Where To Go Hiking in the Bcharreh District

by Aya Khoury

From the soaring peaks of the Lebanon Mountains to the lush valleys and ancient cedar forests, Bcharreh is a hiker’s paradise, offering trails for all levels. As USAID’s Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) project is working to raise the profile of the district and improve its tourism offering, we explore where to go hiking in the Bcharreh District.

Located in the heart of the Qadisha Valley, just a few kilometers from Bcharreh, the Cedars of God Nature Reserve boasts a dense forest of ancient cedar trees. There are several hiking trails that wind through the forest and offer outstanding views of the surrounding mountains and the spectacular Qadisha Valley. The duration and difficulty of the trails vary, but most can be completed in a few hours.

Photo credit: Maya Metni

While there are many trails to enjoy in the region, here’s a sample of some easy, moderate and difficult hikes you can experience for yourself:

1- If you’re looking for a breathtaking hiking adventure, look no further than the trail from Hasroun village to the Qadisha Valley. This stunning trail (2.2 km) passes through the charming village of Hasroun, the historic site of Mar Assia and finally leads you to the breathtaking valley. With a total hiking time of just 1.5 hours, this trail is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the region without having to devote an entire day to hiking.

2- For a longer hike, you can start in Hadchit village and follow the trail to Mar Lichaa Monastery trail. This 3.5 km hike will take you past the historic Der al Salib and Saint Antoine de Padou monasteries, offering breathtaking views of the Qadisha River along the way. With a total hiking time of 2.5 hours, this trail is a great choice for hikers looking for a moderate challenge and the chance to explore some of the most awe-inspiring historical and natural sites of the region.

3- Follow the enchanting trail from the heart of the village of Bcharreh to the picturesque Saint George Garden. Enjoy the tranquility of nature as you wander amid lush greenery. Continue your adventure to the revered Mar Yaacoub and Mar Lichaa monasteries, where centuries of spiritual devotion echo through the hallowed halls. The trail follows the meandering path of the Qadisha River, its gentle flow creating a soothing soundtrack for your hike. Taking just two hours and covering a mere 1.5 kilometers, this trail promises an immersive experience that combines natural beauty with the spiritual heritage of Bcharreh.

Photo credit: Maya Metni

4- You can also start your hike from one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and experience the majesty of Lebanon’s renowned Cedars Forest on a captivating trail that embraces its ancient trees. Begin your journey in Bcharreh village and make your way toward the awe-inspiring the ancient Lamartine cedar tree, a testament to the enduring strength of nature. As you venture deeper, you’ll be greeted by the serene beauty of Bqaakafra Lake. Continue your hike to the charming Bqaakafra village, where traditional Lebanese hospitality awaits. Taking around 2.5 hours and covering a distance of 6 kilometers, this trail promises an unforgettable encounter with Lebanon’s natural heritage, leaving you with a deep sense of appreciation for the timeless beauty of the region.

5- Another option for hikers, an enticing loop hike that seamlessly intertwines history, culture and natural wonders, begins at the Gibran Khalil Gibran Museum, where the legacy of the renowned Lebanese poet and artist is palpable. Admire the rich history of the region as you explore the intriguing Phoenician tomb, a fascinating archeological site that sheds light on the ancient roots of the area. From there, continue your adventure to the enchanting Qadisha Grotto, where stunning rock formations and serene ambience create a truly magical experience. As you make your way back, explore the authentic village of Bcharre and visit the Saint Saba Church. Complete the loop by returning to the Gibran Khalil Gibran’s house, where you can reflect on the remarkable journey you’ve undertaken. This captivating adventure fuses cultural discovery and natural beauty, leaving you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.

6- Those seeking a difficult hike can start from Blawza village to embark on a challenging five-hour hike through the mesmerizing Qadisha Valley. The trail from Blawza to Mar Lichaa Monastery covers 9 kilometers of breathtaking scenery. Explore the Saint Antoine Cave, the Saint Marina Church and the Saint Mary Monastery. Follow the gentle flow of the Qadisha River as it guides you toward the Mar Lichaa Monastery. This unforgettable journey encapsulates the beauty and spirituality of the Qadisha Valley.

Photo credit: Maya Metni

7- Another moderately difficult but lengthy hike can be enjoyed from Dimane village. Spanning 14 kilometer, the journey takes 7.5 hours and takes you from the patriarchate’s old building, through the village of Qannoubine, with its picturesque old houses, and onto the tranquil Saydet el Karme Church. Follow the meandering path along the Qadisha River, passing by an old mill, until you reach the Saint Mary Monastery. Conclude your adventure at the Mar Lichaa Monastery. This exhilarating hike combines historical sites, rugged landscapes and religious sites.

For help in organizing a hike in the region, contact +961 3 820 585 or +961 6 590 199

This article is part of a joint project to promote tourism destinations across Lebanon, launched by the Trade and Investment Facilitation (TIF) activity, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and Hospitality Services. The content of this article is the sole responsibility of Hospitality Services, and does not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.


You may also like