Byblos - one of the oldest cities in the world and filled with mythology


Photo by Christelle Hayek

First occupied between 8800 and 7000 BC and continuously inhabited since 5000 BC, Byblos is one of the oldest cities in the world. Rich not just in history, this region has coastline, forests, caves, waterfalls and skiing.

Byblos at a glance

    • Coast, forests, caves and waterfalls
    • Many hiking trails e.g. Ehmej hiking trails, 2 of them in the iron oak forest
    • Skiing in Laqlouq mountains
    • Caving next to a temple and a waterfall
Akoura, Lebanon, 2021. Camping around the lakes in Akoura mountains. Photo by Rami Rizk /

Hike the Ehmej trails 

With its rugged hills, jagged peaks, ancient trees and wild orchards, there are stunning views everywhere on the Ehmej trails – especially in the late spring when the wildflower season begins. Most trails are marked with wooden signs with a drawing of a bear, but don’t worry, as there have been no bears here since 1943. You may be lucky enough to see the tracks of wild boars or find a porcupine quill, but that’s the extent of “dangerous” wildlife. One trail passes through a forest of tall oak trees, including a 500 year old iron oak. 

“Out of the cave’s mouth gushes a powerful waterfall that feeds into the Adonis River”

Downhill or cross country ski in the Laqlouq mountains

The ski resort Laqlouq has 8 km of slopes available for skiing and snowboarding. In addition to alpine skiing, it is also one of the best resorts suited for cross country skiing. Mostly visited by families, the resort has a very professional ski school. Unlike a lot of other resorts, the area surrounding Laqlouq is pretty much free of buildings and construction, making for a nice nature getaway. 

A cave and a waterfall filled with Greek mythology

What a place for the imagination! Afqa is a rectangular-prism-shaped breach within a 200-meter-high cliffside. Out of the cave’s mouth gushes a powerful waterfall that feeds into the Adonis River. In Greek mythology, this place is where Adonis, the demi-god of beauty and desire, died at the foot of the falls. Facing the grotto, you will see the ancient ruined walls of a temple once dedicated to Venus, or Aphrodite, her Greek counterpart. In spring, melting snow floods the river, infusing its waters with a reddish mud that is said to symbolize the blood of Adonis.

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