We asked some hiking enthusiasts and experts to share their favorite hiking destinations.
President of ecotourism specialist Vamos Todos
Ain Zebde is one of the most stunning villages in Lebanon, where one can witness the huge variety of flora and fauna that our country, and specifically the Bekaa Valley, can offer. Standing on the foothills of Al Barouk Mountains, Ain Zebde is one of the highest villages of West Bekaa, surrounded by Kherbet Kanafar to the north and Saghbine to the south. The village’s name refers to the abundance of water sources surrounding it which feed the Litani River. You will hear the sound of running water throughout the hike.
Ain Zebde is abundant in fruits and vegetables, namely walnuts, apples, peaches, onions and small red potatoes.
GHADA EL KHELLY
Founder of Adrenaline Trekking, specialist in international trekking and hiking trips
After hiking for more than 20 years all over Lebanon’s mountains, hills and valleys, I would say that each hike and trail has its own beauty, charm, history, spirituality and particularity. However, if you want to combine all the above, head to the Kadisha Valley in North Lebanon. The area is so versatile, with numerous starting points of varying levels of difficulty, depending if you want to go uphill or downhill, and countless places of interest to see along the way including the famous Qannoubine Monastery and the Our Lady of Hawka Monastery. Hiking the valley is not just about sports and trekking, it’s also about learning the history of Lebanon.
Mountain guide and managing director of tour operator Sports 4 Life
After running the Lebanon Mountain Trail twice and hiking almost everywhere in Lebanon I would say the mountains of Qamoua are the best to hike in fall and winter. Surfing this untouched area between cedars, junipers and fir trees, with their mix of dark green, yellow, orange and red colors, is indescribable. I am truly amazed by the beauty I see in front of my eyes every time I go there.
Guide, member of Club Des Vieux Sentiers hiking group and amateur outdoor photographer
In the fall, nature wears new colors. This is particularly evident in the Al Delb Valley, located at the heart of the Sannine Mountain. It’s a lovely area to hike around the end of November. Start your nine kilometer hike at Nabaa Sannine, located 15 minutes by car from Al Mrouj square and 30 minutes from Baabdat. Pass by Al Chakhroub, where the face of the famous author Mekhayel Naaymeh is carved into the cliff. As you commence your descent to the Al Delb Valley, you will witness the incredible view of fruit gardens. I’m a firm believer in the health benefits of hiking, not only for the body but for the spirit too.
Hiking enthusiast and founder of the Instagram travel account @framewithaview
Hike up to the incredibly surprising cave in Akoura, where St. John the Baptist reputedly spent some time in hiding. The first 10 minutes of the hike are quite steep and challenging but they’re also exciting for adrenaline junkies like myself. Once you reach the top of the cliff, cross over to the cave and enjoy some of the most stunning and breathtaking views that Lebanon has to offer. It’s definitely a hike you will never forget. Just a tip – I recommend you get a guide, which you can do by contacting @explorersalive on Instagram.