travel to Japan

Travel to Japan
Tourism culture and History tour in Japan

Welcome to Japan

It must come to Japan with an open mind and prepared to consummate the most surprising: a photograph reproduction of the Eiffel Tower, surfing an artificial wave pool, go in good company or a love hotel nap in a space capsule.
The image of Japan has emerged based on false rumors and issues, to discover true prejudices must be abandoned. Between the elegant formality of Japanese label, and social exchanges, but tinged with candor sometimes extremely bullangueros that happen around a few drinks, between the asepsis of the amazing shopping malls and rural festivals, everyone eventually formed his own of Japan

best time to travel Japan

Spring (March-May), with its clear skies and cherry blossoms, the season may be held in Japan, but also coincides with the holiday season of the Japanese and many of the most popular destinations are usually filled with tourists native . Autumn (September to November) becomes a very conducive to travel: the temperatures are pleasant and are accompanied by the beautiful autumn colors of the field. The mid-winter months (December to February) can be very cold, while embarrassing the summer months (June to August) can turn the shortest trip away from the heated areas into a true sauna. But this season offers travelers the advantage of being able to enjoy more peace of the major tourist attractions. At the time of planning the trip, it is worth recalling that move around the country and find accommodation during the peak New Year Golden Week (late April to early May) and O Bon Festival, mid-summer , can be a tough headache

Japan Holidays and festival

During the most celebrated in Japan, New Year (from December 29 to January 6) and Golden Week (which include Green Day, Constitution Day and Children's Day, 27 April to May 6), means of transport and accommodation recorded packed. Other prominent events include the Adult Day Monday or Lucky (the second Monday in January), when they celebrate the coming of age (20 years) of young men and women. In association with the festival, the Japanese celebrate the end of winter throwing beans on the streets while shouting "up with the good luck out demons." The Hanami (contemplation of the trees in bloom) usually arranged between February and April, the romantic Tanabata Matsuri (Festival of Stars) is the July 7, and O Bon (Festival of the Dead), when lanterns lit place at sea, rivers and lakes to symbolize the return of the deceased to another world, occurs in mid-July and August.

The festival of Kyoto called Gion Matsuri (July 17) is perhaps the most famous of the country. Its peak is led by a huge parade floats pulled by men and decorated with great detail. This celebration dates back to the ninth century, when the inhabitants of the city went in procession to ask the gods to extinguish a pest. Other festivals include the curious and entertaining Niramekko Obisha (January 20 in Chiba), in which participants in a contest combining the consumption of sake with the ability to remain unmoved Undaunted, the most-proclaimed winner, the Yah-Yah Matsuri (the first Sunday in February and the following Saturday in Owase), an oral contest in which participants shouted slogans samurai and try to take a terrifying, after which they are naked and bathe in the ocean, and Day Panties Giving (March 14), a strange sort of sequel to Valentine's Day, in which men should give to your partner panties

best travel places in Japan


The most prominent feature of the Japanese capital is its incredible dynamism, although in general can be somewhat taciturn, with their tiny apartment buildings and office blocks, crossed by highways crowded air traffic. But this is the price of Japanese success. Many Tokyo suburbs have not yet succumbed to the culture of the supermarket: the streets have a succession of small shops and busy restaurants, most of which stay open until the early hours.

Along with the high-rise office buildings are discovered small enclaves belonging to another Tokyo: an old wooden house, a Kimono, a Japanese inn, an old woman in kimono sweeping the pavement outside his house with a broom straw. The capital is mainly a place where the pace of consumerism collides with quiet moments that have survived from the oldest traditions. Is a city full of life that will never end the visitor to explore.

Tokyo emerged as a vast conurbation that enters the Kanto Plain from Tokyo-wan Bay. Almost completely rebuilt after an earthquake in 1923 and again after the bombing during the Second World War, Tokyo has literally risen from its ashes. Roughly divided into two luxury commercial and office districts west of the Ginza shopping area and residential neighborhoods, more prosaic, in the East. For visitors, most of the points of interest are located in the area bounded by the railway line of JR Yamamoto, surrounding the center of Tokyo.

Traditional tourism activities will not be any memory of this magical city, which is not an excessive interest and architectural monuments to visit. In the post-war reconstruction during the practical considerations prevailed, so much of the urban landscape is rather gray and dreary. To enjoy the city of intensity should be immersed in the incredible bustle and enjoy the few quiet moments. Ginza stands as the most famous shopping area of the city: rich, vital and popular, is the place where the visitor will certainly lighten your wallet. Ginza also overflowing small private galleries, which makes it the appropriate area to stroll and browse among their offerings, but it is intended to consume. Ueno-Koen, a park located north of downtown, boasts some of the best museums and galleries in Japan. The Tokyo National Museum contains a selection of Japanese art world's biggest, the National Science Museum is a great showcase of free entry, full of all kinds of scientific objects, and the Shitamachi History Museum faithfully reproduces the old neighborhoods Tokyo.

Traditionally considered the heart of the old town, in the Asakusa district, northeast of the city, lasted some flavor to old and authentic Shitamachi. Its main attraction, the temple Senso-ji, is probably the place of Buddhist worship more active in the country, although the entire area is suitable for walking. Yesteryear, Asakusa district was considered an unpopular tolerance, a breeding ground for drama, music and more sordid changes, and now the last remaining vestiges of a rugged and glamor. Shinjuku, west of downtown, is currently the most lively entertainment for the citizens.

If you only have one day to visit Tokyo, and is intended to enter the Japanese phenomenon of modernity, this bustling district expansion is the right place. Most sites of interest in the city meet in this area: high-quality department stores, malls with affordable products, fluorescent dazzling, government offices, crowds, video screens in the streets, restaurants to eat pasta Japanese standard cabarets, churches and sordid Recollects local strip-tease.

Overnight stay in Tokyo is expensive. There are a couple of youth hostels in the west of the center and several relatively inexpensive options in Ueno and Ikebukuro. The district of Shinjuku also mean an alternative, provided you are willing to enter a tiny hotel room, while the neighborhood is one of the best places where to eat. Ueno and Asakusa offers the best traditional Japanese restaurants, and restaurants of Ginza are recommended during the day, but very high prices and a dinner.

Mount Fuji

The highest mountain in Japan (3,776 m) is the natural of the most visited country. This is a perfectly symmetrical volcanic cone which came last erupted in 1707, filling the streets of Tokyo ash, 100 km away. On exceptionally clear days you can see its outline from the capital, but during much of the year, visitors should be considered lucky if it otearlo 100 meters away, as Fuji often is hidden by clouds. Its appearance is particularly attractive in winter and early spring, when a cap is adorned with snow.

July and August host the official season for climbing Mount Fuji, the Japanese, always eager to meet the standards, prepare the backpack often active in these months. In fact, the ascent of Fuji can be completed at any time of year, but in midwinter is reserved for mountaineers more tanned. This tour will never be raised lightly, because the mountain is high enough to cause altitude sickness, and instability in weather conditions can be dangerous. The best time to reach the summit at dawn, gives the sunrise and, furthermore, there is less likelihood that the top is immersed in the clouds, to arrive in these conditions supposed to undertake the running time in the afternoon, stay overnight in a shelter of the mountain (expensive) and start again early in the morning, or make the ascent at night.

Fuji Five Lakes, a typical destination among people in Tokyo for a day of hiking, stretching, forming an arc around the northern side of the mountain. They offer water sports, amusement parks, ice caves and beautiful views of Mount Fuji. The fastest way to reach this place is done with buses departing from the Shinjuku terminal of the capital. A packed bus network links the region of the lower mountain zone of lakes.


Backed by hundreds of temples and gardens, Kyoto was the capital of the country between 794 and 1868, and even today serves as the cultural capital of Japan. Although the traditional architecture is increasingly beset by industrial and commercial sector, Kyoto kept gardens with pebbles combed rake, sensuous profiles the roofs of the temples and geishas contemporary so sought after by tourists eager to topics. The imperial palace stands as one of the few monuments in the center of Kyoto. The present building was built in 1855 and may only be entering him in the course of a tour.

The eastern part of Kyoto, in particular the district of Higashiyama is the area designated for the city to visit its beautiful temples, stroll and enjoy the nightlife traditional Gion. The temple Sanjusangen-do is a key point of the city. It houses 1001 statues of Kannon of the Thousand Arms (the Buddhist deity of mercy). To the northwest of Kyoto Zen temples are diverse beauty, including Kinkaku-ji temple, which in 1950 was completely destroyed by a fire caused by a mad monk, and was later reconstructed in detail, including the lining of bread gold. Takao district, tucked away in the northwest, is famous for its autumn foliage. The castle of Himeji-jo, which can be detected in a one day trip from Kyoto, which is the Japanese castle standing more impressive, and is known as Garza Blanca, referring to its majestic white silhouette.

Throughout the year there are many festivals in Kyoto, so it becomes essential to book accommodation well in advance. Among the most spectacular are the Aoi Matsuri (May 15), which commemorates the prayer of the population during the sixth century to seek help from the gods before a disastrous climatic conditions, Gion Matsuri (July 17), the most famous festival of Japan, which culminates with a huge parade, Damon-ji Gozan Okuribi (August 16), when bonfires are lit impressive to say the souls of ancestors and Kurama-no-Himatsuri (October 22), with a procession portable chapels accompanied by young people with burning torches.

Most lodgings are half price in the north and northwest of the city, although in this area there are a couple of fine hotels. In the center of Kyoto you can taste international and Japanese food at reasonable prices, while in the eastern area is rich with restaurants and western style yakitori.
Daisetsuzan National Park

The largest national park in Japan (2,309 km ²) is located in central Hokkaido, the northernmost and second largest island of the country. The park, which covers several mountains, volcanoes, lakes and forests, is spectacular hiking and skiing. In summer and early autumn increase visits immoderation and require several days to get away from crowds. Sounkyo itself as the center of the park has hot springs and a throat, and is an ideal starting point for walking tours through the interior of the reserve. Furano, one of the most famous ski resorts in Japan, has one of the best powder snow in the world. A short distance northeast of Furano and are located away from the bustle of the remote villages Tokachidake Onsen and Shirogane Onsen, with hot springs, both are established as an excellent base for hiking and skiing.


Nagasaki city is a dynamic and colorful, but its unfortunate fate as the second goal of atomic bomb has relegated to the background its fascinating history and its contacts with the Portuguese and Dutch. Ukrami, the epicenter of the atomic explosion, remains today as a peaceful and prosperous port city where stands the shattering of the Atomic Bomb Museum, an evocative reminder of the horrors of nuclear destruction; and the hypocenter of the park, with a column of black stone that marks the exact spot of the explosion, and various relics and ruins. In the temple of Fukusi Zen-ji, in the form of a turtle, a tane bell every day at 11.02, the exact time of explosion. One of Foucault pendulums (a device that shows the rotation of the earth) of the larger world hangs inside the temple.

At the southern end of Nagasaki, the Glover Garden, situated on a hillside, collects old houses inhabited by residents of the city. Escalators, fountains and fish red give a bucolic appearance, but the buildings are very attractive and the views of Nagasaki, spectacular. An hour's distance north of Nagasaki Huis ten Bosch is an amazing reproduction of a Dutch town, with its windmills, its banks, a replica of the royal residence of Dutch tulips and a cheese. In fact, this is a residential project up to ten thousand people who want to live in a sterile version of the Netherlands in the southernmost Japanese island

Kirishima National Park

Krishima, southern Kyushu, noted for its magnificent mountain scenery, its hot springs, the impressive-taki waterfall Senriga and splendor of wildflowers in spring. A day's journey of the population of Ebina-kogen is a string of volcanoes that hikers can climb to the top, but if you want to undertake shorter walks, there are various routes that surround volcanic lakes, including Lake Rokkannon, an intense blue color. The view south from the summit of Mount Karakuni-Dake are spectacular: on a clear day, you can get a glimpse of Kagoshima, the nearest city, and the smoking cone of Sakurajima, a volcano decidedly hyperactive. A bus runs between Kagoshima and Ebina-kogen.
Noto Peninsula, Hanta

This peninsula combines rugged seascapes with a traditional rural life and festive activities. Emerging in northern Honshu, and exposed the wild west of the peninsula may be the most interesting, as it has developed to a lesser degree than the rugged east coast. The festivals of the region are dozens, including festival Gojinjo Daiko Nabune of Wajima (July 31 and August 1) with the performance of ardent drummers with demonic masks and strange straw hats, and Ishizaki Hoto Festival ( early August), known for its parade of lanterns adapted to long poles. Is easily accessible by train from the Peninsula Kanazawa, Toyama and Takaoka.
Love Hotels

In the Shibuya district of the city's love hotels are for everyone. The subject of these curious establishments ranging from a miniature Gothic castle, a temple to the Far East, and the decoration of its rooms can accommodate most fantasies, from harem extravaganza to a set of science fiction. The customer can also choose to vibrating beds, mirrors from wall to wall installations sadomasochists and video cameras (do not forget to leave the tape).

At the entrance of a hotel of love is often installed with a screen pictures of all the lighted rooms. The customer selects the preferred pressing a button under the image, and pays the price. Although discretion is rigorous, not all customers go to these establishments to consummate a clandestine meeting, also attended many stable lack of space at home to relax together.

Seagaia Ocean Dome is listed as an incredibly entertaining: it is a white sand beach of 140 m in length, with their piece of ocean and an eternally blue sky, all in a completely controlled environment. The most amazing happens to find that this complex slashing the real waves and sandy beaches along the coast of Miyazaki-ken, Kyushu. Can be considered the apotheosis of the Japanese obsession with theme parks and amusement more aseptic. To get Seagaia, Myazaki part of a bus, a city of considerable size and mild climate in the southeast coast of Kyushu

activities in Japan travel

Many national parks have paths for trekking. On the outskirts of Tokyo, the most popular spots for tourists are the Nikko National Park and the Chichibu-Tama. Also interesting excursions can be undertaken, but much more solitary, in the district of Gumma and the Kansai region of Nara. To discover a Japan that few outsiders know, you have to go to the Central Alps, much less populated. Ski season usually extends from December to April. Most stations are located on the island of Honshu, but there are also quality powder snow in Hokkaido. The islands of Okinawa, in the extreme southwest of the country, offer excellent opportunities for diving. Cycling is especially popular in coastal regions more flat, although some intrepid have dared to climb Mount Fuji. In Japan, golf is synonymous with prestige, and who want to step on a golf course should have a large wallet and some influence in the business. The minimum cost of this sport is about $ 100 (115 euros) per day

History of Japan

the first inhabitants of Japan were fishermen, hunters and gatherers who arrived through land bridges from Korea to the west and Siberia to the North. There is also the belief that groups of Polynesians who arrived by sea were part of the ethnic mix. In the year 300 AD, the Yamato kingdom, sun worshiper, had loosely unified the nation through conquest and alliances. Buddhism was introduced from China in the mid-sixth century and soon became the official religion. Rivalry between Buddhism and Shintoism, the traditional Japanese religion, is neutralized to attend the Shinto deities as manifestations of Buddha.

With the relatively stable rule, especially after the conquest of indigenous ainu in the ninth century, the emperors of Japan focused on leisure and academic interests at the expense of governmental tasks. Fujiwara family, noble but corrupt, was the most important positions in the imperial court. In the provinces, was gestating a new power: the samurai, or warrior class, raised arms to defend their autonomy, and showed their strength in the capital, Heian (now Kyoto). The Taira clan briefly eclipsed the Fujiwara, but was in turn defeated by the Minamoto family in 1185. After assuming the rank of shogun (military leader), Minamoto Yoritomo set up the center of power in Kamakura, while the emperor was kept as a symbol of Kyoto. It began a long period of feudal system under the control of successive samurai families until imperial power was restored in 1868.

Broadly speaking, this feudal era can be divided into five main periods. In the Kamakura era (1185-1333) Mongol troops of Kublai Khan invaded the country several times. Japan managed to expel them, but weakened the government lost the support of the samurai. Emperor Go-Daigo presided over the beginning of the Muromachi period (1333-1576), until a rebellion planned and organized by a samurai discontent, Ashikaga, forced him to flee to the mountains. Ashikaga and his descendants ruled the country with a gradually decreasing efficiency, and Japan was plunged into civil war and chaos. Oda Nobunaga and his successor Toyotomi Hideyoshi pacify and unify the various factions during the Momoyama period (1576-1600). The rapid spread of Christianity during the Christian Century (1543-1640) was first tolerated, then cruelly punished when the religion began to assume an intruder threat. During the Tokugawa period (1600-1867), Tokugawa Ieyasu defeated Hideyoshi's successor to the young and established in Edo (modern Tokyo). The emperor had a purely nominal authority in Kyoto as the Tokugawa family ran the country into an era of national isolation. Japanese were forbidden to travel abroad and trade with other countries, and foreigners residing in Japan were subjected to strict surveillance. Some feel that the rigidity in the time taken to accept without question the rules of absolute obedience and loyalty lives on today.

In the early nineteenth century, the Tokugawa government was stalled and undermined by corruption. Foreign vessels tested Japanese isolation with increasing insistence, and famine and poverty weakened popular support for the government. In 1867, Keiki, the shogun in power, abdicated its responsibility and the Meiji Emperor took the reins of the state, leading the country in a race towards unbridled Westernization and industrialization. In 1889 a constitution was introduced Western-style whose principles were based on the national consciousness along with a return to traditional values. The increasing self-esteem of Japan was demonstrated with the comfortable defeat it inflicted on China in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895) and Russia in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905). Under the mandate of Meiji's son, Yoshihito, Japan was aligned with the Allies in World War I but, instead of thoroughly involved in the conflict quickly expanded its economy through trade and transport. Emperor Hirohito ascended to the throne in 1926. The worldwide economic depression that began in 1930, prompted a growing nationalist sentiment. The popular agitation led to the consolidation of military power: Japan invaded Manchuria in 1931 and entered into large-scale hostilities with China in 1937.

Japan signed a tripartite pact with Germany and Italy in 1940 and, when unsuccessful diplomatic efforts to ensure the neutrality of United States, the Japanese people joined the World War II with a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. At first, the Japanese troops were quick victories, pushing their front lines to India, the Australian border and central Pacific. The Battle of Midway opened the U.S. counterattack, undermining the naval superiority of Japan and by tilting the war against them. In August 1945, with Japanese forces in retreat on all fronts, a declaration of war by the Soviet Union and the atomic bombs dropped by United States on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it was all over. Emperor Hirohito announced unconditional surrender. Japan until 1952 occupied by foreign forces in order to demilitarize the country and dismantle the power of the emperor. Thanks to a program of recovery, the economy grew rapidly and Japan became the largest exporter of the world, generating huge profits in business and dominate the fields of electronics, robotics, computing, automotive production and banking.

With the advent of the 1990s, the old certainties seemed to vanish: the legendary Japan's economic growth declined to its virtual paralysis, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), trend conservative, was ousted and reinstated the following year, a strong earthquake in 1995 devastated the city of Kobe (a disaster made worse by the slow reaction of the government), and a millennial cult with doomsday ambitions unleashed a lethal gas attack on Tokyo subway in the same year.

The arrival of Keizo Obuchi, Prime Minister Hashimoto's successor, encouraged a positive change of direction. Hashimoto had fallen, punished by the electorate due to economic instability. Obuchi brought several years of economic vitality, but he died from a stroke while in power. His successor, Yoshiro Mori, was revealed as another without the LDP. Although Mori survived an attempted rebellion by his rival, Koichi Kato, had the lowest support among all the leaders of the most recent Japanese history. His successor is the eccentric Junichiro Koizumi, who brought a seductive blend of nationalism and reform the government of the country. He promised to end the culture of nepotism and differs from its most recent predecessors have known for creating high expectations among the population

Japanese Culture and people

Until the nineteenth century, Japanese art was influenced mainly by China and Korea, but the distinctively Japanese aesthetic existed long before. There is a fascination with the ephemeral (as in ikebana, the art of flower arranging), the sober, and forms that reflect the random nature. Also sensed a gift for drawing, since the early Zen ink drawings to the manga (comics) in contemporary Japan. Stresses the overwhelming passion and interest in the grotesque or extravagant, visible in many works, from the Buddhist scrolls depicting the horrors of hell to the representations of the various members of the body in the wood block prints of the Edo period of a supreme styling.

The Japanese aesthetic is a unique channel in the architecture, from graceful Shinto temples to elaborate castles and houses nearly as subtle as cobwebs (to stay cool in summer and maximum flexibility in case of earthquakes). A very precise physical evidence is also in Japanese gardens, meticulously planned, however it seem spontaneous and unpredictable. Japanese theatrical traditions are the most famous kabuki (melodramatic and spectacular theater) and no (formal theater with masks). Representations of both types may be present in the theaters in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. The ancient Japanese gagaku is played drums and other instruments like the lute, the zither, oboe and flute. Pop music has a large audience in Japan, and the female punk bands have recently begun to emphasize the voracious world of indie music.

Much of the oldest Japanese literature was written by women, since men wrote in Chinese characters, copying text and the Chinese style, while those who had no access to educational resources needed to learn this language, written in Japanese (hiaigana), producing the first truly Japanese literature. Among the pioneers is Murasaki Shikibu, who wrote one of the most important literary works of Japan, The Story of Genji, the intrigues of court life in ancient Japan. The revered poet Matsuo Basho haiku poetry perfected in the seventeenth century. Other modern writers is the controversial Yukio Mishima, the provocative Ryu Murakami, Banana Yoshimoto sophisticated, and the two Nobel laureates: Yasunari Kawabata (1968) and Kenzaburo Oe (1994).

Who wants to learn to read in Japanese must be willing to sacrifice several years. Japan has one of the most complex writing systems of the world as it is based on three different alphabets (four with the Roman alphabet, Romaji, increasingly). But, unlike other Asian languages, Japanese is not the tonic and its pronunciation can be mastered with ease. With a little effort, the traveler may accoutrements a basic repertoire of common phrases, the only problem lies in understanding the response of the Japanese.

Both Shinto (the original religion of Japan) and Buddhism (imported from India), Confucianism (a china import more than one religion is a code of ethics), Taoism and even Christianity, are part of contemporary social life in Japan, and somehow help to define the vision of the world from a Japanese perspective. Religions in general are not mutually exclusive. Shinto emerged as an expression of admiration for the phenomena of nature such as sun, water, rocks, trees and even sounds. All these natural phenomena were attributed a particular god, worshiped in temples erected in sacred spots. Many Shinto beliefs were incorporated into the practice of Japanese Buddhism, following its introduction in the country in the sixth century.

The food is an important part of leisure during their stay in Japan, and the gourmet adventurer discover that Japanese cuisine is much more than sushi, the tempura and sukiyaki dishes that have allowed the knowledge of this cuisine in the rest of the world . Except for shokudo (restaurants of all types of food) and izakaya (the equivalent of a pub which also serves food), most Japanese restaurants specialize in one type of cuisine. In an okonomiyaki (cocínese yourself) the customer chooses a mix of meat, seafood and vegetables that are fried in a mass-based cabbage and other vegetables in a robatayaki entered drinks and specializes in grilled dishes. A variety of restaurants where food is prepared at the table of the diner, just sipping a sukiyaki (beef cut into thin slices, vegetables and tofu cooked in broth), a shabu-shabu (beef and vegetables are cooked briefly in stirring boiling broth and then in wet sauces) or nabermono (a community soup, in which each prepared raw ingredients soaked in several trays). You can eat a relatively low price if only to turn the humble shokudo or food is based on benthos (for packed lunches) or teishoku (fixed menu) for the cheaper restaurants or cafes.

Drinking is the unifying agent that holds the Japanese society: men, women and many teenagers in it. His favorite drink is beer, which can be found in almost all of the country both in machines and in accommodation in the temples. Sake (rice wine) is served hot or cold, eaten hot, its effect is faster. The hangovers of sake are memorable, so we must be cautious in their consumption. Japanese green tea contains much vitamin C and protein. Represents a healthy and refreshing drink, and says it can prevent cancer

Japan Map

Travel to Namibia

Travel Tour to Namibia
Tourism culture and History tour in Namibia

Namibia overview

unlimited space, vast deserts and annual quota of three hundred days of sunshine, in fact, these characteristics are the main attraction of one of the most fascinating destinations in Africa
Located between the Kalahari desert and the cold South Atlantic, the charms of this nation are well known in neighboring South Africa, not by Western citizens, whose discovery of its deserts, seascapes, forests and huge space has been delayed until dates Most recent. Endowed with rich natural resources, a solid modern infrastructure and a diverse amalgam of cultures, Namibia stands out as a beautiful country with great potential.

best time to travel Namibia

The winter dry season (May to October) is considered the most pleasant season to visit the country. It is preferable to avoid the national parks and Namib Etosha between December and March, when extremely hot. The period during which the tourist areas are more crowded place during the school holidays, both Namibia and South Africa, which often develop from mid-December to mid January, late April to early June and late August to mid-September

Namibia holidays and festivals

Day Maherero held towards the end of August, stands as a major event: the herero gather dressed in their traditional costumes Okahandja (a few kilometers north of Windhoek) in tribute to the fallen leaders in the wars against the Hottentot and the Germans. In October, a celebration similar happens in Omaruru (northwest of the capital), where herero pay tribute to his boss Zeraua. Independence Day on March 21, runs from banquets and parties throughout the country. Windhoek Carnival, which lasts for one week in late April, has a significant social as well as Küster Karnival in Swakopmund in August or early September, and the Windhoek Agricultural Show in September. The Oktoberfest, with beer and sausages to deal with is celebrated in a big way across the nation during the last days of October

best travel places in Namibia


The central highlands of Namibia is dominated by its small and typical German capital, Windhoek. Located at the geographical heart of the country, is the hub of business and operations of the nation, and it is the international airport in Namibia. Situated between low hills at an altitude of 1,650 m, has a refreshing mountain climate with wide variations in temperature and abundant rainfall. Rainfall allows the existence of lush gardens and spectacular flower beds. It has only 130,000 inhabitants, but the country's ethnic mix is reflected in every street.

The center is characterized by an amalgam of German colonial structures and contemporary buildings of pastel color. Dominating the skyline is Christuskirche, the German Lutheran church of Gothic and modernist. Other notable buildings include the Parliament (Tintenpalast); liming Alte Feste, an old fort converted into a museum and the train station of the Cape Dutch style, in the year 1912.

It is indicated for a place to visit on foot and walk Hofmeyer, which takes approximately one hour, including the forest near the Klein Windhoek valley, offering a beautiful view of the city. At the heart of the pedestrian area of Post Street sets 33 meteorites from the rain that occurred in 1837 in Gibeon in southern Namibia, and deposited 21 tons of rocks.
Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is one of the best places on earth to enjoy the wildlife, and for many travelers is the only destination in Namibia. The western part is characterized by a savanna grass cover, leading in this direction, to a mixed forest. The soul of what form the Etosha Etosha Pan, a vast depression that salty background, only occasionally contain water. In winter months, the perennial springs attract large concentrations of birds, elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras and a few cheetahs and leopards. Other animals are also protected species such as impala in black face and black rhinoceros. After exceptionally rainy periods, the Etosha Pan of water level rises up to a meter and is visited by huge numbers of flamingos and pelicans who seek to feed their young and breed. The best time to see these animals around water points ranges from May to September.

Although it can be seen in Etosha trips a day, it is impossible to do what is necessary in less than three days. Most of the tourist chooses a minimum of two nights in one of three camps (Namutoni, Halali and Okaukuejo) separated by about 70 km and equipped with excellent facilities. Etosha is located over 500 km northwest of the capital. Tsumeb is located in the nearest commercial airport. It is also possible to take a bus or a train from Windhoek to Tsumeb, but then, travelers heading to Etosha be integrated into a circuit or rent a car, as there is no public transportation to the park.

This population could be a surreal colonial relic, but a crowded Bavarian village in the arid and windy coast of the Namib Desert, where, apparently, the twentieth century has left its mark. It offers everything you would expect from a small German population, from sausages to Lutheran churches and cafes. Along the coast live penguins and seals, their desolate beaches welcome flocks of flamingos and ostriches. Lüderitz emerged as the area of diamonds, and its prosperity is obvious.

The prominent Evangelical Lutheran Church, Felsenkirche, dominates the city from the top of Diamond Hill and has some exquisite stained glass. Lüderitz Museum houses exhibits on the natural history of the population, the indigenous industry and diamond mining. Boat trips to the marine sanctuary of bears leaving the Cape of the jetty of the port daily, if weather did not prevent.

The city is located at any remote location. There are flights between Windhoek and Lüderitz several times a week. Keetmanshoop, the nearest major town Lüderitz, lies 425 km southeast of Windhoek. Though the train no longer runs the route between Lüderitz and Keetmanshoop (300 km east), the Trans-Namib Railway offers a bus service that covers this route.
Fish River Canyon

There is no comparable framework to the Fish River Canyon across Africa. Water has been expanding the gorge along the centuries, achieving a superb result. Despite its large dimensions (160 km long and 27 km wide), size in itself can not explain the appeal of the canyon. The views offered are amazing. The main tourist information center and is in Hobas in the extreme north of the park. Around this point there are picnic areas and camping, plus trails for hiking, since this site provides access to some of the most admirable viewpoints in the area.

Hobas since you can still walk the trail to Fish River Ai-Ais, at the other end of the canyon. The 85 km walk that takes in five days, followed by the sandy river bed. The route is only open from May to June, and must request permission in advance if it is within walking distance. It is essential to provide a sleeping bag, food and water, but it is not necessary to carry a tent, as it rarely rains. As might be a trip too, can take a day hike in the far north.

At the southern end is set Ai-Ais, a pleasant oasis of hot springs. Its water pipes led to swimming pools and Jacuzzis, are beneficial for rheumatism and nervous disorders. Ai-Ais has camping areas, bungalows and caravans. It has no public transportation to any of the ends of the canyon, but it is a very popular destination, you can make hitchhiking

Central Plateau

The central plateau appears as the major trophy of colonialism. In this superb farmland, Afrikaaners and German settlers who have inherited it from raising sheep and cattle ranches in rural or large cultivated citrus fruit and vegetables. The cities are well separated, and the main north-south road artery of Namibia, the B1, crosses the region. This road is shown in such a condition that leads the majority to appreciate too fast environment.

The small town of Rehoboth was founded in 1844 as a Rhenish mission, but twenty years later was abandoned to be resurrected in the 1870s by Basters (bastards), a mixed ethnic group (Hottentot-Afrikaans) proud of their history and culture. Reho Spa Complex is built around a spring and has an interesting museum housed in the 1903 residence of the head of the post office.

Brukkaros is a volcanic crater 2km wide, which can be seen from the B1 between Mariental and Keetmanshoop. Emerge from the car park a path that leads to its southern edge at half time and then it is feasible to enter it and continue up a research center left. There are no restrictions on camping, and the famous night skies Brukkaros to make it an unforgettable experience.

The crossroads of southern central Namibia up the Keetmanshoop, a city of fifteen thousand inhabitants and the center of the wool industry in the region. The town has more gas stations per capita than any other enclave of the country. Originally inhabited by the Nama, the Rhenish Missionary Society founded the city in 1866. Worth exploring the Museum of Keetmanshoop and the beautiful buildings from the colonial era. Organize tours to areas of interest in the south of the nation, including the impressive Fish River Canyon and Lüderitz.
Punta Caprivi

The close and unusual banda Caprivi extends eastward along the north-west, and separates Namibia from Zambia and Botswana. Has about 500 km long and is completely flat. Several rivers have been opened road through the area, including the Kwando, Chobe, Okavango and Zambezi, and populations have developed around them. Previously, the San (Bushmen), yet well represented, as the area roamed by nomadic hunter-gatherers, but now their way of life is totally sedentary. The region includes the reservation of Mahanga, among others, and also the more remote parts of the nation, Katima Mulilo, only 4 km from Zambia but 1200 km from Windhoek.

Caprivi is opening slowly to independent travelers who hitchhiking between Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia, and the excellent condition of the roads have provided access.
Skeleton Coast (Coast of Skeletons)

Skeleton Coast welcomes area rivers Kunene Ugab and open to the Atlantic, but the name is often used to designate the entire coast deserted. The Skeleton Coast Park covers nearly two million hectares of sand dunes and gravel plains, and is among the most inhospitable arid zones of the Earth. Previously, the sailors who were shipwrecked and the current dragged the coast did not have any chance of survival. The mist floats in the air for much of the year, giving it a ghostly air. The National Recreational Area of the West Coast is made up of a coastal area of 2,000 km long and 25 km wide that extends from Swakopmund to the river Ugab. White is frequented by fishermen, mainly from South Africa, which proved lucky with perch, the Dambar, Denton and the other local species.

The Cape Cross Reserve may be considered more of a concentration camp than a sanctuary, where bears are farmed marine commercial purpose. Owns a slaughterhouse close to the cafeteria and some zones, but is open to visitors who can observe the colony without immutable lounging on the rocks. The skins are sold to the fur industry and the rest of the animal is transformed into a compound protein used to feed livestock. The Portuguese explorer Diego Cao, the first European to set foot in Namibia, erected in this place a cross of two meters in height as a tribute to their monarch. He remained standing for more than four hundred years until a German sailor was brought home in 1893. The following year they built a replica

Namibia activities

Most visited Namibia to explore the parks and nature reserves where they can enjoy African animals in their habitat. The varied landscapes and open spaces have excellent opportunities for trekking and hiking. Permits for multi-day hikes in the Waterberg Plateau, Naukluft Mountains, river Ugab and Fish River Canyon is extremely limited and must be applied with maximum advance, it will take a group of at least three people and certificate from a doctor Windhoek to ensure the good health and fitness of the applicant. In the parks and reserves travelers can enjoy the camping areas and the great outdoors. It is possible to practice river rafting and canoeing through some of the major inland waterways, including the Orange River. Also popular are the horse riding and equestrian tours are offered several days at various sites

History of Namibia

The first inhabitants of southern Africa were the San, a nomadic people organized in large family groups who could adapt to the most inhospitable terrain. Subsequently, the San were subjected to pressure from the Hottentot, a tribe that was devoted mainly to livestock breeding, and whose members are among the first potters. Gradually moved to the San, Namibia and dominated until around the year 1500 AD The descendants of both clans are in the country, but few have retained the traditional ways of life. Between 2300 and 2400 years ago, the first Bantus appeared in the central highlands of southern Namibia. His arrival set the first tribal structures in the societies of southern Africa. Other tribes either retreated to the desert or to the marshes of the Okavango Delta, or were enslaved by Bantu society.

Because Namibia has one of the most arid and inhospitable shores of the world, were hardly explored by Europeans. The first white visitors were Portuguese navigators in search of a route to the Indies during the last years of the fifteenth century, but were limited to erecting stone crosses at certain points along the coast as navigational guides. It was not until the competition for colonies hurried towards the end of the nineteenth century when Namibia was annexed by Germany, except for the enclave of Walvis Bay, taken by the British in 1878 to Cape Colony. In 1904, the Herero, cattle herders of Bantu-speaking, they rebelled against German domination, during two years of German troops sparked a war of extermination against the people. Similarly, in the South, a South African worker was discovered east of Lüderitz diamonds. The German authorities immediately called the entire area wedged between Lüderitz and the Orange River as sperrgebiet (forbidden zone). The German domination ended during World War I, when German forces surrendered to a South African expeditionary army that fought for the Allies.

At the end of the war, South Africa was mandated by the League of Nations to govern the country (then known as South West Africa). After the Second World War, United Nations renewed the mandate, but the organization denied the full annexation of the country to South Africa. No flinch, the South African government tightened control over the territory and in 1949 granted parliamentary representation to the white population. Most of the arable land in Namibia six thousand parcels were intended to finance the white settlers, while black workers and their families were confined by law to reserves.

Forced labor of the majority of Namibians from the annexation, was one of the main factors that led to mass demonstrations and the development of nationalism in the late 1950s. During this time various political parties were formed and organized strikes. Hacia 1960, la mayoría de estos partidos se había fusionado para formar la Organización Popular de África del Suroeste (SWAPO), que llevó el candente tema de la ocupación surafricana al Tribunal Internacional de Justicia.

Although the Court in The Hague did not take in the matter, in 1966 the UN General Assembly voted to complete the South African mandate and created a council to administer the territory. Simultaneously, the SWAPO adopted guerrilla tactics, but the failure of the organization to establish a government of South Africa facilitated access to the control of the new country. The invader had refused to negotiate a UN-monitored program for the independence of Namibia unless a quota of 19,000 Cuban troops were expelled from neighboring Angola. Accordingly, the SWAPO guerrillas intensified their activities, substantially restricting the movements in the north.

The economy was badly injured, and by 1985, South Africa also suffered an economic crisis and remained absorbed in its own internal problems. An agreement under the auspices of the UN ensured that the Cubans would leave Angola if South African troops were walking away from Namibia. In November 1989 elections supervised by the United Nations, SWAPO won with an overwhelming majority. In February 1990 a constitution was adopted and the following month was obtained independence under the presidency of Sam Nujoma. He was reelected in 1994 and embarked on a program of rebuilding the country based on the maintenance of a mixed economy and collaboration with the private sector. The president linked the Namibia dollar to the South African rand in March 1998. Towards the end of 1999, as part of a mutual defense pact, the government consented to Angola to attack the rebels from the UNITA (National Union for the Total Independence of Angola) from its territory. A measure which was launched in Namibia on one of the worst civil wars in Africa.

The government's reputation suffered a blow in 2001. The president declared immoral and undesirable to homosexuals, and the prime minister said it was time for Africans to accept blacks as whites were part of the continent. Moreover, it was discovered that senior members of the armed forces owned interests in diamond mines in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where Namibian forces were fighting rebel forces.

Although President Nujoma supported Robert Mugabe of appropriations by the force of white farms in Zimbabwe, the Namibian government adopted a more conciliatory approach to land reform, declaring that it would not allow illegal land seizures. It encouraged white farmers to benefit from land reform of 2002. The following year, it seemed that the strategy had been successful: it prevented 15 farm invasions when a union mozos tillage blacks reached an agreement with white farmers

Namibia Culture and People

The population of Namibia includes a minimum of eleven major ethnic groups, ranging from hunter-gatherers to farmers and inhabitants of the cities and the country still retains the influence of their colonizers and German Afrikaaners. 650,000 Ovambo are the largest group and live mainly in the North. Among the most important tribes are the Kavango, the Herero, the damaras, the Nama, the Basters and caprivinos. A less significant, the San (Bushmen), were in the past with their own system of territorial division and the early nineteenth century, were the architects of one of the pre-trading networks in the wider region.

While still an emerging literary tradition, music, dance and visual arts and architecture are part of local culture for a long time. The first Namibian musicians, the San, imitating the sounds made by animals, and their dances and accompanying tunes stories oral storytelling. The Nama used drums, flutes and string instruments, and Bantus, later, added marimbas, trumpets and ratchet pumpkin made from animal horns. The missionaries established religious choral groups. The Art of Resistance, which develops themes sober with showy colors and generally uninhibited, emerged first in the segregated districts of South Africa during the apartheid years, and rooted in Namibia is becoming an increasingly popular art, Among his most prominent authors include Joseph Tembo Masala and Madisia.

Each ethnic group has its own favorite food pantry. The basic dish is the Ovambo people mielie pap (porridge oats) or Mahanga (millet), also prepared in the form of porridge or soup. They tend to accompany fish, goat, lamb or beef stew. Pumpkins, peppers and onions are also part of their diet. The Nama, who live in the desert, have revered the pinchoso nara melon for tens of thousands of years, and its annual harvest is considered an event of great significance. Endemic to the desert, it is believed that the nara made human existence possible in the Namib. The Herero are staples of dairy products like curd and butter. European cuisine is represented mainly by the German-excited boerewors, a huge sausage farmer. The pastries, breads, cakes, fruit and cold cuts also come from the Germans. Among the traditional beverage, are the mataku (wine watermelon) and walende a palm liquor flavored vodka

Namibia Map

travel to Croatia

Travel Tour to Croatia
Croatia Tourism culture and History tour

Croatia overview

In the period prior to 1991, Croatia (then part of Yugoslavia, now Serbia and Montenegro) was the way to becoming the new Costa del Sol Many planes loaded with passengers from Western Europe (10 million per year) landed on the shores of the Adriatic in search of sun, a low cost of living, and perhaps some curiosity medieval nude beach. But with the push Croatian independence during the violent separation of Yugoslavia, the war turned that dream into a nightmare tour. Despite recent tragedies, the charms of Croatia remain free and the country has been converted into a magnet for tourism.

His aura still lingers in the medieval cobbled streets of Rovinj and the Stari Grad (Old Town) from Dubrovnik, recently restored. Croatia is also home to some of the best Roman ruins in Europe, including the immense palace of Diocletian in Split. The climate and the beaches are still superb, and if one may want to practice nudism

best time to travel Croatia

Taking into account the weather, the months of May through September are the best to visit the country, although in July and August, the Adriatic coast can accommodate an excess of visitors. September is perhaps the most propitious time since the influx of tourism has declined, the prices are adapted to the low season and plenty of figs and grapes. In April and October you can too cold to camp, although the climate of the coast is usually benign and easy to find accommodation. One can swim in the sea from mid-June to late September

Croatia Holidays and festival

From March 21 to April 4, Zagreb is the pace of Spring Time Jazz Fever, only surpassed by the International Days of Jazz, held in mid October in the capital. Also worth a pop group acting Dalmatian style at the Split Summer Festival in July, held at the same time as the Summer Festival in Zagreb, where you can enjoy traditional Croatian music. The Dubrovnik Summer Festival, which celebrates in July and August, has the great classical and country music stars. In these same months, the tambura Omis park to host a festival of singing a capella.

Zagreb organized during the month of June, the European theater festival Eurokraz addition to the International Animation Festival and the International Folklore Festival in July. That same month Opatje enjoy the traditional music of Istria, the Slovenian culture shift arrives in September in the Golden Strings Festival (festival golden string) Pozega. In Sibenik, June brings the International Children's Festival

Croatia best places to travel


The capital of Croatia since 1557 has retained much of its medieval quarter. The city suffered a bombing in 1995, but the damage was minor and the recovery has been rapid, its people have regained their habits and enjoy the new city. Even many museums are closed, some for renewal. There are several elegant and expensive hotels near the train station, it is difficult to find accommodation at affordable prices.

The two twins neogothic capitals of St. Stephen's Cathedral was built in 1899, but you can still find remnants of the old medieval cathedral that was previously in place. Particularly interesting are the frescoes of the thirteenth century, Renaissance chairs, marble altars and the baroque pulpit. From the tower Lotrsac, northwest of the historic center, you can enjoy a 360 ° panoramic view of the city, another point of interest is unavoidable Muzejski Prostor, which offers splendid art exhibitions. Are also in the church of San Marcos, with sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic and colorful tiles; the Museum of Natural History, the Historical Museum of Croatia and the City Museum, located in a former convent.

The bottom is formed by a variety of museums: the Exhibition Pavilion hosts temporary exhibitions of contemporary art, the gallery maintains Strossmayer of Old Master paintings and an inscription in old Croatian, the Archaeological Museum with prehistoric and medieval artifacts, in addition of Egyptian mummies and is in the rear, a garden decorated with Roman sculptures.

To the west lies the Museum Mimara, one of the best art galleries of Europe. Housed in a neo-Renaissance building, retains the private collection of Ante Topic Mimara, who donated thousands to her hometown of objects of incalculable value. The main attraction is the Italian paintings, Spanish and Dutch, but also provides examples of glassware, sculpture and Oriental art. Another wonder of Zagreb by the Mirogoj located to the north, one of the most beautiful cemeteries where rest of the continent proud mausoleums, the layout of the site follows the English style and is surrounded by an arcade-style neo-Renaissance of the nineteenth century.

Founded 1300 years ago, the charm of Dubrovnik lies in the old neighborhood of Stari Grad, with its marble floors, its steep cobbled streets, high houses, convents, churches, palaces, fountains and museums, all carved in the stone clear tone. The ancient city wall, near the renovated old town after the earthquake of 1667, keeps away the drivers. Thanks to its location at the southern end of the Adriatic coast, the city has a pleasant climate and lush vegetation. Although suffered heavy bombing in 1991, Dubrovnik has an ambitious restoration plan coordinated by Unesco, the ancient city had added to its catalog in 1994. Travelers who have recently visited the state now offers a better look, especially because it has not yet returned to suffer the invasion of tourists.

Plate, its beautiful promenade stretching from the bus stop is outside of the door pillar to the clock tower, across the city. Inside the door pillar of the Franciscan monastery houses a pharmacy that carries released from 1391. At the opposite end of the plate is the church of San Blas, beautiful building of Italian Baroque and Gothic palace of the rectory, built in 1441. This palace is now a museum with furnished rooms, baroque paintings and historical exhibitions. Is located just opposite a lively market that opens in the morning.

The walls of Dubrovnik was built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries and have remained intact until today. It is probably the world's most magnificent fortress, measuring more than 2 km long and 25 m high, with 16 towers. No other place offers a landscape like this. A walk around the wall is one of the greatest pleasures this city offers.

You can enjoy the sun on its beaches, but travel by ferry to the island of Lokrum may be a more interesting alternative. The entire island is classified as national park, with a rocky beach for nudists, a botanical garden and the ruins of a Benedictine monastery. The cheapest way to stay in Dubrovnik supposed to accept the offer of private accommodation on offer at the ferry terminal, since the hotels are much more expensive.

To get there you can catch a plane in Zagreb, a bus at one of the many towns that have this service or on a ferry Hvar, Split, Zadar and Rijeka. The boats are more expensive but much more comfortable than the bus. The bus crossed the border town of Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina where it reaches the Adriatic coast, separating the southern Croatian coast the rest of the country.

Located 150 km north of Dubrovnik, Split appears as the center of the province of Dalmatia. It is the largest city in the Croatian Adriatic coast. Founded in the fourth century, when the Emperor Diocletian, known for his habit of throwing the followers of Jesus to the lions, he built his summer palace. When the barbarians left the nearby Roman colony of Salona, many of its inhabitants fled to Split and hid behind the high walls of the palace. Split has become an industrial city, but the old town, which I felt the joy and the many attractions it offers make it one of the most fascinating cities of Europe.

Diocletian's palace stands as one of the remains of Roman architecture in the world most impressive. In fact, it was more of a fortress than a palace, its wall measuring 215 by 180 m past, inside it was the imperial residence, the temples and a mausoleum. You can still appreciate the original hall of the palace, the square with a colonnade, the temple of Jupiter and the remains of the Diocletian's mausoleum, now converted cathedral. In the few medieval buildings remain outside, including the City Council of the fifteenth century. You could walk for hours by the complex historical World Heritage Site in 1979, where the vibrant daily life seems to be developing into an outdoor museum.

Maritime Museum, one of the most interesting of the city, is located inside the fortress of the XVII century. It houses a large collection of maps, artifacts and models. It is also worth visiting the Archaeological Museum, part of his collection is exposed on the outside. Mestrovic Gallery has an extensive collection, well organized Croatian sculptor's most important.

It is rather difficult to find accommodation in Split, as many of their hotel stay for refugees and the business of renting private houses, which sank during the war, is still trying to overcome. Can be reached by plane or by train from Zagreb, by bus from anywhere in the country by ferry from several ports on the continent and islands, including Dubrovnik, Hvar and Korcula.

The quiet Rovinj be highlighted by a picturesque town of cobblestone streets along the coast of Istria, a heart-shaped peninsula situated to the northwest, bordering Slovenia. The population is surrounded by wooded hills and small hotels; thirteen wooded islands of the archipelago of Rovinj offer wonderful marine scene. This active fishing port is located within walking distance of the historic shipping port of Trieste Italian, which explains the presence of a significant Italian community.

The Cathedral of St. Euphemia dominates the city from its 57 m tall, and is considered the largest Baroque building in Istria. Rovinj was built when served as a bulwark for the Venetian fleet. The remains of St. Euphemia was moved from Constantinople in the year 800 AD, five years after he was martyred, and each September 16 devotees gather around his grave.

Rovinj Aquarium, more than a century old, houses an excellent collection of local marine wildlife, including poisonous scorpion fish and anemones of many colors. The forest park Punta Corrente, the South is an ideal place for swimming and the sea. You can get to Rovinj by bus from the majority of Croatian cities, and in summer, by ferry from Trieste (Italy)


The island of Rab, near the center of the archipelago of the Kvarner islands, to the northwest of Croatia, is considered one of the most seductive of the Adriatic. Its northwest corner is desert and rocky, while the far southwest is covered by a lush pine forest. The medieval town of Rab, one of the most beautiful in the region, is built on a narrow peninsula that encloses a well protected port, numerous stone buildings overlooking the sea rising from the port towards the cliff. Rab was dominated by Venice and Austria, at present it is usual to hear in both German and Croatian.

It is easy to recognize the four towers of the churches of the mass of red tile roofs of the city. The monastery of San Antonio was built in 1175, the Romanesque cathedral has a pleasant terrace overlooking the sea, and the church of Santa Justina has become the headquarters of a small museum of religious art. All that survives of his oldest church is the tower and foundation. To enjoy a spectacular view, we should not miss the walk around the wall or stroll in the shadow of City Park, further north. On the island of Rab is reached by ferry from the port and bus Jablanac.

The island of Korcula is populated with abundant vineyards and olive trees make up the southern coastline with small beaches and quiet coves. City Korkula appears as a typical medieval Dalmatian town, with defensive towers and red roofs crowded houses also colorados.

In the plaza of the cathedral is sensed a strong Venetian influence, even has its own cathedral of San Marcos, with two paintings by Tintoretto. Next to the museum stands the palace of the abbey, from the fourteenth century, where the treasure of the city, just opposite the palace is Gabriellis (XV century) where it is now located the Museum of the City, in laying out objects of Greek pottery, Roman pottery and furniture. According to the local tourist office, Marco Polo was born in the city, and until you can look at the house where he lived.

Since the city can move to Lumbarda, a picturesque town in the southeast of the island, which offers a beautiful beach and is surrounded by vineyards producing a dry white wine. It can also be reached by outboard Badija to the island, where there is a nudist beach. Overnight at Badja includes the experience of spending the night in a XV century monastery, now converted into a hotel.

Korcula is located approximately 20 km from the southern Croatian coast, halfway between Dubrovnik and Split. The ferry makes the trip from both ports to the island.

Among the vineyards northeast of Split are scattered the ruins of the ancient city of Salona (today Solin), the most interesting archaeological environment of Croatia. Salona was the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia from the time of Julius Caesar to the year 614 AD, when he fell into the hands of the barbarians.

In Manastrine, outside the old town, were buried the first Christian martyrs, one can admire the tombs excavated in a rock-century basilica V. At the top of the cemetery is the Archaeological Museum. In the south lie the ruins of an ancient center of Christian worship and a V-century cathedral with three aisles, restrooms and a small baptismal font. At the western end stands a huge amphitheater of the second century which was destroyed by the Venetians in the seventeenth century to the Turkish brigands not used as a shelter. From Split you can go to Solin and visit one day.
Island of Mljet

One third of the narrow island of Mljet is a national park. Among its main attractions are two salt water lakes surrounded by small hills covered with pines. Can be visited in one day but if you spend the night on the island, you can enjoy alone. In the middle of the lake is located a larger island to reach it mean to enjoy a lunch in the twelfth century Benedictine monastery, now converted into the hotel to the park. Mljet is an ideal place to swim and sunbathe or rent a bike and take a stroll through the park. Located some 15 km from the southern Adriatic coast of Croatia, between Korcula and Dubrovnik, where you can also get a ferry

Croatia activities

The long and steep mountainous islands of the Croatian coast is a paradise for walking on a yacht. The coast is formed by numerous deep channels, picturesque ports and is plagued by constant winds. It is also a great place to go canoeing, especially around the islands and Kornati Elafiti. Croatian diving industry has just been born and have started to appear the first specialty shops in cities like Hvar and the island of Rab, but if a team has, the country offers plenty of water and marine animals to watch. For freshwater fishermen, nature parks of Paklenica Risnjak and excellent hiking trails home

History of Croatia

In the year 229 BC, the Roman Empire wrested the land from the native Illyrian Croatia, in the year 285 AD, Emperor Diocletian built the fortress in Split, today one of the most popular Roman ruin in eastern Europe. The fall of Western Roman Empire was in the V century, and around 625 Slavic tribes migrated to Croatia from Poland today. The Croatian tribe, who arrived in what is now known as Croatia, the former occupied the Roman provinces of Dalmatian Croatia and Pannonian Croatia, the Northeast. The two counties joined together in forming a single 925 kingdom flourished in the twelfth century.

A Tatar invasion devastated Croatia in 1242. In the sixteenth century, following the Turkish threat to invade the Balkans, Croatia went to the Habsburgs of Austria for protection, and was under his influence until 1918. In parallel, the Dalmatian coast was taken by Venice in the early fifteenth century, which lasted until the seventeenth century, when Napoleonic France was with her to incorporate it into the Illyrian Provinces, along with Istria and Slovenia.

The Croatian political and cultural life experienced a rebirth in 1835 was freed the slaves and the north was being ruled by Hungary, which gave internal autonomy. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire was defeated in World War I, Croatia joined the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, which was reduced to name Yugoslavia in 1929. Croat nationalists did not accept the appointment of Belgrade as the capital of the union and with the help of the Macedonian separatists, prepared the assassination of King Alexander I in 1934 in protest.

In 1941 Germany invaded Yugoslavia and Croatia established a fascist puppet government (the Ustasa) who tried to expel the Serbs from Croatia, to fail, introduced ethnic cleansing killing 350,000 Serbs, Jews and Gypsies. Part of the Croats differ from this policy, and many joined the Communist partisans to defeat Ustasa. At the end of the contest about one million people had died in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After the war, Croatia was the status of republic within the Yugoslav Federation ruling Communist Marshal Tito. To excel economically to the republics of the South, demanded more autonomy and more obligations imposed on its residents in the 1970s. When Tito died in 1980 established a political system that was inconsistent in the annual rotation of presidency among the republics, which plunged the booming Croatian economy into a deep recession.

In the late eighties, the harsh repression of the Albanian majority in the Serbian province of Kosovo led to a fear of Serbia, which sought to impose on the rest of the Federation. While communist governments fell in Eastern Europe, the Croats launched a campaign for autonomy and the end of communism. In 1990, the Croatian Democratic Union of Franjo Tudjman won the elections. We wrote a new constitution that changed the situation of Serbs in Croatia, became a "national minority" instead of an "integrated nation. The new constitution guaranteed the rights are not Serbs, many of whom lost their government jobs.

In June 1991 Croatia declared its independence from the Federation and the Serbian enclave of Krajina was also independent Croatia. There was a bitter fight across the country and the Yugoslav People's Army, dominated by the Serb community, spoke in favor of them. The situation worsened when Croatia agreed to suspend its declaration of independence for three months. However, the struggle continued and one quarter of the country fell into the hands of the militia and the federal army serbia. In October 1991 the federal army and advanced towards Dubrovnik shelled the presidential palace in Zagreb, at the beginning of European Union sanctions against Serbia. In November, the Serbs went on to control of Vukovar after a siege of three months. In half a year ten thousand people died, hundreds of thousands had fled the country and tens of thousands of houses had been destroyed.

After several unsuccessful attempts to cease-fire in January 1992, the UN deployed a protection force in Croatia occupied by Serbs. The federal army withdrew, and in May the same year was admitted to the United Nations after changing its constitution to protect minority groups and human rights. Serbian paramilitaries remained in power in Krajina and in January 1993, Croatia launched an attack in the area. Krajina declared independent republic, and responded by reducing their population by 98% Croatian. In 1994 Krajina signed a cease-fire in May 1995 but returned to the violence erupted. Krajina lost the support of Belgrade, Croatian troops overran the area and, therefore, 150,000 Serbs fled, leaving behind many homes in which their ancestors had lived for centuries.

The Dayton in December of 1995 finally provided a relative stability to the country and let the government handle the situation of unemployment among ex-soldiers, housing for displaced Croats and its infrastructure severely damaged.

President Franjo Tudjman died in December 1999 and a month later, his party, the Croatian Democratic Union, which had ruled since 1990, was defeated by a coalition of center-left. The charismatic and practical Stipe Mesic was elected president. The new government has promised to improve international relations, freedom of the press, the economy and reduce the record of atrocities against human rights that the country possesses. In the 2005 elections, Stjepan Mesic was re-elected

Croatia people and culture

The sculptor Ivan Mestrovic is more valued in the arts Croatian. The traveler can appreciate your work in most places in the country, in addition to several impressive buildings such as the Croatian History Museum in Zagreb. Among the great literary figures include the sixteenth-century playwright Marin Držić and novelist, playwright and poet Miroslav Krleza of the twentieth century, whose latest work, The Banner, the work of several volumes, novel life in Croatia during the turn of the century.

The traditional music comes from a mixture of styles. Slavonic kolo dance is performed in a circle accompanied by violinists and gypsy style of the tambura, a Croatian mandolin. Dalmatian soft guitar and accordion bands reflect a strong Italian influence.

Most Croats profess Catholicism, while virtually all Serbs are Orthodox. Besides doctrinal differences, Orthodox Christians venerate icons, allow priests to marry and do not follow the principles papal.

Catholicism is coming back strongly after being suppressed during the communist Yugoslavia, the Sunday services are coming under increasing influx of devotees. Muslims constitute 1.1% of the population and Protestants, 0.4%. Zagreb is also home to a Jewish minority.

Cuisine abounds in oil, as in the delicious Burek, a cooked cake from layers of meat or cheese and Piroska, a cheese donut from the Zagreb region. The Adriatic coast offers excellent seafood, regional dishes include fried shrimp, the prstaci (shellfish) and the Dalmatian brodet (several varieties of fish stewed with rice). Inland, Excel manistra specialties od bobica (beans and corn soup) or struckle (curd cakes). Almost all regions produce their own varieties of wine

Croatia Map

Travel to Lebanon

Travel Tour to Lebanon

Tourism culture and History travel tour in Lebanon

Once considered the Paris of the East, Lebanon has disappeared from the tourist map at the start of the civil war in 1975. At present, and gradually, is consolidating the view that not only is feasible to travel to Lebanon, but also can be done without major complications. Lebanon has many attractions within its modest borders: ancient cities, relics of the Roman Empire, luxurious ski resorts, great places and samples of Islamic architecture. Also has a complex culture, and this is their social and religious diversity, as the supporters of other nations' cultural homogeneity, it is impossible to avoid social instability. Unfortunately, in this case, Lebanon has given the reason.

The few foreigners who come to these lands today are in accordance with the profile of the wealthy tourists who hired a package tour. Although not many independent travelers, are welcome. The Lebanese are known for their genuine hospitality, and we invite strangers to their homes. For those interested in the history of this region and to witness how this country tries to overcome the crisis, it becomes the most appropriate time to visit.

best time to Lebanon travel

For lovers of sun, summer, between June and mid September, is the ideal season to visit Lebanon. During this period, the weather tends to stay warm and dry, with the exception of the coastal plain, where there is moisture. Surprisingly, Lebanon is becoming an increasingly popular destination for lovers of winter sports (comes with several ski resorts). The season to play the sport runs from December to May. During the past month, the weather on the coast has reached sufficient levels of warmth for a dip, and the fields have already blossomed. Hopefully, we can take this season for skiing, sunbathing on the beach and to enjoy fresh flowers in the hotel room. Autumn also offers beautiful scenery in October and has referred the summer and hot flush is a good time to visit the nation

Lebanon Holidays and festival

Most national holidays are religious, and with the variety of religious groups that coexist within the same borders, if there is any occasion to celebrate. The main Islamic holidays follow the lunar calendar of the Hegira, which has eleven days less than the West, so the holidays are ahead eleven days annually. Among the most important events include the Ras as-Sana (New Year's Day), the Achour, Public Mourning Day which are Muslims and Shiites commemorating the assassination of the grandson of Muhammad, and Radames, a month in which believers fast from dawn to dusk. The celebration ends with the great feast Eid al-Fitr. The day of the patron saint of the Maronites, Mar Maroun, is celebrated on February 9, and the Christian celebrations of Holy Week takes place twice: the first, according to the Gregorian calendar and the second, according to the schedule of eastern Christian churches. Among the secular holidays include Independence Day (November 22) and the Day of Qana (April 18), which recalls the massacre that occurred at Qana in 1996, where 107 Lebanese civilians were killed after the Israeli bombing of a camp of the UN. A more cheerful note is in the hands of the internationally famous Baalbek Festival of the Arts in July

places and attraction to travel in Lebanon


Formerly known as the Paris of the East, Beirut was a strong punishment for the 16 years of war in Lebanon. The city has not yet recovered, nor of the bombings, or the massive influx of refugees, therefore, many newcomers are shocked at the destruction, reconstruction, crowding and chaos exist. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean shores of Lebanon, Beirut reflects all kinds of contrasts: of buildings together with exquisite architecture grotesque mass of cement houses and gardens of fragrant jasmine survive, dwarfed in the shadow of modern buildings and old born winding alleys of broad avenues and modern ostentatious cars compete with trucks on the street vendors. Although not much remains to be seen, they are still vibrant and unique charm.

In the district of Hamra, in the northwest of the city, are banks, hotels, cafeterias and post office, this area lends itself to view windows and soak the atmosphere of the city. North of Hamra, the American University of Beirut has a museum of archeology, although not as spectacular as the National Museum, reopened in 1999 after a period of reconstruction. His collection of Phoenician statuettes is particularly interesting. In East Beirut, a splendid villa of the nineteenth century, Italian style, is home to elegant Sursock Museum, which offers exhibitions of Turkish silverware, icons and contemporary art in Lebanon and that also has a small but attractive library.

A visit to the Beirut Central District (known as Downtown) allow the traveler to get a rough idea of what these people suffered during the war. Portions of this area is being restored, others have been demolished with bulldozers or converted into an apocalyptic landscape of bullets erupted. Martyrs Square, the center of the district was almost entirely demolished (only touching the standing statue of the Martyrs), a huge poster showing the project to be carried out in this place. Omari mosque, also known as the Grand Mosque, is one of the few historic buildings are preserved: Originally built as a church of the Crusaders in the Byzantine period, was converted into a mosque in 1291.

The cave of the Doves is the most famous natural attraction in the capital. These arches of rock emerging from the sea becomes a supplement to the beautiful cliffs of the coast of Beirut, and the inhabitants of the city that usually meet in the enclave to admire the sunset and stay away from noisy traffic. It is also delightful stroll along the Corniche, the path that runs along the coast, and breathe the sea air, have a coffee served at the back of a van or try any food exposed in the carts of street vendors.

On the coast, some 40 km north of Beirut, is the ancient Byblos, one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. In fact, its origins date back to Neolithic times, about seven thousand years. During the third millennium BC, this city became the most important commercial port in the area, starting point of sending in cedar oil to Egypt. Until the tenth century BC, Byblos was the major center of Phoenician culture, and there developed a phonetic alphabet, the precursor of the modern world of alphabets. Successively invaded by Persians, Alexander the Great, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs, Byblos finally fell into oblivion after being taken, and subsequently abandoned by the Crusaders.

Before the civil war, Byblos was an obligatory stop for the jet set, and both the port and its picturesque historic Old Town remains in good condition. To reach the ruins, south of the old city, must pass through the remains of a Crusader castle, which overlooks the medieval walls of the city. From this point you can see the remains of huts dating from the fifth millennium BC, the temple Baalat Gebal, 2800 BC, an L-shaped temple built around 2700 BC, two royal tombs and a temple at the beginning of the second millennium BC in addition to a Roman amphitheater.

Another attraction is to discover the Wax Museum, which retraces the history of the country through a series of scenes somewhat strange and sometimes even grim. Close to the cultural institution, is the church of San Juan, built by the Crusaders. In addition, Byblos has a souq (market) very lively and has an attractive beach with some underwater ruins. While only has a couple of hotels, eating establishments abound.

Located 86 km north of Beirut, Tripoli stands as the second city in number of inhabitants in Lebanon, in addition to being the main port and commercial center in the north. While more modern than the rest of Lebanese people, their appeal lies in its medieval history and architecture Mameluk. The city survived the civil war in better shape than most cities in the nation, and still retains the charm Arabic, with its narrow alleys, its souqs, a gentle pace of life and friendly people. Tripoli is famous also for being the sweet capital of Lebanon, and a trip to this town detract incomplete without a visit to one of their shops sticky sweet and succulent.

The city has two major areas: Al-Mina (port), which enters the sea and the city itself. In the center is Sahet et-Tall, a great place where travelers will find the bus station, restaurants and accommodation. The ancient city extends eastward, forming a maze of narrow alleys, bustling souqs, hammams or Turkish baths, khans, mosques and madrasas (theological schools). In this bustling enclave, artisans working in the same way as from the fourteenth century. This location also has beautiful architecture Mameluk, including the mosque Taynal of the fourteenth century, the Madrasa Qartawiyya intricate and mihrab (niche) of the mosque and madrassa Burtasiya.

Originally built by the Crusaders in 1103, the Citadel of Saint Gilles-dominated Tripoli. Severely damaged by fire in the thirteenth century, was partially rebuilt in the XIV and has since been amended several times, but retains its original splendor. In al-Mina, it is worth visiting the Tower of Leon, which is preserved only example of a group of structures built by the Mamluks to defend the city.

The former Tire, located on the southern coast of Lebanon was founded by the Phoenicians in the third millennium BC In its origins, Tire was a village on land and a town on an island in the ninth century BC, under the mandate of Hiram, the island was connected to the mainland by a narrow road. In the fourth century, when the troops arrived Alexandrian, cut the old road and built a sort of pier or breakwater. As the spring had larger than the old road, the island became a peninsula. At the time of the Phoenicians, was famous for its Tire industries purple dye manufacturing and glass objects, at present, is known for its Roman ruins.

The old town is located on the peninsula, the modern is located inland. To the south, rise the relics of the Roman Tire. Among the Roman ruins are well preserved for a road that crosses a monumental arch. In one of its sides is bordered by an aqueduct, and both sides are erected hundreds of sarcophagi adorned with marble and stone inscriptions complex. The racecourse was built in the second century AD, is the largest and best preserved of the planet, and his remains were celebrating a festival each summer. As Shooting is only 20 km north of the border with Israel, it is possible that in situations of conflict, the surrounding area will attract the attention of Israeli artillery. It is advisable to avoid the area if tensions are emerging, but at other times not considered dangerous to visit


Bcharré and the route to Los Cedros, about 30 km inland from Tripoli, is experiencing some of the most beautiful landscapes of Lebanon. The road follows the foothills of the mountains and on steep climbs meandering and spectacular gorges. Populations of houses with roofs of red tiles appear on the hill or hanging precariously on the slopes, and each curve is a glimmer panorama of olive groves, vineyards, lush valleys and mountain peaks.

In Bcharré is Gibran Museum. Renowned writer and artist Khalil Gibran was born in this township, and was buried in a former monastery that overlooks the town. The museum houses a large collection of oil paintings, gouaches and drawings by Gibran, in addition to many of his manuscripts. You can also visit his grave in the former chapel of the monastery, in the same room were placed a chair, a table, and other objects belonging to it.

Bcharré north of the road continues its ascent up what is known as Arz Ar-rab (the Cedars of God), the latest biblical cedar forest that survives in Lebanese territory. This is a small grove in the past cedars grew throughout the land, but this appeal was abused. Some of these trees date back fifteen hundred years, and the place was declared a National Monument. Bcharré below, in the spectacular gorge Qadis lie the graves of the first Maronite Patriarch, as well as some monasteries carved into the stone. This narrow passage between the mountains is a paradise for those who engage in hiking, and can travel up and down.

Baalbek, 86 km northeast of Beirut, was named in honor of the Phoenician god Baal. The Greeks renamed Heliopolis, and later the Romans used it as a center of worship of Jupiter. Baalbek then appeared as the most important city of Roman Syria. In more recent times, set based Hezbollah, Islamic fundamentalists who oppose the West, and it was in 1999 when the population has reopened its doors to tourism. While the modern city is very small, its Roman remains make up probably the richest archaeological zone of Lebanon.

The temple complex of Baalbek is one of the largest in the world. It measures about 300 m long and has two porches with temples, two courtyards and a hall built during the Arab period. The temple of Jupiter, completed around the year 60 AD, the culmination of a high platform to be located on an impressive staircase, only six of its huge columns (22 m) was still standing, which is enough to get an idea of the scale of original building. In the surroundings, the temple of Bacchus, built around the year 150 AD, is in a good state of preservation. Away from the main area is the exquisite little temple of Venus, a beautiful circular building with striated columns.

About 40 km from Beirut, to the interior is Zahle, a peaceful and attractive holiday with the steep riverbank Birdawni. In the upper part of the population along the river, is located dozens of outdoor restaurants to visit during summer, both its residents and visitors who came from Beirut who wish to enjoy one of the best kitchens in Lebanon. Zahl appears as the best place to savor the arak, a kind of cognac flavored with aniseed, which is produced with the remnants of fermented wine. Alcohol is a pure and transparent, that drunk quickly, but, fortunately, does not produce a hangover. After a few drinks, it seems even drinkable.

About 50 km southeast of Beirut, is Beiteddine (House of Faith), whose name refers both to the people and the magnificent palace, perched on a hill 850 m high, seems to emerge from a fairy tale , an exquisite fancy of Italian elegance Scherezade interpreted (the architects, in fact, were Italian). In 1788 construction was begun, not completed until thirty years later, during that period, the emir Bashir, Ottoman governor, was responsible for overseeing the building of a monument that would reflect the power and the glory of his kingdom.

Beiteddine visitors appreciate the vein of self-worshiping the Ottomans, as a legacy of the best examples of the existing nineteenth-century Lebanese architecture. Even the Israeli invasion destroyed this building, although it is felt that they lost 90% of the unique and valuable objects it contained. His greatness is reflected in its three main gardens, the huge domed stables, small museums, guest rooms, fountains, the portico of marble marquetry, the richly decorated hammams (Turkish baths) dotted around the complex and its collection of Byzantine mosaics. Many of the pottery belonged to the ancient city of Porfirión, from which they were removed for safekeeping in the palace during the war. This collection is considered one of the most spectacular in the Eastern Mediterranean, and even the planet.

During July and August, is celebrated in the town where a festival is an eclectic mix of musicians, singers, dancers and actors in Arab and international

Lebanon activities

The mountains and gorges of Lebanon offers fantastic opportunities for hiking. Since, in general, distances are relatively short, the traveler will not find what you want to encounter any problems with a population where an overnight stay. In Lebanon, there are six major ski resorts, with slopes of different difficulty levels. In providing all the rental equipment at a reasonable price.
In short the Lebanese coast sandy beaches, usually those who want to go swimming to water from the rocks or platforms built in the docks. The beaches are more prized in the South, south of Tire also be accepted that are in the vicinity of Byblos and Chekka, near Tripoli. The areas for soaking the rocks tend to be among the most suitable for scuba diving with a pipe, are also very popular water skiing, windsurfing and sailing.

History of Lebanon

The abundance of natural resources and favorable promontories to port facilities on the coast, along with the possibilities offered by its defensive Highlands, have attracted the Lebanon-biblical land of milk and honey-countless conquerors. In fact, the history of this nation includes a number of opportunistic thieves and charlatans.

The first inhabitants arrived at the Lebanese coast by the year 10,000 BC, some seven thousand years later, their village had been transformed into prototype cities. Around 2500 BC, the coast had been colonized by Phoenician settlers, who later became one of the first great civilizations of the Mediterranean. The Phoenicians never unified politically: its prosperity was based on the outcome of their commercial skill and intellectual effort that stemmed from various city-states. Besides mastering the seas thanks to their skill as navigators, and the superiority of their craft, the Phoenicians were exceptional craftsmen and created the first alphabet.

In the ninth century BC, the Assyrians appeared, ending the monopoly of the Phoenician Mediterranean trade. Subsequently took over the Babylonians, who in turn were conquered by the Persians (viewed as liberators by the Phoenicians). The decline of the Phoenician people were consummated in the fourth century BC after the invasion of the Middle East by Alexander the Great, then began a Hellenization Fenicia spontaneously. In the year 64 BC, Pompey the Great conquered the territory that become part of the Roman province of Syria. Under the mandate of Herod the Great, Beirut became an important focus, and spectacular temples were built at Baalbek.

As the Roman Empire disintegrated, and Christianity is rooted, in the fourth century AD, Lebanon was under the Byzantine domination, with its capital in Constantinople (now Istanbul). The imposition of orthodox Christian belief was not well accepted, so the arrival of the Muslims to preach the word of Allah did not meet with resistance in Lebanon.

The Umayyads, the first great Muslim dynasty, ruled Lebanon for about a century, despite the opposition of Jews and Lebanese Christians, especially the Syrian Maronite sect who took refuge in the vicinity of Mount Lebanon. In the year 750, the Umayyads were defeated by the Abbasid, and Lebanon became a forgotten corner of the Abbasid Empire of Persian influence. His government remained until the eleventh century, when he was overthrown by the Fatimid dynasty which, in turn, hardly remained in power until the lifting of the Crusaders. While his goal is focused on Jerusalem, the Crusaders moved to Syria and the Lebanese coast, where he came into contact with the Maronites before attacking the Holy City.

Muslims Ayubi dynasty controlled the territories of Syria, Egypt, western Arabia and several parts of Yemen until the end of the thirteenth century, was overthrown by the Mamluks, a group of mercenary slaves who ruled Lebanon for about three years. Disappeared with the emergence of the Ottoman Empire, tribal leaders and the emirs Tanukhid-Lebanese (Druze) of central Lebanon and the Maronites, formed alliances with various local factions opposing.

The Ottoman Sultan Selim I conquered Lebanon in 1516-1517, but the Ottoman power was temporarily undermined by the Emir of the Druze Fajr al-Din II (1586-1635). In addition to ambitious al-Din was very shrewd and politically astute, which allowed him to unify for the first time in history, the area which is now known as Lebanon. After the execution of the emir by those who had supported, came to power to his nephew Ahmad Maan, although it was not so clever, the Ottoman Empire was rewarded for his work with an emirate. At death, the government passed into the hands of the Shihab family, who reigned until 1840, when the fighting ended the era of the emirs.

In 1842, the Ottomans divided the area of Mount Lebanon into two administrative regions: one Maronite and one Druze. The dispute occurred between two groups at once, this conflict had already been planned and promoted by the Ottomans, who implemented a policy of divide and rule. In 1845 had been declared a war between Maronites and Druze, and between peasants and their feudal lords. Pressure from Europe, the Ottomans united the Lebanese government under the command of an Ottoman Christian governor and as a result, the feudal system was abolished. Followed by a period of stability and economic prosperity, ending with the outbreak of World War I, when, under the Turkish military, Lebanon suffered a ferocious hunger. In 1922, after the victory of the Allies, the League of Nations to France confirmed the exercise of its mandate on Lebanese territory.

In 1944 became effective independence of Lebanon, becoming an important center of commerce. But there was one major problem: the power remained in the hands of the conservative Christian population, and Muslims (almost half the population) were excluded from the government. This situation should be added the large number of displaced Palestinians to the land. In 1975, it was civil war among Palestinians, coupled with the Lebanese left and the phalanges, which were supported by various Christian organizations. Throughout the sixteen years that followed, complex civil and international conflicts, with some reaching high-profile kidnappings, became routine.

This complex period was summarized in the following areas: responding to a request from the president of Lebanon, Syria intervened in 1976 to force an uneasy peace between Muslims and Christians, to support Phalangist and its allies in March 1978 the Israeli army invaded the southern Lebanese territory and established a militia to protect northern Israel from the Organization for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO), the security council of the UN demanded the withdrawal of Israeli forces and created an interim United Nations Lebanon (UNIFIL) to quell the internal strife between Christians and Muslims. In 1982, Israel besieged Beirut with the stated purpose of eradicating the PLO, and it supported the Christian militias in the killing of Palestinian civilians. Following an agreement between American, Lebanese and Israeli, U.S. forces evacuated the Syrian-Palestinian, and deployed a multinational force for Taxation, composed of Americans, French, British and Italians. Following an agreement libanoisraelí (May 1983) that established the conditions for withdrawal of the Israelis, clashes between Druze, backed by Syria, and phalanges, and between units of the Lebanese Army and Druze and Shiite militias. The MNF suffered heavy casualties and withdrew in early 1984.

Gradually, the Syrians achieved a hegemonic position in the Muslim areas of Lebanon, until in 1988 the new government tried to expel Lebanese military. The attempt failed and fighting continued until the arrival of Elias Hrawi (November 1989), moderate Maronite Christian in good relations with Syria. In 1992, the foreign hostages were released, and Syrian troops began their withdrawal. In August 1992, for the first time in twenty years, parliamentary elections were called, and the pro-Iranian fundamentalist Muslim party Hezbollah obtained the largest number of seats. Rafiq al-Hariri became prime minister.

The clashes between Shiite militia Hezbollah and Israeli soldiers continued until 1993, culminating in Operation Grapes of Wrath, which was the Israeli bombing of eighty people of southern Lebanon. The conflict erupted again in 1996 when Israel launched new air strikes on southern Lebanon and Beirut. International public opinion condemned the Israeli action and the UN swiftly negotiated a cease-fire. These protracted armed conflicts have claimed some 150,000 lives have been ruined Lebanese and the country. At present, the infrastructure of Lebanon is recovering at a good pace as the economy makes it more slowly. His big problem is to continue at the mercy of circumstances and situations in the Middle East beyond their control. In recent decades, many forces in conflict in the area (both the PLO and Syrian, Iranian, Israeli and UN) have used the territory of Lebanon as a battlefield for their own causes.

In 1999, the newly elected Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, pledged his country's withdrawal from the security zone in southern Lebanon, where Israeli troops and Hizbollah militia remained conflicting. Barak kept his speech in May 2000, despite the concerns of the Israeli occupation by Syria of the Golan Heights. When the Israeli Army began evacuating the area, Hezbollah was introduced quickly, forcing the Israeli soldiers in a chaotic withdrawal under fire, while the Lebanese civilians throwing stones and bottles. Once the smoke had dissipated, Hezbollah engineers worked to restore electricity and water, without which the Lebanese civilians had lived for much of the occupation. Although it is hoped that the tensions between Lebanon and Israel will be cool, it's likely to remain unstable at the border for some time

Lebanon culture and people

Lebanon offers a variety of art, both traditional and contemporary. The Dabke a vigorous folk dance is the national dance. The classical belly dancing, which represents the passage of a virginal girlfriend sensual woman, still plays a prominent role at the wedding, and is also common in nightclubs. Arabic folk music is based on discordant melodies and complex rhythms, often accompanied by an intricate overlapping edges. Among the instruments used are the oud, stringed instrument shaped pear, table, clay percussion instrument, wood or metal and leather, the nay, a kind of bagpipe with a single open tube that produces an exquisite sound and great softness and the Qanun, a trapezoidal plane with a minimum of 81 strings.

Prose and poetry have always enjoyed a prominent place in Lebanese culture. A widespread form of poetry is the zajal, witty dialogue in which a group of poets improvise verses incorporating them into songs. Lebanese literary figure is the most famous nineteenth century poet Khalil Gibran, who explored the Christian mysticism in his work. Among contemporary writers emphasize Amin Maalouf, Emily Nasrallah, and Hanan Al-Shaykh.

Approximately 60% of Lebanon's population professes Islam, and the remaining 40% practice Christianity. Chiismo variant is the most faithful Muslim, followed by sunnismo and Druze. The latter appear as one of the most interesting religious phenomena of the Middle East. While its origin is rooted in Islam, his orthodoxy differs from that form of this religion, which often is considered an independent doctrine. The Druze believe in reincarnation of God in different men from different eras, the last of them was al-Hakim, the sixth Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, who died in 1021 AD Besides accepting reincarnation also believe in the existence of a predetermined number of souls. Members of this religion is to meet Thursday evening in discreet places to pray, do not allow assistance to those outside the sect. The Christian community with the largest number of adherents is the Maronite Church, followed by the Greek Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Syrian Catholic, the Chaldean, Protestant and Orthodox.

Despite having two official languages, Arabic and French, is the first predominant, and English is used more in the financial and business district. The Arabs attached great importance to good manners is usually preceded witness any exchange of a long greeting, questions about the health of others and a host of attentions. Although its status Ajnabi (foreigner) is not expected that the traveler knows what is good or entry frowned upon, it will show respect for those who try to use the correct term at the right time. In fact, any effort made by the traveler to communicate in Arabic with the Lebanese will be appreciated. Even if your pronunciation is appalling, it is safest to respond: "How well do you speak Arabic."

Lebanese cuisine is a pleasure in very easy reach. With fresh ingredients and tasty, with fine spices, the Lebanese have adapted the best of Arabic and Turkish cuisine seasoned with a touch of French. A typical meal includes some Mezze or incoming, as Empanadilla spinach, sauce, cheese, pizza and stuffed grape leaves. Remains a main dish of meat (usually lamb) or fish, often stuffed with rice, nuts, accompanied by a salad or tabouleh style fattoush. The national dish, kibbeh, consists of a mixture of minced lamb and bulgur wheat, and can be eaten raw, baked or fried. The finishing touch is provided by a portion of Melosa baklava and other desserts made from flour and nuts.

Arabic coffee is a drink very much appreciated by the people. Among the highlights jellab refreshments, a delicious drink prepared with raisins and served with pine nuts, and ayran, a yogurt drink. Alcoholic beverages are inexpensive and easy to get. The most popular, arak, is mixed with water and ice ...

Lebanon Map