Explore this beautiful country of contrasts, formally dubbed the ‘Switzerland of the Middle East.’ Join us for an adventure of walking, sightseeing, and immersion on this cultural tour through Lebanon.
This adventure captures all the must-see destinations that Lebanon has to offer, whilst incorporating some short walks. You will experience the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful country on foot as you trek through the Lebanon Mountain Trail (LMT), the Chouf Mountains, and the Qadisha Valley. From snowy mountains to the vineyards of the Beqaa, join us as we stay in traditional Lebanese homes, enjoy the world-famous cuisine, and party in Beirut!
In a country where French, Arabic and English can be heard in a single sentence and a multitude of faiths reside, history emanates from every stone: The coastal village of Byblos (جبيل ‘Jbeil’ in Arabic) is the oldest continuously-inhabited town in the world; the Roman temples at Baalbek are some of the grandest ever built; Lebanon is mentioned 71 times in the Bible with rule having passed through the hands of Arab Caliphates, Crusaders, Mamluks, Ottomans and more.
Lebanon really does have it all – but perhaps nothing surpasses the openness, charm, glamour, and friendliness of its people. Experience this enchanting destination with like-minded fellow travelers. Rest assured that you will find a unique and varied culture quite unlike any you have seen before.
There is an opportunity to provide some hands-on help for a couple of hours with the FoodBlessed charity. This local charity combats hunger amongst Lebanon’s poorest people (more info in the Sustainability Highlights). Depending on the wishes of the group, you can help package food parcels or serve lunches to refugee children. The visit is entirely optional but offers a unique opportunity to understand the obstacles that face some individuals and communities in Lebanon. It is also a chance for us to reflect on what we can offer; be it a greater level of understanding, empathy, compassion, or making a donation of time and/or money to the FoodBlessed cause.
Lebanon has a pleasant Mediterranean climate which is characterized by long, hot, dry summers and short, cool, rainy winters. The weather is determined by Lebanon’s
location between the subtropical aridity of the African continent and the subtropical humidity of the Eastern Mediterranean area. January is the coldest month (5-10°C / 41-50°F average temperature) and August is the hottest (18-38°C / 64-100°F average temperature). June to August can often be rainless. Lebanon is affected by the Shirocco, a hot dry, southerly wind that can be very strong and can cause sandstorms.
This is a set itinerary but if would like to change the dates, privatize the trip, or customize in some way, contact Yugen Earthside for more information.
Day 1: Beirut [Lebanon] (arrival day)
Day 2: Beirut: City tour
Day 3: Sidon, Tyre
Day 4: Jezzine, Beit el-Din Palace: Explore souks of Sidon & archaeological sites of Tyre
Day 5: Beqaa Valley - wine tasting
Day 6: Baalbek: Anjar & Baalbek UNESCO sites, and ancient ruins
Day 7-8: Qadisha Valley: Lebanon Mountain Trail, Cedar Forests, and the Qadisha Valley
Day 9: Byblos, Beirut: World Heritage Port of Byblos & Jeita Grotto
Day 10: Beirut (departure day)
Our View on Sustainable Travel
Each adventure is linked to a charity important to the region we take travelers to, such as the FoodBlessed in Beirut that tackles hunger amongst Lebanon's poorest people.
FoodBlessed is a small but well-established, local charity, focusing on increasing food security, which encompasses not only access to food but also access to good nutrition. They are proud of their services and have invited us as a group to learn about their work, to see how they help those in need of additional food, as well as helping us to learn about better use of food that might otherwise go to waste.
Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
We have joined the Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency coalition.
We donate 35 GBP/client ($48 USD, 40 EUR) using international air travel to the charity WeForest, to plant & maintain 15 trees in the fight against global deforestation.
It is officially proclaimed safe to drink, however, many Lebanese avoid drinking tap water, sticking to bottled water. Whilst bottled water is safe and widely available on your holiday, we are conscious of the negative effects of Single-Use Plastics. We highly recommend the use of a filtration water bottle. This gives you flexibility, confidence and is entirely reusable. Clients booking this tour will be eligible to purchase a reusable water filtration bottle (Pure Hydratation's "Aquapure Traveller") for about 50% off.
We fully believe in, and practice, Responsible Tourism and using hotels run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a great trip. We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be simple and in modern buildings and/or in towns. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available. An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things that are exciting, memorable, and reflect the countries we are visiting.
Use the Google map to orient yourself about where in the world this trip is. The location indicates the starting point for this trip.
A specific route map is included in the downloadable detailed itinerary.
What happens if we cancel your trip?
If we are forced to cancel your trip because it is not viable (due to COVID-related travel restrictions), or if we cannot manage your health and safety on a particular itinerary, or because we do not have the numbers to reach our minimum (4 travelers), then we will ask you to select one of the following options:
What happens if you cancel your trip?
To provide you with as much flexibility as possible in these changing times, if you cancel your trip up to 30 days before your adventure, you can:
This trip takes place on the following dates.
Be sure you have traveler's insurance.
You must be fully vaccinated and boosted. You may need a negative test result prior to arriving. You should have both a mask and hand sanitizer with you at all times.
Our trips are only for small groups (privatization possible) and are focused on outdoor activities in off-the-beaten-track areas.
You will need to complete a confidential health screening questionnaire, and take your temperature each morning to check for fever in the 10 days before your trip.
We'll encourage outdoor eating where possible, minimize food sharing, and only visit restaurants complying with COVID protocols.
We'll only stay at hotels complying with COVID protocols.
Q: What does the Physical Rating of "Average" mean?
A: To get the most out of this adventure, you need to be in good physical health, and enjoy walking as a way of exploring an area. You do not need to be an experienced hiker as the walks on the itinerary are on well-trodden paths, for short periods of time (2-3hrs) and at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops. You will be carrying just a day pack and bottle of water (bottled water) when walking or sightseeing.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: We fully believe in, and practice, Responsible Tourism and using hotels run by locals. We stay at a combination of hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs, and an ancient monastery. More information provided upon booking.
Duration: This cultural tour lasts for 10 days (9 nights).
Meals: 9 Breakfasts, 4 Dinners.