Taste of Libya Tour – 8 Days / 7 Nights
Day 1 Arrival in Tripoli (D)
Upon arrival in Tripoli, you will be met by your local guide. You will be transferred to your hotel to check in and relax. Depending on your arrival, you may have a visit to the city center before having your evening meal in one of Tripoli’s lively restaurants.
Day 2 Ruins of Sabratha and Qasr al Haj (B, D)
After breakfast, you will set off to the site of Sabratha, which is tucked into the coastline about an hour’s drive to the West of Tripoli. Sabratha is said to be one of the most well preserved ancient Roman sites in the world today, and boasts one of the finest theatres of antiquity. After lunch in a local restaurant you will start the drive southwest into the Jebel Nefusa mountain range to visit Qasr al Haj: an extraordinary circular and enclosed fortified granary. In the early evening, you will wind your way up an escarpment to a sprawling Berber village called Yefrin for the night.
Day 3 Berber Culture in the Jebel Nefusa (B, D)
You will depart in the early morning and travel through the Jebel Nefusa, a landscape of barren mountains and rocky escarpments, home to Libya’s Berber community (also known as the Imazighen). The first stop will be Tormeisa – an abandoned stone village situated on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sahel al Jefara plain. There are many tunnels, oil press passageways and rooms to explore, as well as a mosque. You will then drive on to Kabaw; a charming Berber community that nestles on a hillside with a wonderful granary marking the focal point of the village. Lunch will be taken nearby and the journey will continue south in the afternoon where the mountainous terrain starts to give way to the epic harshness of the Sahara that stretches from northern Libya to the heart of the African continent. Upon arrival in Ghadames in the early evening, you will be transferred to the hotel for two nights.
Day 4 Ghadames, the Jewel of the Sahara (B, D)
Ghadames is one of the most extensive ancient caravan trading towns anywhere in the Sahara and a highlight of the tour. You will be taken on a guided tour of the now deserted old town on the first morning of your stay, wandering through labyrinthine alleyways, tropical gardens and old squares. In Ghadames, women led a life of concealment; their domain was the house, which they decorated intricately with red paint and they did not come down to street level except at prayer time. Only a network of interconnecting roofs allowed them to move about freely from house to house. A traditional lunch will be cooked in one of the old houses. Relax or browse the shops in the afternoon and in the early evening, drive into the desert to visit the ruined remains of Ras al Ghoul surrounded by sand dunes and overlooked by the dunes of Tunisia and Algeria.
Day 5 Nalut (B, D)
You will return to Tripoli along a different route through the Jebel Nefusa stopping at Nalut. Nalut is the biggest Berber community and houses an exceptional Berber granary that teeters on the edge of a mountain with fantastic views overlooking the plains beneath. The Qasr is the focal point of the village and the houses, oil press, and mosque only fell empty in c.1960 when new Nalut was constructed around it. The local community have worked hard to keep the local traditions alive with craftsmanship and many of the rooms are open, showing the pottery storage containers that kept barley, dates and oil. The journey is long and you will arrive in Tripoli in the early evening in time for dinner in a local restaurant or your hotel.
Day 6 Magnificent Leptis Magna (B, D)
The entire day will be spent at Leptis Magna, an hour’s drive from Tripoli. The site is extensive and, after a guided tour, there will be time to absorb it at your own pace. Benefiting from the patronage of the founder of the African dynasty of Roman emperors, Emperor Septimus Severus (b. 146), Leptis Magna was a city of extraordinary imperial extravagance – and is still a place of immense splendour. The sands that swept over the site in early modern times prevented pillaging and preserved its glories. The day will also include a visit to the spectacular amphitheatre – a great picnic spot. You will drive on to a hotel not far from the site for dinner and your overnight.
Day 7 Revisit Leptis Magna (B, D)
You may revisit Leptis Magna in the morning and then drive a short distance to view the exquisite mosaics at Villa Sileen (if open – currently under restoration). You wil then be transferred back to Tripoli, stopping if you like, at one of the many honey, olive oil and rosewater stalls along the way. If there is time, you may take a stroll of the old medina exploring the mosques, souks and attractive narrow streets, stopping for mint tea in Green Square, the central gathering place for Tripolitaneans and the entrance to the market. Your farewell dinner will be taken at a good Tripoli restaurant.
Day 8 Tripoli Museum and Departure (B)
In the morning you will have the chance to visit Tripoli’s ‘must-see’ museum. It houses an extensive collection of artifacts from all periods of Libya’s rich history, including one of the world’s most renowned classical art collections. The many galleries contain mosaics, statues and other works of art from each of the sites visited during the week. Lunch will be taken (depending on the time of your flight) before your transfer to the airport for the flight home.
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