If you’ve read any of my posts on this blog, you’ll know getting off the beaten track is one of my favourite things to do.
And hiking Lebanon with the fantastic company, Trekking Lebanon, was the perfect way to do just that!
A totally delightful way to discover some of the local-only known parts of this stunning country, this is definitely one experience in Lebanon you can’t miss.
And here’s why…
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My experience with Trekking Lebanon was kindly sponsored, but as always, all views are my own.
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
For those of you not aware, the tiny country of Lebanon that straddles the Middle East and the Mediterranean is a fascinating blend of influences, landscapes and cultures.
Not what you typically picture when it comes to Middle Eastern landscapes and embodying the eclecticism of its geographical location, the topography of Lebanon is largely green and verdant, with forested mountains that stretch all the way down to the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean.
Yes, this is a country that allows you to snow ski and sea swim in the same day and with a temperate climate to boot, it makes for the perfect outdoors adventure playground.
Top of my list however when it comes to taking in the natural splendour of a country is enjoying some wonderful hiking, and so it was I set off to walk the trails and take in the gorgeous nature of this country with Trekking Lebanon.
DISCOVER MORE: The Complete Lebanon Itinerary : How to See all the Highlights in 1 Week
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My day began by getting the bus from Beirut towards the city of Tripoli, before disembarking at a major junction to meet my guide for the day – and co-owner of Trekking Lebanon – Laurent.
Laurent had kindly driven here to pick me up because, as I was soon to discover, there certainly weren’t any buses going anywhere near where we were about to hike.
Not only can this be accounted for by Lebanon’s notoriously bad public transport services, but also by the fact we were headed to a seriously off the beaten track destination.
Yes, one of the best things about hiking in Lebanon with Trekking Lebanon was that these guys don’t take you to the most popular, well-known and overrun destinations.
Instead, they take you into the forest, mountains, valleys and peaks of the area surrounding their local town – Miziara and its borders.
In fact, this is an area so little visited by international tourists, no one who I spoke to at my hostel after the trip had ever even heard of this place.
Even people who have lived in Lebanon for a while seemed genuinely not to know much about it.
And of course, this made me love my experience with Trekking Lebanon even more.
Discovering and mapping all the trails themselves, these guys create highly unique Lebanon treks that many locals, let alone foreigners, would never be able to experience without them.
As such, you can be sure that when hiking with Trekking Lebanon, you’ll get to explore some wonderfully isolated and unique parts of this country’s breathtaking beauty whether it’s for a day or a week!
LEARN MORE: How to See the Best of Lebanon in 48 Hours!
My Hiking Lebanon Trip
So after Laurent picked me up we drove further and further away from the main road, past villages and along twisting and turning roads as we began to ascend into the mountains around us.
And then, after parking the car, packing our hiking bags and getting our cameras ready, we began our beautiful 4 hour walk through the isolated valley of the Miziara region.
Taking in waterfalls, churches, abandoned cottages and, of course, some epic views, throughout the duration of our trip there was not another soul in sight!
Just myself, Laurent and his beautiful dog, Rocky.
Sometimes we engaged interesting conversation (mostly related to social media as we’re both quite active in this regard!) and sometimes we just walked in silence, absorbed in the beauty, peace and tranquillity of the world around us.
The trek was perfectly matched to my ability and stopping for both coffee and snacks, as well as tons of photo opps, it was a very relaxed and rewarding day.
In fact, hiking Lebanon with Trekking Lebanon provided more than just the opportunity to stretch my legs – we also got to take in the history and culture of this country as we passed old villages and ruins.
I loved the way Laurent explained everything to me from the stories surrounding what we were looking at, through to his life and what Lebanon is like for the people living here now.
5 PACKING ESSENTIALS FOR LEBANON
#1 Lebanon Bradt Travel Guide – A great guidebook for the maps and background info on this layered and complex country, Bradt make a great job of covering this off the beaten track destination.
#2 Camera – I highly recommend the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera, which is small, compact and ideal for adventurous travellers.
#3 Walking Shoes – There’s going to be a lot of sightseeing in Lebanon, so good day shoes are a must. I love my New Balance trainers, which are city friendly and super comfy.
#4 Bikini – When you see that glistening Mediterranean Sea, there’s no question you’ll want to dive straight into it. Don’t hold back and come prepared to Lebanon with a beautiful Rip Curl Bikini.
#5 Small Day Backpack – With hiking and historical day trips a plenty in Lebanon, having a backpack to house your camera, sunscreen, water, snacks and guidebook is a must here and the Bobby Anti Theft Backpack is ideal for the job – I can guarantee it!
As such, it really was a pleasure to hike with this awesomely professional and very safety-conscious company.
Laurent is extremely able and skilled, but was sure to take into account my experience and fitness before deciding on a trail, even messaging me to ask if I had any fears, such as those of heights, as part of the arrangement process.
Sadly, with my time in this country limited to just over a week, I only had the opportunity to experience one day’s hiking with Laurent, but will definitely be earmarking more days to trek with him when I return to this beautiful land.
For he can easily arrange up to week long trips for individuals and groups, booking accommodation and organising whole packages for you.
I can’t wait to sample a longer excursion with Trekking Lebanon when I come back and I highly recommend you do the same!
For more details on the amazing excursions organised by Trekking Lebanon click HERE
8 thoughts on “Why Hiking Lebanon is the Perfect Way to See this Epic Country”
I always find it intriguing Steph I see a country like Lebanon being so green. Amazing. I have images of deserts or arid regions at best. Hiking feels like an inspired way to enjoy its nature and to get off the beaten tourist path. One thing I learned; most tourists ain’t hiking around anywhere LOL. People are lazy!
Thanks for sharing 🙂
So true Ryan, being a bit active definitely gets you away from the masses. And you’re spot on about Lebanon being green – it has much more of a Mediterranean feel than many other countries in the Middle East I’ve visited and a landscape that follows suit. From beaches to mountains and some super cities, it really is a hidden gem!
So, a 4-hour walk is now a hike? Wow.
Ha ha! Nice one 🙂
Stephanie great article and super that you enjoyed this beautiful country. My Lebanon
Thanks Nabil. Yes I truly loved my time in Lebanon 🙂
How did you find Lauren and Trekking Lebanon. My husband and I are going to Lebanon this winter and we are avid hikers. I know you give lots of praise in your blog but interested if you know others who have used him, are there any reviews written? I looked at his FB page but not too much there. Thanks for any info. Also if you have any advice in planning a one week itinerary to Lebanon let me know. We are going in January so that may limit what we can do, not sure.
Hi Mary Ann, Laurent from Trekking Lebanon was a great guide and I highly recommend him. He concentrates a lot on the domestic market, which is perhaps why you can’t find too many other reviews online. Did you check TripAdvisor? He is also very active on Instagram, so do look there under his account Trekking Lebanon. I have a full Lebanon itinerary post on my blog, as well as lots of other articles about this country. Just use the search bar on the homepage to find them. Best, Steph 🙂