Day 1: Tripoli.
Arrive in Tripoli airport and meeting with our deputy then transfer to a short tour in the city, and transfer to the hotel.
Day 2: Tripoli – Nalut - Ghadames.
In the morning drive to Ghedames, stopping along the way at Nalut and visiting the Berber castle where Berbers used to store their grain and oil during their long transfers to new lands looking for water and vegetation. The old town has a huge kasr, more than 300 years old. The kasr is made up of 400 chambers or ghurfas. The mosque, Alala, is even older. Late afternoon arrival in Ghadames, dinner and overnight hotel.
Day 3: Ghadames.
Breakfast, whole day dedicated to visiting Ghadames - situated at the beginning of the Sahara, an ancient Caravanning center, a traditional settlements in Libya reflect man’s response to the harsh environmental conditions and the need to sustain the social organization and respect social and cultural traditions, the old town of Ghadames is the best Libyan Arab Jamahiriya the city is still a ‘living bridge between traditional and contemporary architecture’ in the whole country. It has a total area of 75 hectares, including buildings, palm groves and gardens. Ghadames oasis forms a part of the sub region of Gharyan, one of the five sub regions of the Tripoli region. Moreover, it is one of the most important trade routes, connecting central Africa with the Mediterranean Sea coast.
One story records that a party of travelers from Yemen passed through the valley where Ghadames is located. They stayed overnight and when they moved on in the morning, they forgot their food container. Later they remembered the container and they recalled that they had left it behind where they had eaten their lunch the previous day. A horseman of the party came back to the place to find the container, the horse dug with his leg in the earth and water came out and for this reason, the source of the existing spring is called “horse spring” (Eyn El- Faras). This story explains the origin of the name Ghadames which means “lunch of yesterday”. The Arabic name contains two words Ghada which means lunch or food and Ames which means yesterday. Ghadames oasis has been colonized by many countries as have other parts of the country.
Paleolithic and Neolithic Cydamus. Under the Libyan – born emperor Septimius Severus, it became Romans colonized all the country when general Cornelius Balbus camped in the in the oasis, which the Roman called the third advanced military post 200 km to the south – west of the Roman “limes”. In the Byzantine times it had a church and a bishop. The oasis was conquered by the Arab army sent by Omar Ben El-Ass in 47 AH (667 A.D.) after which Islam became the predominant religion. It has been inscribed on the world Heritage list of historic monuments by UNESCO since 1987. It offers the traveler the unique hospitality of the Berber people and of the things that time hasn’t been able to change. Afternoon departure in 4x4 to the great dunes-with a chance to watch the spectacular desert sunset, return to the Ghadames dinner at the hotel.
Day 4: Ghadames – Kabaw – Gharyan.
Breakfast, departure for Gharyan with a stop along the way in the barber city of Kabaw to admire another artifact of this people visiting the castle (the grain storage), late afternoon arrival in Gharyan. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Gharyan – Sabratha - Tripoli.
Departure to Sabratha, lunch in restaurant, after lunch, we start our excursion to the site. Sabratha was selected as an Emporium, or trading post, by the Phoenician merchant. Sabratha holds one of the magnificent and interesting Roman Theatre and one of the most splendid mosaics of the Byzantine period. Sabratha as we see it nowadays is first and foremost a creation of the Roman genius for building cities. The Roman developed the commercial potential of Sabratha by using the port as an outlet for a trade route running through Ghadames to Central Africa. Ivory, slaves and wild animals constituted the bulk of the traffic. Our visit will include Mausoleum of Bes, discovered by Italian Antonio Di Vita as late as 1962 and dated back to the 2nd century B.C, to The South Forum Temple dated to160 A.D, to the Basilica of Apoleius known as the Forum Basilica transformed in Christian Church.
Continuing with forum the center of the social life, and Anton Temple built in 90-95 dedicated to the joint Emperor Marcus Aurellus and touring the site to include the Basilica of Justinian, to the Curia, the baths, the Temple Os Isis, sunrise and sunset at Sabratha’s are solitary, bewitching. Without watchman tourists, the city breathes deeply and one respects the stillness, finishing with the mite of Sabratha’s theatre the most notable Roman building of Sabratha dated to 175-200 A.D; facing the semi-circular triple-tiered auditorium stands the great scaenae fronts, 25m high and composed of 108 Corinthian columns arranged in three storey which follow the gentle curves of the free apses that contain the three doorways familiar from Roman Theaters all over the Empire. Transfer into the fascinating Libyan desert through the Nafusa Mountain, stopping along the way at Nalut and visiting the Berber castle where Berbers used to store their grain and oil during their long transfers to new lands looking for water and vegetation, return to Tripoli overnight in Hotel.
Day 6: Tripoli – Leptis Magna - Tripoli.
Breakfast departure to Leptis Magna, one of the best – preserved cities of antiquity. Phoenician merchants around the beginning of the first of millennium B.C founded it. The great Emperor Severus born in Leptis in 145 A. D. turned his attention to his native city making substantial changes which every visitor could witness. The visit starts with the Arch of Septimius Severus standing at the beginning of the main north – south street the Cardo Maximus, where this intersects the east west street the Decumanus Maximus, dedicated to the Severus built in 203 A.D. to celebrate the arrival of the great Emperor, to the Palastra a place for sport and games which is parallel to the Baths of Hadrian built in 126-127, remodeled in the time of the Emperor Commodus 180-192.
Continue to the Nymphaeum and the Street of Colonnades, built under Severus and dedicated to the nymphs, it is a semicircular construction containing a pool and fountain, and surrounded by walls, to the Severus Forum and the adjoining Basiltca which are the major extant large-scale building in Leptis Valley, sheltered from the sea by rocks to the north and east. Continue with the Old forum which dated to the beginning of the imperial era, in the northern corner of the forum are the remains of tiles from the time of the Emperor Augustus 30 B.C. –14 A.D. during the governorship of Calpurnius. Stop for lunch in restaurant Addiafa near the site, continue the visit with the museum and finally with the Amphitheater built in the period of Nero around the year 56 A.D. on a natural slope of soft sandstone. It was renovated and enlarged in the 2nd century A.D and again under the Severus near the Amptheatre was a small temple of the famous Artimes, or Dlana, of Ephesus in Westren Asia. Drive to Tripoli dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Tripoli.
Breakfast, full day dedicated to Tripoli, the old Oea, founded by Phoenician in the second Millennium B.C and transformed by the Roman in 146 B.C after the destruction of Carthage. Visit to the Arch of Marco Aurelio. Erected in honor of Emperors Marco Aurelio e Lucio Vero in 163 d. C. paid by a local citizen and magistrate and dedicated to these two Emperors, Archi s situated in N/E corner of old town, to the cross of two big road that through the Roman town in all wideness and longness.
After we visit Gorgi’s Mosque built on 1834 from Yusef Gorgi admiral of Turkish navy, relative of gubernator Yusef Pasha. We walk around in old Medina, have lunch in typical restaurant and after we continue with visit to the national Museum which houses a fine collection of the country’s archaeological heritage, Antiquities, classical statuary, fine Mosaics, historical and prehistorical artifacts. Dinner in hotel or in restaurant.
Day 8: Tripoli.
Breakfast, free morning for little shopping in the old city Souk, transfer to airport and departure for home destination.
Price Includes: Full tourism services except the services in the hotels such as overseas calls, laundry, room services.
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Libya Local Culture Cultural Journey Archeology/History