There is a wide collection of tourist resources available in Libya, spreading on a vast area in the country. This includes landmarks, fascinating landscapes such coastal and rocky beaches and lakes, in the Mediterranean coast, Eljabel Elakhdar (Green Mountain), Eljabel Elgharbi (West Mountain) and several landscapes in the Libyan Desert (Sahara).
The main achievements are represented in old buildings and cities, historical antique arts, customs, traditions and folklores which are considered having high importance due to its antiquity, originality and belonging to historical eras and epochs before Christ. The types of plants and animals, form a factor of those of tourist attraction in the country, namely as example, desert plants, multi-heads turtles, in addition to several types of birds such as hawks partridges.
COUNTRY IN BRIEF
Official Name : Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Republic
Capital City : Tripoli
Major Cities : Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata, Az Zawiyah, Al Bayda
Location : Libya consists mostly of huge areas of desert. Libya shares borders with Tunisia and Algerian in the west and Egypt in the east while the Sahara extends across the southern frontiers with Niger, Chad and the Sudan.
Area : 1,759,540 sq km
Population : 6,461,454 (2010 est.)
Ethnicity/Race : Berber and Arab 97%, Greeks, Maltese, Italian, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Turks, Indians, Tunisians
Time Zone : GMT +2
Languages : Arabic (official), English, Italian
Religion : Sunni Muslim 97%, Christian 3%
Currency : Libyan Dinar (LD); USD 1 = 1.23 LD
Time Zone : GMT +2
Libya extends over 1,759,540 square kilometers (679,362 sq mi), making it the 17th largest nation in the world by size. Libya is somewhat smaller than Indonesia in land area, and roughly the size of the US state of Alaska. It is bound to the north by the Mediterranean Sea, the west by Tunisia and Algeria, the southwest by Niger, the south by Chad and Sudan and to the east by Egypt. Libya lies between latitudes 19° and 34°N, and longitudes 9° and 26°E.
At 1,770 kilometers (1,100 mi), Libya's coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean. The portion of the Mediterranean Sea north of Libya is often called the Libyan Sea. The climate is mostly dry and desert like in nature. However, the northern regions enjoy a milder Mediterranean climate.
Natural hazards come in the form of hot, dry, dust-laden sirocco (known in Libya as the gibli). This is a southern wind blowing from one to four days in spring and autumn. There are also dust storms and sandstorms. Oases can also be found scattered throughout Libya, the most important of which are Ghadames and Kufra.
With one of the harshest deserts in the world meeting the mild Mediterranean, most of Libya has a changeable climate. Coastal regions see the most pleasant weather between June and October with sunny, high -20°C days and little rain. winters are fairly temperature but bring occasional rains. Between March and June desert winds referred to locally as the ghibli hit the coastal regions, with temperatures on some days exceeding a nasty 50°C.
The Economy of Libya is centrally planned. It depends primarily upon revenues from the petroleum sector, tourism and other industries.
While the cuisine of Libya is not sophisticated, especially when compared to European fare, it is tasty and healthy, nonetheless, and certainly worth trying during a visit to Libya. The food of Libya gathers most of its tradition from the cultures of North Africa and the Mediterranean.
Often referred to as tent cookery, Libyan cuisine features staples of wheat and barely, dates and soft fruits, plus lamb and fish. Today, with modernization of food production and the ability to import foods from abroad, the typical Libyan diet has expanded from these staples. But in areas that remain traditional, these foods comprise the regular meal.
Two Foods to Try
There are two foods that are an important part of the Libyan diet and that most visitors to the country will end up trying at least once. A thick broth, locally known simply as Libyan soup, is made from lamb stock. Grains, vegetables, and spices are added to the broth, plus a bit of mint, which is routinely added to many Arab dishes. The other dish to try is cous-cous, which is common to all of North Africa. Cous-cous is made of braised lamb, with steamed buckwheat, vegetables, and dried fruits.
Lamb has long been the most consumed meat in Libya, although beef has been added to the menu recently. For religious reasons, pork is never served. Most meals in Libya are served with fresh melon, or other fruits like peaches, grapes, nectarines, apricots, and citrus fruits, which are abundant throughout the year.
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Second in importance only to Leptis Magna, Cyrene is a must see. It ranks as the best preserved of the Greek cities of Cyrenaica, with its temples, tombs, agora, gymnasium and theatre originally modeled on those at Delphi. Apart from the spectacular Greek ruins, its location high on a bluff overlooking the sea is stunning.
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If you see one archeological site in Libya, this is the one to choose. Regarded as the best Roman site in the Mediterranean, Leptis Magna’s spectacular architecture and massive scale will impress even the most ruin-weary traveler. There is an excellent, large museum next to the main entrance to the site itself.
The first thing you will encounter is the Severan Arch, which was erected in honor of Emperor Septimus Severus’s visit to his hometown in 203 AD. Not far off are the marble and granite paneled Hadrianic Baths, the largest outside Rome. Keep exploring and you will come across the partially covered nymphaeum, a shrine dedicated to the worship of nymphs; a pair of massive forums, similar in design and grandiosity to the imperial forum in Rome; the extraordinarily detailed basilica and theatre and if you can continue west along the seashore about 700 m, the circus and amphitheatre where chariot races and similar spectacular were held for the locals’ amusement.
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Once known as the ‘White Bride of the Mediterranean’, Tripoli has lost much of its pristine allure, though its historic mosques and lively medina retain a good deal of character. Tripoli is the de facto capital of Libya, despite attempts in recent years to move some government departments elsewhere. Easily the most dominant feature of Tripoli is the Red Castle, Assai al-Hamra, which sits on the northern promontory. The massive structure comprises a labyrinth of courtyards, alleyways and houses built up over the centuries with a total area of around 13,000 sq meters.
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The Jebel Acacus is an other-wordly landscape of dark basalt monoliths rising up from the sands of the central Sahara. This World Heritage-listed area is home to unique natural rock formations, as well as prehistoric rock paintings and carvings, some of which date back 12,000 years. You can only visit the region with a guide, who can be organized in Ghat.
Famous for its desert architecture, the oasis town of Ghadhames lies 650 km southwest of Tripoli, close to the borders of Algeria and Tunisia. If your time in Libya is limited and you plan to see one traditional desert place, this is the one to visit. Ghadhames earned the sobriquet ‘Pearl of the Desert’ back in the 1950s, when it was a popular getaway for Tripoli folk. Since then, a new town has sprung up around the old one and whitewashed mud-brick walls are a lot less boisterous than they once were.
| Year || Amount |
| 2004 || 149,000 |
| 2003 || 142,000 |
| 2002 || 135,000 |
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