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Tyre (Sour)
Tyre (Sour)

Tyre (Sour)

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Free admission

The Basics

Most international travelers visit Tyre on a day trip from Beirut, but it’s also a charming place to spend a few days. Day trips typically cover historic highlights such as the Roman Hippodrome, the ruins of the Crusader cathedral, and the Al-Mina archaeological site, partly submerged in the ancient harbor. Most Tyre tours also take in a chunk of southern Lebanon. Expect to visit Sidon and the Phoenician Temple of Eshmun, often combined with either the shrine of Our Lady of Mantara at Maghdouché or the Jezzine Waterfall in the mountains.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • A must for history buffs, Tyre is a fun beach destination, too.

  • Safety in Lebanon has come into question due to violence, terrorism, and kidnapping, according to the US Department of State. Travelers considering a visit should refer to their government’s travel advisories for the latest information.

  • A few of the sights in Tyre, including the Hippodrome, are accessible to travelers who use wheelchairs.

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How to Get There

Tyre is located on the coast of southern Lebanon, 24 miles (38 kilometers) south of Sidon and 50 miles (81 kilometers) south of Beirut. Regular minibuses run from Sahraa Square or the Cola station in Beirut, stopping in Sidon along the way. While Tyre is only 16 miles (26 kilometers) north of Israel, the border is firmly closed, and Lebanon bars travelers whose passports show they have visited Israel.

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When to Get There

Summer is the best season to enjoy Tyre’s beaches. June or early July make a better choice than the late July and August peak, while weekdays are preferable to weekends. There is little shade at the key archaeological sites, so aim to visit those early in the day to escape the midday sun.

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Ancient Tyre and Tyrian Purple

One of the three great cities of the Phoenician empire, alongside Sidon and what is now Beirut, Tyre was famous in ancient times as the home of Tyrian purple. This colorfast, reddish-purple natural dye was a famous luxury, despite its humble origins. It comes from the dried glands of a type of sea snail known as a murex.

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