3. GETAWAY WITH FRIENDS
Spring is the best season to enjoy hiking in Lebanon, particularly the UNESCO World Heritage Site Qadisha Valley. In this holy valley, divided into Qannoubine and Qoshaya, find caves and sanctuaries, which were inhabited from the third millennium B.C. until the Roman period. Hermitages, rocky monasteries and churches are scattered everywhere and Muslim sophists also lived here. Considered to be one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world, its ancient monasteries and hermitages are built in the cliffs of the valley. Trails of different difficulty levels, from villages surrounding the monastery of Our Lady of Qannoubine, are the best way to explore the valley, such as the trail going down from Blowza village straight to Qannoubine. Though the more challenging hikes offer the best views, the easiest is along the road from Mar Elishaa monastery.
SLEEP Our Lady of Qannoubine Monastery
Experience a mystic overnight sleep in (06 645505) in the middle of the valley or the hostel of the
(06 995504/5, qozhaya.com.)
Eat a picnic by the river of Qadisha or under pine trees or stop by the renowned
(03 277898) for excellent traditional Lebanese mezze.
Abou Joseph Restaurant
The main monasteries are those of St. Anthony of Qozhaya, Our Lady of Hawqa, Our Lady of Qannoubine and Mar Lichaa but there are many more hidden along the valley’s walking trails to explore, such as Deir El Salib and Deir Mar Youhanna. Take local guide
(03 517289) or (03 458435.)
Johnny Nehmé Abdallah
Monastery of St. Anthony