TCNR Vision is to work on the conservation and maintenance of the natural and cultural integrity of the site through the sustainable use of the natural resources and the preservation of social and cultural fabric of the community directly concerned and the surrounding community.
Cedars to Sea, is a new ecotourism Package that increased our ability to work in groups and is now setting as a trend for the TCNR staff, local communities, and local and foreign tour operators. So, we are on the move.
Tyre was selected within the MEET Project in close cooperation with Ministry of Environment to diversify the Lebanese package for eco-tourism between the mountain and the sea, which was designed with a high quality product since the MEET project aimed at boosting a participatory approach following the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism (ECST) and helping improving some facilities and services.
We head to the port to meet the boat owner Mr. Majed Bawab, the boat carpenter, Mr.George Barbour who makes Phoenician boats and his brother Mike Barbour who was willing to prepare related souvenir items to the project. It is worth to say that they are the only remaining family in Tyre that fabricate this type of boats and they were proved to be of Phoenician origins by the American Magazine National Geography. Issam El Samra, a fisherman from Tyre was more than happy to suggest receiving the MEET test participants in the future in his house for dinner, prepared by his family following the authentic way of locals in Tyre.
Also Majed Bawab was ready to provide an authentic fisherman lunch menu composed mainly of grilled fish with the traditional fish and rice “Siyadiye Plate”. In addition to the boat tour and the fisherman lunch, Majed helped in the identification of the potential places to visit in the sea of Tyre and discover the snorkeling area and fresh water sources and turtles.
Also Mr. Walid Salha, the owner of the Al-Fanar hotel, and his family were interested with pleasure to join the MEET package after explaining for them the MEET project principals, Al-Fanar Hotel received the three MEET tests participants.
Package: Ecotourism in Lebanon
Pilot Actions: Al-Shouf Biosphere Reserve + Tyre Coast Nature Reserve + Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
Itinerary: Lebanon spirit of the Phoenicians
Day 1: Arrival to airport – Transfer to hotel in Beirut (8km)
Day 2: Breakfast in hotel in Beirut – Transfer to Shouf area – Stop in Deir el-Qamar (45km). Visit Beiteddine Palace (19th century) – Lunch at local guesthouse in Baadarane village
Visit Baadarane (Joumblat citadel 18th century – Old molasses press house with role play and molasses tasting – Work on the weaving loom producing traditional Aabayas)
Visit the Fortress of Fakhreddine and Ayoub prophet (Job). Meet with member of the Druze Sheikhs local community and learn about the history of the Druze Emirs who ruled Mount Lebanon for many centuries.
Dinner and Overnight in Local guesthouse in el-Khreibeh village
Day 3: Early morning hike in the cedar forest of the Al-Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve. Discover the biblical cedar forests of Mount Lebanon (the southern limit of Cedrus Libani in the world), and Discover the mountain’s biodiversity richness.
Trail Length: 18km
Physical level: Medium
Altitude range: 1500 m – 2000 m
Panorama: Cedar forests – High Semi-Arid mountains – Large panoramas to the west over the villages of the Shouf area, and to the east over the villages of the BeqaaValley.
Lunch during hiking (lunchbox prepared by the local community)
Arrival at a local guesthouse in Barouk village; prepare your own traditional dinner with the local community.
Overnight at a local gueshthouse in Barouk village.
Day 4: Breakfast at local guesthouse.
Transfer to the South region. Arrival to Tyre City. (80km)
Visit the old harbor and wander around in the old quarter.
Visit a fisherman who repairs fishing boats near the harbor. Then take the fishing boat called locally “Felouka” and try to catch your own fish for lunch on the boat with a local fisherman whose ancestors are the Phoenicians. Continue your day with a snorkeling activity where you can admire the underwater archeology: columns, capitals and other remains of the antique era lying under water, due to historical earthquakes.
After shower in the local family run Al-Fanar guesthouse, taste the Lebanese wine overlooking the sunset near the old lighthouse.
Dinner and overnight at Al-Fanar guesthouse.
Day 5: Early wake up. Walk in the old Souk and enjoy a traditional breakfast at a local popular restaurant.
Transfer to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of Tyre, and discover the royal tombs and the largest archeological hippodrome in the world. (Phoenician, Greek, roman, byzantine and crusaders remains overlay in peace here in Tyre).
Visit the historical water sources of Ras el-Aain which still feed 2000 years after, the city of Tyre with fresh water.
Have lunch on the side of the fresh water artificial lake. Lunch prepared by the local community.
Discover the local fresh water fauna (snakes, crabs, ducks, and turtles).
Sunset walk on the beach discovering endangered species (Pancratium maritimum); end up your day with a swim on the eastern Mediterranean sandy beach of Tyre Coast Nature Reserve
Shower, dinner and overnight at the local guesthouse.
Day 6: Breakfast at the guesthouse in Tyre.
Transfer to Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve
On the way, stop at Saida’s Sea Citadel (13th century) (40km)
Continue to Jabal Moussa BR (60km)
Arrival to the eastern entrance: loop hike and discover the remaining parts of the Roman Stairs (2km) along the Mountain’s Southern slope+ ruins of an old village isolated in the mountain + visit of the cross at the summit of the mountain (optional) + rock carvings by the Roman Emperor Hadrian demonstrating an early (2000 years ago) forest management + the local hyrax community hiding in the karst rocks of the mountain + the endemic flora (Cyclamen libanoticum…).
Late lunch with arak (local anise perfumed alcohol) tasting form the local distillery at a local guesthouse in Mchati hamlet.
Visit the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa’s local small tree nursery supplying seedlings for reforestation; planting activity with the local inhabitants of Mchati.
Barbecue dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse in Ghbeleh village, where you will meet with the local community who will tell you the legend of the Phoenician God Adonis and its worship.
Day 7: Morning activity: Prepare your own Manakish (a traditional Lebanese thyme pastry) breakfast at the local bakery of the village.
Transfer to el-Ghineh village and visit the rock of Adonis God, and the mosaic remains of the Baal church, along with the historical water source of the God Baal, as well as ancient local churches.
Transfer to Qehmez – Broqta villages and visit of archeological sites from the Roman and medieval times.
Hiking towards the northern side of Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve. Learn about the geophysical characteristics of the mountain. Walk the mountain from Broqta village down to the remote Al-Iibreh village, and enjoy the panorama overlooking the Nahr Ibrahim Mystic Adonis Valley, death site of God Adonis according to Phoenician mythology.
Trail Length: 10km
Physical level: Advanced
Altitude range: 1200 m – 1000 m
Panorama: Oak and hop-hornbeam forests – High mountains – Large panoramas to the west over the villages of the Ftouh Kesrouan region, and to the north over the villages of the Jbeil area and Ibrahim River valley.
Lunch box during the hike prepared by locals.
During lunch stop, you will have the chance to visit a charcoal spot and learn how to produce charcoal from oak wood, and learn about the newly installed forest management system.
Dinner and overnight at a local guesthouse in Al-Iibreh hamlet.
Day 8: Traditional breakfast at the local guesthouse.
Hiking from Al-Iibreh to the river of Adonis known today as Nahr Ibrahim.
Trail Length: 8km
Physical level: Medium
Altitude range: 850 m – 500 m
Panorama: Oak and pine forests – High mountains – Deep valleys.
Lunch by the river
Transfer to Afqa region and discover the legendary birthplace of Adonis River from Afqa grotto.
Enter the neighboring Roueiss grotto and discover the karst formation with professional speleologists (Safe activity for amateurs). Here you will understand how caves are born and how legends are tailored inspired by nature.
Transfer to Beirut the capital of Lebanon.
City center night tour. Time for some shopping, and nightlife in Beirut.
Overnight in hotel in Beirut.
Day 9: Transfer to Airport – End of program.