Would you like to visit a country where 90% landscape is desert? The answer could be a resounding no. But you would like to change your opinion when it is a country like Libya. The destination where water is costlier than promptly, hits the imagination of travellers who keep flying to Tripoli, the capital, a destination in its own right and jumping off point for many a tours in the vicinity. So, limber up for a Libyan odyssey.
It’s only natural to start our Libya trip with Tripoli, the capital city which was established by the Phoenicians in the 5th century BC. The city was ruled by the Romans, Ottomans and Italians who have contributed to its culture and heritage. Those who want to have a peek into those times can go to The Jamhariya Museum where artefacts related to Roman and Islamic era are on display. During your visit to the walled Medina, you will come across a bevy of mosques and souks which gives you an insight into its Islamic past.
One of the best preserved sites in Libya, Leptis Magna gives you an understanding of a roman city. The city was founded by Phoenicians in the 5th century BC was in control of Romans during 2nd century BC. The city flourished under Septimis Severus and its population swelled to 100,000. After being buried under sand for several years, excavation started in 1920. On your visit to the city, you will be amazed to see Gladiator Circus, amphitheatre, marketplace, theatre, basilica and other draw cards.
Once a major Phoenician trading post, Sabratha came under control of Roman during 2nd and 3rd centuries AD and got a reputation of trading hub for gold, ivory, leather, spices and slaves. The travellers visiting the city will come across some excellently preserved roman ruins along the Mediterranean coast. The tourists will get amazed to see a theatre with a capacity to accommodate 5,000 people.
Cyrene and Apollonia
First came into existence as a Greek Colony during the 7th century BC, Cyrene soon rose to prominence as one of the wealthiest and most important cities in the region. Later Ptolemaic and then Roman rulers got control of the city. Even today Cyrene speaks volumes about its historic past that encompasses the Acropolis, the Temples of Zeus and Apollo, and the Agora. A Greek theatre overlooking the sea is also one of the major draw cards.
Tobruk commands great historical importance for being the site of a battle WWII where allied forces hold out against a German siege in 1941. The town doesn’t have much remain of the battle but cemeteries of the Commonwealth, French and German soldiers can still be seen here.
The Acacus Mountain should be visited for its immaculate natural beauty and one of the best rock art in the world. The shifting sands here create some exceptional formations. More than 1,300 rock art sites have been found in excavations that date back to around 12,000 years. All these things hint towards human settlement in the past.