Libya, one of the countries in North Africa, can be considered a coalescence of two worlds. Sahara meets the Mediterranean Sea in this country, which explains the ruins of Greek cities (e.g. Cyrenaica) and Roman outposts (Leptis Magna) that can be found here. This has established Libya in the forefronts of Western history, which has made Tripolitania one of the most prosperous cities of the region in the ancient times.
Officially known as the State of Libya, the country has three traditional parts: Tripolitania, Fezzan, and Cyrenaica. As the fourth largest country in Africa and 17th largest country in the world, Libya has an area of approximately 1.8km2. Its capital is Tripoli.
Libya's strategic position has made it a treasury of cultural landmarks. Although affected by the bombings on the cities, many of the old relics still stand today. One of them is Jamahiriya Museum in Tripoli, which boasts one of the greatest collections in the Mediterranean region. Tourists will have fun just seeing the marvellous displays that shows Libyan history from the Neolithic period to the present.
A back-to-back museum tour can also be done if tourists follow up with a visit to Red Castle Museum. Gurgi Mosque is also a must, as it is part of an old historic complex. Other landmarks to see in Tripoli include the Arch of Marcus Aurelius, which personifies Roman influence in the city which tourists can add to their exploration of street murals and Martyrs' Square. From there, one can make their way to Tripoli Zoo, especially those going around with children.
From the capital, one will need to see the Greco-Roman structures to fully appreciate the country's history. The magnificence in size and cultural importance of Leptis Magna will take away the fatigue of the journey. This is because the place was remarkably preserved in the sand dunes. An excavation since the 1920s has brought back a semblance of its former glory. Although there's a museum ready for those who want to learn more about one of the last Roman sites standing, the real delight is in exploring the ruins.
Other cultural relics to see lies in Cyrene, the last preserved city in Cyrenaica. The temples, agora, gymnasium, and other structures were modelled after Delphi. Some tourists might be disappointed, however, as some of the structures still standing are the pillars with surrounding debris. These don't detract from the wonder due to the ruins' fascinating cultural past. From there, tourists can also visit Sabratha and Apollonia for guided tours around the artefacts.
How to get around within Libya
Public transportation can be a bit complex for travellers going around the country. Bus services are still recovering from the civil war and unrest in 2011, which can make them unreliable at times. Shared taxis also abound, which can accommodate up to six people.
Travellers planning to drive around need a 4WD to navigate around the roads. Taxis and private cars can drive too fast, however, so it's important to be careful on the way.
How to get there
Travellers going to Libya at this time will need to determine the travel advisory status with their tourism authorities. Although peace has returned to the country, it's never too much to be extra careful. Those with ample security, however, can go to Libya without much worry. Their most likely landing point would be Tripoli International Airport. Airlines serving this part of the world are: Afriqiyah Airways, Alitalia, Buraq Air, EgyptAir, Libyan Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, Syphax Airlines, Tunisair, and Turkish Airlines.
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