One day in Beirut gives you enough time to discover Lebanon’s thousands of years of history, cook up a Lebanese feast, and, in summer, party up a storm at one of the city’s rooftop bars and lounges. Here’s how.
Qadisha Valley (Wadi Kadisha)
While there are hotels in the valley, especially in and around Bcharré, most travelers explore the Qadisha Valley on an organized tour or private guided day trip from Beirut. Qadisha Valley tours typically include a visit to Bcharré, often with the Gibran Museum, the former home of famed Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran; a trip to the nearby Cedars of God, a stand of ancient cedar trees; and a look at a historic monastery such as Deir Qozhaya (St. Anthony’s Monastery).
Private Tour to Qadisha Valley, Gibran Museum and Cedars of God from Beirut
$100.00 per adult
Great private tour with Hassane! The monastery and cedar trees were incredible and definitely a must see in Lebanon.
jworldwidewebb, Jan 2020
Things to Know Before You Go
The Qadisha Valley is a must-visit for photographers and history buffs.
Dress conservatively when visiting working monasteries, convents, or hermitages, covering shoulders and knees.
Wear practical shoes. Some sites can only be reached by mountain paths.
Even urban Lebanon can be challenging for people who use wheelchairs. Most Qadisha Valley sights are not accessible.
How to Get There
About 66 miles (107 kilometers) northeast of Beirut, the Qadisha Valley carves its way through some of Lebanon’s most dazzling scenery. Minibuses run to Bcharré from Beirut’s Dawra bus station roughly hourly during the day, excluding Sundays, but with no public transport in the valley itself most travelers opt for the ease of an organized tour.
When to Get There
Many of the Qadisha Valley’s sights are at higher elevations, and some, such as the beautiful Qadisha Grotto cave, close from mid-December until mid-May. Late spring, summer, and autumn are the best times to explore here. During winter, Lebanon’s mountains are cold enough to boast a ski scene; base out of Bcharré if that’s your thing.
Religious Sites of the Qadisha Valley
The monasteries and hermits’ caves in the Qadisha Valley are some of the world’s oldest. Deir Qannoubin convent probably dates back to the fourth century; Deir Mar Elisha, which is now a museum, encompasses ancient cave dwellings; while Deir Qozhaya has been in use since the 12th century. A hermit still lives at Saydet Hawqa.
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- Gibran Museum
- Byblos (Jbeil)
- Our Lady of Lebanon (Notre Dame du Liban)
- Chateau Ksara
- Downtown Beirut (Beirut Central District)
- Mim Mineral Museum Beirut (Mim Musée des Minéraux Beyrouth)
- Beirut National Museum (Musée National de Beyrouth)
- Banque du Liban Museum (Musée de la Banque du Liban)
- Martyrs' Square (Place des Martyrs)
- Hamra Street (Rue Hamra)
- Jeita Grotto
- Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)