Zgharta Dis­trict

Lebanon Traveler - - TOURING LEBANON -

Alti­tude: Dis­tance from Beirut:

885–1,100m 123km Dense Cal­abrian pine forests ex­tend on the hills sur­round­ing the vil­lages of Mazraet El Touf­fah, Ejbeh, Ai­tou and Se­beel. They cover more than ap­prox­i­mately 3km2 and in­clude gall oak (afess), ker­mes oak, cy­press (shar­been), storax (loubn), ju­niper (ar’ar), hawthorn (za’rour), hys­sop (zo­ufa), or­chids, sage (kas’ine), Syr­ian oregano (zouba’) and en­demic Le­banese oregano (mar­dak­oush lub­nani), along with St John’s Wort. The forested area is ac­ces­si­ble from the sur­round­ing vil­lages and Meziarat. The land­scape fea­tures aban­doned ter­races that were once cul­ti­vated with wheat and semi-cir­cu­lar ter­races for wheat thresh, old houses, old churches and a wa­ter mill. En­joy out­door ac­tiv­i­ties in the area, in­clud­ing hik­ing to El Keif, Dalil, Si­fon and Rechta’mout, bik­ing and sight­see­ing tours, or sim­ply take a pic­nic and en­joy the panoramic views. If you aim to cross the bor­ders be­tween vil­lages, hikes to Wadi El Karakir, Mereh and Bnache’et are avail­able with eco­tour op­er­a­tors.

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