Luxury Libya Tours

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Luxury Libya tours are an interesting and important stop along North Africa's vast sweep of Sahara and Mediterranean. While no longer the pristine whitewashed city of 150 years ago, the capital city of Tripoli has much to offer. Libya's second-largest city, Benghazi, having been pretty much flattened during World War II, is for the most part a convenient place for visitors on luxury Libya tours to explore the coast and nearby attractions.

History behind Luxury Libya Tours

Named and designated by the ancient Greeks about 4,000 years ago, Libya initially encompassed all of north Africa west of the Nile. Phoenicians settled at Tripolitania--today's Tripoli--about 700 BC, an area the Romans conquered some 600 years later. About 700 AD, a long period of Muslim domination began.

Ottoman Turks moved in during the 16th century. Early in the 20th, Italy invaded, making little of a dent, but leaving behind a significant Italian population. Libya became an independent monarchy only in 1951. Oil was discovered only two years later. Early in the 1960s Colonel Muammar al-Qaddafi deposed the king and established his puritanical Muslim republic.

This long and confused history, however, has left an amazing wealth of archaeological history, despite the ravages of World War II. Tripoli's Red Castle (Assai al-Hamra) on a promontory overlooking the city and the lush Jebel Akhdar area and coastal Roman ruins outside Benghazi are reasonably well-known attractions. Others you'll encounter on luxury Libya tours include the oasis town of Ghadhames, famous for its desert architecture, and Leptis Magna, originally a Phoenician city, and now considered the best Roman site in the Mediterranean.

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