EXPEDITION to Libya January 2022

7 days
January 21st to 27th (2023)
Group size: 9 people (max)
Price: 2590€
(includes international flights + travel insurance + LOI)
FAQs
Itinerary
What’s included/what’s not

Why going to Libya with Against the Compass

From world-class Roman ruins to mystical caravan cities built in staggering, massive deserts, Libya is a real off-the-beaten-track country filled with wonderful sites which have been barely explored by travelers.

In 2011, however, a series of peaceful protests against dictator Gaddafi escalated into a civil war that has been lasting ever since, and isolating the country even more from the rest of the world.

Today, nevertheless, the situation in some parts of Libya is improving, a peace agreement has been signed between the parties involved and looks like travelers are beginning to be welcomed again.

In this expedition, we will not only visit the highlights Libya is famous for, but this is the only tour that also puts a strong focus on the political part, the crisis, and the unfortunate war, key elements to understand the Libya from the 21st century.

FAQs

Is Libya safe?

We only run expeditions to areas we believe are safe but be aware that most Governments advise against all travel to Libya.

From a local perspective, the situation in western Libya has improved a lot – that’s why we run tours there – but be aware that you will be traveling under your own responsibility.

Visa

4-5 weeks before the beginning of the trip, we will apply for a Letter of Invitation, which takes around 1 week to process.

Note: Canadian, British and Australian passport holders should apply for the LOI 8 weeks before the beginning of the trip.

What about Americans? It’s a gamble, sometimes they get the LOI, sometimes they don’t.

With this Letter of Invitation, you will have to go to the embassy in your home country. Usually, they give the visa in only one day, but sometimes, it can take up to 3-4 days, depending on the embassy. Moreover, some embassies require your physical presence, while others allow mailing your docs.

We can offer you guidance, assistance and tips but at the end of the day, applying for your visa at the embassy is your own responsibility.

COVID requirements

Vaccine or PCR.

How to get to Libya?

International flights from Tunis to Tripoli are included in the price. This means that you only need to worry about going to Tunis.

There are daily flights to Tunis from many destinations in Europe, especially Paris, London, Madrid, and Frankfurt.

7-day itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival + Tripoli
Day 2 – Leptis Magna (overnight in Misrata)
Day 3 – Misrata (overnight in Tripoli)
Day 4 – Tarmisah & Gasr Al-Hajj (overnight in Ghadames)
Day 5 – Ghadhames
Day 6 – Gharyan and back to Tripoli
Day 7 – Sabratha & departure

Day 1 – Arrival in Tripoli

We will meet early morning at Tunis Carthage International Airport (exact time to be confirmed) to catch our flight to Tripoli all together.

After going through a long immigration process, we will check in at the hotel and go for a hearty, Libyan meal.

Then, we will visit the old city of Tripoli, checking out highlights like: The Arch of Marcus Aurelius, Gurgi Mosque, Al Nakah Mosque, the gold bazaar, the Martyr’s square, and a large set of Italian colonial buildings.

After a particularly long day, you can spend the evening/night in either the hotel (it has an excellent rooftop with great views) or check Tripoli’s nightlife.

Overnight in Tripoli, Victoria Hotel.

Tripoli, views from Hotel Victoria

Day 2 – Leptis Magna (overnight in Misrata)

Two hours east of Tripoli, you find Leptis Magna.

Founded in the 7th century BC by Phenicians and later expanded by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, the ruins of Leptis Magna are absolutely outstanding, first league Roman ruins built on the shore of the Mediterranean.

Leptis Magna

We will take our time to visit the site – around 3 hours – followed by a good Libyan meal. Then, we will head for Misrata.

Evening and overnight in Misrata.

Roman amphitheater in Leptis Magna

Day 3 – Misrata

Misrata is not a tourist destination, there isn’t much to do and it lacks historical sites but, while the city of Tripoli remains quite untouched from the civil war, Misrata witnessed the fiercest battle between the rebels and Gaddafi’s forces.

Our visit to Misrata is going to be political, a visit that is going to be key to understanding a conflict which has been lasting for the last 10 years.

We will do a proper city tour and then we will visit a brand-new Civil War Museum containing a collection of objects, photos, and weapons from the 2011 battle.

Lunch in Misrata. Then, we will head back to Tripoli.

Overnight in Tripoli, Victoria Hotel.

A damaged building in Libya

Day 4 – Jebel Nefusa (overnight in Ghadames)

On day 4, we will drive to Ghadames, which is a long 600-kilometer ride, but we will break the journey by visiting several highlights along the way, in the area of Jebel Nefusa.

Berbers compose around 5% of the total Libyan population and Jebel Nafusa is their heartland. As you may know, Berbers are the indigenous ethnic group in north Africa before the Arabs came. You may have met some Berbers in Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia but I found Libyan Berbers to have a stronger identity since their flag is waved all across their region.

On the way to Ghadames, we will visit Qasr al-Hajj, one of the finest examples of Berber architecture, a giant granary from the 12th century.

Then, we will go to Tarmisah, an ancient village with stunning views to the valley.

We will have lunch in a traditional cave.

After lunch, we will continue to Ghadames.

Tourist police in Tarmisah

Day 5 – Ghadames

In the morning, we will go straight to the Old City of Ghadames, a UNESCO World Heritage site, a giant Saharan city composed of hundreds of entangled lanes, packed with mosques and historical houses.

We will have lunch in a traditional house and then, we will get deep into the desert, climbing the sand dunes from where you can see the Algerian border.

A group of real Touaregs will make us tea while waiting for the sunset.

Overnight in Ghadames.

Libyan desert and the Algeria border

Day 6 – Gharyan and back to Tripoli

There’s going to be a long ride ahead of us but we are going to stop in an area named Gharyan, famous for pottery and also for some very authentic troglodyte caves.

We will have some snacks along the way but main meal will be in Tripoli.

Overnight in Tripoli, Hotel Victoria.

Day 7 – Sabratha and departure

Sabratha is smaller than Leptis Magna but most travelers prefer Sabratha because you can see the Mediterranean from anywhere in the ruins, plus is features the best Roman theater.

On the other hand, Sabratha was also taken by ISIS, the heritage of which can still be seen in some of the damaged buildings.

After visiting Sabratha, only if we have time, we will check out some of Libya’s finest beaches, made of white sand and the most crystaline water ever.

The coast near Sabratha

Around 1pm, we will head back to Tripoli, have a quick lunch and go to the airport to catch our 5pm flight.

The tour finishes upon arrival in Tunis.

Sabratha

Tour cost

The total tour cost is 2590€ per person.

What’s included in the price?

  • International flights Tunis to Tripoli (round-trip), with Libyan Wings or similar.
  • Letter of Invitation (needed for the visa)
  • Travel Insurance that covers Libya (with trip cancellation included)
  • 6 nights of accommodation in 4-star hotels (twin room)
  • Breakfast and main meal
  • Private transportation and driver around Libya
  • Entrance fees to all sites listed in the itinerary
  • Clearance for all checkpoints
  • English-speaking knowledgeable local guide
  • Airport transfers in Tripoli

What’s NOT included?

  • Flights from your home country to Tunis
  • Single supplement (150€)
  • Dinner
  • Visa fee (60€)

Payments

In order to secure your spot on the tour, we require a 500€ deposit.

How to send a payment:

  • Via a standard bank transfer to an EU bank in €

If you don’t have an EU bank, we also offer:

  • Revolut
  • Wise.com
  • Credit card payment via a secure form powered by Stripe. However, we do charge an additional 3% to cover Stripe fees
  • Paypal. However, we do charge an additional 5% to cover Paypal fees

The remaining amount shall be sent no later than 31 days before the beginning of the trip.

Cancellation Policy

Is the 500€ deposit refundable?

  • If you cancel before we apply for your LOI: Well, we will make our best to try to find you a replacement. If we find it, we will refund you with the whole deposit minus 150€, to compensate for the cost and effort of looking for another person.
  • If you cancel after we applied for your LOI: You don’t get your deposit back.

What about the remaining balance?

  • 31 days or more prior to departure: full refund
  • 15-29 days prior to departure: 50% refund
  • Less than 15 days: no refund

What if I already paid the remaining balance but my visa gets rejected?

Your visa won’t get rejected because our LOI is issued by the respective Ministery but, in the hypothetical case it got rejected because they didn’t accept it, we would give you a full refund.

However, not being able to get your visa because you didn’t apply on time is not a motive for a refund.

Do you have any further questions about the tour?