Condé Nast Traveller, one of the most renowned travel magazines, from the UK Vogue House, is a luxury travel magazine that targets the upmarket, independent travelers. It just released its 2020 Best Holiday Destinations list and, unsurprisingly, Lebanon made it to the list! Despite the economic crisis and the political chaos, Lebanon is still recognized for its beauty, culture, history, and people. And, yes, we still make it to top lists!
Lebanon ranked #13 in the geographically diverse list, as well as one that covers a range of trips, from eco-tourism and adventure to inspire every type of traveler. The list also included Kyoto, Panama, Paris, and Galway. On Lebanon, they wrote:
"Momentum is starting to gather in fascinating Lebanon, and its crumbling crusader castles and intricate mosaic-paved streets, which have become tourist-free in recent years, are ushering in culture-curious travelers once more."
The Condé Nast Traveller explained, "Earlier in 2019, the British Foreign Office changed its travel advice regarding Lebanon – which previously warned against visiting areas including the Bekka Valley – deeming it safe for travelers to return."
That has brought adventurous tour operators to introduce "exciting itineraries for 2020, opening up Lebanon’s world-class restaurants, shortbread-sand beaches, and ancient ruins for exploration," according to the magazine.
Condé Nast Traveller also describes Lebanon as a unique place to visit, saying: "At Baalbek lies one of the largest and best-preserved Roman sites in the Middle East, with its monumental 2,000-year-old temple to Jupiter and six towering, free-standing columns." On that note, you might want to read about The Hidden Truth of Baalbek.
The magazine continues talking about Lebanon in these words: "As the home of the Phoenicians, the early traders who controlled most of the ports in the Mediterranean, the country is full of similarly intoxicating ancient sites, including the enormous hippodrome and Roman ruins of Tyre, which can also be admired underwater while snorkeling (you may have to jostle for space with the resident sea turtles, though)."
It describes our variety of religions, traditions, and cultures as "a melting pot" that gives Lebanon its appeal, especially in our capital Beirut "where a burgeoning arts scene draws in young creatives and alternative business owners."
It mentions the Lebanese non-profit Tawlet where "a different woman from a local community cooks the food of her village every day on rotation" and that manages the market at Souk el Tayeb.
It goes on speaking about our vineyards, particularly the Ixsir, "which stakes a claim to the title of the highest altitude vineyard in the world." It predicts that our wine industry will "set to make waves in 2020," describing it as "fresh on the nose, stone-fruit-scented."
It is true that our wine industry has been developing exponentially, reaching over 40 wineries so far, some of which have become renowned worldwide.
Last but not least, and against all the odds we have been challenging of pollution and forest damages and garbage crisis, the luxury travel magazine praises our beaches, our mountains, and our cedar forests that it qualifies as "lung-cleansing."
It goes on making a final statement that brings us some hope against the odds: "It’s not hard to see why Lebanon’s on the up."
With such an international appreciation, we hope that our people cherish our beloved country more, and seek to enhance every living aspect in it. Lebanon is a treasure that must be protected and loved, and we certainly should never lose hope and faith in it.