Jabal Moussa, Tannourine & Ehden Biosphere Reserves

Lebanese Myths, Forests & Adventure

This package was coordinated by MEET project parnter Al Shoud Cedar Society and created by the managers and the people of the protected areas of Jabal Moussa, the protected forests of Tannourine and Ehden .

The tour is provided by the local tour operator Responsible Mobilities.

This test tour is a result of the MEET project’s objective to develop an integrated strategy to settle an Eco-Tourism Development Model for the Mediterranean Protected Areas that boosts a better seasonal distribution of tourism flows. By participating in this tour you will be part of a small group contributing to the development of a new sustainable travel concept which aims to support conservation and benefit the local communities…

NOTE: This tour is designed for curious, open-minded travelers willing to learn from and share with locals. Natural, gastronomical, historical and cultural discovery (approx. 5 hour hikes

Country Profile: Lebanon

Lebanon is essentially a mountain, situated on the eastern side of the Mediterranean sea and composed of two chains running north to south: the green Mount Lebanon and the semi-arid Anti Lebanon, with the fertile Beqaa Valley in the middle. Lebanon is famous for its biblical cedar trees and snow summits worshipped for thousands of years by Phoenician ancestors.

Today all cedar forests of Lebanon are protected, with the Shouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve, playing a leading role in protecting the landscapes and preserving the local culture among the populations of the villages, and flagging a growing mobilization for sustainable development .

Discovering Lebanon is experiencing the evocative force of Mount Lebanon and its millenary cedars, the spectacular remains of Byblos and Baalbek, the cheerful mood and legendary hospitality of the Lebanese people, who has an extraordinary capacity of adaptation, a boundless creativity.

A wide range of hiking trails is waiting for the visitor to stride the mountains and valleys, protected areas and villages partners with the MEET network. Pristine nature, rich culture, abundant history, mouth-watering gastronomy and lovely people compose an astonishing setting for the heart of the traveller.

Welcome to Lebanon.

LOCATION

How this tour embodies the MEET Values

Join us to discover the land of the Phoenicians. Hike the forests of the trees that made the Phoenician culture possible. Meet the local people at Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, who decided to protect the valley of the Phoenician God “Adonis”; learn about the Maronite history and try to right your name in Syriac language with a monk in the Qadisha Valley; enjoy the majestic sceneries in the northern Lebanon chain and immerse yourself with the scents of the last protected cedar forests, symbol of Lebanon.

PRE DEPARTURE GUIDE

Before you depart, please consider the following:

Visa requirements

USA, Canadian, Australian, British, Netherlands passports holders can have their visas for free at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport upon arrival.

Currency

Lebanese Pounds. But US dollars are widely used as well.

You can exchange in Beirut led by your tour leader

1 US$ = 1500 LBP

Weather Conditions

Depending on the season, the weather changes significantly. Check the weather here.

Clothing tips

To ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip, please take with you:

  • Hiking shoes
  • Hat
  • Water flask
  • Fleece
  • Winter windbreaker jacket
  • Rain coat/Poncho
  • 30litre back-pack

Insurance, Health and Safety

An insurance covering each participant during transportation and all activities which are part of the program, is provided. Participants are also advised to take out their own personal travel insurance.

No photography is recommended near military zones or check points

Tap water is not drinkable in Lebanon, but you can bring your own water bottle and refill from large bottles.

Important Religious & Cultural Considerations

No special concerns concerning women in Lebanon other than the common sense. Guests will need to cover up for any visits to religious churches or mosques. Women live very normally in Lebanon.

No special recommendations or concerns other than the common sense, when entering a private house or a cult site.

In Christian communities one can act similar to the western world, while within Muslim communities, sometimes one has to expect that men do not shake hands with women especially in rural areas, or separate rooms between men and women; your tour leader will lead you in this.

Electricity/adaptors

Residential voltage: 230 V, Frequency: 50 Hz, Plug type: C, F, L, Plug standard: CEI 23-34 CEI 23-50

ON ARRIVAL

Download the provisional Lebanon Myths Test Tour Itinerary and Route Map here.

Transportation & Accommodation

Minivan – 9 seats – AC, with driver availability and fuel included during the entire trip.

Pick-up at reception area inside the airport, corresponding to the time of flight arrival to Beirut. Drop-off at departure area at airport, corresponding to departure flight time from Beirut. Your tour operator will contact you to arrange arrival and departure transfers.

All ground transportation and transfers from airport to hotel and versus, 6 nights B/B accommodation, (2 nights at hotel 3 stars in Byblos and Beirut – 1 night at youth hostel in Qadisha Valley – 1 night in 3 star hotel in Cedars – 1 night at inn in Tannourine – 1 night at local guesthouse in Jabal Moussa ), English speaking Lebanese tour leader, all meals, all activities, entrance fees, local guides, insurance.

Twin bed rooming at hotel in Byblos and Beirut – Shared rooms and toilets at guesthouses in rural areas

Wi-Fi connection                            

Free at hotel in Byblos and Beirut – free, but occasional connections and limited access in rural areas

Tipping

Tips are expected in restaurants, but not in guesthouses.

Tipping the driver is not compulsory, and is upon satisfaction of visitors (in general it represents 10US$ per day for the group)

The tour leader do not expect any tipping from visitors

Food

Food in Lebanon is very diverse and healthy – Mediterranean style (Vegetables, fruits, grains (lentils, wheat, bourghol…), meat (veal, sheep, chicken) fish; pork exists but is rare. We use sesamy oil in many dishes.

Lebanese traditionally eat a lot of meat (at every meal) but vegetarian and vegan food is always available.

Shopping & Local Products

During the trip, there will be a lot of opportunities to buy local food products, especially in the nature reserve’s shops.

Souvenirs are found in tourist markets such as in Byblos or in Cedars region.

Your MEET Tour Leader

Your MEET tour leader will meet you upon your arrival and be with you until your departure. They will be the connection between you – the traveller – and the local people & territory, sharing their local knowledge and advice on how best to enjoy your unique experience. Their role is to ensure that all aspects of your trip run smoothly. It sometimes happens that unexpected situations may occur, in which case your leader will keep you well informed and may require your cooperation and understanding. If you have any questions or concerns at any point, they are there to assist you, so don’t hesitate to ask!