Northern Lebanon Extensive Historical and Cultural Attractions
By: Douglas ScottNorthern Lebanon uniquely blends the outdoors with extensive historical and cultural attractions.
With the countries highest mountain, Qornet Es Saouda 3,090m, as well as the highest ski resort, The Cedars. This region offers a rocky, rugged terrain that makes Lebanon unique in the Middle East.
At the far northern end of the Mt Lebanon range, the Aakkar region is the most remote area of the country, housing traditional villages and beautiful scenery. Throughout northern Lebanon, mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, caving, and other outdoor opportunities abound.
In the heart of northern Lebanon are some of the countries most unique and sacred religious sites, making the region a spiritual as well as natural haven. The Holy Qadisha Valley has been a place of refuge for those fleeing religious persecution since the 5th century. As the seat of the Maronite Church, the Valley houses some of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world. The Qadishas ancient, rock cut monasteries are a destination for those seeking pilgrimage and retreat.
Tripoli, now Lebanons second largest city, faced its share of drama through the ages. Inhabited since the 14th century B.C., it was ruled sequentially by the Persians, Alexander the Greats successors, the Romans, Mamluke Muslims, and Turkish Ottomans. As a result, the city is filled with history, including mosques, Turkish baths, a crusader castle, and restored traditional marketplaces.
What to see and do may include some of the following.
Lebanons second largest city, Tripoli and search for unique traditional crafts in its labyrinthine traditional marketplaces.
Visit the birthplace and tomb of Lebanons revered mystic poet and artist, Khalil Gibran, in the picturesque town of Bcharre and walk through this traditional, red roofed, mountain village overlooking the Qadisha Valley. Hike along a rippling river through the lush, cool Qadisha Valley to visit the ancient rock cut monasteries clinging precipitously to the steep, rocky cliffs.
Marvel at the size and majesty of Lebanons 1,000 year old Cedar trees at Arz Ar-Rab near Bcharre or the Tannourine Cedars Forest Nature Reserve.
Climb Lebanons tallest mountain, Qornet Es Saouda 3,090m and take to the slopes at the countries highest ski resort, The Cedars.
Grab a boat to Palm Islands Nature Reserve to watch birds, some 300 species during migratory seasons, endangered sea turtles, and other wildlife.
Go caving or rappel deep into a rocky sinkhole in the mountains near Tannourine.
Explore the dense forests and spectacular scenery and wildlife in the remote Aakkar region on a multi day hike.
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