Lebanon is world renowned for its cuisine. Discover its unique flavours on a culinary inspired tour of Lebanon. Meet local producers, cook with expert chefs, taste delicious shawarma, mezze and falafel, and sample some of Lebanon's finest wines.
Lebanon is an excellent destination for hiking. Being mountainous (from sea level to over three thousand metres), it offers a great variety of landscapes. Its temperate climate means it is possible to hike the year round - at low altitudes in winter, higher up in the mountains in summer. Walk alongside rivers, across deep gorges, wander in thick forests and follow high panoramic ridges. We can arrange hikes from a single day (starting and ending in Beirut for example) to a week or more, spending nights in simple lodges, isolated monasteries and comfortable homestays. Hospitable people, good food, a rich flora and a profusion of natural and historical sites all add to the experience of hiking in Lebanon. Finally our hiking guides are the best in the business and will take care of all your needs throughout your trip.
Limestone covers the majority of Lebanon; thus it boasts innumerable caves and sinkholes. Many are worth visiting both for their intrinsic beauty as well as for the adventure in getting to them. Three active speleology clubs bear witness to their significance. Dara sinkhole, 623m in depth, is the deepest whereas the spectacular Jeita’s Grotto spans ten kilometres, and was a candidate to become one of the seven new wonders of the world.
Dotting the landscape between Byblos and Bcharreh are over 20 small chapels adorned with medieval mural paintings. An association has now been created to preserve and restore them, and visits to these historic but little visited properties can now also be included on our tailormade itineraries.
With over 200km of coast, Lebanon offers numerous possibilities for short boat trips - from an hour to a whole day. Whether on board small fishing vessels or larger sail boats, you can follow the coastline or escape to the open sea. You can swim in isolated small creeks or off tiny offshore islands, and enjoy a lunch of fresh fish fried on the shore. Boat trips are possible from April through to November.
Abundant snow covers Lebanon’s mountains from mid-December to mid-March, later still at high altitudes. Some patches never melt. Several ski resorts offer downhill skiing, snowshoeing and Nordic skiing. Less known but also possible is cross country skiing, allowing long trips, crossing from one place to another. The best period is mid-January until the end of February.
With a seemingly infinite capacity to re-invent itself, this hedonistic capital of the Middle East never keeps its head down for long. Once known as `the Paris of the East`, Beirut has recently been rebuilt into a modern capital city. The people of Beirut know how to enjoy life, and whether you are looking for beautiful mosques and churches, top bars and restaurants or a vibrant art scene, Beirut is the heart of all things Lebanese.
Byblos & Baalbek
Byblos and Baalbek are Lebanon`s two most important and impressive archaeological sites. Byblos, once the epicentre of world shipping, is home to a spectacular collection of Roman ruins, a Crusader castle, a picturesque fishing harbour and a beautiful market. It is also believed to be the birthplace of the modern alphabet. Baalbek, meaning `the Sun City`, is Lebanon`s biggest draw and arguably the most important Roman site in the Middle East. Its collection of stunning temples, mosques, courtyards and statues are a must-see for any trip to Lebanon.
Home to an ornate covered market, Sidon is one of South Lebanon`s most historic spots with over 60 heritage sites. This Phoenician city boasts a beautiful sea-castle, which dates to the time of the Crusaders in the 12th century and consists of two towers, joined together and connected to the mainland by a stone causeway. Between the sea-castle and the Castle of St Francis are meandering souq (market) stalls, intersected by charming canteens selling popular Arab dishes. Also of interest is the 17th century Khan al-Franj, which has been painstakingly restored, and the Great Omari Mosque - one of the finest feats of 13th century Islamic architecture. Sidon is also home to a Soap Museum, stunning palaces and an ancient garbage dump on Murex Hill. There are also many enchanting traditional homesteads and a lively fish market.
The beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed Qadisha Valley (meaning `holy valley`) in northern Lebanon is the perfect place for walking. Home to ancient monasteries, hermitages, cave churches, tombs and waterfalls, a walk in the valley and its gorgeous surroundings is the perfect tonic for modern life.
Jeita's spectacular series of caverns contains some of the best stalactite and stalagmite-laden passageways anywhere in the world. Stretching almost 6km into the mountains, the enormous upper cavern is the highlight of the caves, while the crevices of the lower cavern can be explored by boat.
The Bekaa Valley in the east of Lebanon is the country`s most famous wine-producing region. In particular the Ksara winery produces some excellent reds, whites, rosés and dessert wines, while its naturally-formed wine cellars are worth a visit in themselves.
This region offers unique and unexplored hiking options. The verdant Qadisha Valley has beautiful trails leading to an area steeped in tradition and history with living hermits, ancient monasteries and Cedar forests. Qadisha means `holy’ in Aramaic, and it`s easy to see why this Edenic valley attracted a divine appellation. The Middle East may not be synonymous with hiking, but that just means you are more likely to have these remarkable trails to yourself.