Driving 70 km south of Tripoli city you face a formidable wall of hard rock. That is Jebel Nafusa. The mountain rises abruptly from the desert plain of Jefara to a
height of over 750 meters, with the highest peak of a modest 968 meters. The mountains are awe-inspiring, bare, rugged, savage and without vegetation, however, the fertile plains on the mountain high plateau are full of olive, fig, fruit trees, and vineyards.
This is a fascinating excursion to Jebal Nafusa the heartland of the Berber people of Libya, with a visit to the magnificent 12th century fortified granary of Qasr al-Haj (chosen as one of the World’s 80 Greatest Treasures in a recent BBC series).
Continuing to Tormeisa to see Fantastic views from this deserted and ancient stone village of Tarmeisa, clings to a narrow rocky outcrop overlooking a stunning down off the escarpment over the Sahel Al Jefara, with its hundreds of valleys heading northwards. Then you continue driving to Yefren a beautiful place to visit, comprising several mountains divided by deep valleys and truly magical groves and little jungles and cliffs that give the city its unique edge.
Continue to Gharyan which lies at the foot of the plateau Nafusa mountains, 50 miles (80 km) south of Tripoli, Gharyan was on the trade routes both south to Fezzan and over the Nafusa Mountains. By 1884 the Ottomans had established a mayor and town council in Gharyan.
It was considered the center of Libyan resistance against the Italian invasion early20th century.
Gharyan has a population of 85,219 making it the biggest city in Jebel Nafusa. Olive oil processing, flour milling, carpet weaving, and pottery making are the main occupations.
Its famous troglodyte caves are a major attraction for tourists. The root “Ghar”, in the name Gharyan, means “cave”. The caves were dug vertically down into the rocky ground. We return to Tripoli and overnight at Victoria Hotel. (B,L,D)