During late winter and early spring, the hypnotic sound of pulsating water can be heard in the mountains and valleys of Lebanon. Biodiversity conservationist Elsa Sattout takes us on a journey to discover five of the country’s most striking waterfalls.



Photo – Jubran Elias

Altitude: 1,200m

Located 75km northeast of Beirut, around 20km from the ancient city of Byblos, the word Apheca, or Afeka, was interpreted as “source” and affiliated to the birth and death of Adonis at the foot of the waterfalls, where Lake Yammouneh is formed. Gushing out of a limestone cave in the cliff wall almost 200m above the ground, the waterfalls are at the source of the River Adonis (Nahr Ibrahim).

The ruins of the celebrated Temple of Aphrodite can also be found in the area.



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Photo – Jubran Elias

Altitude: 850m

The capital of Mount Lebanon until the early 17th century, Baakline is a mountainous oasis known for its blue waterfalls. Recognized as a hidden gem in Shouf district, the falls are located 45km southeast of Beirut. Be sure to visit the Old Serail, which is now Baakline National Library, the Al Hamadeh Palace and the Church of Mar Elias, built in 1753. For a traditional meal, drop by Chalalat al Zarka Restaurant (+961 5301149 / +961 3260619).



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Photo – Nidal Majdalani

Altitude: 1,200m

Dropping 225m over three natural bridges, the waterfalls of Baatara were discovered by French speleologist Henri Coiffait in 1952. Also known as Balou Balaa, the falls are located in Tannourine and can be reached from Byblos, Batroun or Chekka.

A popular destination for nature lovers, the bridges come alive in early spring when they are covered in vegetation. Indeed, the Baatara waterfalls draw in a large number of international visitors as well as local outdoor enthusiasts. The penetrating sound of the melting snow gushing into the sinkhole also attracts hikers along the Lebanon Mountain Trail.



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Photo – Ragheb Ismail

Altitude: 950m

Earning Jezzine the title of “City of Falls,” the falls are a true landmark. Located 40km south of Beirut, the town lies in the heart of the district, which is renowned for the stone pine forests covering its slopes.

If you’re visiting the falls, a walk in the old town and souk is the best way to enjoy traditional architecture and provides an opportunity to buy small souvenirs of handmade, traditional cutlery and daggers with decorative inlays. For a typical meal with a view of the falls, try Al Chalouf (+961 7781774) and Al Mokhtar Restaurant (+961 7230012). If you fancy seafood, there’s the option of Al Rayyan Cafe in the old street (+961 7781368).



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Photo – Ragheb Ismail

Altitude: 1,500m

Located 80km north of Beirut, the spectacular falls of Qannoubine are definitely worth a visit. Formed by the melting snow covering Mount Makmel from December onwards, the Qannoubine falls surge into the valley – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are a number of exciting hiking opportunities for those looking to explore the area in greater depth.

If you’re spending the afternoon in Bcharre, you can enjoy a traditional lunch at one of the numerous restaurants there, including Mississippi (+961 71309065) and Masa (+961 6672729). Furthermore, you can visit the Qadisha Cave, the Gibran Museum (+961 6671137), and the incredible 13th century Mar Lichaa Monastery perched on the cliff.

Article published on May 30, 2019

Article edited on June 21, 2021


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