Situated on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon has an area of 10,400 sq km (4,015 sq mi), extending 217 km (135 mi) NE – SW and 56 km (35 mi) SE – NW . It is bordered on the N and E by Syria, on the S by Israel, and on the W by the Mediterranean Sea, with a total boundary length of 679 km (422 mi), of which 225 km (140 mi) is coastline. Comparatively, the area occupied by Lebanon is about three-fourths the size of the state of Connecticut.
The Lebanon of today is the Greater Lebanon (Grand Liban) created by France in September 1920, which includes the traditional area of Mount Lebanon—the hinterland of the coastal strip from Sidon (Sayda) to Tripoli (Tarabulus)—some coastal cities and districts such as Beirut and Tripoli, and the Bekaa (Biqa') Valley in the east. As of January 1988, more than two-thirds of the territory was under foreign military occupation. Syrian forces have held northern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley since 1976; West Beirut and the Beirut-Sidon coastal strip fell into their hands in February 1987. In southern Lebanon, Israeli troops in conjunction with the South Lebanese Army, a local militia, control a 1,000-sq-km (400-sq-mi) strip along the Israeli border.
Lebanon's capital city, Beirut, is located on the Mediterranean coast.