Your Libyan experience starts with a tour to Sabratha, located on the Mediterranean coast about one hour and a half drive west of Tripoli. In Roman times, the Tripolitania Province had three cities, Leptis Magna, Oea (now the modern Tripoli), and Sabratha. Among all the coastal sites, Sabratha stands out as the most beautiful. A World Heritage Site, Sabratha was founded by the Canaanites in the 6th century B.C. and ruled by Carthage, Phoenicia, Numedia, and Rome in 46 B.C.
The most spectacular site in Sabratha is the theatre, built during the reign of Emperor Commodus (161-192 A.D.) with its three-story backdrop of columns; it remains in use today as an arena for both theatre and concerts. Other monuments and areas of interest include the Temple of Liber Pater, the Basilica of Justinian, the Capitolium, the Temple of Serapis, the Temple of Hercules, and the Temple of Isis. After a day immersed in the region’s history, return to Tripoli in the afternoon.
After lunch, Start your exploration of the old town of Tripoli. The many historic mosques and the lively medina (walled city) display features typical of Afro-Mediterranean towns.
There are several interesting mosques in the old town, and you will visit the best known, the elegant Gurgi Mosque, first constructed in 1833. Other points of interest are the Arch of Marcus Aurelius and Santa Maria degli Angeli church, the oldest church in Tripoli, which today still offers a service of worship for its people.
A unique feature of Tripoli’s architecture, when walking through the medina, it is typical to come across Roman columns that have been reused as building material. The medina in Tripoli is one of the classical sites of the Mediterranean where the basic street plan was laid down in the Roman period when the walls were constructed and have changed little in the interim period.
Continue the tour and stroll through the souks, which provide the best shopping in the city. As still, only very few tourists visit Libya, the souk is authentic as it gets and caters to local tastes. North African handicrafts include silver and gold jewelry, silks, carpets, rugs, pottery, and items made from camel skin. Most places have fixed prices, and the souks are wonderful places to see weavers, coppersmiths, leatherworkers, and jewelers ply their trades.
Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight at Alaseel Hotel or similar in Tripoli