Simply known as "The Cedars", this resort settlement in Lebanon's highest range is one of the most dramatically beautiful spots in the country. Its centerpiece is an ancient grove of cedars, a tree synonymous for millennia with Lebanon itself. Just below The Cedars is the town of Bsharre, birthplace of Gibran Khalil Gibran.
The road snakes up the bare eastern slopes of Mount Lebanon presenting marvelous views at every turn. As you get higher, at the crest you look down the other side into a gigantic bowl where the ski resort, the cedar grove and the Qadisha gorge lie before you in a wide-angle panorama. Plan this route for summer or fall because
snow closes the pass in winter.
A more direct way to The Cedars is from Chekka (south of Tripoli) to Bsharre. Two roads lead from Bsharre village to the cedars, about seven kilometers up the mountain. The older road, known for its hairpin curves, leads past the entrance path of the Qadisha grotto. The new road, with more gentle engineering, is kept clear in winter for painfree ascent. Whichever way you take, the vistas are beautiful, especially when fog rises from the valley.
You first arrive at a large assortment of hotels, chalets, night clubs and restaurants, which thought not a village, does form a local community of residents, visitors and local proprietors. 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 Beqaa valley.
The Cedars is a resort for all seasons. In summer the high elevation makes it a wonderful escape from the humid coast while in winter skiing is the favorite activity.