Focus: Mount Lebanon Governorate

Hidden Emerald Treasures

Hidden Emerald Treasures

Nov. 9, 2017

Though named for Mount Lebanon, the region's mountainous landscape also boasts for striking lakes and waterfalls.

Lebanon is a country of contrasts; cultural, religious, political, and geographic. Within just 10,452sqkm, Lebanon gathers mountains, rocky deserts, coasts, and hidden lakes and waterfalls that delight tourists and locals during most of the year.

Baatara Gorge Waterfall

Baatara Gorge Waterfall, also known as balou balaa, is the name behind the most iconic waterfall in Lebanon. This waterfall can arguably be considered one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world and an obligatory destination in the Middle East. Though technically in the North Governorate, it sits just on the border of the Mount Lebanon Governorate and is located in the village of Balaa, between the cities of Laqlouq and Tannourine. It drops water from 255m into a deep cave only during March and April, when the snow melts. The area is also known as Three Bridge Chasm, or Gouffre des Trois Ponts in French, because of three natural bridges that cross the chasm into which the melted ice water pours, falling over 160-million year-old limestone.

Blue-Green Lakes

The color of Chouwen Lake impresses from afar. The turquoise blue color of its water contrasts with the pure green of the trees that surround the lake. Chouwen Lake is part of the famous Ibrahim River where the water gathers and appears as a lake; it is also part of the Jabal Moussa Biosphere reserve. Ibrahim River is also known as the river of immortal love because it is there that the ancient god Adonis is believed to have died. Nowadays, most tourists go to Chouwen Lake to hike in the extensive, mixed forests with oak, pine, and many other trees. Others prefer to relax on the shore or dip in the clear water for a swim.

Laqlouq is a mountainous area in the Jbeil District of Mount Lebanon Governorate. It is located 69km northeast of Beirut. Laqlouq has an average elevation of 1,780m above sea level and a total land area of 210ha. Here, nature makes unusual lakes with an emerald color that can be seen during the entire year. It is also a major spot for ski lovers due to its popular ski resort. In the warmer months, adventure seekers can rappel next to the lakes in Laqlouq. There are also sites for rappelling at Baatara George.