Lebanon, called in its glory Switzerland of the Middle East, has unique climate properties, thanks to which you can ski in the morning on the same day, and in the afternoon swim in the Mediterranean, where the water temperature often exceeds 20 degrees Celsius.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Lebanese graduates of Swiss universities began to organize the first ski trails. In 1934 Le Club Libanais was founded, the first ski club in the then French Mandate in Lebanon. In 1974, in the mountain village of Fakra near Bejruta (40 km away from the Lebanese capital), a resort was created, like the Swiss resorts, for skiers from all over the world. The resort in Fakra, located at an altitude of 1700-2000 m a.s.l. he had to wait for his glory days until 1990, and so until the end of the civil war in Lebanon.
In the nineties of the last century in the land of cedars, where heavy snowfall from November to March is everyday life, there was a quick reactivation of infrastructure convenient for winter sports enthusiasts. Since 1998, the town of Faraya leads the way among ten ski resorts in Lebanon. The resort has an excellent accommodation base (from USD 114 per night, the price of a daily pass during the week USD 34, on weekends USD 67), a restaurant and trails for skiers and snowboarders.
Another noteworthy center is Cedars (about 100 km from Beirut, daily ticket price 30 USD on public holidays, 40 USD on weekends), in the north of Lebanon. Trails at an altitude of 2000 meters and a modern base prepared for the Asian Championships in 2009 are to provide a sports experience until April, and thus the last snowfall in this area. What’s more, the neighborhood with the Forest of God Cedars, the city of Bcharre (from which came the most eminent Lebanese poet, known in the world Khalil Gibran) and the majestic Valley of the Saints (arabic Waadi Kadisha) can bring tourists on the ski routes the richness of the culture and nature of the country of cedars.
Sport, cuisine, sightseeing
Another interesting proposition for skiers is the Laqluq resort located about 60 km from Beirut. It is located near one of the oldest cities in the world Byblos and the most popular Christian pilgrimage site in the twentieth and twenty-first century monastery of St. Maruna in Annaya. Laqluq runs are at an altitude of 1700-2000 m. According to Lebanese skiers, Laqluq is well prepared for family trips. The daily pass price is 17 USD on public days and 27 USD on weekends and holidays.
The ideal composition of the “Lebanon in winter” programs is from Monday to Thursday inclusive of morning skiing, afternoon sea and tasty Lebanese cuisine in the evenings. However, from Friday to Sunday inclusive, visiting ancient monuments in cities such as Byblos, Tyr, Sidon and Beirut.