Oceans Travel & Tour Services
Ahlan Wa Sahlan:
Ocean Tours Welcomes You to Libya


PO BOX 9225
Benghazi, Libya

Tripoli Office:
Tel. 00218 913713581
Fax 00218 21 3692075

Libya’s largest city, Tripoli’s ancient architecture, modern amenities and cosmopolitan atmosphere combine to create a jewel in the Mediterranean crown. The political and cultural heart of Libya, Tripoli wears the influences of the many and varied civilisations that have occupied its streets with elegance and pride. With many teahouses, restaurants and the country’s most extensive museum, Tripoli is the gateway to the rest of Libya.

Leptis Magna

Considered to be one of the most beautiful Roman cities in the Mediterranean, Leptis Magna can still be envisioned as a living city. An excellent example of Roman town planning, Leptis Magna has many decadent buildings, broad streets and several grand theatres, bath houses and forums. Highlights include the Nymphaeum, or the Temple of Nymphs, which has a beautiful red-granite facade and monumental fountain, and the marble strewn Severan Forum, built in the 2nd century AD by the then Roman Emperor, Septimus Severus.

The city of Sabratha is 80 kilometres from Tripoli and has one of the finest theatres of the ancient world. Much restoration work has been done to recreate the beauty of the Roman city, but there are still many sites in disrepair, with mosaics and broken columns offering a glimpse of Sabratha’s former glory. Some of the better sites include the Antonine Temple and the Judicial Basilica, which operated as a court during the 4th century AD.

East of Tripoli, Zliten is one of the largest coastal oases in Tripolitania. Its flourishing date-palm plantations yield the popular tarbuni (date juice). Zliten is also home to the architecturally magnificent Mausoleum and Mosque of Sidi Abdusalam, a 16th century sheik, and the Marabout Tombs, which attract many pilgrims.

One of Libya's oldest cities, Benghazi can also claim to be one of the most recent, having been destroyed several times over the centuries by various negligent occupants, violent civil wars and invading forces, the most recent of which was the American air-strikes in 1986.
Benghazi still possesses some interesting historic sites, such as the Ottoman-built lighthouse and the Italian-era Basilica (unfortunately closed to the public). Also, the Souq al-Jreed is well worth exploring, as it is still one of the main shopping precincts for locals and offers a range of products for everyday living.

The westernmost of the five cities of the Greek Pentapolis, and one of the first ports to be settled from Cyrene, Tocra has been ravaged by time, natural disasters and war. Founded around 510 BC, the Ancient City of Tocra has few intact sites, but it does have a reasonably well preserved mosaic and a good artefact collection. It is still possible to see Roman tombs, a Greek Gymnasium, the Eastern Basilica and the necropolis.

North-east along the Mediterranean coast, the city of Tolmeita has well preserved ruins from its Greek and Roman occupants. There is much to see and do in the town of Tolmeita, which possesses several museums. The ruins include the picturesque Villa of the Four Seasons, which was built in the 4th century AD, a Byzantine Church and remarkable underground cisterns, accessible from the Roman forum.

Cyrene was the most important city of the Greek Pentapolis, with its abundant agricultural resources making it a key city for the several rulers of the region, including Alexander the Great, the Egyptian pharaonic dynasty of Ptolemy, the Roman and Byzantine empires and, since the march of the Islamic armies in 643AD, the Arabian empire. Home to many great philosophers of the ancient world, Cyrene has excellent examples of Greek and Roman architecture, including an Agora (forum or marketplace), Gymnasium, the Sanctuary of Apollo, Temple of Zeus and a large amphitheatre with amazing views.

Apollonia was Cyrene's main port and is still, to this day, a working harbour. Towards the end of the Roman era, Apollonia was the seat of Roman Governors in the province of Libya Superior and as such has a wealth of ancient churches, Roman baths and a great collection of pottery, as well as the remnants of its Greek and Byzantine occupation.

A small town east of the beautiful valley of Ras al-Hilal, L’Atrun has several well preserved Byzantine churches, most notably the Western Church, which stands on a bluff overlooking the dramatic coastline of the Mediterranean.

Green Mountains (Jebel Akhdar)
Soaring up behind the town of Ras al-Hilal, the Jebel Akhdar are easily explored on foot, from the plateau above the waterfall Shallal Ras al-Hilal. A few kilometres along the road into the mountains are the Greek tombs, with the valley shelves in this area being an excellent place for a picnic. A short drive from the town is Wadi Kaf: caves that sheltered the resistance leader Omar al-Mukhtar and his mujahideen throughout their campaigns against the Italian occupation until his capture in 1931.

Eastern Desert
Not only is Tobruk located on an attractive Mediterranean harbour, it also offers some moving memorials to the Second World War. The city itself is renowned for its friendliness and pleasant climate, and is currently undergoing extensive renovations.
The battlefields surrounding Tobruk – Bir Hakim, Knightsbridge – took on such strategic significance in the Western Desert Campaigns that General Rommel (later known as the Desert Fox) personally directed Axis operations in the area. Rommel's operations centre in the middle of town is now open to visitors, and it is surrounded by WWII relics such as the wreckage of the USA B-24 bomber Lady Be Good.
The Commonwealth, Knightsbridge, French and German war memorials provide a timeless and evocative memorial to the fallen soldiers, and the well-maintained cemetery grounds offer an ideal place to reflect upon the loss of life and the nature of conflict.
Due to Tobruk's development boom, new and renovated hotel accommodation is available, with local restaurants serving Tobruk's regional specialty: delicious seafood.

Al Jagbub
The hostile barbed-wire anti-smuggling fence built by Italian Marshal Graziani, lines the highway south-east to the humble village of Al Jagbub, 3 hours from Tobruk. On the outskirts of town is a valley covered with fossilised sea-stars, dating from the time when this desert was the sea floor.
Once a centre of Islamic learning, Al Jagbub is now better known for the beautiful and therapeutic Melfa and Fredga salt lakes, geological attractions and stands of fossilised palm trees.
The town has had little exposure to tourism and provides a good opportunity to explore some of the Libyan wilderness.

Famous as a centre of Berber culture, Awjila was traditionally an important staging post for caravans travelling between the coast and the Fezzan. One of the Jalu oases, it was a prosperous commercial town renowned for high-quality dates. Nowadays, Awjila is noted for the Mausoleum of Abdullah Ibn Ali Sarh, who was leader of the Islamic conquest and friend of the Prophet Mohammed.

Ramlat Rabianeh
This region of the Sahara is the eastern Sand Sea, its rising dunes created from the incredibly fine sand, fish-fash. The towns of Tazerbo and Al-Kufra (the eastern source of the Great Man-Made River) border Ramlat Rabianeh and offer welcome relief from the desert.

Waw al-Namus

Rightly considered one of the most isolated places on earth, this extinct dome volcano lies in a desolate part of the Sahara. Its name means "Wow, the mosquito!", and there are still many 'namus' there today.
Its virtue lies in astounding crater lakes surrounded by volcanic sands and waving reeds, and in its majestic isolation, far into the desert.
Visits to this location require a special permit, and due to its remoteness visitors should include a few extra days in their schedule.

Western Desert
Qasr al-Haj
The town of Qasr al-Haj boasts one of the best ancient sites in Libya – a Berber fortified granary. An excellent example of Berber architecture, this enclosed circular qasr is two stories high and houses 114 storage rooms, which allowed the Berber farmers to keep their crops safe from insects, bad weather and opportunistic thieves. The shadowy recesses of the rooms, built from local rock, gypsum and mud, are cool in summer and the split palm trunk doors remain solid to this day.

Situated on a peak overlooking the surrounding range of the Jebel Nafusa, the remains of the ancient Berber town of Nalut cling precariously to the mountainside. The fortified granary here is similar in style to that of Qasr al-Haj, but it is built in winding corridors rather than in the round. Outside the qasr, there is a simple mosque, partially restored, and a squat building containing an olive press, with the harness for the donkey still dangling from its post.

The journey across the dry, dusty and bleak plains of the northern Sahara is long and arduous – the palm-fringed beauty of the oasis town of Ghadames is the reward for this difficult expedition. This ancient town, white-washed and cool, was inhabited until the late 1980’s and as such is well preserved. The centre of the city is built along covered streets, lit by skylights and decorated in relief patterns and the hand prints of its original builders. Affording welcome relief from the punishment of the desert sun, the town is still visited by the locals, with many people wandering the streets and lying along the stone benches situated throughout the city. The ancient mosques remain places of worship for the men of Ghadames and the gardens around the city are likewise still maintained by the families of the town, penning sheep or producing dates. The walls of the town are decorated with a pattern of upright and inverted triangles – said to represent the crown of an ancient Berber queen who ruled over the desert. Ghadames is certainly a jewel of her Saharan empire.
The ancient Garamantian city of Ghat was once one of the great trading centres of the south-western Sahara. The modern town is home to one of the few permanent settlements of Tuareg nomads and is still a bustling border-town, with people from all over the Fezzan coming to Ghat to trade and tell tales of the desert. The old-city is a classic oasis-town, white-washed walls built thick with local rock and mud to keep out the heat of the Saharan days. Ghat is also an excellent base from which to explore the Jebel Acacus.

Jebel Acacus
The eerie mountain range of the Jebel Acacus is a dramatic divide in the Saharan landscape. Massive sand dunes littered with basalt rock and natural rock formations carved by the wind combine to create one of the stranger landscapes in Libya. The few days it takes to explore the wadi’s of the Jebel Acacus are worth the time, as the mountains and valley’s are home to some of the most magnificent ancient rock art in the world. Pictures thought to pre-date the Tuareg habitation of the Sahara are painted on the cliff faces and caves of the mountains, allowing a glimpse of a way of life almost 4000 years old. 

Idehan Ubari and the Ubari Lakes
The dunes of the Libyan Sahara have to be seen to be believed. The fish-fash sand undulates towards the horizon, creating optical illusions of depth and distance. A 4WD expedition into the Idehan Ubari (Ubari Sand Sea) brings with it an incredible peace, as the dense silence of the region envelops you. Following 4WD tracks into the desert from the villages of the Wadi al-Hayat, you soon come upon the Ubari Lakes – Gebraoun, Mavo, Mandara and Umm al-Maa. The palm trees, reeds and clear waters of the lakes (except Mavo, which is now dry) are a welcome sight after the endless sand of the Idehan Ubari. Umm al-Maa is especially beautiful, and a swim in this hot-spring salt-lake is an amazing desert experience. Tuareg jewellery merchants spread their wares out on woven rugs on the shore of Umm al-Maa and are always willing to tell stories in their heavily accented French over a game of bok or a pot of tea.

Ghadames is Libya's unmissable ancient city, listed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The original, labyrinthine medina is surrounded by the modern town which has grown around it.

Old Ghadames' network of palm-shaded whitewashed houses was divided into two areas representing the town's principal families, the Bani Walid and the Bani Wazid. Many of the houses are colourfully decorated in the traditional style and evoke the atmosphere of a trans-Saharan caravan town.

Ghadames is justly famous for its exotic atmosphere, which visitors soak up as they explore the Old Town's winding lanes.

Tripoli Street

Leptis Magna

Theatre, Sabratha

Mosque, Zliten

Byzantine Latroun

Hawafte Cave

Shallal Derna

The Lady Be Good

The Lady Be Good

Grazianis Fence

Tripoli Bazaar

Sahara Desert

Berber Granary

Ghadames Mosque

Tuareg Silver Merchant

Tuareg Bok
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