Lebanon is blessed with an agreeable Mediterranean climate and four distinct seasons, similar to Jordan, but unusual for the Middle East.
Yet with such diverse topography, the climate and weather of Lebanon can vary a great deal depending on where you are. In general, spring and autumn are the most pleasant seasons to visit Lebanon, summers get very hot, and winter is when you’re likely to see a lot of rain or snowfall.
With around 300 days of sunshine per year, chances are that you will be able to catch some good weather in Lebanon during your trip regardless of when you choose to go. But there are periods that are better than others to travel to Lebanon, depending on what you are looking to do.
Spring in Lebanon
The best time to visit Lebanon, particularly Beirut, any other coastal cities, and the Bekaa Valley (where you can see the ruins of Baalbek), is during the spring. Between the start of April and through mid-June, the weather is generally sunny, warm and wonderfully pleasant with temperatures ranging between 15 and 28 degrees.
Autumn in Lebanon
Autumn is another agreeable time to visit. Temperatures in Beirut usually range between 16 and 30 degrees between September and November.
It’s still possible to take advantage of Lebanon’s beaches during your trip. You can swim starting in the spring all the way through the fall, even as late in the year as November. Autumn is also a great time to hike in the mountains and admire the changing foliage.
Keep in mind that during both spring and autumn, temperatures will be cooler in the mountains, and will drop significantly once the sun goes down. Be sure to bring layers you can add on and remove.
Summer in Lebanon
The coast and places like the Bekaa Valley get very hot during the summer months. Beirut’s temperatures average between 24 and 30 degrees during July and August and you are likely not to see a drop of rainfall during that time. It is also very humid. A place like Bekaa, which is buffered by mountains, will be hot but dry.
This type of summer climate may not be so unusual but frequent power cuts can make it unbearable at times, particularly on the coast. If you and your family are staying in a larger hotel or hotel chain, for example, it theoretically shouldn’t be much of a problem as they will have decent generators to power the air conditioning. Smaller, family-run boutique hotels and guesthouses may have less reliable electricity, however.
Going to the mountains and places like the Qadisha Valley, for example, can be a welcome respite from the humidity on the coast. While it can still get quite hot during the day, the temperatures are significantly more pleasant, ranging between 6-22 degrees, and the air less humid.
Winter in Lebanon
Winters in Beirut are relatively mild temperature-wise, ranging from 11 to 19 degrees between December and March, with January being the coldest month of the year.
This is the season when Lebanon sees a heavy concentration of rain. Also, the weather is a bit … moody. It can be grey, calm, and cool one moment until a sudden a violent thunder or hailstorm sweeps in.
While they usually don’t last too long, it’s always good to be prepared for such a quick change if you’re out and about. Bring extra layers, an umbrella or a rain jacket, with you if you can. Waterproof shoes are always a good idea to wear during the rainy months if you’re walking around a lot outside. While snow is extraordinarily rare in Beirut, it has been known to happen.
Variable weather in Bekaa Valley
Though it is very hot during the summer, the Bekaa Valley gets cold and windy during the winter and may experience heavy snowfall. Snowboots are a good idea to bring.
Also, it’s good to bear in mind that many places may not have adequate heating. During the winter, some smaller hotels and many restaurants will tend to be very cold (often colder than outdoors as many buildings are not properly insulated, and as a result hold humidity inside). Again, it’s good to bring an extra layer just in case.
Snow in the mountains!
Winter in the mountains is vastly different than on the coast. Lebanon also boasts a handful of decent ski resorts, such as Zaarour and Mzaar, whose altitudes range between 1,700 – 2,465 metres.
The mountains see quite a bit of snow between December and lasting until March, sometimes even until mid-April. This is the time of year to test the Lebanon cliché and try to ski and swim on the same day. (Just keep in mind that it would be a very busy day.)
Public and Religious Holidays in Lebanon
With such a mix of different religions all within one country, Lebanon has quite an array of public holidays.
While you will find that many institutions like banks, schools and different government offices will be closed on these days, many restaurants, cafes, stores, shopping malls, and certain tourist sites will still be open, albeit possibly with reduced hours. In Beirut, you should still also be able to easily access taxis on Lebanon’s public holidays.
While it might be more strategic to avoid a visit during holidays like Ramadan or Eid (which vary each year in terms of when they take place), there is no need to fear that the country will be completely shut down during these periods. You may just want to avoid these times to reduce any inconveniences.
Calendar of Public Holidays in Lebanon for 2023
- New Year’s Day (1 January)
- Armenian Orthodox Christmas (6 January)
- Feast of Saint Maroun (9 February)
- Good Friday, Easter (Catholic, Eastern Orthodox) (March/April)
- Labour Day (1 May)
- Martyr’s Day (6 May)
- Resistance and Liberation Day (25 May)
- Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15 August)
- All Saints’ Day (1 November)
- Independence Day (22 November)
- Christmas Day (25 December)
- Ramadan, the ninth month of the Muslim calendar (variable – 22 March to 21 April 2023)*
- Eid al-Fitr, the three days of feasting at the end of Ramadan (variable – 22 to 24 April 2023)*
- Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice which marks the end of the hajj and is usually three days (variable – 29 June -1 July 2023)*
- Ras as-Sana, the Islamic New Year (variable – 18 July 2023)*
* these holidays move depending on the Hijri Islamic Calendar, around 10 days earlier each year on the Gregorian calendar
More on Visiting Lebanon
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