Qadisha Valley, Lebanon © Michal Szymanski, ShutterstockThe Qadisha Valley offers spectacular hiking in an unspoilt terrain of outstanding natural beauty © Michal Szymanski, Shutterstock

This elongated steep-sided gorge possesses arguably the most spectacular scenery in the country.

This elongated steep-sided gorge extending for approximately 50km from Koura east of Batroun in the west to the town of Bcharré and the Cedars in the east possesses arguably the most spectacular scenery in the country. Unlike at many of Lebanon’s natural and manmade attractions, the Qadisha Valley offers little in the way of concessions to tourists. Raw, rugged and wild, with often treacherous and steep mountain passes dotted with waterfalls, the valley is a scenic place to visit at any time. In spring, Lebanon’s varied and colourful flora like buttercups and poppies carpet the landscape with the melting snow drizzling down the mountain forming an extremely picturesque backdrop.

When UNESCO incorporated the valley into its World Heritage site listing in 1998, it did so with the comment that Qadisha is one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements in the world’. The head of the valley is dominated by the picturesque town of Bcharré, which, with the Cedars close by, makes a logical and ideal choice for a base from which to explore the valley below.

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