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Skiing in Lebanon

The snow has arrived along with discounts for Expat Echo Dubai Readers

In Dubai it is possible to ski in the morning at Ski Dubai and by mid afternoon be soaking up the sun on Umm Suquim beach and there is also another destination not too far away, where you can ski in the morning and by mid afternoon be sitting by the sea…Lebanon!

Only a short 3.5 hours flight away, Lebanon is the ideal ski destination for that short break when you haven’t got time for a 6 hour flight to Europe, or an even longer trip to North America followed by a long transfer to the slopes. Beirut is served not only by Emirates & Middle East Airlines but by low cost budget airlines Air Arabia and Fly Dubai offering great deals for that short vacation.

Skiing in Lebanon did not become popular till the 1930’s and this was thanks to the French army who set up an army ski school in the Cedars area which is located in the north of the country. There were not any chair lifts till the 1950’s and before that people would have to walk to the top of the slope and ski down! Thankfully that has all changed and today Lebanon has a total of six ski areas offering skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing. These include Cedars, Laqlouq, Faqra, Qanat Bakish and Zaarour however one of the nearest to Beirut and most popular resort that offers the best facilities for the tourist is Mzaar.

Mzaar is located right in the heart of Mount Lebanon with the slopes being just a 46 km (1:15mins) drive from Beirut airport. There is a varied choice of accommodation both on the slopes of Mzaar and in the village below of Faraya ranging from 5 star hotels like the Intercontinental Mzaar Resort & Spa to small budget hotels and self-catering chalets.  What is increasing in popularity are self-catering chalets that offer ski slopes access and fireplace. They are ideal for families as well as individuals. The newest is Mzaarville which has fantastic views.

The skiing season in Lebanon can begin anytime from mid December and last into March. The resort has 80 km of ski tracks starting at a height of 1850m with the highest point reaching 2465m. It is from this point one can can get view over the Bekaa Valley, Mount Hermon and the other ski regions of Laqlouq and the Cedars, the vibrant city of Beirut can be seen on a clear day.

Mzaar is an ideal resort for all levels of skiers. For beginners there are wide gentle slopes, for the intermediate skier there are plenty of blue and red slopes and for the advance skier there are many challenging slopes but if you seek real adventure it is recommended you hire a ski guide from the local ski school for one of your days to really discover all of the exciting and challenging areas Mzaar has to offer.

Rental of Ski equipment and ski passes is very reasonable. A complete set of ski or snowboard hire will cost you approximately $12 USD (44 AED) per day and a day ski pass on a weekday will cost $33 (121 AED)($27 child [99AED]) and weekend $57 (210 AED)($43 child [158 AED]). This can be arranged at the resort or pre-booked with companies such as SKILEB who can also arrange your accommodation and transfers from Beirut.

If you have time at the end of your trip spend some time in Beirut enjoying the sites. Take a walk along the Cornich then enjoy a cup of coffee as you people watch, take in the views of the famous Pigeon Rocks and as night falls you could end your holiday with a fantastic meal in the newly reconstructed downtown area of Solidere an area rich in history.

SkiLeb will be offering a special
discount to all  Expat Echo Readers
when they book online
quoting the code EED.

2 Responses to “Skiing in Lebanon”

  1. Karim Farah says:

    You guys should check out this series of videos… a film crew basically travelled all over Lebanon and gathered messages from Lebanese people to their family and friends abroad… really nice stuff

  2. Thanks for finally talking about > Skiing in Lebanon |
    Expat Echo Dubai < Loved it!

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