The Mina, or Port, is part of old Tripoli and its economic importance. Today, the port facility has garnered a bit of a bad reputation (it is a port through which weapons are all too frequently smuggled towards Syria) and it does not have sort of bustling atmosphere that is associated with other waterfront souqs. Nevertheless, it is part of the...more
There is not much choice of good quality hotels in Tripoli, so the Quality Inn it had to be. It was...more
This park, in the centre of the city and across from the Ottoman Clock Tower, is a popular gathering spot for the residents of the city. It is flanked by benches and ambulant vendors selling coffee, drinks and snacks. It's not uncommon to see groups of men standing around gossiping and talking (given the current situation, probably about politics)....more
From Bcharre you can drive up to a plateau surrounded by the Cedar Mountains (Al Arz in Arabic). Passing a ski school along the way, you will eventually arrive at a small forest of Cedar trees, where for a small donation (we gave LL3,000 and were given postcards in return, featuring a picture of the Cedars), you can take a walk around the...more
Cedars Main Road, Bcharre, Lebanon
Good for: Couples
Khalil Gibran was one of Lebanon's greatest writers and artists. He studied with Rodin. His best-known work is "The Prophet", which in the 1960s became a cult book in the West. A line of his poetry was incorporated by John Lennon in his song "Julia".Gibran was born in Bcharre in 1893, and you can visit the house where he was born. His bust stands...more
A short distance above the Cedar Grove is the base of the ski station of les Cèdres. It is Lebanon's highest, at just over 2000 metres, and is also surrounded by Lebanon's highest peaks. Therefore, it typically has the best snow and least crowds, being further away from Beirut. The downside is that the resort does not have the country's best...more
The Cedar Grove of les Cèdres is one of its major attractions. It contains one of the few remaining clusters of cedar trees, some of which as old as 1000 years. These slow growing trees have been cut down since antiquity and exported around the region and beyond, resulting in a gradual deforestation. The degradation of the soil after the trees were...more
El Arz is very difficult to reach as one must drive up a narrow winding mountain road along Qadisha Valley. It is best to travel with someone who knows the way, and let them drive so you could enjoy the views, which is how I got there. However, I was told public transport from Tripoli to Bcharré is available, but then a taxi up a few kilometres to...more
A lonely castle stands atop a rocky outcrop just beside the highway between Beirut and Tripoli. You'll see it a short while after passing Batroun but just before the tunnel. The defensive castle is probably used to defend the route from Tripoli to Beirut during the old days.
As you pull off the highway, stop by a small ancient rock bridge. Cross the bridge and walk a short distance and you'll find the entrance to the castle grounds. You might need to get someone there to open the doors to the castle.