In better times Libya would be famous for its Greek and Roman ruins and epic desert landscapes rather than its geopolitics and conflict. The coastline is littered with Greek and Roman sites, with Sabratha and especially Leptis Magna amongst the most complete roman ruins anywhere in the world. The majority of Libya is made up of desert. Within this barren landscape, pockets of life can be found. Ghadarmis, formerly a key trading centre in the middle of the desert it now stands as an illustration of a Berber town of old Islamic architecture. Even further into the Sahara, in the most southwestern corner of the country are the Acacus Mountains. A UNESCO world heritage site due to the ancient rock art found in the massif, it’s a natural monument in the midst of a deserted wasteland. There are limitations on where we can arrange travel in Libya due to the current conflict. Contact us for more details.
A Greek word meaning “three cities”, Triopli is the capital and largest city in Libya. A sixth of Libya’s entire population resides in the city. The city is known as the Mermaid of the Mediterranean for its turquoise waters and whitewashed buildings. The old town, Medina, still retains much of its old world charm. The Red Castle, an ancient government palace, is located on the outskirts of Old Medina. The palace complex with its numerous courtyards is well preserved and nearly intact.
The Arch of Marcus Aurelius is a Roman arch outside the entrance to the Medina. The monument is dated to 165 A.D and is made entirely of marble. The arch was erected to commemorate the victories Lucius Verus (adoptive brother of Emperor Marcus Aurelius) over the Parthians in the Roman-Parthian War.
The ruins of Leptis Magna are considered the most complete Roman city in the world. Sites to visit include the Triumphal Arch of Septimius Severus, the Hippodrome, the Hadrianic Baths, the Amphitheatre, the Basilica, the Temples of Hercules and Roma, the Severn Forum.
In 2005 archeologists uncovered a 30ft long collection of mosaics created in the 1st or 2nd century representing a warrior in combat with a deer, men wrestling a bull to the ground, a gladiator resting after battle. The gladiator mosaic has nee noted as one of the finest examples of mosaic art ever seen.
One of the old three cities that made up the Tri-polis region, Sabrantha is famed for its spectacular theatre and ancient Roman ruins. A Phoenician trading-post that served as an outlet for the products of the African hinterland, Sabrantha was part of the shirt-lived Numidian Kingdom of Massinissa before being Romanized and re-built in the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D.
The World Heritage town of Ghadarmes, formerly a key trading centre in the middle of the desert, now stands as an illustration of a Berber town of old Islamic architecture. Situated within a natural oasis, Ghadarmes if known as “The Pearl of the Desert, and is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities to still stand, making it a rare example of a traditional settlement.
Speak to the Untamed Borders team for further details.
Dry and hot summers and winters. Along coast more mediterranean climate with some rainfall
The currency is the Libyan Dinar. For up to date exchange rates please have a look at www.xe.com
Two prong European style system (type C, F and L). Three pronged style also found in India, Sri Lanka and African countries (type D).
Very poor wifi connection/speed.
Absorbing influences from Mediterranean and North African cooking, Libyan cuisine really ranges. Bazin is the national dish of unleavened bread. Couscous and other grains are often served alongside meat. Dried fruits such as prunes are also common in dishes.
Alcohol is illegal in Libya.
Islam. Sunni majority.
Dress conservatively. Loose fitting clothing is recommended, refrain from showing too much flesh.
SAFETY & SECURITY
The FCO advises against travel to Libya. This is due to anti-government forces operating in the country, government instability an ongoing civil war and the risk of opportunist violent attacks. We avoid travel to most of the country and take precautions in the areas we do travel. Contact us for information on where we do and do not guide in this region and how we work to minimise risk for our guests and staff
In the Country of Men – Hisham Matar
The Bleeding of the Stone – Ibrahim al-Koni
Sandstorm – Lindsey Hilsum
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between – Hisham Matar
Trips in Middle East
The trip begins in Baghdad and visits ancient Sumerian and Babylonian sites, as well as medieval souks, UNESCO-recognised minarets, Shia Islam’s two holiest sites, and a boat trip on the Shatt al-Arab. There is an add-on to Kurdistan available directly…explore