Lebanon Off The Beaten Path
Street in the refugee camp
Street in the refugee camp
Main street in the camp
Entrance to the refugee camp
Off The Beaten Path
Reviews from VirtualTourist Members
Les Cèdre (El Arz)
Located at 2000 metres above sea level, but only 45 minutes by car from the coast, Les Cèdres, or El Arz in Arabic, is a small village a short distance above Bcharré. The village is famous for being the highest ski resort in Lebanon and also for containing one of the few surviving cedar groves. The ski resort is not Lebanon's fanciest, but is the country's oldest and is said to contain the best snow, being the highest. For non-skiers, the attraction is seeing the Cedars of Lebanon. These majestic trees, which originate in these mountains and are the symbol of the country, once covered its entire mountain range. However, cedar wood had been highly valued since antiquity (in fact, Pharaonic monuments of ancient Egypt, such as the pyramids of Saqqara, still contain surviving cedar wood from Lebanon). This resulted in the gradual deforestation of the mountains and degradation of the soil so...
The American University in Beirut
Intensive Summer Course in Arabic at AUB. (CAMES)Most of the students are Americans of Lebanese descent in their 20s, however there are a few Europeans, and US expats in their 30s-40s here too. The majority of the crowd is young, hip and single. The strict "no Englidh" policy is rarely enforced. I wouldn't come here expecting to increase much in fluency, but I would still recommend the program.
On the way to Tripoli from Beirut, off the main motorway in a green plain surrounded by wooded hills lies the abandoned castle of Moussaylha. It was built in 1624 by the rebellious Emir Fakhreddine to protect the north-south road. The fort's site on a protruding rock along the road was quite strategic and is thought to have been used to protect the road for centuries. Although there may have been a castle or another structure on the site previously, archeologists are certain that the existing fortress is entirely from the 17th century construction. The relatively small castle is quite striking as it appears to have been carved out of the rock, and from one angle the castle blends in with the mountain behind. If you are travelling by car from Beirut to Tripoli, then it is definitely worth stopping for a quick look at this castle and its picturesque surroundings. It is located in the...
Lebanon's mountains receive a tremendous amount of snow in winter, a fact unknown to many who have not visited the country. Only on a trip to Lebanon, especially in the winter months, does one realise that these mountains are covered in lots of white stuff! Despite the amount of snow, Lebanon's ski resorts cannot claim to be as extensive as the Alps or the Rockies, but nonetheless offer decent skiing, and certainly the only ski resorts in the region. The facilities may also be less state-of-the-art than at more modern resorts in Europe & the US. The highest skiable area is not the most accessible and does not have the best facilities. It is located above the Cedars town, or El Arz in Arabic. Click on El Arz to learn a little more. Other areas closer to Beirut (e.g., Faraya Mzaar) are the trendy spots with good facilities.
The Temple of Echmoun
About 3km north of Sidon, on the banks of a river called Nahr el-Awali, lie the ruins of the the Temple of Echmoun. It was dedicated to the Phoenician god of medicine and healing, the most revered in Sidon at the time and one that was later equated with the Graeco-Roman god Asclepius. The temple was an imporant pilgrimage site for over a millennium, from its construction in the 7th century BC until the early Byzantine period. This is one of the few sites in Lebanon where significant Phoenician-period structures have survived intact, along with Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins, including stunning mosaics. Note that this temple is on the tentative list of UNESCO awaiting its addition to the list of World Heritage Sites.For more, check out the Sidon page.
Deir Nouriyeh & Ras Chekka
One of countless monasteries of various Christian sects around Lebanon, the Greek Orthodox monastery of Deir Nouriyeh is located in the Liban-Nord province about 50 km north of Beirut. It is built on the edge of a 200 metre cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Ras Chekka, a limestone promontory that contains a forest of olive and oak trees and is important for bird migration routes. Although the monastery dates back to the 6th century AD, what we see today was built in mediaeval times and restored in recent years. The monastery is also thought to have been built over a pagan temple. Right below it, on the side of a cliff, is another tiny ancient monastery and a cave chapel that date from the 4th century AD. Legend has it, the Virgin Mary appeared during a rough storm to a group travelling by sea near this site. When they were saved, they decided to build this chapel and monastery...
One of many deep gorges cutting through the Lebanon Mountain range into the Mediterranean, Qadisha Valley is known to be the most picturesque. It is located in the Liban-Nord province (northern Lebanon) and runs from Les Cèdres (El Arz) at over 2000 metres all the way down the coast, with snow-capped mountains surrounding it much of the year. For thousands of years, the isolation of the valley made it a natural refuge for persecuted minorities, but since the 5th century AD, it has been almost exclusively a Maronite Christian stronghold. Maronites, who are the largest Christian sect in Lebanon, fled the Syrian plains in the 5th century, where they had been heavily persecuted by the Romans (Byzantines), to hide in Qadisha Valley and other gorges in Mount Lebanon. The valley is therefore dotted with numerous ancient monasteries while the Maronite villages command views from the cliffs...
suprises in south lebanon
make sure if u visit south lebanon to take in saida & sour that u make the time 2 c castle beaufort( qala 'at ash - shaqif )a former crusader castle a pearched high on a mountain it a execellent site with breath taking view & very pleasing to photograph & also al khiam prison camp very badly damaged by missiels from isreali warplanes in 2006 . some of its cell blocks are still in tact as most of the surrounds of the prison ie guard towers ,and original red & white fence entrance . their is also a small museum with a scale model of the prison & some other bits & piece's also there is tanks & armoured vechiles and missiels on show .
The Aussies were here
Australian troops in Lebaanon during the war built the railway line that runs along the coast. If you leave the main Tripoli-Beirut highway a few kilometres north of Byblos and come right down to the coast you wil see the old line still there. The Rising Sun badge of the Australian Army can be seen on the stone pylons of one of the bridges.The Syrian soldiers at the army post by the bridge weren't all that happy to see us taking photographs. The Syrians have withdrawn fromLebanon since we were there, so you shouldn't have any problems these days.
Baalbek,travel thru Hezzbollah camp
without connections i wouldnt have travelled to Baalbek,my girl new the govenor of the becca valley's son thru nightclubbing,so he guided us thru the hezzbollah camp ,and there were check points were they stuck machine guns in the car and asked for papers,but what ever thie gov's son said,we got right thru to the best preserved roman temples in the world
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Quality Inn Tripoli Tripoli
1 Review and 14 Opinions There is not much choice of good quality hotels in Tripoli, so the Quality Inn it had to be. It was...
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Reviews and photos of Lebanon off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Lebanon sightseeing.