5 of Lebanon’s Best Hikes

Forget Runyon Canyon, these are the spots to try out

byAmina Kaabi

Straddling the Middle East and the Mediterranean, Lebanon is full of breathtaking landscapes, and with spring approaching, there’s no better time to take in its splendour than going for a hike.

Away from the hustle and bustle of Beirut city life, the Middle Eastern nation boasts some of the world’s most incredible forested mountains full of lush greenery and vibrant flora, with a handful even overlooking the Mediterranean’s crystal-clear waters.

In a country where you can ski and swim in the same day, a hike is the perfect option if winter-white backdrops aren’t your thing.

These magical hiking spots are the perfect way to ring in the new season.

Al Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve

Located on the slopes of the Barouk mountains, this natural reserve is Lebanon’s largest with more thank 250 km of hiking trails. Stretching from Dahr Al-Baidar in northern Lebanon to the Niha Mountain in the south, you can trek from its highest mountain peaks to its lowest riverbeds alongside a myriad of Lebanon’s iconic cedars in one afternoon.

Bkassine Pine Forest

If you’re looking to lose yourself, Bkassine Pine Forest’s winding trails are the place to go. The stunning pine tree forest is situated about 70 km away from Beirut, and is the perfect place to escape.

Wadi Qadisha

Stood between the Becharre and Zgharta Districts in north Lebanon, Wadi Qadisha, which is also known as the Holy Valley, holds a lot of significance in Christian history, having been one of the earliest Christian settlements. But aside from its fascinating history, it’s the ideal spot to spend a few hours trekking through its waterfalls and verdant trees.

Horsh Ehden

Though small, the natural reserve of Horsh Ehden is not short on beauty. Situated on the northwestern slopes of Mount Lebanon, Horsh Ehden is a literal paradise on earth, offering some of Lebanon’s most breathtaking views. Here, you don’t have to be a hiking expert, there’s a trail suited to everyone’s capabilities.

Qurnat as Sawda

If you’re looking for a challenge, why not give Lebanon’s highest mountain peak a try? At 3,093 metres above sea level, Qurnat as Sawda is actually the highest summit in the Levant, with a hike of 12 kms each way. It’s the perfect location to get lost in the clouds.

 

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