Join MT Sobek on a brand-new, pioneering hiking adventure! Established in 2007, the 290-mile Lebanon Mountain Trail takes in all the beauty and natural diversity the landscape and culture have to offer, and we hike 23 miles of it! Warm up with Lebanon's revered literary greats along the Baskinta Literary Trail, then revel in a series of moderate mountain hikes exemplary of this incredibly historical, spectacular route. Explore impressive Roman ruins, centuries-old mountain monasteries, vast cedar forests, ancient Phoenician cities, and medieval highlights of Byblos, Tripoli, and Anjar. Our knowledgeable, expert guides help ensure an unparalleled experience of this unique destination.
Hike the scenic Lebanon Mountain Trail's holy valleys, vast cedar forests, and ancient ruins
Emerge from sweeping cedar nature preserves to explore souks, temples, fortresses, churches, and more
Follow the footsteps of ancient Phoenicians and Romans while exploring UNESCO-listed Byblos, Anjar, and Tyre
Welcome to Lebanon! Upon arrival at Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, meet an MT Sobek representative and transfer to the hotel. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.
After breakfast at the hotel, receive a briefing for the day. Then depart for Baskinta, where you take a short guided walk on the Baskinta Literary Trail, part of the Lebanon Mountain Trail, which invites you to discover landmarks associated several acclaimed writers and poets from the region. Lunch at a small, local restaurant in a trailside village, then transfer to Byblos and spend the afternoon exploring this medieval UNESCO-listed city.
Wake for a visit to Byblos Crusader Castle, built in the 12th century from limestone and remains of Roman structures. Then drive to Tripoli - founded around 800 BC and inhabited by Greeks, Phoenicians, and Romans - and visit the old souk, port, and fortress, all of which date from medieval times. Continue on to Ehden and tour the old town's Midane Square, Mar Mema Church (one of the oldest Maronite churches in Lebanon, dating back to the ninth century), and St. Georges Cathedral. Dine at the lodge tonight.
After breakfast, take a hike on the Lebanon Mountain Trail to Qozhaya Monastery, also known as the Monastery of St. Anthony. In continual use since its founding in the eighth century, the monastery has been printing texts since the 16th century - including texts in Syriac, a language that the Maronites still use in their services.
Today is spent hiking along the Lebanon Mountain Trail from Qozhaya to Qadicha. Ouadi Qadicha, also known as Holy Valley, is one of the most important settlement sites of the first Christian monasteries in the world. Its monasteries, many of which are very old, are set in an extraordinarily rugged, beautiful landscape. We will pass by troglodotique constructions, old monasteries and visit the old village of Qanoubine.
Your hike today takes you from Hadath el Jebbeh to the Tannourine Cedar Forest Nature Reserve. Established in 1999, the reserve protects Lebanon's largest and densest cedar forest, and comprises over 2.5 million trees. The scenery is beautiful, the air is clean, and the birds are plentiful. Enjoy a packed lunch during the hike.
Head to Tannourine this morning and visit the scenic waterfall known as the Baatara Gorge Sinkhole or the Three Bridges Sinkhole. Then transfer to Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley, one of Rome's breadbaskets - Roman sites and ruins dot the area. Visit the city's temple, Turkish school, and recent archaeological discoveries. Enjoy lunch in a small restaurant in town, and then transfer to Taanayel Domaine for a free afternoon around the lake.
After breakfast, travel to Anjar and visit the UNESCO-listed Ummayyad city, founded in the eighth century and today home to outstanding ruins. Continue to Massaya for a tour and wine tasting at a family-owned winery started by the Ghosn brothers after the civil war. They produce indigenous Lebanese varietals. Later transfer to Tyre, a once-great Phoenician city where, legend has it, purple dye was invented.
Rise early this morning for a traditional breakfast in the old souk of Tyre. Then tour the souk, the 12th-century Crusader Cathedral, and the Roman hippodrome before transferring to Sidon, an important Phoenician city that was settled as early as 4,000 BC. Sidon is home to the Sidon Sea Castle, built by the Crusaders in AD 1228; a thriving souk; Phoenician temples; and an ancient church converted into the Great Mosque after the Crusaders were driven out before returning to Beirut. This evening, enjoy a festive farewell dinner in a local restaurant.
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.
MT Sobek has been trailblazing for 50 years and creating exploratory adventures that few other companies run.
Our local guide is one of the founders of the Lebanon Mountain Trail, and is expertly familiar with the route!
We have successfully operated trips throughout the Middle East, including to Iran, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Moderately paced hiking up to 7 miles a day on scenic trails, plus cultural touring of Roman ruins, cedar forests, and ancient cities.
Charming traditional Lebanese guesthouses and hotels with modern amenities.
Temperatures in the cities are very warm with scant amounts of rain. In the mountains, temperatures range from the mid 40's to high 60's.
Our MT Sobek representative will meet you at the Beirut Airport.
Yes, American citizens need a visa to travel to Lebanon, but you can get one on arrival at the airport in Beirut.
No, there is no special dress code for Lebanon, but out of respect for the local culture, please leave immodest clothing at home.
Yes, tourism is alive and well in Lebanon and the country is an oasis of calm in a turbulent neighborhood.
A number of European airlines (including Lufthansa, Turkish, Air France and British Airways) as well as Emirates and Royal Jordanian Airlines fly to Beirut.
Yes, and no. MT Sobek has never done this trip. It has been scouted by an MT Sobek Program Director for safety purposes. While certain aspects of this trip have been done before, sections of hiking trails we will explore have not.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
"Great experience every time with some of the most knowledgeable guides in their fields. We always come home with wonderful memories of the people we meet and things we see."
MT Sobek Guest
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MT Sobek Guest