Q'adisha Valley

  • Entrance to Q"adisha Valley - © By Stephen Barber
  • Where the hermit still lives - © By Stephen Barber
  • Hermits" Caves - © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber
  • © By Stephen Barber

Key information: Q'adisha Valley

  • Walk along this imposing, mystical gorge in Lebanon.
  • A refuge for Christian monks for centuries, its cliff-faces are mined with monasteries, churches and cells.
  • A moving experience in dramatic scenery, with forests and ancient terracing among the cliffs and a rich bird population.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating92.5
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest14.5
  • Human interest16
  • Charisma33
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating92.5
  • Note: Neg: increasing tourism

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Half day
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Hermits' Caves - © By Stephen Barber

WALK SUMMARY

The following information is provided by Stephen Barber (many thanks!).

The Qadisha, or Holy Valley, is a deep gorge running approximately east-west in central Lebanon. This valley has been a key site of the Maronite Christians since the fifth century, and a place of refuge over many centuries due to its wild, inaccessible geography and its natural caves. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many of the monasteries, churches and cells that line its steep cliffs are cut into the rock face. Each has its own animus; some are restored, some still retain an earthen floor and rough stone barrel vaulting. Outside, the air is alive with birdsong and hawks soar effortlessly on thermals rising from the valley floor way below. The steepest slopes between the cliffs are thickly wooded with pine, walnut, evergreen, oak and acacia, the less steep have been cut into terraces by generations of Maronite peasants, who still work the land by hand.

Walk the route eastwards between the monasteries of Qozhaya and Qannoubin, via the hermitage of Hawqa and the sanctuary of St Marina. A hermit, of Colombian origin, still occupies Hawqa.

At the head of the valley, just outside Bcharré, is a small but unique stand of ancient Cedars of Lebanon (the Cedars of God), some of which are said to be over three thousand years old.

 

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

© By Stephen Barber

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© By Stephen Barber...
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