JOURNEY TO LEBANON

APRIL 21-26, 2019

 

THE ‘JOY DE VIVRE’ LAND OF THE REGION

 
 
 
 
DSC08996.jpg

ⵆ The Journey 

Journey duration is 6 days, 5 nights in country.

Journey is led by our founder, Yulia Denisyuk.

Dates are Sunday, April 21 through Friday, April 26.

In that time we will:

  • Explore the sea-bound city of Tripoli and its medieval souk

  • Hike in the spectacular Qadisha Valley and stay in the Bcharry village, home to poet Khalil Gibran

  • Climb up Qadisha Valley to see the cliffside Hamatoura Monastery

  • Taste Lebanese wine at the source in the gorgeous Bekaa Valley

  • Visit the Chouf cedars reserve and travel through the highest mountains in Lebanon

  • Eat the delicious Lebanese food, best in the region!

  • Explore the joyous city of Beirut, including Pigeon Rock, Beirut old city, and some local favorite hangout spots

  • Visit the ancient city of Byblos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and explore nearby Tanourine cedars reserve and Battara Falls

  • Get a taste for local life at the picturesque Douma Village in the Batron Mountains

  • Get close to the magnificent ruins of Baalbek, an ancient Phoenician city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site

 
  SPEND THE DAY WITH LOCAL ARTISAN WOMEN
  EXPLORE THE MAGIC OF PETRA

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: apr 21, 2019

We arrive to Beirut airport where a car awaits to take us straight to Gems Hotel in Hamra, Beirut. We have dinner at Em Sherif Cafe — hands down the best Arabic food we’ve ever had! One of our founder’s favorite local bars is across the street from the hotel - if we’re feeling lucky, we’ll visit it afterwards.

Overnight at Gems Hotel.

Day 2: apr 22, 2019

After breakfast, we explore Beirut, a city of tragic history and an incredible will to live. We visit the famous Pigeon Rock and wander down narrow lanes in the old city, before setting off for Byblos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the oldest inhabited places in the world. We stop by the beautiful mountainous town of Tanourine with its cedar reserve that has so far flown under the radar of tourists. We visit Battara Falls, a natural gorge and waterfall, before settling in for the night in Douma village, a small village tucked at an altitude of over 1000 meters in the peaceful Batroun mountains. We stay in a traditional beit (“home”) on a hillside overlooking the village, Beit Douma. The accommodation is run by Souk el Tayeb, a social enterprise that started as a farmer’s market and now works on different projects across Lebanon including organic farming, eco-friendly restaurants, traditional lodges, food festivals, and more — all with a mission to support small-scale farmers and producers in the region while preserving its culinary traditions.

Overnight at Beit Douma.

Day 3: apr 23, 2019

After breakfast, we leave for the sea-bound city of Tripoli and explore its medieval souk. We continue on to one of several jewels of Northern Lebanon — the Qadisha Valley. This Unesco World Heritage site is home to breathtaking scenery of isolated rock-cut monasteries and winding mountainous roads. On the way, we go through some of the most beautiful views in Lebanon and stop by the 13th-century Hamatoura Monastery. We settle for the night in the Bcharri village, a mountainous village at an altitude of 1,450 meters that is a birthplace to the famous Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran.

Overnight at Ehden Alpine Hotel.

Day 4: apr 24, 2019

After breakfast, we leave Bcharry and continue through the highest mountains of Lebanon to Beqaa Valley, Eastern Lebanon’s fertile land. We stop by Baalbek, an ancient Phoenician city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and explore its ancient temple complex. We stay the night in the Beqaa Valley at Ecolodge Taanayel, a traditional mud brick house with Bedouin-style rooms built by a Lebanese non-profit, Arcenciel, to promote responsible tourism in this rural region.

Overnight at Ecolodge Taanayel.

Day 5: apr 25, 2019

Today we visit Beqaa Valley’s most luscious attraction — the Kefraya Winery. Lebanon has rich (more than 4,000 years old) history of making wines and the wines are just excellent (we’ve tasted!). We have lunch at Tawlet Ammiq, a farmers’ kitchen and a development project by Souk el Tayeb, then continue to the Al Chouf Cedar Nature Reserve where we have the opportunity to stock up on fragrant, delicious cedar honey. We settle in to Bouyouti, a beautiful, family-run, quiet beit in the mountains near the cedar reserve as we wind down our journey in Lebanon.

Overnight at Bouyouti.

Day 6: apr 26, 2019

In the morning, we visit nearby Beiteddine, a restored 19th-century palace with a history that goes back to the Druze religion. After the visit, we prepare to leave Lebanon (transfer to Beirut airport included) and start planning our return trip to the region soon.

Accommodation & Rates

All accommodations are in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $190)

Journey price is $1,697 (if paid by credit card) and $1,656 (if paid by ACH / bank transfer).

Minimum 4 people.

What's included:

  • 5 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher, including 1 night in a bedouin ecolodge (double-occupancy rooms; if you'd like some privacy, single-occupancy rooms available for an additional lump sum payment of $190)

  • All breakfast meals (with exception of Day 1);

  • Dinner on Day 1

  • Lunches on Days 3 and 5

  • All in-country transportation (we will have our own guide and driver and explore Lebanon at our own pace!), including airport transfers on days of arrival and departure

  • All entrance fees to all sites we will visit

  • All excursions:

    • Visit to the Byblos Castle

    • Entrance to the Tanourine Cedars Reserve

    • Entrance to the Battara Falls

    • Visit to a Tripoli Hammam

    • Visit to the Gibran Khalil museum in Bcharry

    • Hamatoura Monastery hike

    • Entrance to the Beiteddine Palace

    • Beirut city tour

What's not included:

  • Airfare to/from Beirut

  • Personal expenses + drinks

  • Lunches on Days 1-2, and 4

  • Dinners on Days 2-6

  • Tips for service personnel (guide + driver, local guides, etc)

  • Travel insurance

HOW TO SIGN UP:

To be considered for our trip, please submit your information below.

Spots are limited to maximum 8 participants and the last day to apply and pay for the tour is Monday, Mar 11, 2019.

YALLA means let's go in Arabic.

 

RELATED:

Lebanon travelers can choose to add on the 11-day, 10-night Journey to Jordan (Apr 11 - Apr 21, 2019). Check out the details here.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need to be a photographer (or a social media influencer) to join you on this tour? No. Our focus is on making sure we travel at our own pace and getting to know the places and people around us. We have a passion for photography and we want to share this passion with the group - but it is not mandatory by all means to be a professional photographer or have an interest in photography/social media. All we ask is that you come with an open mind and heart.

  2. Who fulfills the trip on the ground? We've partnered with a wonderful tour company in Lebanon. We have used this company's services in the past and can attest that they are amazing, care about their people, and genuinely care for the wellbeing of their guests (plus have more than 30 years of experience with groups visiting Lebanon).

  3. What gear do I need to bring? Whatever gear you are comfortable with or want to learn more about: your phone, your DSLR, or no gear at all - all options are just fine (see #1).

  4. Do I need to arrive and depart at a specific time? We have included transfers to/from airport as part of the trip, so you will have flexibility in choosing the flights that work for you. Afternoon arrival and morning departure are ideal - but we can work with other schedules as well.

  5. What about visas? For US citizens: we will not need a visa to enter Lebanon (currently granted for free upon arrival for EU and US passport holders). If you will be traveling with any other passport, please email us so we can advise on visas.

  6. Is it safe to visit Lebanon right now? Yes. Our founder, Yulia, has recently returned from a trip to Lebanon (Sep 2018) and it is safe there. The situation on the ground is often less extreme than what media portrays. We will of course take every precaution to travel safely, as we should anywhere we go on the planet.

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

5 nights accommodations in three-star hotels or higher (double-occupancy rooms); All breakfast meals; Dinner on Day 1; Lunches on Days 3 and 5; All in-country transportation and a professional guide + driver; All entrance fees to all sites we will visit; All excursions.


CANCELLATION POLICY

60 days or more before departure: cancellation fee is 15%; 59-30 days before departure: cancellation fee is 50%; 29 days before departure: cancellation fee is 100% (non-refundable). We encourage you to purchase travel insurance that covers cancellations.

View our full booking terms and conditions here.