Lebanon must be one of the most diverse countries I visited in recent years. The country is so tiny but you’ll find amazing cultural history, great food, and amazing outdoor activities in Lebanon. You can explore impressive waterfalls and the most amazing underground grottos in Lebanon. You can go sunbathing at one moment and skiing the next. Go hiking in Lebanon and explore the Cedars National Forests are must-do’s. To make things easier, I list the most amazing outdoor adventures in Lebanon for any nature lover who travels to Lebanon.
Epic Outdoor Adventures in Lebanon for Nature Lovers
Help Beirut and the people of Lebanon after the harbor explosion of August 4, 2020
Outdoor adventures in Lebanon
In this guide, I’ll list the best outdoor activities in Lebanon per category. I’ll tell you how to get there, what to do and how to arrange it yourself.
I recently spent 10 days in Lebanon and tried my best to experience as much of Lebanon’s nature as possible. I rented a car that gave me the freedom to move around and reach remote places. For your convenience, I also give you options for hiking tours in Lebanon and other outdoor adventures.
This post does contain affiliate links, so if you make a purchase via one of my links, I’ll earn a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you.
There is an incredible underground world underneath Lebanon. Explore the labyrinth of caves on your next outdoor adventure in Lebanon. Descend into the caves to explore the stalagmites and stalactites that have been formed over centuries. I have listed a few places where you can explore underground caves in Lebanon below.
Check out the video of my Qadisha Valley hike and my other Lebanon videos
The Qadisha Grotto, near Bcharre, should be one of your first stops. Delight in a full 778 meters of impressive stalactites and stalagmites that will fully take your breath away. Finding Kadisha is easy once you reach L’ Aiglon Hotel, follow the concrete footpath 1.5 km to the cave.
An Wazein Natural Grotto
Hailed as one of the most beautiful caves in Lebanon, An Wazein Natural Grotto is a natural wonder that any visitor to Lebanon will want to see. Follow the twisting hallways and crevices on an underground walk that includes impressive stalactites, stalagmites, and other calcareous formations.
When visiting Ain Wazein, a village 54 km away from Beirut, don’t miss this 426-meter underground wonder on Ain Wazein-Batroun Road.
Jeita Grotto Lebanon
A perfect day trip from Beirut, Jeita Grotto is a natural wonder of Lebanon. You will buy your ticket at the ticket office (or book a tour) and continue via gondola to the upper cave. Here you’ll enter a magically lit world of underground stalactite and stalagmite structures.
Unfortunately, you have the leave your cellphone and camera at the safety deposit boxes but the grotto is absolutely amazing. You can walk along the well-illuminated path, further inside the grotto. Displays in Arabic, French, and English will educate you about the formation of stalagmites and the source of the water in the cave.
At the end of the path, you’ll climb to an elevated viewpoint that offers impressive views inside the cave. After this, you’ll return via the same path you came from.
Included in the entry price is the transport by toy train to the lower Jeita Grotto where a small boat ride on the interior lake is scheduled next. The current is really strong and with the small boats, you maneuver in between the massive rocks. The boat ride maybe takes 10 minutes but it is not to be missed.
Explore Jeita Grotto on a tour from Beirut. Check for prices and options here.
Paragliding in Lebanon
This adventure sport became a thing in Lebanon, thanks to the diversity and richness of the country’s landscape. From sweeping sea views to the rugged snow-capped mountains, there is a visual delight for all who dare take to the skies.
If you think paragliding is something you want to experience while in Lebanon, well, the sky is literally the limit.
There are quite a few companies that offer tandem flights, paramotor tandems, and more.
No matter which experience you choose, you will get to see some amazing sights. You won’t want to miss sunsets over Jounieh Bay, the lively Jbeil district, and fantastic city panoramas of Beirut. Paragliding in Lebanon is a beautiful experience that makes you appreciate the country from a different perspective.
A great option that is easily accessible from Beirut, is paragliding over Jounieh Bay. Check for requirements and prices here.
If you have not heard of or seen this incredible waterfall get on Google, Pinterest, or Instagram STAT. Baatara Waterfall drops a staggering 255 meters into a limestone cave and is a must-see when in Lebanon.
Close to the village of Balaa, this waterfall is especially spectacular during the spring, when the snowmelt makes an impressive water show through the Three Bridges Chasm.
A word of caution: the hike to the waterfall can be a bit tricky. Make sure to wear good shoes and to watch your step as the ground can be very slippery. If you have hiking poles, I have the Black Diamond trekking poles with adjustable height which are super easy to bring with you on holiday, even better.
A (half) day trip from Beirut to visit Batroun and the Baatara Waterfalls is a great idea. Check out prices and options here.
Hiking and Trekking in Lebanon
Who knew that Lebanon has such a vast array of hiking options? I didn’t! Because I visited Lebanon in April, it was still very cold in the national parks high in the mountains. I tried to visit as many of the Cedar National Parks as possible, but not all trails were open due to the snow. Check before you set out if you can pass.
Qadisha Valley Hiking
My first solo hiking adventure! I was a bit scared, but in the end, I loved it and it was relatively easy and 100% worth it. The Qadisha Valley is an amazing cultural heritage region with many monasteries, churches, and hermitages in the Valley. You can hike down on one end and climb out of the valley on the next end. There are several routes going through the Qadisha Valley so you can make your hike as long or as short as you like.
Bcharre is the gateway to the Qadisha Valley. I stayed in town at the Bauhaus Chalets and had a rental car, but you can also take a tour from Beirut. I drove down and parked my car at the bottom of the Qadisha Valley at Mar Lichaa Monastery. From there, I walked along the main road to Qannoubine Monastery and the Santa Maria Chapel.
It took me roughly 2 or 3 hours to walk back and forth, take in the scenery and enjoy a lunch at the Qannoubine Monastery. There are dozens of sidetracks where you can visit remote Christian places but I recommend you to take a guide for the inside knowledge.
Don’t want to do this hike alone? You can join a group and a knowledgeable guide for more in-depth information about the history and nature of the Qadisha Valley. Find tours here.
Cedars of God National Park
Close to Bcharre, you’ll find the Cedars of God National Park. This small national park was added in 1998 to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is protected. Although very small, you can visit the park and walk among the 35 meters (115 ft) tall cedar trees.
I drove to this park from Bcharre, but many tours from Beirut that include the Qadisha Valley, include a visit to the Cedars of God park in their itinerary.
It was freezing cold and there was a lot of snow covering the park, so I could not really enter the park. But what I saw was already pretty impressive with the tall Cedars, covered in snow. You can enter the park for free but the rangers do ask for a voluntary contribution for upkeep.
Find tour companies that organize hiking in Cedars of God park here.
Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve
After the Cedars of God National Park, I drove to Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve, north up the mountains from Ehden. Here you’ll find several eco-lodges that must be a delight to explore the area. You’ll find a ranger station, small parking lot and numerous hiking trails, ranging from kid-friendly 1 hour walks to extensive hikes across the parks for 5-8 hours.
I decided to follow some of the shorter trails but the fog rolled in from the mountains making the weather rather dreary. I walked around the park for roughly 1 to 1,5 hours and I found a wide range of biodiversity and the paths are well-marked and informative about the park’s species and the Cedar trees.
Tannourine Cedar Forest National Reserve
My absolute favorite of the Cedar parks, probably because it was a bright and sunny day, the trees were still covered in snow but this didn’t prevent me from following one of the shorter trails in the park. I spent roughly 1.5 hours in Tannourine Cedar park, walking around, enjoying the impressive trees and the views.
You can reach Tannourine Cedar National Park on the Bcharre – Tannourine Road, which climbs high up into the mountains from Bcharre. The last part was over a dirt road but there is a small parking lot, a ranger’s hut and an information station. You need to pay 5.000 LL as an entrance fee but you do get a map with the trails. There was only 1 trail open because of the snow and this was still a bit tricky at some parts, but it was absolutely lovely.
The paths in the park are well marked and lined with stones to prevent getting off the path. Signposts are pointing you in the right direction with approximate distances left on the chosen trail. I especially enjoyed the view from Ras Al Wadi viewpoint, which took my breath away.
For more extensive hiking in Tannourine Cedar Forest, check their walking routes.
Shouf Biosphere Reserve
The Shouf or Chouf Cedar Biosphere Reserve was a bit more difficult to tackle. Basically, because this area is much larger than the Cedar parks on the Mount Lebanon range. It consists of several small parks, with each their own entrance. Due to the snow, it was not possible to drive from one to the next and most of the hiking trails were not open yet. Maaser el Chouf is a great base to explore the area. I stayed at the Palais des Cedres Hotel, which was only a one-minute drive from one of the park’s entrances.
Barouk Cedar Forest
The Barouk Cedar Forest entrance was a 1-minute drive from my hotel and I came here first. A small parking lot next to the ranger station is situated in the bend with sweeping views of the Maaser el Chouf valley. The entrance fee is 7.000 LL but if you visit one of the other entrances on the same day, you don’t need to pay again.
As the trails were not open at the time of my visit, the park ranger let me through and instructed me to drive until I couldn’t drive any further and then come down again. On the map, it shows there is a road continuing to the Maasser Cedar Forest and Kafraya but a wall of snow was preventing me to continue.
From what I saw, the whole park is massive. It measures 400 hectares and I saw several starting points for some impressive hikes. The Barouk Cedar Park also has a special needs trail. It has a ramp and guide bars for the elderly, wheelchair users, and the visually impaired. The special needs trail is 300 meters with a maximum slope of 25%. The best way to reach the Barouk Cedar Forest is with a guide or by taxi from Beirut or a nearby village if you don’t have your own transport.
Maaser Cedar Forest
After the Barouk Cedar Park, I returned by car and drove down to Maaser el Chouf. From there, I continued up the mountains to the Maaser Cedar Forest park entrance. The Maaser Cedar Forest in the Chouf is known to have the oldest Cedar tree in Lebanon. It is said to be over 2,000 years old. You can also find the Lamartine Cedar where the poet got his inspiration.
From the entrance, you come to a viewing area with impressive views of the park and several hiking trails start here. Due to fog and slippery snow, I could only follow the trail for a short 10-minute walk, before I had to turn around.
As the Shouf National Park is not that far from Beirut, it makes for a great day trip from the capital if you use Beirut as a base. Check for options on day trips to the Shouf here.
Chouwen Lake Hiking
This lush oasis hiking spot is just waiting for you and your hiking boots. This moderate level hike takes about three hours, and the climb up the mountain is an excellent workout for hiking enthusiasts.
Not only is this a great outdoor sports spot, but the photo opportunities in Jannet Chouwen are endless. Nature in Lebanon is perfect for capturing with a camera.
Consider hiking in Lebanon with a group where you can meet other like-minded travelers.
With a tour, you will also get an English-speaking guide and hotel pick up and drop off. After your hike, relax and enjoy some lunch on the shore of the beautiful turquoise-green lake.
Find the options for an organized Chouwen Lake hiking tour here.
Lebanon Mountain Trail
The Lebanon Mountain Trail is the superlative of hiking in Lebanon. When you follow this cross-country trail, you’ll see the best that Lebanon has to offer.
This well-known trail passes through a whopping 76 villages and stretches 470 km across Lebanon from North to South.
You can easily accomplish one of the 27 sections in a day. Unfortunately, unless you are planning on staying a whole month or more, you will not likely see the entire trail.
Research which sections are at the top of your list and focus on those. Add Lebanon Mountain Trail to your list of hiking adventures in Lebanon. For more information, check the official website.
Skiing & Snowboarding in Lebanon
From snow to sand in a matter of hours. Go skiing in the morning and take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea in the afternoon. It is all possible in Lebanon!
Mzaar Ski Resort Lebanon
Lebanon as a ski destination? Absolutely. In fact, the Mzaar Ski Resort is one of the biggest resorts in the Middle East. Boasting 100 km of snow terrain and 50 runs, Mzaar is the place to be during ski season.
Skiing in Lebanon is something you didn’t realize you needed to do until now. Not only does this resort have endless smooth runs, but there are also restaurants, bars, and even a zip line.
You could easily stay a week here and not grow bored. Skiing is one of the best outdoor adventures in Lebanon.
A half-day ski pass during the week will set you back 30.000 LL ($19/€18), where a full day pass on weekends will be 100.000 LL ($66/€60). For more details, check the website here.
Laqlouq Ski Resort Lebanon
This beautiful winter (and summer) resort is a favorite among families looking for a quieter, more out of the way experience.
Thanks to a vast, open region with minimal buildings, this is the best place for cross country skiing. The ski lifts at Laqlouq have been running since the late 50s, so this skiing mecca knows how to do the ski scene.
Skiing in Lebanon doesn’t get much better than this.
Cedars Ski Resort Lebanon
Named for the ancient cedars that are a central fixture of the resort (and the tree found on the Lebanese flag), this resort enjoys a long season thanks to its higher elevation.
If you are a novice skier, this is the resort for you. There is an abundance of easier runs, tons of room for cross country skiing, and even Ski-Doo rentals.
Perhaps the biggest draw of this ski resort is the nearby village of Bcharré, which was the birthplace of famed poet, Gibran Khalil Gibran.
Thanks to the abundance of snowy plains and gently ascending peaks, Lebanon is the location for snowmobile enthusiasts.
There is quite an assortment of local companies that will plan, train, and help execute snowmobile adventures.
One of the coolest outdoor adrenaline rushes in Lebanon, is a snowmobile adventure where you whirl through the winter wonderland of snowy Lebanon.
Check out your options for a half-day snowmobile ride.
White Water Rafting Hermel
The Assi River is Lebanon’s hot spot for whitewater rafting. The biggest draw to this river is the waterfall that you can raft down.
Yes, seriously. The three-meter drop is pure adrenaline fun. Thanks to the calm water that follows every rapid, rafts are allowed to rock and roll through the grade 5 roller coasters.
Make sure you go with an accredited rafting company. They will provide you with helmets, life jackets, and all the training required to be safe and have an unforgettable time.
Don’t miss out on one of the best outdoor adventures in Lebanon, find prices and availability here.
Off-Road in Lebanon
Of course, you can rent a car and drive around Lebanon. Or as mentioned above, go hiking. But if you’re looking for a different adventure in Lebanon, then off-roading might be the adrenaline you’re seeking for.
ATV Off-Road driving
The rugged hills of Lebanon are perfect for off-roading. See the sights of the unforgettable Middle Eastern Mediterranean geography while enjoying a hugely popular outdoor sport.
Many tour companies offer all the training and, of course, the ATV. If adrenaline-packed fun and nature are up your alley, consider an off-roading adventure for your trip to Lebanon. For example, you can go for a half-day of ATV off-roading.
RZR XP4 Buggy Rides and RZR S2 Buggies
Take the whole family or your group of friends on an off-roading adventure through the dusty hills of Lebanon in a four-person buggy for a whole day of fun. Or choose the longer experience and rent an XP4 for the whole day.
For a more romantic, close quarters, adrenaline ride, rent a two-seater RZR S2 on a full-day tour or a scenic half-day tour. You will want to go off-road in Lebanon as soon as you arrive in the country!
These adorable buggies fit one and are perfect for an adventure cruise made for one. Enjoy scenic Lebanon while whizzing through the hills on a buggy made for one.
This is the ultimate outdoor adventure in Lebanon. Off Road in Lebanon should be an item at the top of your to-do list.
Watersports in Lebanon
Lebanon has it all: sunny trails, snowy peaks, rugged mountains, and mysterious cave grottos. Another thing Lebanon has is an abundance of waterways and open water.
With hundreds of miles of Mediterranean coastline and a myriad of rivers and lakes, Lebanon is the Middle Eastern destination for water sports.
From jet skiing and jet boating to scuba diving, parasailing, and jetpacking, many companies all over Lebanon cater to the water enthusiasts that flood to Lebanon in the summer. Watersports in Lebanon is the perfect way to cool off and have some water-fun!
Sunset Cruise in Lebanon
After your outdoor adventures in Lebanon, enjoy a sunset cruise. As the sun sets, quite literally, on your Lebanese adventure of a lifetime, enjoy a bottle of wine and some snacks aboard a boat on the glittering Mediterranean Sea.
Recount with friends and family which of the best outdoor adventures in Lebanon you got to experience.
Don’t miss out on a sunset cruise in Lebanon, or your trip will just not be complete. Find options and more details here.
The best outdoor adventures in Lebanon
From snow to sand, from high above in the sky, to deep underground grottos, from hiking to off-roading, it is clear that Lebanon is jam-packed with outdoor adventures for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies.
I have not yet visited in the Middle-East such a small but diverse country as Lebanon. If you’re looking for a unique experience in nature or get your adrenaline rushing, then Lebanon is the place to be!
Have you ever been to Lebanon? Is Lebanon on your list for outdoor fun? It sure should be. Let me know what you think in the comment section below. I’d love to read it.