||Cultural Tour, Food and Wine, Day Hiking
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Travel writer Pico Iyer called Beirut one of "the most charismatic, magnetic places" he's ever been. We heartily agree, joyously reveling in its revitalized neighborhoods, stylish galleries, and cosmpolitan feel each time we're there. The rest of this culturally and scenically rich, intellectually revved-up country is also captivating and we drink it in deeply on this specially designed journey.
We begin in Beirut—enthralling, edgy, and on the rocky road to reclaiming its historic glamor—then set off for a look at Beiteddine (House of Faith) and the Phoenician city of Sidon, followed by a couple of World Heritage Sites: Baalbek, one of the most impressive Roman ruins anywhere, and the Umayyad ruins of Anjar. Along the way, we stop to taste locally produced Bekaa Valley wines. Now into some of Lebanon’s finest sceneries, beginning at Bscharreh, perched on the edge of the rugged Qadisha Valley, a monastic haven for Maronite Christians.
We do some tranquil hiking in the Qadisha before dallying in the Cedars Nature Reserve, populated with more than 600 plant, 80 bird and 52 butterfly and moth species, not to mention the country’s signature cedars, trees old, beautiful, and full of personality. After heading down to the ancient Phoenician seaport of Byblos, and Harissa, graced with a huge statue of Our Lady of Lebanon, we spend another night in Beirut before heading home.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1:
arrive in Beirut
- Day 2:
explore Beirut, including Souk al Tayeb
- Day 3:
excursion to Sidon, Der El Kamar, and Beiteddine
- Day 4:
excursion to Baalbek, Ksara, and Anjar, with wine tasting
- Day 5:
Bscharreh, walking in Qadisha Valley
- Day 6:
visit Tanourine Cedars Forest and Tripoli, overnight in Byblos
- Day 7:
tour Byblos, Harissa, and Jeita Grotto; return to Beirut
- Day 8:
depart for home.