The Shouf Cedars are considered as the largest nature reserve in Lebanon, stretching northfrom Dahr El Baidar to the Niha Mountain south. The reserve covers intensive forests of oak trees on its north-eastern and south-eastern slopes. It is mostly distinguished by the three magnificent cedar forests: Maaser EL Shouf cedar forest, Barouk cedar forest and Ain Zhalta-Bmohray cedar forest. Its surface constitutes about the quarter of the total surface area of the remaining cedar forests in Lebanon.
The age of some cedars in the reserve is estimated at around two thousand years. The wide area of the nature reserve makes it an adequate site to safeguard medium-size mammals like wolves and Lebanese forest cats, in addition to many species of birds and wild plants, it is also considered as a popular place visited for hiking, mountain climbing, biking, walking on the snow and watching birds. From the top of the mountain, visitors can enjoy the exceptional panoramic view of the rural countryside and the lake of Qaraoun stretching from the Bekaa Valley east, to the Mediterranean Sea west.
How to reach there
1-From Beirut, head south on the highway towards the city of Damour which is about 20 Kmaway from the capital, from there follow the road leading to Beiteddine. Actually when you reach the village of Kfarhim you can either head south to Baakline, or head north to Deir El Qamarin both cases, you will later reach Beiteddine, from there, you can drive through Moukhtara then Masser El Shouf to finally ascend towards the forest. Diving from Damour to the nature reserve would last around 40 minutes.
2-From Beirut, follow the road of Damascus east towards the city of Alley which is about 20Km away from the capital. Then head to the town of Al Mdayrej by crossing the towns of Sofar and Bhamdoun. Afterwards, follow the road south by crossing the town of Ain Dara towards the Environment Guidance Center at Ain Zhalta. The drive from Alley to the nature reserve would last around 30-35 minutes.
3-From the town of Kefraya in the Bekaa, move west towards the entrance of the Maasser cedars, some 14 Km away from Kefraya. From the village of Maasser follow the road leading to Moukhtara to reach the entrance of Niha / Shkif Tyron stronghold which is about 15Km away from Moukhtara. Otherwise, follow the road of Dalboun-Barouk towards the entrance of Barouk cedars.
Contact and Information:
Website and email: www.shoufcedar.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: 00961 5 350250 / 00961 5 350150