Where is Libya? Libya is a country in North Africa in the Maghreb region. Based on an area of nearly 1.8 million square kilometers, it is the fourth largest country in Africa and the 16th largest in the world. Libya has been traditionally divided into the Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan regions, with Tripoli serving as the capital and largest city to the west followed by Benghazi to the east.
Libya gained its independence from Italy in 1947, followed by a coup d’état that overthrew King Idris I in favor of Muammar Gaddafi in September 1961. The country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea from the north, Egypt from the east, Sudan from the southeast, Niger and Chad from the south, and Tunisia and Algeria from the west.
Where is Libya in history and geography? The coastal plains of Libya are believed to have been inhabited since the Neolithic period, as early as 8000 BC. The Phoenicians were the first people to establish trade in the region. The Ancient Greeks colonized East Libya by 630 BC, establishing four major cities in the area that are today known as Cyrenaica. Once the Carthage colony fell, the Romans came calling and annexed the region in 74 BC to create a Roman province.
However, the fall of the Roman Empire by the 6th century saw these classical cities perish, although many of the ruins including the Temple of Zeus in the ancient Greek City of Cyrene which is one of the top historic places to visit in Libya. Many of the ruins still remain largely preserved, hence gaining the status as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Libya has the longest coastline of any African country that borders the Mediterranean Sea. It experiences a diverse climate in different parts of the country, where the northern regions enjoy mild Mediterranean climate while the southern regions have dry and desert like weather. Because of its rich history, diverse geography, and developed infrastructure, Libya has traditionally been the powerhouse of the African economy.
Many of the historic monuments and popular tourist attractions in Libya are based in Tripoli and Benghazi. The Central Benghazi district, also known as downtown Benghazi, is one of the best places to visit in Libya featuring numerous historic and modern museums, libraries, theaters, and the infamous Italian quarter with remains of Italian architecture. Medina, the old town in Tripoli, is famous for mass tourism because of its majestic old world setting and classic architecture.