Beaches and coasts are not the only things to explore this summer in Lebanon, especially when it comes to the country’s rich landscapes. Lebanon’s mountainous areas are the perfect destination for every person looking to escape the coastal heat yet still enjoy a fun day.
The district of Bsharri, located in the northern mountains, is one of the most fascinating areas of Lebanon and includes 21 villages as well as one of Lebanon’s holiest places: The Valley of the Saints with its historical monasteries.
Here are 14 exciting or interesting things that you can do or explore in the district, as each and all make a road trip from the city worth the ride.
One of Lebanon’s most visited and admired natural sites, the Qadisha Valley can be reached from almost all of the district’s villages. With its botanic diversity, hidden churches, historical monasteries, and magnificent waterfalls, going on a hike in this valley is a great adventure.
On Bqerqasha’s main road, a long stairway will lead you to the cave monastery of Mar Semaan, which gives you a direct look over the Qadisha Valley and the village of Bsharri. The cave is equipped with stairs and railings for safety purposes.
Hasroun, also known as “The Rose of the Mountain”, holds the district’s heritage and fine architecture in its old souks. Whether you want to have a quick bite, a drink, or get a small souvenir, visiting the old souks of Hasroun should be your top destination.
Hasroun has also restaurants with great cuisine and a hotel on top of its mountain. While in town, stop at any of its water fountains and get to taste the healthy and super refreshing “Ghara’ya” water that Hasroun is known for.
#5 Bahia’s, Hasroun
On Hasroun’s highway stands a small and friendly coffee shop with a cozy setting worth making a stop at. Whether visiting it during the day or during the night, the welcoming of the locals will be just as warm.
The place opens from Thursday afternoon till Sunday night and offers a variety of hot and cold coffee and beverages.
One can’t tour the Bsharri district without making a stop at the hometown of Saint Charbel to visit the home where he was born and raised. It is a charming small village yet the highest in Lebanon and the Middle East, standing at 5,118 feet above sea level.
The Cedars Forest, known as the Cedars of God, rises in glory in the heart of El-Arz. It is a landmark of Lebanon, home to ancient trees, including the Cedrus Libani. With cedar trees varying from shape to size, this forest is one of the most visited sites in the Bsharri region.
Paragliding over the clouds of Bsharri is a top activity for adrenaline junkies, and certainly an amazing experience. There is also a school that teaches paragliding for anyone looking to practice this activity more.
You may contact 03 544449 for more information or to book your sky adventure.
The famous colorful bus located on the Cedars highway is the perfect spot to chill out. Whether at night enjoying the pretty lights or during the afternoon with a special view of the sunset, Samarula is a great and fun place to make a stop while visiting the area.
Hadath El Jebbeh is well known for its strategic point where light pollution almost doesn’t exist. This is the perfect spot for astronomy and stargazing fans who can bathe in the beauty of the night sky while stargazing.
The Saint Elias Mountain is a vast space that holds an overview of the valley as well as of the other villages. Its road is lit almost all the time and can be seen from other villages. It is the perfect destination if you are looking for a calm and chill place to visit and enjoy.
The Museum of the timeless and worldwide-known Lebanese writer, artist, and philosopher, is a must-visit place in his hometown Bsharri. It is a biographical museum that used to be a hermitage and refuge cavern in the 7th century. The current building was built by the natives in the 17th for the hermits.