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 your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Le Caramel Boutique Hotel or similar. No meals included.

(Approximate driving time: one-hour)

This morning after breakfast, start the day with a stroll on the breezy and bustling corniche, an activity enjoyed by many local Beirutis. During the walk, learn about how the area was shaped by the civil war and the regeneration efforts since. Stark reminders of the conflict are very much still visible including the bullet ridden Holiday Inn hotel building which has remained derelict and were the scenes of intense battles. Continue to Martyrs Square and the impressive Mohammad Al Amin Mosque complete with its towering sandstone minarets. Also visit St George of the Maronites. Stop briefly to observe the archaeological site of the Roman baths in the centre of the city. Continue to Place D’Etoile and St George’s Cathedral Orthodox. Next is the National Museum where we take an enriching visit and learn about the turbulent history of Lebanon. This afternoon, drive up the coast to the ancient town of Byblos, said to have been continuously inhabited since the 6th Century BC. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring this delightful place with its picturesque harbour, the well restored 12th century crusader castle and the roman archaeological site with a beautifully situated small amphitheatre overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. This evening is at leisure and you may wish to explore the easily accessible and atmospheric souk area and perhaps try a dinner of seafood down near the harbour. Overnight Hotel Ahiram or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

After breakfast, continue a short distance up the coast to Batroun. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets and observe the traditional Ottoman style houses. Also take a stroll through Batroun’s old souk and if you wish, sink a refreshing lemonade before strolling to the ruins of the Phoenician port including the ancient sea wall.  Head inland from the coast to Baatara Gorge Waterfall in Tannourine – also known locally as Bala’a. This is an extraordinary sight. The gorge has 3 natural bridges connecting it from side to side. We take an easy walk here to a lookout point for a good view. In the spring the water falls an impressive 250 metres into a natural sinkhole. Later, continue to the splendid Qadisha Valley and to our accommodation which will be a peaceful 12th Century monastery in a lovely peaceful setting.  Overnight Saint Antoine Monastery or similar. (BD)

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)

Wake to the ringing bells of the monastery. This morning we start with a trip up to the shrine of our lady (Saydet El Hosen) which affords magnificent views on a clear day over the northernmost Lebanese city of Tripoli and into Syria. Continue to the charming town of town of Bcharre located in the refreshing mountain air at an altitude of 1450 meters above sea level. The road leading to this traditional town offers stunning views over the town’s red roofed houses and across the lush valley that surrounds it. At Bcharre, visit Gibran Museum, which chronicles the life, times and works of Khalil Gibran, the renowned Lebanese poet, painter and author. Continue gaining altitude to the Cedars of Lebanon Forest. Known as Arz Ar-Rab (The Cedars of the Lord), this is one of the most beautiful places in the country. We will take an easy walk in the forest (around 1 hour subject to weather conditions) amongst these majestic and precious trees some of which are many hundreds of years old and which represent a symbolic emblem of Lebanon, and features on the national flag. After the walk, continue to Baalbek which will be our overnight stop. Overnight Hotel Palmyra or similar. (BLD)

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)

This morning after breakfast we visit what surely must be regarded as one of world’s most astonishing Roman archaeological sites. We spend ample time in the softer morning light exploring the site which is believed to date back some 5000 years. The site is so grand in its scale that is not hard to visualise what the city must have been like in its pomp. After the visit we continue to Anjar Citadel for a visit before we stop for lunch at small and welcoming vineyard in the Bekaa Valley. Here, enjoy a tour of the cellar and the production areas before enjoying degustation of the excellent wines and a delicious lunch of typical Lebanese mezze dishes. After the leisurely lunch, continue to Deir Al Qamar and our overnight accommodation. Overnight La Bastide Guesthouse or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: three-hours)

After breakfast, stroll in the quiet streets of the well-preserved village of Deir Al Qamar and enjoy the traditional Lebanese houses and style of architecture. Many of the houses are adorned with colourful flowers and walled gardens. The walk ends at a picturesque square complete with a lovely church. Continue to the nearby Chouf Cedar Reserve, where we stretch our legs on a short easy circuit (weather permitting) to admire more of the majestic Cedar trees and the splendid mountain vistas. Our next stop is the 18th century Beiteddine Palace complex, notable for its elegant mixture of Italian and Arab influenced architecture. The palace contains important archaeological collections including some stunning mosaics. The views from the grounds are also a delight. Before returning the coast, enjoy trying your hand at cooking some authentic Lebanese dishes. After lunch, continue to the southern most ancient city of Tyre. Overnight Al Fanar auberge or similar. (BLD)

(Approximate driving time: two-hours)

This morning we visit the two sides of Tyre including the impressive amphitheatre. Continue north up the coast to Sidon, once a prosperous and flourishing Phoenician city. Visit the 13th Crusader Castle of the Sea and Khan el Franj 17th century, before taking a leisurely stroll in the atmospheric narrow streets of the traditional old souk where once can observe all manner of tradesmen and craftsmen and the kaleidoscope of colours of the fresh produce on offer is striking. After the souk, we visit the interesting Soap Museum which traces the history of soap production in the region and the building dates from the 13th century. Also learn about the production of olive oil soaps. Lunch will be taken at an authentic falafel shop where the freshest ingredients are used and speed the ingredients are married together is a sight to behold! Thereafter, continue back to Beirut and if time allows, visit Les Quartier Des Arts which is full of interesting shops and boutiques where you can look for a gift or a souvenir to remember your visit to this fascinating country.  This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant in Beirut and a farewell drink in a nearby bar. Overnight Le Caramel Boutique Hotel or similar. (BLD)

The final day is at leisure until your airport transfer. If time allows you may wish to spend some final time enjoying the sea breeze and local scenes of 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.

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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