Lebanon lies at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea with Israel as the northern neighbour and Syria its western neighbour. The Lebanon Mountains cover most of the country and run along the western coast while the Anti-Lebanon Range covers the eastern coast. Between the two is the Bekaa Valley, the county’s primary agriculture area. Lebanon is a unique country with a rich cultural mix and a history spanning more than 6,000 years. It is one of the oldest countries that has been continuously inhabited and has absorbed the influence of a number of civilizations.
Tourism is a big revenue earner for the country. The mountains of Lebanon are a big draw for locals and tourists alike during winters for activities like skiing and summer activities like camping, canoeing, hiking, and caving. Extreme sports like parachuting, sky diving and bungee jumping are also enjoyed by those who like to live dangerously. Along the Mediterranean Sea coast, resorts with sandy and rocky beaches offer a wide variety of water sports. Major cities of Lebanon provide an active night life and world class hotels and restaurants in addition to opportunities to visit historical ruins, archaeological sites and locations of religious significance.
The climate of Lebanon is ideally suited to accommodate the visiting tourists. The winters in Beirut are mildly cold and the summers pleasantly warm. Most of the rainfall takes place between November through March, with an yearly average of 35 inches (38mm). The varied ranges of elevations in the country make it possible to enjoy the winter and summer activities at the same time. On average, within a 45 minute drive of any city in Lebanon it is possible to enjoy both winter activities like skiing and summer activities like swimming.
Lebanon is blessed with a rich and diverse flora housing more than 3,000 species. The lower areas are occupied with grapevines, olive, and fig trees. The higher altitudes are home to white cedar, juniper, cypress, fir, oak and Aleppo pine trees. While hunting has eliminated a majority of the wild mammals, jackals can still be seen in the rural regions while gazelles and rabbits are more common in the south.
Official Name: Republic of Lebanon
Capital: Beirut (Bayrut)
Monetary Unit: The Lebanese pound (LBP)
Area: 10,400 sq km (4,015 sq mi)
Religions: Muslim, Christian
Languages: Arabic, French, English (all spoken)
Ethnic Groups: Arab and Armenian