Libya is a classic North African destination and its primary appeal derives from its position as an ancient crossroads of civilisations – these civilisations bequeathed to the Libyan coast some of the finest Roman and Greek ruins in existence, among them Leptis Magna, Cyrene and Sabratha. This is also one of the best places in Africa to experience the Sahara Desert, from seas of sand the size of Switzerland and sheltering palm-fringed lakes (the Ubari Sand Sea) to remote massifs adorned with prehistoric rock art (the Jebel Acacus), labyrinthine caravan towns (Ghadames) and an isolated black-as-black volcano (Wawa al-Namus) in the desert's heart.
The upheaval caused by Libya’s democratic revolution in 2011–12 continues, but Libya’s tourism and transport infrastructure are excellent. As such, once peace returns fully to the country, expect it to be one of the hottest travel destinations on the continent.
Ghadames Date Festival: a guide to Libya's three-day event
Old Ghadames by David Stanley. Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY 2...
Need to know
Libya: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s Libya guide provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip...