Located in the mountains of northern Lebanon, the village of Ehden thrives with history, culture, nature and recreational activities. If you’re not a fan of the cold, do not attempt to go there during the winter. In summer, on the other hand, Ehden is something else. It is filled with tourists, as well as locals, riding bikes, hiking, eating, relaxing in the breezy mountain weather, soaking up the sun and munching on ka’ak.

It is the ultimate break from the city, perfect for families, couples on a retreat or a group of friends looking for a weekend getaway. Be sure to pack a swimsuit, helmet (if you plan on biking or ATV-ing), hiking boots and a jacket. Even in August, it can get a bit cool up there.

----------------------------------------------Getting There--------------------------------------------------

(Photo via Skyscraper City)

Ehden is about a two-hour drive from Beirut, but totally worth the road trip since you'll drive through several villages and towns and experience gorgeous, panoramic views.

If you don’t have a car, we suggest rallying all your friends together and renting a bus. In the end, it will save you some money and make for a more efficient use of your time.

---------------------------------------------Where to Stay--------------------------------------------------

Spending an entire day in Ehden and making it back to Beirut before it gets too late is certainly doable. However, the nightlife there is another experience on its own and with several hotels to pick from at relatively reasonable prices, you should consider spending the night.

1. Ehden Country Club
(Image via Lebanon-hotels.com/)

This hotel has many rooms and luxurious suites and is definitely the best option for families. Additionally, there is an outdoor Jacuzzi and semi-Olympic pool that has a view overlooking the mountains.

Ehden Country Club
Main Road
Tel.: +9616560651
Tel.: +9616560652
Mob.: +9613252700

2. Hotel Ehden
(Image via Leb Hotels)

This is another reliable, four stars hotel with great services and rooms, alongside decent facilities. When it comes to dining, Hotel Ehden’s chef is on par with international standards and is renowned in Ehden for his culinary feats.

Hotel Ehden
Al Mtall
Tel.: +9616560100
Mob.: +9613560100

3. Belmont Hotel
(Image via Booking.com)

Belmont offers simple accommodations at much cheaper prices than Hotel Ehden or the Country Club, but you can still enjoy clean rooms and free WiFi, upon request. This is a great option for students on a budget.

Belmont Hotel
Tel.: +9616560102
Tel.: +9616560091
Mob.: +9613307333

-----------------------------------------Food and Drinks--------------------------------------------------

Ehden is undoubtedly famous for its excellent delivery of Lebanese cuisine. With that being said, you can NOT miss out on the kibbeh naye, k’nafe, cheese and ice cream. Try them out at any one of these restaurants:

1. Al Ferdaws
(Image via Trip Advisor)

Al Ferdaws is arguably one of the best restaurants in Lebanon when it comes to mezze, ambiance and scenery. Located at the top of a mountain, it has breathtaking views. The food is nothing less than divine, with dedicated waiters and occasional live entertainment.

Al-Ferdaws Restaurant
Nabea Mar Sarkis
Tel.: +9616560605
Mob.: +9613149159

2. Kroum Ehden

Kroum Ehden is another absolute must-visit destination in Ehden. It has a laid-back ambiance and two public pools to enjoy with the family or a group of friends. Quick, cheap sandwiches are always on hand, but the real deal is Al Motbakh, which offers signature plates of Lebanese mezze that will go beyond your wildest expectations.

Kroum Ehden
Mar Sarkis Area
Tel.: +9616561560
Mob.: +96179100507

----------------------------------------------What To See--------------------------------------------------

Ehden has a rich historical background. Ruins, which include some Greek inscriptions, dating back to Roman Empire are widely found throughout the area. The site known as “Dayr al-Salib” or "Convent of the Cross" holds particular significance for Christians as it stands as a symbol of the conversion of its ancient inhabitants from paganism to Christianity. The earliest churches in Ehden are those built over the site of a pagan temple.

1. The Monastery of St. Anthony in Qozhaya

(Image via Panoramio)

The Monastery of Qozhaya is where the very first printing press in the Middle East was issued. Today, this printed text, which is the Book of Psalms, is in Kaslik at the University of the Holy Spirit. It dates back to 1610.

2. The Statue of Youssef Bek Karam
(Image via Youtube.com)

The Youssef Bek Karam Statue can be found in front of the St. Georges Cathedral. Youssef Bek Karam is known for leading a revolt against the Ottomans in the 19th Century. He is often sighted as a figure of early Lebanese nationalism.

3. Al Midan
(Image via Almidan.org)

A trip to Ehden is simply not complete without relishing in the liveliness of the famous Al Midan square. From the cafes to the sweets shops and other vendors along the way, it's always filled with passerby. Pro-tip: a great time to visit is during the annual folkloric festival which takes place during the summer.

----------------------------------------------What To Do-----------------------------------------------------

1. The Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve

Camping, hiking, or simply taking a leisurely walk through the Ehden Nature Reserve is soothingly refreshing due to the diversity in trees (from cedars to wild apple trees) and bubbling streams, valleys, and orchids.

The recreational tour company Ehden Adventures organizes all kinds of activities, including camping, caving, hiking, rock climbing and paragliding.

Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve
Horsh Ehden
Tel.: +9616660120
Tel.: +9616663120

2. ATVing and Biking
(Image via Masters Hotel)

Finding ATVs and bikes is no problem in Ehden, there are rental stores at practically every corner. Try to negotiate the price. If they feel you’re not from Ehden, chances are they will try to get more money out of you.

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