Self drive Lebanon
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jan 24, 2012 10:58 PM Last Post By: SPDL
Jan 22, 2012 1:48 PM
Self drive LebanonVisiting for a week in March, staying in Beirut for the full 7 nights but want to get out and see the country on day trips. I'm thinking it would be easiest just to rent a car for the week, but I heard the service taxis are pretty regular and cheap. Are there any pit falls to self drive?
Edited by: cockerhoop
Jan 23, 2012 4:48 AM
Jan 23, 2012 6:57 AM
2Among the biggest disadvantages of having a car are the associated responsibilities like parking, fuel, insurance, etc.
On the other hand, having a rental car offers more flexibility than relying on service taxis.
As with most things, there are advantages and disadvantages and it's up to you to decide which is better for you.
Jan 23, 2012 7:15 AM
3The traffic in Lebanon is absolutely crazy - I'd only attempt to self-drive if you're comfortable driving in places where driving rules are widely flouted. Think Naples or Athens, but much, much worse.
It's quite common to see things like red lights being completely ignored, five or six lanes of traffic on a three-lane road, cars going the wrong way down dual carraigeways and services without working brakelights stopping without warning because someone wants to get off. Signage isn't great, either, and traffic jams can also be a bit of a problem in the summer or if it's been raining heavily.
Services in Lebanon are absolutely fine for getting to every city of any size. If it's your first time in Lebanon, and you're only planning to visit the more touristy larger towns (Tripoli, Byblos, Sidon, Tyre, Baalbek, Zahle etc), then services would be completely sufficient. If you wanted to visit places in regions which can be a bit more out of the way (Qadisha, Chouf, Bekaa etc), then you'd either need to hire a taxi for the day or self-drive.
Personally, I'd rely on services for most of the trip, and then either self-drive or hire a taxi only for the days that I wanted to see the mountains.
Jan 23, 2012 1:04 PM
Jan 23, 2012 4:27 PM
Jan 24, 2012 6:20 PM
Jan 24, 2012 10:58 PM
7Don't let all this put you off the country though, Cockerhoop! It is absolutely brilliant, and one of my all-time faves (traffic and political instability notwithstanding).
South also makes a good point - the travel agencies there can be a nifty way of packing in, say, Baalbek, Aanjar, Ksara and Zahle into a single day without having to bother with the hassle of driving. Plus you often get to meet lots of really nice people on these trips - all the ones I've taken were run by knowledgable guides and were mainly used by expat or second-generation Lebanese who were visiting family.
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