Qadisha Valley in Lebanon (also spelled Kadisha Valley) is home to some of the most ancient Christian monasteries. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is one of the most cherished ancient sites in the world.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
The valley is located in the Zgharta and Becharre Districts at Lebanon’s North Governorat. The valley is a deep gorge. It is called Nahr Abu Ali when it comes upon Tripoli. There are buses and taxis that travel from Tripoli to Kadisha.
Apart from the public transport, there are also car rentals in Tripoli. You can hire one of these and drive to the valley. You will see it at the base of Mount al-Makmal at the north of Lebanon.
What to See There
The Forest of the Cedars of God has over 370 trees. Ten of them are over 1,000 years old and two are 3,000 years old.
Many of the monasteries were built along the cliffs. The major monastic complexes include the Qannubin Monastery, the Monastery of St Anthony of Qozhaya and the monasteries of Qozhaya, Our Lady of Hawqa and Mar Sarkis.
The valley’s numerous caves have been utilized as burial chambers for thousands of years. Archaeological diggings have revealed relics from the medieval, Roman and Paleolithic eras. When Christianity spread, it became the sanctuary of Christian monks. Muslim mystics also frequented the site.
Some of the earliest groups that went to the valley include the Nestorians, Melchites (Greek Orthodox), Jacobites (Syrian Orthodox) and the Armenians.
The starting cost for travel tours is $83. Prices around this range will let you tour the valley and surrounding areas for about 9 hours. The more expensive tours will cover the food, drinks and entrance fees to other tourist sites.
The site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1998. Its inclusion was based on historical importance and as an example of Christian devotion. It is also a site for archeological discoveries, the most notable being the eight mummies uncovered in 1991.
Before you go to the Qadisha Valley in Lebanon, make sure that you are physically fit. The journey is quite long. Some areas are also difficult to access.