Three days in Beirut allow you to check off the city’s signature sights and discover the joys of Lebanese food. In addition to the coastal charms of Byblos and the beautiful Jeita Grotto, you can get out into the valleys and add one (or two) more of Lebanon’s UNESCO-listed sites to your list.
Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab)
Visit the Forest of the Cedars of God on a day trip from Beirut or base out of the pretty village of Bcharré in the Qadisha Valley. Entrance to the site is by donation, and a network of shady paths winds its way among the trees. Day trips typically combine a visit to the cedars with a tour of Bcharré village and one or more of the ancient Qadisha Valley monasteries, such as Deir Qozhaya (St. Anthony’s Monastery).
Things to Know Before You Go
The Cedars of God are worth a visit for nature lovers and the religiously minded.
There are other cedar stands elsewhere in Lebanon, but the Forest of the Cedars of God is the only grove with a UNESCO listing.
The Cedars of God are not wheelchair-accessible.
How to Get There
The Cedars of God are in northern Lebanon, about 4 miles (7 kilometers) from Bcharré or 72 miles (115 kilometers) from Beirut. Regular minibuses link Bcharré with Beirut’s Dawra terminal (excluding Sundays), but there’s no public transport beyond Bcharré. Lebanese driving can make mountain roads a terrifying experience, so most travelers opt for the safety and convenience of an organized tour.
When to Get There
The Forest of the Cedars of God opens from morning to early evening, Tuesday through Sunday. The forest is rarely crowded, but it’s worth visiting midweek (Tuesday to Friday) for more of a sense of solitude. In spring (April and May), wildflowers bring the forest to life, but the ancient evergreen trees are also atmospheric in the winter snow.
The Cedars of Lebanon in the Bible
Hard, fine-grained, and insect-resistant, cedar wood was one of the most prized building materials of ancient times. The cedars of Lebanon are mentioned 103 times in the Bible, and it was Lebanese cedar that the biblical King Solomon is believed to have used to build the First Temple in Jerusalem.
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What are the nearest attractions to Forest of the Cedars of God (Horsh Arz el-Rab) ?
What else should I know about attractions in Beirut?
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