Tyre: A Magical City

Tyre is a magical city in the south of Lebanon at an 80 km distance from Beirut. It is famous for its ancient sites and vast sandy shore that spans throughout the city and beyond. The name of the city means “rock” after the rocky formation on which the town was originally built. Tyre is an ancient Phoenician city and according to legend, is the birthplace of Europa and Elissa. It is the fourth largest city in Lebanon and is home to one of the country’s major ports. Many Lebanese and foreign tourists flock to Tyre, as it has a charming quality that you can find nowhere else in the country. Its Roman Hippodrome was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1979.

Tyre is picturesque from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave. Explore and enjoy the charm of this wondrous city; from its narrow streets in the Christian corner, to its breathtaking view of the rocks, the sea, and the lighthouse. Feel the depth and history of the city as you visit its ancient sites which have survived theft and harsh weather conditions but are still magnificent. Stroll by its famous port, which is known for its white and blue fishing boats, and is one of the oldest ports in the world. Watch the fishermen as they reel in their catch of the day. Rent a jet ski or a boat and ride the waves of the Mediterranean Sea or simply rent a bike and enjoy the warm sun as you absorb the breathtaking sights around you.

Tyre is not a city to be visited for an afternoon. You simply must spend a weekend there to truly enjoy and appreciate it. It is ideal for those of you who want to escape the fumes and bustle of the city for some relaxation, away from everyone and everything. For anyone who is used to Beirut, this is a different experience altogether.

When in Tyre, you can choose to stay in its famous Tyre Resthouse and enjoy tanning on its sandy beach, dining in its various restaurants, and drinking the night away on its beach bar.

Another choice is to stay at the Fanar Hotel, which allows you to enjoy a more authentic and intimate visit. Enjoy eating or having drinks on its famous outdoor terrace, overlooking the lighthouse, and watch the waves as they crash unto the rocks.

No matter where you are in Tyre, expect to see a lot of foreigners, whether they are tourists or the UNIFIL members and their families.

An ideal time to visit Tyre is while the temperature is still warm and sunny. Any time from April/May to October would be best, as it will allow you to fully enjoy Tyre’s sea, beach, and sites.

My visit to Tyre was truly an unforgettable experience. At some point, I truly felt as though I was somewhere in the South of Spain or the South of Morocco. I was so taken with its magic and wished that some day it would be restored back to the great city it was centuries ago. I spent afternoons lunching by the sea while I sipped cocktails at night and enjoyed Bob Marley music. My friends and I loved walking through the narrow streets, not knowing where they would lead us. I loved watching the fisherman by the ancient sites; which truly seemed like a picture on a postcard. What I loved most though is the seashore that spread as far as I could see; I could simply sit there for hours and enjoy the breeze while watching the sunset. The seafood there was absolutely delicious; fresh from the sea. It is something you don’t want to miss out on while you’re there.

Of all Lebanon’s cities, Tyre is one of my favorites. I was simply enchanted by it; but you won’t know what I mean until you visit it.

Have you been to Tyre? Tell us about your visit.

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