The city in south Lebanon has been described as the one of the Mediterranean’s best kept secrets, thanks to its stunning beaches and historical architecture
Head to beautiful Tyre in southern Lebanon
THE OLD SOUK
Situated a stone’s throw from the Old City’s ancient fishing port is its souk, a bustling, colourful and aromatic affair filled with a hodgepodge of produce. Fishmongers and butchers trade side-byside with merchants selling everything from akkedineh (loquat) and janerik (sour green plums) to assortments of household wares. Importantly, it is also home to Ottoman period architecture and some of the best food in Tyre.
THE OLD CITY
Although much of modern Tyre was destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War, the Old City – in particular the Christian quarter of Haret el Masihiyeh – remains a haven of narrow cobbled lanes, brightly coloured houses, courtyard gardens, boutique hotels and beautiful shuttered windows. Tyre, called Sour in Arabic, is brimming with history. The legendary birthplace of Dido, the first queen of Carthage, this ancient Phoenician city on the eastern fringes of the Mediterranean exists as much in the classical imagination as it does in reality. The Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans and the Crusaders have all been here and left their traces behind.
TYRE COAST NATURE RESERVE
For many, the most attractive part of Tyre’s coastal reserve is its four-kilometre-long free public beach. Free beaches are an increasing rarity in Lebanon and this one is a golden beauty with wide expanses of sand and popular beach-side restaurants such as Cloud 59. At 380 hectares, the reserve is pretty sizeable and also encompasses the Old City, an agricultural and archaeological zone, and a conservation zone that includes the Phoenician springs of Ras El Ain.
Stunning views await you in Tyre