Skiing in Lebanon | Snow-Capped Mountains with a Sea-View

Often referred to as the “Switzerland of the East” Lebanon should definitely be the next stop on your skiing itinerary.

Skiing in Lebanon

When you think of the Middle East images of camels in the desert, minarets sparkling in the burning sun and women mysteriously hidden behind burkas automatically come to mind, but with perfect snow-capped peaks which rise high enough to afford views on a clear day of the Mediterranean sea on one side and the wineries and roman ruins of the Bekka Valley on the other, Lebanon is now putting the Middle East firmly on the ski and snow board map.

Lebanon has six world-class ski resorts with base altitudes ranging from 1700 metres to 1950 metres and top altitudes from 2000 metres up to 3086 metres, catering for all levels of skiers and snowboarders and also offering trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

The two most prominent ski resorts are Mzaar (formerly Faraya Mzaar) and the Cedars.

The Mzaar ski resort is situated just above the village of Faraya, which can be reached in just over an hour by car from Beirut. It has 80 kilometres of ski runs, with 18 ski lifts providing access to its slopes for 20,000 skiers per hour. The Mazaar peak itself sits at an altitude of 2465 meters above sea level and from here the coastal cities of Beirut and Jounieh can be seen on a clear day. Mazaar offers skiing for every level of skier all year round, but the best time to visit Mzaar is from late December until the beginning of April.

The Cedars ski resort is situated slightly further from Beirut in the Besharry region, but the spectacular scenery and the famed après-ski activities make the Cedars well-worth visiting. A trip to the Cedars Forest is a must as its 450 cedar trees tell 4500 years of history and perfume the fresh mountain air with their wonderful scent. Also offering some more gentle slopes the Cedars is a paradise for anyone learning to ski and the season runs from early November to late April.

Often referred to as the “Switzerland of the East” Lebanon should definitely be the next stop on your skiing itinerary and don´t forget to pack your swimmers as once you´ve finished skiing you can relax on warm white sand beaches and immerse your frozen, tired body in the welcoming Mediterranean. Be aware that it´s best to book in advance as these ski resorts and local hotels usually achieve 100% capacity in the high season.

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