The Best Beaches In the Middle East May Be Where You Least Expected

Stretching east and west where the Saharan sands touch the Mediterranean, Libya’s coastline feature some of the Middle East’s most memorable beaches. Often surrounded by tropical palm trees and made up of white sand, Libya’s 1,759,540 km coastline is the longest of any African country bordering the Mediterranean.

We took a look at Best of Libya, an initiative led by a group of Libyan photographers committed to uncover the hidden gems of this galvanizing country.

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Guarded by the Jebel Akhdar hills, Ras al-Helal is a village on the Mediterranean coast in the northeastern region of Cyrenaica, in Derna. It takes its name from the crescent-shaped figure the cape forms when viewed from above the mountains.

ras hilal

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But Libya not only boasts the best beaches in the Middle East. Set among the vast Idehan Ubari dunes of the Sahara desert, the Um al-Maa lake (which means means Mother of Water) is among the country’s most astounding oases, featuring a narrow salt-water lake that carves the desert into a heavenly mirror.

un al maa lake

The narrow lake, which has hot springs about 1mt deep, can be reached from the town of Sebha, 200km to the west.

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For more information: See pictures of the best beaches in the Middle East at the Best of Libya Facebook page.

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Valentina Primo

Journalist, globetrotter, and determined idealist. Since Valentina left her home country of Argentina, she has searched for ways to build bridges between cultures and foster dialogue. Her previous work in international organizations in Italy and Germany fed her passion for the world of development, while her 8-year journalistic experience in Argentina and Egypt increased her curiosity for everything that challenges the stereotype. She holds a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Peace Studies with a specialization in Human Rights.

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