A pleasant 45-minute drive to the south along the seashore leads to Saida
history) seat of the government of South Lebanon.
Saida, which means "fishing", lies in the middle of an oasis of citrus
orchards. The scent of their blossoms announces the city long before one reaches it.
Like most of the ancient Phoenician cities, Saida is built on a promontory faced by an
island. The major attraction is the Crusader Castle of the sea which is connected to
the placid harbor with a short causeway. On the left of the causeway is a resthouse
and restaurant built in the traditional Arab style. On the right are the picturesque
vaulted soaks of the old city, and Khan El Frange, typical of the inns of the past
century. Just before reaching Saida, 1 Kilometer up the river al-Awwali, lie the
ruins of Echmoun in a place known as Bustan el Sheikh. Echmoun was the Phoenician
god of healing.
Another ancient site in the immediate environs of Saida is the Phoenician
necropolis. The road continues south from Saida to Tyre, at
one time leading Phoenician city state.