By Maguie Hamzeh
In the midst of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, let us refrain from exploring the world and dedicate this summer to discover the beauty of Lebanon… On foot! This article will take you on a trip around the best and most visited hiking sites in Lebanon!
Hiking destination #1 : El Ezer Forest
This is not a movie scene. It is real! El Ezer forest, also known as Kamouha forest, is located in the heart of Akkar district, in a village called Fnaydek, which is 125 kilometers away from Beirut. This forest is well-known for the big variety and abundance of trees including juniper trees, cedar trees, oaks, cypresses, cedars and Cilician firs.
Experts have ranked the thousand-year-old forest among the most beautiful forests worldwide. If you are looking for the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this is the right place for you.
Hiking destination #2: Baatara Gorge Sinkhole
This is one of the most magical places you could ever enjoy in Lebanon. Baatara Gorge is a natural sinkhole located in the Lebanese town Tannourine. It took nature and water 160 millions of years to create this piece of art!
During winter season, the meltwater from Mount Lebanon nourishes a breathtaking waterfall poured in a deep and dark cave.
You can spend a whole day admiring the waterfall and the Three Bridge Chasm in which lies all the beauty of this place.
Guess what! If you are open for an adventure, this place offers you the opportunity to practice several activities including hiking, camping, rappelling.
Hiking destination #3: Qornet El Sawda
Seasons change, but the beauty of Qornet El Sawda is a constant!
Whether you are looking forward to seeing the snow covering the highest peak in the Middle East (3088m), or to enjoy the sunlight on a warm summer day, Qornet El Sawda, or the Black Peak will be offering you a unique hiking journey on top of the world.
The weather is never warm up there! A jacket is all you need, and you are good to go.
Hiking destination #4: Kfarmatta hiking trail
Kfarmatta is a village located in Aley district, 32 kilometers away from Beirut. This village is distinguished for its green spaces and the beautiful hiking trails it has.
You cannot visit this beautiful village without passing by Al-Fozor, a region in Kfarmatta known for two natural enormous rocks.
Hiking destination #5: El Chouf cedar reserve
In the heart of the Chouf area, lies one of Lebanon’s largest nature reserves. This reserve is home to 32 different species of wild mammals, of which 9 are considered internationally rare. The wide variety of trees and plants make this place a perfect stress reliever.
The good news is that you can also benefit from the accommodation services in the hotels and guesthouses surrounding the reserve.
Hiking destination #6: Laklouk lakes
Located 69 kilometers away from Beirut, Laklouk is a mountainous village located in the Byblos district. Laklouk has an average altitude of 1780 meters above sea level, which makes it a main destination for snow lovers during winter season.
Laklouk is also well-known for the numerous accommodation services it offers to the visitors.
Hiking destination #7: Kaftoun
Kaftoun is a small village located in the Koura district, 75 Kilometers away from Beirut. The beautiful hiking trail in this village is crowned by the Nahr El Jawz river, the old bridge crossing it and the trees along side.
Nahr El Jawz was listed among the National and Historic heritage sites.
The hiking trails in this village go from easy to difficult, it’s your call!
Hiking destination #8: Qadisha valley
Qadisha is a gorge located in the North governorate of Lebanon between Bcharreh and Zgharta districts.
This area is distinguished for the beauty of its natural and religious sites. This site has some of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world, which can be a great opportunity for culture lovers.
Hiking destination #9: Wadi Al Salib
Wadi El Salib is a wild valley located in Kesrouane. Its 4-kilometer trail takes you on a tour around the ruins of the old village, previously inhabited by the agrarian society. The high mountains of Kfardebian feed a long streaming river, that ends in Nahr El Kalb river.
Hiking destination #10: Bab Wadi Jhannam
This site is the reason why you should never judge a place by its name! Wadi Jouhanam or Valley of Hell falls in the mountainous area in Miniyeh-Danniyeh district in North Lebanon. This site is also known for a river that goes along side with the hiking trail, which makes your trip even more fun and refreshing.
Hiking destination #11: Chouwen lake
Chouwen Lake is part of Jabal Moussa reserve. It is located in Keserouane.
This is where hiking and swimming meet!
Beside Chouwen’s large forest and great hiking trails, Chouwen is also known for its lake, which is considered one of the most magical touristic spots in Lebanon. If you are planning to go for a hike in Chouwen, you better have your swimsuit ready!
Hiking destination #12: Mount Sannine
You’ve probably seen Mount Sannine while driving on some Beirut roads, but we assure you, seeing Lebanon from the top of the mountain is a whole other experience!
The highest point on Mount Sannine is 2,628 meters above sea level which allows hikers to see the beautiful view from above and the splendid colors during the golden hour.
Wherever you decide to go, do not forget to get all equipment for the day!
You can check out the various options on OLX to make sure you have everything you might need on your journey.