Tripoli tours and excursions
Most tour operators offer a city tour of Tripoli, day trips to Leptis Magna or Sabratha or longer trips to Cyrenaica or the Sahara desert. The city tours, in a bus or private taxi with a guide, include a morning at the Jamahiriya museum, lunch in a medina restaurant and afternoon visit of the medina and monuments. It pays to choose a knowledgeable guide as there is not much information available on Tripoli. One of the best tour operators is Robban Tourism Services.Tel: (021) 444 1530.
The ruins of Leptis Magna are located 120km (73 miles) east of Tripoli. The site was a Phoenician trading post founded around 1000BC. It became one of the finest Roman cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the capital of the Roman colony of Tripolitania. The extremely well-preserved city still gives visitors a strong sense of the opulence and wealth of those days, and walking around one can feel what a wonderful and desirable place it must have been to live. It was the birthplace of the Roman emperor Septimius Severus (AD146-211) who added many of its grandest monuments. The Leptis Museum has impressive marble statues and mosaics from the Severan period.
This city also started life as a Phoenician trading post on the Mediterranean, and then became the third city of the Tripolitania. Less preserved and with fewer visitors than Leptis, the ruins of Sabratha (located 80km/49 miles west of Tripoli) are perhaps more atmospheric, and just as much reflect the quality of life Romans must have had here, with several bath houses and large Roman villas with mosaic floors. The superb theatre, reconstructed by the Italians in the 1920s, is definitely the highlight, and is still used for special concerts and performances.