The 10 best places to visit in Libya

 

Built in the 13th century to the south west of the capital, Tripoli,​ close to the border with Tunisia is a huge fortified store house known as the Gasr Al-Hajj. Serving 119 families, this ancient granary remains in use to this day.

10. Gasr Al-Hajj

 

In the centre of the country, directly south from the capital, Tripoli, is the city of Sabhā, famous for the castle of Fort Elena. Originally known as Fortezza Margherita, built in the early 20th century during the Italian Empire, this fortress is one of Libya's most well known man made structures.

9. Fort Elena

 

West of Sabhā in the centre of the country, set among the sand dunes in the Libyan Sahara Desert is the large salty lake of the Gaberoun Oasis. Visitors will require a 4x4 vehicle and should go from October to May to avoid the extreme heat and the mosquitoes.

8. Gaberoun Oasis

 

Located on a piece of jutting out land at the edge of the desert on the Mediterranean Coast in the north west of the country lies the Libyan capital, Tripoli, known as the Tripoli of the west as to distinguish it from the city of the same name in the Lebanon. Unspoiled by tourism, the cities walled old town retains much of its ancient feeling with many Ottoman buildings, statues and relics surviving to present day. The city walls can be climbed, offering visitors excellent views over the old town and out to the new high rise modern buildings. Affectionately nicknamed the Mermaid Of The Mediterranean, Tripoli is today one of the most dangerous cities on Earth.

7. Tripoli

 

On the Mediterranean Coast, east from the capital, Tripoli, is the archaeological site of Leptis Magna, a once major city of the Carthaginian Empire and Roman Libya, today one of the countries three Roman cities of Ancient Tripolis. Dating from the 7th century onward, this incredibly well preserved ancient ruin is among the best preserved Roman sites in the Mediterranean with large structures including the theatre, the amphitheatre, basilica and market still mostly intact. As such Leptis Magna has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

6. Leptis Magna

 

Dating from around the 7th century BC to the 4th century BC, in the north east of the country on the Mediterranean Coast is the ancient Greek and later Roman city of Cyrene, the oldest and most important of the five Greek cities in the region. Lying within a valley in the Jebel Akhdar uplands, its significant landmarks include the Temple Of Apollo, the Temple Of Demeter and the partially excavated Temple Of Zeus. With an array of historical structures, Cyrene has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured is the Temple Of Zeus.

5. Cyrene

 

In the extreme north west of the country, on the Mediterranean Coast between the capital, Tripoli, and the border with Tunisia is the archaeological site of Sabratha, the westernmost of the three ancient cities of Tripolis. Dating from around 500 BC onward, the most significant structures include a Christian basilica, Roman baths and the Sabratha theatre, still retaining its three storey backdrop. Many of the treasures, including statues, reliefs and intricate mosaics are still present on site, with many also housed in the nearby museum and the national museum in Tripoli. The remains of the ancient city of Sabratha have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Pictured is the Theatre Of Sabratha.

4. Sabratha

In the west of the country where the borders of Libya, Tunisia and Algeria meet is the ancient Berber town of Ghadames, which because of its natural oasis is known as the Pearl Of The Desert. Occupied for the last 6,000 years, it is one of the oldest pre-Saharan cities in existence. The old town which remains surrounded by the old city walls is seen as an outstanding example of a traditional settlement in the region. Its historical importance, combined with the potential destruction from civil war and regional unrest has deemed it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in danger.

3. Ghadames

 

In the extreme south west of the country, stretching some 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the border with Algeria are the Acacus Mountains. In what is one of the most arid parts of the Sahara Desert, the landscape is one of different coloured sand dunes, gorges, isolated rocks, natural arches and deep ravines. Home to extremely well preserved rock art dating back some 14,000 years, this historical and stunningly beautiful terrain has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2. Acacus Mountains

 

In the southern centre of the country, within the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert lies the isolated volcano of Waw An Namus, a caldera surrounded by a terrain of dark volcanic discharge and a series of small oasis lakes. Extremely remote, difficult to get to and seen by very few outsiders, it makes for one of the most picturesque and unusual landscapes in Libya and the Sahara.

1. Waw An Namus

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