Introducing Sidon (Saida)
The port city of Sidon (Saida in Arabic), famous in modern times as the birthplace of assassinated former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, is approached from Beirut, 40km to its north, through thick citrus orchards and banana groves. Although not as well organised or commercial as Byblos – its closest equivalent in terms of harbourside charms – this once grand and wealthy Phoenician city exudes a strong feeling of ‘living history’ with its mosques, khans and vaulted souqs still very much in everyday use. There are few concessions made here to tourists, which means the selection of hotels and restaurants isn’t particularly extensive. But what it lacks in facilities it makes up for in workaday charm and mysterious medieval alleyways ripe for the exploring, along with the most tempting aromas wafting from the souq-based food stalls.
Sidon (Saida) destination guides
Tyre, Sidon and Maghdouche Day Trip from Beirut
Enjoy a full-day trip from Beirut to the fascinating Lebanese cities of Tyre (a UNESCO World Heritage), Sidon and Maghdouche. With your local expert guide, you’ll visit three of the most beautifully preserved towns in Lebanon and discover many cultural influences.