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Libya

Libya is not only a desert country punctuated by few oases….. You will be surprised to see that this country entirely covered by the Sahara desert has also a Mediterranean flavor you can feel along the coast. You will also discover that Tripoli is a very lively city and that the region of Djebel Akhdar has similar green landscapes to Crete Island ones. However, amateurs of sand dunes and camels caravans will appreciate the Sahara desert, in particular Fezzan desert which is the most beautiful desert in the world. You will experience the true desert culture with Arabs, Toubous and Tuaregs. We recommend visiting Libya with organized tours and not going independently because the desert is immense and hostile.

 

Key facts

  • Capital City:  Tripoli
  • Languages: Arabic, Italian, English
  • Time Difference: GMT + 2h
  • Entry formalities: You must hold a visa before your entry in the country and your passport must be translated in Arabic
  • Electricity: 240V
  • Telephone: + 218
  • Health: Risk of malaria, cholera and hepatitis

Money

Generalities: Cost of living in Libya highly depends on official and non-official exchange rates applied. The difference between official and non-official exchange rates can vary up to 6 times. If you stay in high end hotel and change your cash in the banks, your stay in Libya will cost you as much as a vacation in Tokyo…and maybe more. The exchange rate in the black market is more profitable.

Currency: Libyan Dinar (LYD) 1LYD=0.72 USD

Daily budget food:

  • Economic budget : < 10LYD
  • Average budget : 10-15 LYD
  • Higher budget : > 15 LYD

Daily budget accommodation:

  • Economic budget: < 5-35 LYD
  • Average budget: 35-90 LYD
  • Higher budget : > 90 LYD

Best time to go and climate

Best time to go

Period between November and March is most favorable to visit Libya because temperatures are mild in this desert country. On the other hand, if you going between April and September, don’t be surprise to see temperatures climbing to 38°C.  The atmosphere is often humid along the coast whereas the internal deserts are generally very dry. The periods to avoid when planning your trip to Libya are the end of spring (from May to June) and the beginning of the fall season (October), because strong sand storms coming from the south (Ghibli) can last many days and making impossible outdoor activities

Climate

The climate of Libya is subjected to a double influence:  from immense desert in the south and from Mediterranean Sea in the north. In Tripoli, temperatures are between 30°C in summer and 8°C in winter. On average 380mm of precipitation falls mostly during winter season.

Visa

Apart from most African and Arabic countries nationals, everyone needs a visa prior entry to Libya. Make sure you passport is valid 6months more when leaving Libya. Before departure, you should contact the embassy and the consulate to make sure that the conditions for entry in the Libyan territory did not change

Accommodation

Camping

In Libya, there is 2 ways of camping. One way consists in sleeping in the Sahara desert in the place chosen by your guide. Sleeping in the desert under the stars is a wonderful experience, but don’t forget that temperatures can go below zero during the night (from the end of November to February). Tours operators always provide tents, sleeping bags and mattresses. Expeditions through the desert include meals prepared by a cook, kitchen car, and folding tables. Second way of camping: you can stay in fixed camps near oases of Ghat, Al-Aweinat (Serdeles), Oubari, Germa, Tekerkiba & Sebha. These fixed camps offer shared kitchen, toilets and showers. A night in a hut will cost you 10 LYD per person. You will need to pay 5 LYD for the tent and 10 LYD for parking your camping car. Sometimes you will have to pay 5-10 LYD to park your 4×4

Youth Hostels

There are many buyut ash-shabaab (youth hostels) in Libya. These are pretty cheap and convenient to spend one night. A bedroom in a dormitory with shared bathroom will cost you 5 LYD. You can also find hotels charging around 20/30 LYD for single/double bedroom. Many youth hostels have « woman-only » spaces.

Hotels

The new private hotels have good quality rooms, excellent service and very clean. Most rooms have individual bathroom, air conditioning, minibar, and TV satellite. The self-service buffet breakfast is also pretty good. Even though few of these hotels are for small budget visitors (40/50 LYD), their rates are still very reasonable.

Must See

Tripoli

  • Medina’s network of alleyways
  • A beautiful history lesson in Jamahiriya museum
  • Beautiful Gurgi mosque
  • Tripoli’s Roman past and the triumphal arch dedicated to Marcus Aurelius
  • Beautiful facades  (East of Green Square)
  • Shopping in the souk of the Medina
  • Lunch in  Mat’am Obaya and diner in Fish market

Coast Of Tripoli

The sites of Leptis Magna & Sabratha are the main attraction of the coast of Tripoli. Leptis Magna is without a doubt one of the world’s best preserved city of the ancient Roman Empire. It is also the most important archeological site in the country. Often considered as the poor sibling of Leptis Magna, Sabratha is also a jewel of the roman architecture. This magnificent city is also famous for its monumental theatre. Villa Silin, richly decorated with mosaics and frescoes, is a perfect example of the seaside residences where rich patricians used to come, escaping from the hustle and bustle of urban life.

Cyrenaica

Cyrenaica is a fertile region.  Djebel al-Akhdar (The Green Mountain) offers a spectacular view, in particular around Ras al-Hillal. The region stands out by its culture strongly marked by the Greek civilization. Three fabulous Hellenic cities – Cyrene, Apollonia & Ptolémais (Tolmeita) stand along the coast together with Byzantines sites of Qasr Libya and Al-Athrun. Cyrenaica distinguishes itself by its cuisine, traditions, poets and storytellers. At the image of Benghazi , Cyrenaica, with its noisy towns, remind us more Egypt than Libya.

Djebel Nefoussa & Ghadames

Stronghold of Libyan Berbers, western mountains of Djebel Nefoussa stand apart from the rest of the country. In this region, winter season is particularly cold. During the 7th century, Berbers fleeing from the Arabic invasion sought refuge in the mountains of Djebel Nefoussa. The Berber culture is strongly preserved in this area.  Across the western border of Djebel Nefoussa, nestles one of the world’s best preserved oases. Ghadames is an enchanting place, a caravan city with finely decorated houses and splendid gardens

Fezzan & Sahara

Libya has memorable Saharan landscapes, very accessible and diverse. At the extreme southwest, you must visit Djebel Akakus, exceptional site of rock art which offers in open air its exceptional beauty. Not very far, Wadi Meggedet rocks look unreal https://www.temehu.com/Cities_sites/meghedet.htm. Going east, the sand dunes of Wan Caza, Mourzouk and Oubari convey a fleeting impression of the end of the world. It is worth seeing the black volcanic sand of Waw al-Namus and the oueds of Djebel al-Uweinat.

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