Vineyards and Valleys of Lebanon – an 8 day Small Group Tour.

Lebanon was known in the 1960’s as the Switzerland of the Middle East. Today Lebanon has rebuilt itself after a devastating civil war that ended in 1991.

This small country extending for only 250km’s North to South and 50 km’s from East to West excels in its diversity of experiences and exceptional sense of hospitality.

On our journey we will experience the vibrant city of Beirut, both old and new. However this tour offers much more.



Get to grips with the heart of Lebanon as we spend 5 nights out of the big city. We will journey to ancient settlements such as Byblos and Batroun on the shimmering Mediterranean coast, wander through the atmospheric souks of Sidon, and admire the noble emblem of Lebanon: the majestic Cedar Forests of the Chouf Reserve.

Stay in a monastery in the lush Qadisha Valley, cook with locals, and enjoy the magnificent food and wine of Lebanon in the fertile Bekaa Valley. For history lovers, standing in front of the magnificent Roman temples of Baalbek (UNESCO) is sure to inspire and delight as well as castles from Crusader times and the UNESCO town of Deir Al Qamar with its excellent examples of grand feudal architecture.

This exciting new tour has something for everyone and in our view should be high on the list of travellers must see destinations.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Arrive in Beirut and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending upon flight schedules there may be time to explore the city independently. Overnight Hotel Le Caramel Boutique Hotel or similar.

(Approximate driving time: one-hour)

After breakfast we take a stroll along the city’s breezy and bustling corniche, an activity enjoyed religiously by many Beirutis. During the walk we learn how the area was shaped by the civil war, and about the regeneration efforts since. Stark reminders of the conflict are still visible, including the bullet-ridden Holiday Inn, the scene of intense battles, which has remains derelict. Just off Martyrs Square we can’t miss the impressive Mohammad Al Amin Mosque and its towering minarets. In the city centre we see the archaeological site of Roman baths before continuing to the National Museum where a guided visit explores Lebanon’s turbulent history and provides context for the forthcoming days. In the afternoon we drive up the coast to the ancient town of Byblos, continuously inhabited since the 6th century BC. There’s time to explore the picturesque harbour, restored 12th century crusader castle and the Roman archaeological site where the small amphitheatre looks out over the Mediterranean. The evening is free to wander the atmospheric souk area, and perhaps try one of the seafood restaurants near the harbour. Overnight Hotel Ahiram or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

This morning we drive a short distance up the coast to Batroun. Here we explore the narrow cobblestone streets and see traditional Ottoman style houses. We also take a stroll through Batroun’s old souk and visit the ruins of the Phoenician port, including the ancient sea wall.  After a picnic lunch we drive inland to Baatara Gorge Waterfall at Tannourine. The gorge has three natural bridges and we take an easy walk to see the waterfall’s impressive 250m drop. Later we continue to Qadisha Valley and our accommodation at a peaceful 12th century monastery. Overnight Saint Antoine Monastery or similar. (BLD) 

Please Note: The lookout point for Bala’a involves walking up and down some steps which can be slippery during cold or wet weather so please ensure you have good footwear. Bala’a is well worth seeing when there has been rain or during the period of snowmelt in the mountains but during the summer and early autumn it can be totally dry and if this is the case we will not visit.

(Approximate driving time today is 2.5 hours)

Today we explore the sites of the lush Qadisha Valley, including the main town of Bsharri, birthplace of writer and poet, Khalil Gibran, set in the refreshing mountain air at 1,450m. After a light lunch we drive the short distance to the Forest of the Cedars of God, known as Arz ar-Rabb. A symbol of the country and a centrepiece of its flag, these few remaining Cedar of Lebanon trees are one of the country’s most beautiful natural places. After taking a walk in the forest we drive on to Baalbek. Overnight Hotel Palmyra or similar. (BLD)

Please Note: The Palmyra Hotel is an historic property dating back to the 1870’s and is superbly located, overlooking the Baalbek ruins. We feel it is well worth staying in this unique property with its stories and character despite it being in need of investment and refurbishment. In Baalbek, electricity supply can be intermittent.

(Approximate driving time: two-and-a-half-hours)

Today we explore Baalbek’s astonishing Roman city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The site’s Temple of Bacchus and Temple of Jupiter are among the Roman and Classical world’s largest such structures, the former maintaining a remarkable state of preservation. Afterwards we drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Anjar, where 8th century ruins provide an outstanding example of an Umayyad city. Later we head to a small and welcoming vineyard in the Bekaa Valley. Here we take a tour of the cellar and production areas before enjoying tastings of excellent wines accompanied by a delicious Lebanese mezze. In the afternoon we drive to accommodation at Deir Al Qamar in the Chouf mountains. Overnight La Bastide Guesthouse or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

After breakfast we take a stroll among Deir Al Qamar’s quiet streets of traditional Lebanese houses. Many of the homes have walled gardens and are adorned with colourful flowers. Our walk ends at a picturesque square complete with a Maronite church. Afterwards we drive the short distance to the 18th century Beiteddine Palace, notable for its elegant mixture of Italian and Arab-influenced architecture. The palace contains important archaeological collections, including some elaborate mosaics. Later we return to the coast and the country’s southern most ancient city of Tyre. Overnight Al Fanar auberge or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

Today we drive from Tyre to Sidon, once a prosperous and flourishing Phoenician city. We visit the 13th century crusader Castle of the Sea, and 17th century merhants’ Khan el Franj, before exploring the atmospheric narrow streets of the old souk where all manner of stallholders still ply their trade. Afterwards we call in at the surprisingly interesting Soap Museum which occupies a 13th century building and charts the history of the region’s soap production, including olive oil soaps. We take lunch at an authentic falafel shop where speedy combination of only the freshest ingredients is an outstanding piece of street theatre. Later we drive back to Beirut and visit Les Quartier Des Arts, packed with interesting shops and boutiques, ideal for souvenirs. This evening we visit a local bar and restaurant to say farewell in typical Lebanese style. Overnight Le Caramel Boutique Hotel or similar. (BLD)

The tour ends today after breakfast when airport transfers depart to meet onward flights. If schedules allow there may be time for a final walk along the corniche. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

Flights from London to Beirut on direct flights start from £350. Please contact us for a quotation. At busy times of year around holidays prices of course may be much more for flights.

Single Supplement from £285 per person.

Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Beirut costs from £55 per night for a twin/double room and £45 per night for a single room. The price includes breakfast.

Kindly note that this tour can also be arranged as a private tour. Prices start from £2095 per person based on 2 people travelling sharing a room.

Tailor-made options are also available in Lebanon. Please contact Mark to design your ideal tour of Lebanon.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Valleys of Lebanon Small Group Tour

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • All accommodation as per the itinerary or similar
  • Land transportation
  • Services of an English-speaking guide/tour leader
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Entrance fees for sites as listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Visa
  • Drinks
  • Tips (discretionary)

A very enjoyable time. Even though a short trip it encompassed many aspects of a complex country. Archaeology, history, Lebanese food and wine , cultural diversity and the geopolitics of the middle east. Our guide Emanuel was very informative on contemporary Lebanon. Our driver -was also courteous and helpful.


Tom Doyle, Ireland