Feature

Getting the flavor of ... Lebanon’s rediscovered playground

After decades of political upheaval, Lebanon’s 7,000-year-old port is regaining its status as a “jewel of the Mediterranean.”

Lebanon’s rediscovered playground Byblos, Lebanon’s ancient port, has been reborn, said Lionel Beehner in The New York Times. For centuries, the “powerful lure of its ­7,000-year-old history” was enough to attract visitors from near and far to its Crusader citadel, Phoenician ramparts, and Bronze Age ruins of “L-shaped ­temples scattered along a seaside bluff like oversize Lego blocks.” Now, after decades of political upheaval, this city just up the coast from Beirut is regaining its status as a “jewel of the Mediterranean”—and drawing a much ­different crowd as it transforms itself from sleepy ­seaport into “gated playground for Lebanon’s nouveau riche.” Party yachts share its white beaches with fishing boats. “Arab starlets and their hangers-on” pour out of the open-air bars and restaurants, which serve up fresh seafood to an inter­national clientele. With more hotels and villas ­opening this summer, things are just heating up.Contact: Tourisminlebanon.com

Argentina’s wine countryCome to Mendoza province, and all you’ll want to do is sip wine and soak up the scenery, said Erica Johnston in The Washington Post. Surrounded by the “magnificently sculpted” Andes, Argentina’s wine country offers a “lovely blend of understated sophistication and truly tempting languor.” Just outside the province’s capital (also known as Mendoza), you’ll find a “Wild West–with–vineyards landscape” complete with dirt roads, scrubby bushes, and endless rows of grapevines. The Malbec grape has had a “delicious reign” over the area since the 1800s, when a Frenchman first carried its grapevines here. The region’s warm, sunny days are “tempered by cool Andean nights,” making it ideal for growing the inky-purple grapes. Stop at El Lagar de Carmelo Patti, where Carmelo, a Sicilian-born Argentine who’s been making wine for 40 years, offers tastings of his signature Bordeaux-style blend.Contact: Mendozawinetours.com

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