Travel to Libya, a new tourism frontier to witness some of the finest Roman and Greek ruins. Venture to enjoy the great Sahara Desert and the spectacular Libyan coast. Explore caravan towns, remote massifs with prehistoric rock art, palm-fringed lakes and more. As Libya's upheaval for revolution in 2011 and 2012 continues, Libya tourism maintains a high-risk level to the region. However, tourism still beckons with the Mediterranean coastlines and UNESCO world heritage sites in Libya. Our travel guide helps you experience the country to its fullest.
Libya is known to possess the slowest internet in the world. Libya Telecom and Technology holds a monopoly on internet provision in the country. The average internet connection speed is 0.5 Mbits/s, which is slower than in Bangladesh, Botswana, Libya and Bolivia. Cable infrastructure is poorly maintained and provides very slow connectivity to users. WiMax, LibyaMax and ADSL Services are also very slow network providers. Users connect to wireless hotspot antennas and cause an overload.
During the Late Bronze Age Berbers settled in Libya around 1200 BC. The Phoenicians later settled along the Mediterranean coastline and established coastal trading posts. Greeks occupied the east region of Libya and gave it its name. Libya was conquered by the Romans who ruled the territory. Islam was introduced by the Arabs around 700 AD.
The 16th century saw the Ottoman Empire rule begin that ruled Libya, a large portion of Eastern Europe and the Middle East for many years. In 1912, Libya was taken over by Italian rule that lasted for 31 years. Libya got liberated in 1943 by the British and the French and officially gained independence in 1951.
The country had a monarchy form of governance until Colonel Muammar Gaddafi took charge. King Idris I was overthrown and Gaddafi ruled Libya until the 2011 revolution. The country continues to be in transition and Gaddafi was killed in the civil war. A transitional council was created to form a unified government. The economy still struggles today, and the country depends on oil and gas sales as it is a major oil-producing nation.
Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa. The Mediterranean Sea borders the country in the north, Niger and Chad to the south, Sudan and Egypt to the east and Tunisia and Algeria to the west. Libya is famous for the Libyan desert that is part of the world's largest desert, the Sahara. There are no permanent rivers that flow through its boundaries and Libya is a very hot place. Water occasionally seeps aboveground to form streambeds called wadis.
Libya built a Great Manmade River to provide fresh water to the cities. It consists of a network of pipelines that exist underground. It was completed in 1991 and is the largest permanent flowing source in the country. Libyans occupy cities along the Mediterranean Sea coastlines rather than the hot desert interiors. Cities such as Tripoli and Benghazi are located near the coast where the climate is milder and most of Libya's population occupy the cities.
Libya tourism welcomes travellers to several national parks, natural reserves. Most of the country is covered by the desert. There are some strips of land that are covered by native forests of pine, cypress and juniper. Loggerhead turtles and Egyptian turtles' nest on the country's coastline beaches along with many types of dolphins.
Libya traditions and art include weaving, metal engraving and embroidery. Folk dancing, horse racing and soccer are also popular. Libya's traditional folk culture is prominent even today. The art of painting and writing is well appreciated. Andalusi music and Arab classical music are among the various kinds of musical forms. Among the Tuareg in the south, distinctive folk music is famous and here women are the musicians. There is little or no place for pop music in Libya.FOOD & DRINK
Among the many savoury delights, the country is known for its many traditional delicacies. Explore the country as a plethora of cuisine welcomes you and scrumptious traditional food is a highlight of Libya tourism. Enjoy an abundance of lemons, figs, dates, apricots, olives and oranges. Most restaurants serve a meal that consists of soup, salad, selection of meat dishes, vegetables, tea or coffee followed by fresh fruit. Taste Libyan cuisine which is a blend of Arabic, Italian and Mediterranean influences.Must-Try Libyan National Dishes:
Asisa (flour pudding), Couscous (steamed semolina stew), Shakshuka (eggs made in chilli pepper, tomatoes and onions), Shorba (vegetable and lamb soup), Tajine (spicy lamb made in tomato and paprika sauce), Ghorina (shortbread), Ruuz (rice with meat and vegetables)Must-Try Libyan National Drinks:
Libyan Sweet Tea, British Coffee, Soft Drinks, Maghrebi Mint Tea, Laggmy (palm tree juice), Arabic Coffee, Moonshine (alcohol)Hospitality
Libyans bring families together to chat over daily sessions of tea drinking. Tea (shay) is widely drunk and is an important part of the daily activities of a Libyan family. People are friendly in Libya, although as a tourist it is good to remember that the country is going through a difficult time in history. The remarkable and unique land is strewn with conflict and maybe unsafe. People somehow accept each other regardless of diversity and try to overcome risks from demonstrations and armed militias. Greetings are warm and handshakes can be a long affair. Try to learn to say the most common greeting âAssalamu alaikum" which means "Peace be with you", a common way of saying hello. A short prayer before the meal is customary.
The best time to visit Libya is in October due to good weather conditions. Spring and Autumn's time are the most popular with Tripoli being a top tourist destination. The summer season can be very hot with temperatures reaching a maximum of 36 Â°C along the Tripolian coast. The Saharan influence is hotter in the summer. The wintertime is in January and February where temperature ranges vary between night and day. While the day temperatures are pleasant to a maximum of 20Â°C the nights can get freezing or a few degrees below at night. Travel to Tripoli for sun adventures is from early June to late October.
This tourist attraction in Libya is a large erg that covers an area of some 600 km width by 200 km. The field of dunes in the Sahara Desert is situated in the Saharan lowlands while the northeast edge spills over to Tunisia.
Best Time to Visit: October to May
Entry Price: Based on the tour
This historical landmark in Tripoli is a Roman triumphal arch. Located in the city of Oea, visit the ancient monument. The arch was erected to commemorate the victories of Marcus' brother Lucius Verus. The facades of the monument direct to the northwest, northeast, southeast and southwest. The arch is the main surviving monument of that era.
Best Time to Visit: December to February
Entry Price: Based on the tour
Wander the courtyards and buildings of Tripolis' magnificent fortress. The Red Castle is situated on a promontory above the city of Tripoli. This breathtaking monument was set in 1919 in the heart of the capital. The Archaeological Museum is located in a historic building and houses artefacts and traditional displays.
Best Time to Visit: Winter season
Entry Price: $10 (museum tickets)
Enjoy the wonderful sight of desert mountains with fascinating rock carvings. Desert winds and flash floods through the millennia have carved the mountain into bizarre shapes and natural arches. The scenery is spectacular as you witness the many canyons and overhanging rocks. Look for the many pictographs found all over the mountains found everywhere.
Best Time to Visit: Winter season
Entry Price: Based on the tour
The magnificent city of Leptis Magna lies on the edge of the Mediterranean. The Roman ruins were once a city that stood out as a shining star during the Roman Empire. Notice the incredible planning and architecture of Rome despite existing in an unstable nation. This once glorious city still stands regally although in ruins. The city was heavily invaded and constantly destroyed due to civil unrest.
Best Time to Visit: June to October
Entry Price: $1.34
Other Popular Places to Visit in Libya
MOST POPULAR REGIONS TO VISIT IN LIBYATripoli
Tripoli is the capital and the largest city in Libya. The city is located in the northwest of Libya and is considered the principal harbour of Libya. Historical places in the Old City of Tripoli offer attractions from the Roman to the Crusader era. Although gorgeous, the city isn't recommended for tourists due to unsafe conditions.
Visit For: Saraya Museum, Marcus Aurelius Arch, Gurgi Mosque, Tripoli Castle, Bab al-AziziaBenghazi
Benghazi is located on the Gulf of Sidra in the Mediterranean. It is a major seaport and the second-most populous city in Libya. Visit zoos, historical sites, mountainous views and more. Ptolemais, Jebel Akhdar, Benghazi Zoo, Omar Al-Mukhyar Mosque among other attractions are worthwhile to visit.
Visit For: Ptolemais, Jebel Akhdar, Benghazi Zoo, Omar Al-Mukhyar Mosque, Atiq Mosque, Four Seasons CenterAjdabiya
Ajdabiya near Benghazi is noted for its warm and friendly people. The alluring vistas of sun and sand are welcoming. The town enjoys largely a Mediterranean climate and you witness greenery mixed with the cityscape of flat roofs. The locals here never say âno' as denial is not part of their culture. Instead, they will say âbukra' with a smile that means âtomorrow'.
Visit For: Omar Al- Mukhtar Mosque, Lake Ein Zeiyana, Benghazi ZooMisrata
Misrata in northwest Libya is a city in the Misrata District. It is on the Mediterranean coast near Cape Mistara. It is the third-largest city in Libya after Tripoli and Benghazi. The city is also known as the trade capital of Libya and is situated 187 km to the east of Tripoli.
Visit For:Gurgi Mosque, 23rd July Lake, Tadrart Acacus, Museum of Libya, Red CastleTobruk
Tobruk is a port city and shares its borders with Egypt. It is located on the eastern Mediterranean coast of Libya. Tobruk was famous as a Greek colony and later was known for a Roman fortress that guarded Cyrenaica. It is the capital of the Butnan District.
Visit For:Church of Tobruk, Tobruk War Cemetery, Mosque Sabeyt Aljash.
If you can make time...More Places to Explore in Libya
The annual festival is a three-day celebration. Enjoy Sahara's colourful festival among the nomadic Taureg people. The days are filled with singing, dancing and festivities to celebrate the date harvests. Open marketplace, camel and horse races performed in traditional dress are part of the celebration.
Location : Ghadames
The cultural festival is set in a Tuareg oasis in the town of Ghat. It happens mostly around New Year and is accompanied by music, dance, Tuareg camel racing and festivities. Traditional crafts are on display in the town surrounded by desert and Acacus.
Location : Ghat
Date: 29 December to 31 December
The festival occurs in the beach town of Zuwarah. Livestock and possessions were taken into the water for ritual bathing before sunrise by the Berbers. Today the festival consists of swimming races, folk music, sailing and traditional feasts.
Location : Zuwarah
The festival is set in the old town of Nalut and is a three-day spring festival. It showcases crafts, parades, traditional music and dance performances. The festival is held in March in the mountainous Jebel Nafusa region.
Location : Nalut
The spiritual festival is held at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. The end of fasting is celebrated with joy and food festivities. It is a three-day fast-breaking festival celebrated by Muslims all over Libya.
Location : Libya
Date: May (Dates Vary)
â¢ Liberation Day â¢ Islamic New Year â¢ Acacus Festival
All travellers must have a valid passport to apply for a Libya visa. The passport needs to be valid for six months beyond the date of return. The passport must have at least two blank pages and a Libya visa requirement. The passport must not have an Israeli stamp. Visas must be obtained from one of the Libyan diplomatic missions unless the citizen is from a visa-exempt country.Visa-on-arrival/eVisa/ Visa free entry
Citizens of the following countries are provided Visa-free entry;
â¢ Jordan â¢ Tunisia â¢ Egypt â¢ USA
Visas are not required for citizens holding a copy of a letter from Libyan Immigration Authorities allowing for a visa on arrival at the airport.
Entry is refused to nationals of the following countries;
â¢ Bangladesh â¢ Iran â¢ Sudan â¢ Pakistan â¢ Syria â¢ Yemen â¢ Israel
Libya currently does not issue tourist visas. However, there are plans to reintroduce travel visas as of 2014. Libya Business Visa is issued on arrival for a validity of 30 days. There are two types of multiple entry visa, with a validity of stay for 3 months and 6 months. The single-entry visa is valid for 45 days from the date of issue with a stay of 30 days allowed. The visa is obtained from the embassy. The final decision of issuance of a visa rests with the embassy.
**Please note that the information is subject to change. For the latest information and updates, please contact your embassy.
Libya's primary carriers include Libyan Airlines and Afriqiyah Airways. Please check travel advisories for commercial air travel before visiting. The airline connects Tripoli International Airport to various destinations.Car Hire
Hire a four-wheeler or ply the Tripoli to Benghazi route by coach. Be ready for several checkpoints and coffee stops en route. The desert regions such as the Great Sand Sea and the Eastern Desert is best done by road with 4-wheel drive. Watch out for windblown sand and wild animals that cause hazards on the roads. It is safer to hire a driver on Libyan roads.Taxi
Taxis are easily the best way to move around that are easy to hire. They are also reasonably priced for local travel. Interstate long-distance travel can be expensive. It is a good idea to decide on the fare in advance.Coach / Bus
Travel on a luxury air-conditioned bus/coaches that ply between Tripoli and Benghazi. There is a minibus service from Benghazi to Tobruk. The public buses in Libyan towns are few and overcrowded.Rail
There have been no rail services since 1965.
Road travel is possible from Tunis to Tripoli on an 11-hour drive. You can also cross over to Libya from Cairo which is a 12-hour drive to Benghazi. Embark on the journey only after checking current travel advisories and visa granted for travel by road. If your visa says that you are allowed to travel by air, then road travel is to be avoided. Check for land borders that are closed to non-Africans such as Algeria, Sudan, Niger and Chad. If you are entering via your car, border guards may charge a fee. Minibuses ply between Tunis to Ras Ajdir border. Road transits can be slow with a lot of formalities and safety issues.Via Air Route
Flights from the USA and UK make a stopover in Istanbul from where Tripoli is connected via Afriqiyah Airways. You could fly to Tunis and connect to Tripoli with Libyan Airlines. Tripoli International Airport is an important airport that is about 16 mi from the city centre.Via Water Route
General passenger services do not exist and have been suspended for years. Cruise ships used to halt at Benghazi, Darna and Tripoli ports but the security concerns are tremendous.
Visit the land of the pyramids and ancient monuments. The Valley of Kings, Pyramids of Giza, Karnak Temple and more allure you to the country. Egypt links the Middle East with northeast Africa.Sudan (1552 km from Libya)
Jebel Barkal, Sudan National Museum, Tuti Island and more are some of the top attractions. Sudan's Red Sea marvels, coastal cities and the capital Khartoum are well worth a visit. This country in North Africa borders Libya in the northwest.Chad (1774 km from Libya)
The landlocked country in north-central Africa includes popular cities like N`Djamena, Fada, Moundou and more. Visit Zakouma National Park, National Museum, Grand Mosque N'Djamena and other top attractions.Distance Between Places of Importance In And Around Libya
CALLING CODE : +218
The contact number of the EMBASSY Of UAE: : +218 21 483 2593/5/6 Click for more info here.
Ambulance : 193, 1515
General Emergency : 1515
Police : 1515
Libya currency is the Libyan dinar. The currency code is LYD and the currency symbol is LD. The Libyan dinar exchange rate for some of the popular currencies are;
Symbol: LD (Libyan dinar)
Code: LYD (Libyan dinar)
Libyan dinar banknote denomination: Â¼, Â½, 1, 5, 10, 20
Libyan dinar coin denomination: 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100
LIBYA CURRENCY CONVERSIONS:
**Please note that Travellers Cheques are NOT accepted in most places. â
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