include the Qadisha Valley monasteries, which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The architecture of Lebanese monasteries reflect the cultural influences of the region with a mix of Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic styles.
The Monasteries are often nestled on mountain slopes, giving breathtaking views of the Lebanese landscape and many offer guided tours.You can learn about the lives of the monks and nuns who live there and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life.
Some monasteries welcome visitors for spiritual retreats or workshops, allowing you to take part in meditation, yoga and other spiritual practices. Some have small souvenir shops with handmade crafts for sale and by visiting these monasteries, you contribute to the local community supporting their maintenance.
Is there much rain in Lebanon?
The amount of rain varies throughout the year but if you'd like to avoid heavy rainfall then the best time to visit is during the spring and early summer months, from April to June. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant with minimal rainfall. Beirut gets around 800mm of rainfall annually, mainly in the winter. The mountainous regions of Mount Lebanon and coastal regions get much more, around 1,000mm each year and during winter there are sometimes storms.
So, if you prefer drier conditions, aim for a visit in the spring or early summer, but keep in mind that Lebanon's weather can be quite diverse, so it's always a good idea to check the forecast before planning your trip.
Is Lebanon cheap or expensive?
Lebanon's cost of living varies, there are plenty of affordable options for dining and transport, if you stick to local street food and public transport, however, when it comes to accommodation, particularly in the more popular tourist areas, prices can be relatively high. Also, keep in mind that in Lebanon economic conditions can change pretty quickly, so it's a good idea to check the current exchange rates and local prices before your trip. In general, Lebanon can be both affordable and expensive, depending on how you choose to experience it.
Lebanon is a wonderful destination for the intrepid traveller but keep in mind that it has had its fair share of political and security challenges, so it's essential to stay updated on the current situation and travel advisories when planning your trip. It is also a good idea to decide what you want to do when you get there so that you can choose the best time that aligns with your travel goals. Happy travels!!