Hiking Lebanon

Post by Mark

Over the years I’ve posted about different things to do in Lebanon and different places to go, but I’ve never really posted about any outdoor activities you could do (well except for paragliding and ATVing, but that was ages ago). I tend to like doing one outdoor activity whenever I go down to Lebanon, usually camping, but if I don’t have enough time then hiking. Hiking is actually something thats really easy to do in Lebanon and doesn’t require much in terms of prep, you just need transportation and a good pair of hiking shoes (or old sneakers). If you’re interested in hiking the next time you’re in Lebanon, below are two places I highly recommend.

Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve
The Tannourine reserve is a really great place to go hike and for a number of reasons. Firstly if you enjoy driving then you’ll enjoy the drive to the Tannourine village. The roads are long and winding with beautiful views so I’d highly recommend you rent a convertible for it. Secondly because the reserve is so high up the mountain, even during hot summer months the weather up there is bearable. Finally and most importantly, the reserve is beautiful and filled with huge cedar trees throughout the trail.

The reserve is also pretty well organized. The website isn’t that great but once you get to the reserve you get handed a map at the entrance along with a explanation of all the trails available. There are three trails available with the shortest lasting an hour and the longest nearly three hours. The hike isn’t that difficult although there are some areas that are steep, so you need to be a bit fit or else you’re gonna keep stopping for breaks. The trails are also clearly marked with wide paths and various signs at various intersections so it’s really difficult to get lost. The entrance fee is just 5,000LL (KD1) and the reserve is on Google Maps so it’s really easy to find. For more information you can check out the reserve website [Here]

Shouf Biosphere Reserve
The Shouf reserve is really easy to get to if you’re staying in the Beirut area. If you try to head to the Tannourine reserve during the middle of the week it could easily take you up to 3 hours while the Shouf reserve would take you half that. Like the Tannourine reserve, there are 3 main hiking trails with the shortest lasting just 20 minutes and the longest over 3 hours. But the trails are pretty tough due to the fact that the first half involves a very steep uphill climb to get to the top of the mountain. The trail is actually so tough that you really don’t get to enjoy the beautiful forest until you start making your way back down. The trails also aren’t clearly marked and there are barely any signs. Most of the time you’ll wonder if you’re heading in the right direction or if you’ve veered off the trail and are heading into the middle of nowhere. But its because of that I like this trail, it’s more exciting and feels like a proper adventure. You’ll spend a lot of time on the trail second guessing yourself, wondering if you should have gone left instead of right or right instead of left.

The biosphere’s website is also pretty well put together with a lot of information on all the different trails available as well as information on where to stay or where to eat in the area. The entrance fee to the reserve is 7,000LL and its also easy to find on Google Maps. For more information you can check out the biosphere website [Here]

If you’re really into hiking and camping, and have a bit of time then you could attempt one of the official Lebanese Mountain Trail hikes. The LMT trail is 470km long and divided up into 26 sections. You can get more information on the LMT by clicking [Here]

Like I mentioned at the start of the post, whats great about the two reserves I shared is that they’re easy to get to and very doable if you’re in Lebanon for the just the weekend. It’s a perfect escape from the city and great stress reliever. And best of all, both reserves are close enough that you’ll still have enough time to get back to the city and party after sundown.


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14 comments, add your own...


  1. Frink says:

    Dude, where is the Spark? Please tell me you took it.

  2. xeonali says:

    Bookmarked.

  3. Haitham says:

    Great post. Thank you. Do you have any experience with or knowledge of hiking in the Gulf?

  4. Aziz says:

    Checkout lebanontrail.org they have amazing hiking trips. I joined their full moon hike.

  5. Wassim says:

    Mark, we also have in North Lebanon, Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve is amazing for hiking. Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve is rich in species biodiversity. Over 1,058 plant species have so far been recorded in the reserve, accounting for nearly 40% of all native plant species in Lebanon. This is impressive, considering that the reserve represents less than 0.1% of the total area of Lebanon. The forests form a unique assemblage of conifers, deciduous and evergreen broad-leaf trees in an isolated climatic phytoregion with a highly varied topography.

  6. The Razor says:

    Wow Wassim, this is really informative. I have never heard anything like that or read anywhere about Horsh Ehden. Good to have fellows like you to help us discover these parts.

  7. Irish says:

    Lebanon… I left my heart there many moons ago.
    Beautiful country, beautiful city- would love to return but memories of the past would make it a tearful trip.


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