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[Editor's note: Social upheaval makes all but essential travel to Libya ill-advised at this time. We'll remove this notice when conditions have improved.]

Given its historical strategic importance at the flow of ancient trade routes from Africa to the Mediterranean, it’s no surprise that Libya has no shortage of great attractions. The ruins of the Roman city of Leptis Magna are among the most spectacular Roman remains found anywhere, and the old oasis town of Ghadamis bears witness to Berber artistry and trans-Saharan trade and is rightly dubbed the Jewel of the Sahara. In the center of the Sahara, the remains of the Garamantes ...

[Editor's note: Social upheaval makes all but essential travel to Libya ill-advised at this time. We'll remove this notice when conditions have improved.]

Given its historical strategic importance at the flow of ancient trade routes from Africa to the Mediterranean, it’s no surprise that Libya has no shortage of great attractions. The ruins of the Roman city of Leptis Magna are among the most spectacular Roman remains found anywhere, and the old oasis town of Ghadamis bears witness to Berber artistry and trans-Saharan trade and is rightly dubbed the Jewel of the Sahara. In the center of the Sahara, the remains of the Garamantes stand as testimony to the resourcefulness and power of the Garama Kingdom, and the rock art scattered throughout the desert is rich and wonderful. The desert landscapes are otherworldly, especially in the seas of sand dunes dotted with lakes and the surreal mountain ranges of Jebel Acacus. Yet tourism in Libya remains in its infancy partly due to underdevelopment (the level of accommodations and restaurants is poor outside Tripoli) and partly due to the visa regime that effectively bans independent travel. Having to travel in a tour group makes Libya artificially expensive. The upside is the complete absence of touts and the legendary hospitality of the Libyans, who treat tourists more like guests than clients.

Victor Borg
About the Expert

Victor Borg has authored whole guidebooks to Malta and Gozo for Time Out and Rough Guides, and has contributed to other guidebooks on Libya and China, where he lives.

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Victor Borg for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Libya is located in North Africa, bordered by the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Language: Arabic
  • Currency: Libyan Dinar
  • Research: Libya | Libya