Trekking Across Northern Lebanon

A new 7-day trekking adventure, exploring the fascinating Eastern Mediterranean country of Lebanon and its awe-inspiring and deeply spiritual mountain landscapes to the north.


7 Days (land only)

from Beirut to Beirut
nomads+summits

$1,425

from $1,411

Activities:  

Activity Level

(challenging)
A brand new trekking adventure in a historic land just starting to open itself up to international adventure travel. With archaeology going back nearly 10,000 years and a capital city that’s been dubbed “the Paris of the Middle East,” Lebanon is prime country for modern trekkers and explorers - and during this week-long adventure, we’ll make the most of the stupendous mountains and valleys north of Beirut. Includes some long, occasionally strenuous walking routes.





Welcome to Lebanon’s capital, which the Daily Telegraph described as “one of the most exciting and welcoming cities in the world”. Beirut is a beautiful, exciting city that never stops moving - and even your brief glimpse today and tomorrow will be well worth it. After pickup from the airport, you’ll transfer into the city and to your 4-star hotel for the night - and if time allows, you’ll have the chance to go out and see the sights (we can provide transportation and arrange for a guide if necessary).


Night: a room in a centrally located 4-star hotel.

After breakfast there may be some time for you to do some last-minute exploring of the city. Either way, after final checkout from the hotel, we’ll pass through Beirut and head north into the mountains. Our destination for the day is Ehden, a summer resort mountain town, 1.4 km above sea level and situated on the lower slopes of the Mount Lebanon Range. (The name Ehden means “the mountain’s slope”). You’ll have the chance to enjoy the view before retiring to your lodge at the edge of the Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve, a misty natural wonderland of biodiversity, containing an estimated 40% of all native plant species in Lebanon. After dinner and proper introductions to your companions and guides on this adventure, you’ll turn in for the night.


Night: Lodge at the edge of Ehden Reserve.

After breakfast, you’ll pack light for today’s walk (your luggage will be transferred to your next lodgings) and you’ll set off across the magical Ehden Reserve. Your trail will wind through groves of enormous cedar trees, until you’ve ascended above the treeline and can look down from panoramic rock ridges overlooking this town itself. From here you’ll head down into the Midane, the traditional town square, to pause for refreshment in the shade of old plane trees, and to check out the handsome medieval chapel nearby. After this, you’ll head out of town and down into the Qozhaya valley, part of the epic Qashida Gorge system, a landscape of low hills and orchards surrounded by distant cliffs. You’ll make your way along a steep footpath and under a roaring waterfall to arrive at your accommodation for the evening, an isolated shepherd’s hut.


Night: Homestay in shepherd’s house.

Today you’ll pack for 48 hours of isolated walking - the rest of our possessions will rejoin us tomorrow evening. Your first stop on today’s long (8 hours+) hike is at the Qozhaya Monastery, the oldest in the region and home of the very first printing press in the Middle East. After passing through the tiny hamlet of Fradis, you’ll join the pilgrim’s trail into the lower Qadisha, a holy place for locals and a World Heritage Site. After a steep climb (today’s climbing is rated “difficult”), you’ll visit the cave meritage of Haouqa and cross the right flank of the valley, down into Qannoubine - an area of the Qashida gorge dotted with caves and sanctuaries where Christians hid from Ottoman troops in the 6th Century. The convent of Our Lady Of Qannobine is your next stop, a magnet for pilgrims with spectacular views of the surrounding, terrain - and then you’ll cross a bridge and reach our homestay destination for the evening.


Night: Homestay in Qannoubine.

Today you’ll get up bright and early to continue our trek through this spiritual landscape. The Mar Licha monastery is first on the list - it’s one of the most popular landmarks in the area, recently restored to its gorgeous, clean-lined origins, and containing resident hermits as recently as 1998. The route up to Mar Licha featured watermills, breathtakingly steep cliffs, and the Deir as-Salib, a painted cave chapel. After spending some time seeing Mar Licha, you’ll head along some impressively vertical paths to reach the town of Bcharreh, former home of the famous Khalil Gibran, a romantic figure in Arab literature. If time allows, you’ll check out the town museum and a thousand year old cedar grove - then your luggage will arrive from your accommodation on Day 2, and you’ll transfer to the nearby Hotel La Cabane, the highest in Lebanon (2100 metres) and our stunning home for the night.


Night:La Cabane Hotel.

It’s another day of travelling as light as possible - this is the toughest walking you’ll do in the whole adventure. After breakfast you’ll set off upslope, and spend the next few hours climbing to a high plateau, at 2.8 kilometres above sea level, with breathtaking views of the surrounding land. From here you’ll have a choice: if conditions are good, you can ascend to the summit of nearby Qornet as Sawdā, the highest peak in Lebanon (3088m) and a detour of 1.5 hours from our planned route. Otherwise you’ll continue onwards to a panoramic mountain pass and take in views of the beautiful mountain lakes nearby. At the end of the day, you’ll descend to find our homestay destination for the evening, where the rest of our luggage will be waiting for you.


Night: Homestay.

Since everyone’s feet have probably had enough at this point, today is a day for more leisurely sightseeing. You’ll transfer by bus to the historic city of Baalbek, two hours away, home of prehistoric ruins that suggest almost continual settlement for nine millenia. After a little exploring, you’ll transfer to the picturesque village of Ammiq, a popular spot due to its proximity to the Ammiq Wetlands, an incredibly important place for birds migrating across the Middle East, which has helped it become protected as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO. You’ll take a short walk along a scenic trail through the area, testing our birdwatching skills, before retiring to our nearby homestay for dinner.


Night:Homestay.

It’s the final day of the adventure - but you’ve still got some walking to do. After an early start, you’ll walk from the pretty West Beqaa village of ‘Ana, locally famous for its wine and fruit, across the valley to the Chouf Cedar Reserve to do some “forest bathing”, Middle Eastern style. Hosting 32 species of mammal, nine of which are now designated rare, this cedar-wooded landscape includes some of the oldest documented forest land in history, alongside archaeological remains and an impressively diverse array of flora & fauna. You’ll cross two of these reserves and make our way to the rural village of Maaser at the edge of the mountains, our final waypoint on this trip. From here you’ll transfer to Beirut Airport, according to the timing of your return flight.


Departure: Beirut Airport.
  • Seven days exploring the stunning terrain to the north of Beirut - a landscape of vast river valleys, escarpments, forests and wetlands, cliffs riddled with caves (some of which have been turned into chapels and other holy places), remote towns, villages and hamlets - and the remains of settlements going back as far as 9,000 years.
  • Crossing the Lower Qashida valley (an UNESCO World Heritage site) and other parts of this mighty gorge system on foot, in a series of long, fascinating treks that will leave you exhausted but eager for more.
  • Climb the impressive valley sides to find rock-cut chapels, sanctuaries and lovingly restored monasteries, relics from historic times that continue to have spiritual significance in the modern life of this devout country.
  • Walk for hours through immense cedar groves, including some of the oldest recorded forest in the world.
  • Climb 2,800 metres above sea level and walk in the shadow of Qornet as Sawdā, the highest peak in Lebanon - and if conditions allow, walk to the summit (3088m).
  • At every point enjoy warm middle Eastern hospitality and learn an entirely new side to the story of all the people historically united by the Mediterranean.

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 dinners.
  • 1 night in a hotel (4 stars)
  • 4 nights in homestay.
  • 1 night in a mountain lodge.
  • Local English-speaking certified mountain guide for all treks.
  • All transports between destination and from/to activities in a private transport with air-con.
  • Financial protection in accordance with The Package Travel regulation

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Meals other than stated
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Travel insurance
  • Allow £10-15 for each meal not included.
We don't have fixed departures at the moment but we can organise this tour for you and your friends (min.: 6 people).

Contact us to find out more and have access to discounts and early-birds!





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