Top 10 things to do in Libya

Libya

Large open spaces with more than 90% of the country being desert or semidesert.

Libya is a country.

Libya (Arabic: ‏ليبيا‎, Lībyā; Berber: Libya, ⵍⵉⴱⵢⴰ), officially the State of Libya, is a country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. The three traditional parts of the country are Tripolitania, Fezzan and Cyrenaica. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000 sq mi), Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa, and is the 17th largest country in the world. Libya has the 10th-largest proven oil reserves of any country in the world.

The largest city and capital, Tripoli, is located in western Libya and contains over one million of Libya's six million people. The other large city is Benghazi, which is located in eastern Libya.

Libya has been inhabited by Berbers since the late Bronze Age. The Phoenicians established trading posts in western Libya, and Ancient Greek colonists established city-states in eastern Libya. Libya was variously ruled by Persians, Egyptians and Greek-Egyptians before becoming a part of the Roman Empire. Libya was an early center of Christianity. During the 7th Century, invasions brought Islam and Arab colonization. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Empire and the Knights of St John occupied Tripoli, until Ottoman rule began in 1551. Libya was involved in the Barbary Wars of the 18th and 19th centuries. Ottoman rule continued until the twentieth-century Italian occupation of Libya and large-scale Italian immigration. Italian rule ended during the Second World War, during which Libya was an important area of warfare. The Italian population then went into decline. Libya became an independent kingdom in 1951. In 1969, a military coup overthrew King Idris I, beginning a period of improved living standards and brutal suppression of dissent. Within a year, the 20,000 remaining Italians and 37,000 Jews had been expelled. The most prominent coup conspirator, Muammar Gaddafi, was ultimately able to fully concentrate power in his own hands during the Libyan Cultural Revolution.

Muammar Gaddafi remained in power until the Libyan Revolution of 2011 overthrew his regime. Protests in Benghazi on 15 February 2011 led to clashes with security forces and ultimately escalated into an armed conflict. The United Nations Security Council authorized the use of force in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. The subsequent intervention by NATO and some Arab states ensured the fall of Gaddafi. Since then, Libya has experienced instability and political violence which has severely affected both commerce and oil production.

Libya is governed by two rival governments since August 2014, one in Tripoli and one in Tobruk.The House of Representatives elected in the June 2014 elections was dissolved by the Libyan Supreme Court in November 2014. The parliament's control of the country is severely limited by the current civil war against an Islamist rival government, which controls Tripoli. Officially, the House of Representatives took over from the General National Congress, which was elected in July 2012 to serve until January 2014. However, an Islamist minority of the General National Congress, having lost the elections, reconvened in August 2014. This New General National Congress meets in Tripoli, while the elected House of Representatives meets on a Greek car ferry in Tobruk harbour.

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Typical length of visit: 4 days

Top 10 things to do in Libya

Tobruk

Tobruk
Tobruk or Tubruq /tɵˈbrʊk/ is a port city on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District and has a population ...

Ghadames

Ghadames
This article is about the town; for the former Libyan district see Ghadames District. Ghadames or Ghadamis /ɡəˈdæmɨs/ is an oasis town in the Nalut District of the Tripolitania region ...

Janzur

Janzur
Janzur or Janzour , also known as Zanzur, is a city in north-western Libya, situated on the Libyan coastline of the Mediterranean Sea, located in the west of the capital ...

Shahhat

Shahhat
Shahhat is a town in the District of Jabal al Akhdar in north-eastern Libya.Cyrene was located in the same area in ancient times. It is located 24 kilometres east of ...

Khoms

Khoms
In Islamic tradition, Khums refers to the historically required religious obligation of Muslim army to pay one-fifth of spoils of war, booty collected from non-believers after a military campaign; this ...

Tripoli

Tripoli
Tripoli is the de jure capital city and the largest city of Libya. Tripoli, with its metropolitan area, has a population of about 1.1 million people. The city is located ...

Leptis Magna

Leptis Magna
Leptis Magna also known as Lectis Magna , also called Lpqy, Neapolis, Lebida or Lebda to modern-day residents of Libya, was a prominent city of the Roman Empire. Its ruins ...

Benghazi

Benghazi
Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the largest city in the region of Cyrenaica, and the former joint capital of Libya. ...

Ghat, Libya

Ghat, Libya
Ghat is the capital of the Ghat District in the Fezzan region of southwestern Libya.HistoryIn historical times, Ghat was a major terminal point on the Trans-Saharan trade ...

Zliten

Zliten
Zliten is a town in the Murqub District of Libya. It is located on the southern coast of the Mediterranean Sea west of the Gulf of Sidra. It was the ...

Darnah

Darnah
Derna may refer to:LibyaDerna District - a district in eastern LibyaDerna, Libya - a port city in that district Darnah Governorate - a former Governorate in LibyaRomaniaDerna, Bihor - a ...

Sabratha

Sabratha
Sabratha, Sabratah or Siburata , in the Zawiya District in the northwestern corner of modern Libya, was the westernmost of the "three cities" of ancient Tripolitania. From 2001 to 2007 ...

Al Bayda'

Al Bayda'
Al Bayda' may refer to:PlacesBayda, Libya, a city in LibyaBayda, Atyrau, a village in the Atyrau Province, KazakhstanAl-Bayda, Hama Governorate, a village in Hama Governorate, SyriaAl-Bayda, Tartus ...

Sabha, Libya

Sabha, Libya
Sabha or Sebha /ˈsɛb.hɑː/ is a city in southwestern Libya with a population of about 130,000. It was historically the capital of the Fezzan region and the Military Territory of ...

Sirte

Sirte
Sirte ; from Ancient Greek: Σύρτις, also spelled Sirt, Surt, Sert or Syrte, is a city in Libya. It is on the south coast of the Gulf of Sidra . Sirte ...

Misurata

Misurata
Misrata /mɪzˈrɑːtə/ , also spelled Misurata or Misratah, is a city in the Misrata District in northwestern Libya, situated 187 km to the east of Tripoli and 825 km west of Benghazi ...

Zintan

Zintan
Zintan is one of the biggest cities in north western Libya, situated roughly 136 kilometres southwest of Tripoli, in the Nafusa Mountains area. The city and its surrounding area has ...

Zawiya

Zawiya
Zawiya, Zawiyah, Zawia, Zaouia or similar terms may refer to:Palestine and IsraelKhirbat Zawiya, a Palestinian Arab village in Baysan, depopulated in 1948Zawiya, Safad, a Palestinian Arab village ...

Gharyan

Gharyan
Gharyan is a town in northwestern Libya, in Jabal al Gharbi District. Prior to 2007 it was the administrative seat of Gharyan District. Gharyan is one of the largest towns ...

Ajdabiya

Ajdabiya
Ajdabiya /ˌɑːdʒdəˈbiːə/ , previously known as Agedabia or Ajdabya, is a town in and capital of the Al Wahat District in northeastern Libya. It is some 150 kilometres south of ...

Bani Walid

Bani Walid
Bani Walid is a town in Libya.Prior to 2007, it was the capital of Bani Walid District. Bani Walid has an airport.Under the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, it was divided into ...

Tajura

Tajura
Tajura , also spelt Tajoura, is a town in north-western Libya, and baladiyah in the Tripoli Muhafazah, on the Mediterranean coast 14 kilometres east of Tripoli.From 2001 to 2007 Tajura ...

Ra's Lanuf

Ra's Lanuf
Ra's Lanuf /ˌrɑːs ləˈnuːf/ is a Mediterranean town in northern Libya, on the Gulf of Sidra. The town is also home to the Ra's Lanuf Refinery, completed in 1984, with ...

Nalut

Nalut
Nalut is the capital of the Nalut District in Libya. Nalut lies approximately half way between Tripoli and Ghadames, at the western end of the Nafusa Mountains coastal range, in ...

Awjila

Awjila
Awjila is an oasis town in the Al Wahat District in the Cyrenaica region of northeastern Libya. Since classical times it has been known as a place where high quality ...

Sorman

Sorman
Sorman or Surman is a town near the Mediterranean coast, in the Zawiya District of the Tripolitania region in northwestern Libya.Libyan civil warOn 20 June, during the ...

Kabaw

Kabaw
Kabaw, Kabao or Cabao is a town in the Nalut District in northwestern Libya. It lies just 9 kilometres off of the Gharyan–Nalut road and about 70 kilometres west of ...

Tripoli

Tripoli
Tripoli (Arabic: طرابلس‎, Ṭarābulus; Berber: Ṭrables) is the capital city and the largest city of Libya. Tripoli, with its metropolitan area, has a population of about 1.1 million people. The ...