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Beirut tours and excursions

Beirut tours

Walking tours

The easiest way to discover Beirut is on foot – provided you keep the extreme sport of crossing the road to a minimum. Beirut Old City Walk takes a look at Beirut's history, giving the inside scoop on the city's turbulent past as well as its food scene. Walks start on Sundays at 2.30pm from the entrance of Sagesse School at Ain El Roumaneh.

Tel: +961 70 731 393.

Bike tours

Beirut by bike is exhilarating. Although most tour operators like to keep you within their local area (where they can keep tabs on you), Beirut By Bike can show you a variety of city hotspots. Be warned: tours are only for the intrepid, thanks to bumpy, pot-holed roads, a limited number of pavements and terrifying drivers.

Tel: +961 3 435 524.
Website: http://www.beirutbybike.com

Beirut excursions

Jeita Grotto

This stunning crystalline cave system, located 45 minutes from Beirut in the Nahr al-Kalb (Dog River) valley, is a spectacular natural wonder. Most tours include a walk through the columns and stalagmites of the upper levels and a boat trip through the lower levels, giving an altogether different view of the awe-inspiring limestone rock formations.

Tel: +961 9 220 840.
Website: http://www.jeitagrotto.com

Baalbek

Located in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, two hours from Beirut's city centre, is the fascinating historic site of Baalbek. The ruins date back to 10,000 BC, when the Phoenicians built a temple to the god Baal, from which the city took its name. It's a UNESCO-listed site with some truly breathtaking temples.

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Featured Hotels

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Casa d'Or

The Casa D'Or is a welcoming, comfortable alternative to functional budget hotels or the home-stays that dominate the lower end of the market. It's not especially glamorous but rooms are clean, comfortable and well appointed, and a decent breakfast is included in the price. It also offers low season discounts.

Talal Hotel

Talal Hotel offers bright, clean rooms complete with comfortable beds for next to nothing. Better still, it's within striking distance of Gemmayzeh and Place des Martyrs. The atmosphere is lively and the hotel also has a communal kitchen. The result is friendly but a bit like living as a student.

Regis Hotel

At first look, you could be forgiven for thinking that you'd just pitched up at the Lebanese Fawlty Towers. However, staff are warm and welcoming, rooms are clean and the breakfast is excellent. All rooms have modern air-con, fridges and TVs, but better still is Regis' proximity to the Corniche.

Le Gray

A remarkable 5-star hotel in the centre of Beirut, Le Gray offers 87 modern rooms bathed in natural light. The infinity pool overlooks the city, while the spa, bar and restaurant could all be destinations in their own right. LCD TVs, Wi-Fi, fresh fruit and flowers are all part of the deal, Mediterranean and Mount Lebanon vistas included.

InterContinental Phoenicia Hotel

When you're looking to rub shoulders with Beirut's A-list, this prestigious hotel is the play to stay. It certainly looks the part with acres of marble floor, draped silk curtains and gold gilt fitting. Plus, it has some of the best facilities in town, including an excellent gym and pool area.

Hotel Albergo

If nothing but the finest will do, make Hotel Albergo your base. With just 30 rooms and a swimming pool, everything screams opulence, including the excellent rooftop bar, complete with fabulous views of the city. Rooms are themed in European, Oriental, colonial and Mediterranean styles, and the lovely Italian restaurant is also well worth a visit.