The aftermath of attacks by Israel on Lebanon, 16 July 2006. (Peter Speetjens/IRIN)
120 kilometers north of Beirut, the Cedars, known as "
Cedars of the Lord", is a biblical forest of an elevation of
over 2,000 meters, and one of the most beautiful spots in
the country. It is Lebanon's greatest treasure. The majestic
Cedar tree presents the emblem of Lebanon. In the ancient
world, Cedar trees were claimed enormously, particularly
during Pharaoh's Age, because they provided long beams for
ships masts, and offered a unique wood around the area.
Exploited by many civilizations throughout the centuries,
they are strictly protected by the government today and a
number of reforesting projects are in progress. Once
stretching across the peaks of Mount Lebanon, there are
today some forests featuring Cedars dating back as much as
The Cedars village is now a ski resort that offers the most
complete combination of slopes, valleys and exposures.
Furthermore, it has chalets, hotels, ski lifts and varied
night life. Tourist will surely enjoy their stay and seize
the opportunity to visit Qadisha Grotto which is nearby,
known for its stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Moreover, they can explore Bsharre, the birthplace and
resting place of Lebanon's celebrated
philosopher-artist-poet Gebran Khalil Gebran.
About a kilometer further on is the famous cedar grove where
the road is lined with the inevitable souvenir stands and
small restaurants. The same road continues to the ski area
at 2,066 meters and goes over the mountain and down into the
The Cedars is a resort for all seasons. In summer the high
elevation make it wonderful escape from the humid coast
while in winter skiing is the favorite activity.