|Popular in||December||High demand for flights, 9% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||February||Best time to find cheap flights, 4% potential price drop|
|Average price||$957||Average for round-trip flights in February 2021|
|Round-trip from||$1,842||From Sydney to Beirut|
SYD - BEY
$931 - $2,184
17 - 31 °C
0 - 133 mm
For a country with just four million inhabitants Lebanon’s allure is great, so great that it has drawn half that number in visitors over the past year or so. Tourists from other states in the Middle East and Europeans are taking cheap flights to Lebanon in greater and greater numbers as the troubles that have punctuated life there over the past few years recede.
Lebanon, perched on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, with Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, has a long and fascinating history. Numerous civilisations (the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Mamlukes and Ottomans) have shaped it and the land is studded with historical monuments and archaeological sites. Within short distances – you can drive from north to south in less than three hours – you can see temples built by the Romans, mosques built by the Mameluks and hammams (or Turkish baths) built by the Ottomans.
It has natural wonders too. Lebanon is one of the few countries where you can bask on the beach in the morning and go skiing in the afternoon (ski resorts include Fa’ara and Faraya). Its first, long-distance hiking route opened in 2007. It extends along the Mount Lebanon range, from Qbaiyat to Marjaayoun, and follows in the footsteps of traders and shepherds through national parks, nature reserves and small villages.
Beirut is capital, a rebuilt city now with mosques and churches, busy markets, happening nightclubs (serving some of the world’s best wines – Chateau Musar, Chateau Ksara, Chateau Kifraya, and Masaya) and the timeless Corniche. The local population are world-class party people. A night out starts with dinner at 10pm and often finishes with breakfast the next day.
Many travellers visiting Lebanon from Australia fly into Beirut. Passengers leaving Sydney International Airport will find that some of the quickest flights make it to the destination in 19h 58m, while some flights will be less expensive and take up to 28h 58m to reach Lebanon. Travellers departing from Melbourne will have a selection of flights into Beirut with the quickest flights at around 19h 48m and the longer flights lasting as long as 21h 50m. These times can vary based on number of stops, time spend at stopovers, and airline selection.
Unfortunately, there are currently no direct, nonstop flights available from Australian to Lebanon. However, Lebanon flight deals can be found on stopover flights that wind up in the same place. Passengers flying out of Sydney can take a stopover flight offered by Qatar Airlines, Emirates, or a combination of the two. Flights out of Melbourne are mainly offered by Qatar Airlines. For travellers who are leaving through Perth, stopover flights are provided by Emirates and Qatar Airways. Qantas also offers flights from several origination airports in Australia.
Travellers can choose government-run buses, independent buses, and privately-owned buses that operate much like taxis to get around Lebanon. The Lebanese Commuting Company is private owned and offers intercity public transport within Beirut. Most of the major routes in Lebanon are also covered by Uber drivers, taxicabs, and service taxis. Yellow taxis are the more expensive option while service taxis cost less. Make sure to come to an agreement about transportation pricing before you depart.
One of the most popular things to do in Lebanon is visiting the Jeita Grotto. It offers two sections of rock formations and allows visitors to walk and boat through the area. The Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine is another popular site to visit and involves a hike up to the location. Travellers who are interested in shopping can do that in the fashion capital of the Middle East, which is Beirut Souks. Many people also enjoy walking through Tripoli’s Tal District to take in the 20th-century architecture. Harissa, the home of the Lady of Lebanon, is a popular religious site to visit in Lebanon. It includes a beautiful shrine and is a hub of spirituality for the country.
Travellers visiting Lebanon from Australia need to have a Lebanon tourist visa. This can be provided upon entry for a stay of up to 90 days for tourists. Minors visiting the area will also need a notarised copy of their birth certificate as well as a notarised letter of consent from both of their parents. It is also required to have a passport that is valid for three months after the date of entry. A return ticket for a flight back to Australia is also needed.
Lebanon has a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry (humid along the coast, but moderated by the west wind) and the winters are mild and rainy. The mountainous areas of Lebanon are, naturally, colder than the coast. There’s plenty of snowfall in the winter months – ski season – and some peaks are snowcapped year round. The khamsin, a hot wind from the Sahara, blows during spring and occasionally the autumn months.
There’s not really a bad time to take cheap flights to Lebanon. The summer (June to August) is high season as this is when families in the region take their holidays. During the winter months temperatures along the coast are still mild although the mountainous regions are snowy. This is peak season for skiers. During the summer months hikers and quad-bikers take to the mountains.
April to October is high season in the beach resorts and December to April is ski season. Other peak season times are Eid el Fitr (the Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Ramadan occurs during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, usually August/September), Eid al Adha (The Festival of Sacrifice, November), Christmas, New Year and Easter (March/April).
In general, the weeks following New Year and between Eid al Adha (November) and Christmas are low season times in Lebanon.