15 Aug 2019

Hiking Trip - Annoubine Bcharre - Becharreh District

  • Qadisha, one of the deepest and most beautiful valleys in Lebanon, is indeed a world of its own. At the bottom of this wild steep-sided gorge runs the Qadisha River whose source is in the Qadisha Grotto at the foot of the Cedars.

    The word Qadisha comes from a Semitic root meaning "holy" and Wadi Qadisha is the "Holy Valley." Filled with caves and rock shelters inhabited from the third millennium B.C. to the Roman period, the valley is scattered with cave chapels, hermitages and monasteries cut from rock.

    The whole valley with its cave churches is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
    This time, we will visit Deir Saidet Annoubine, St. Marina, Deir Mar Licha et Saidet Hawka.

    Deir Saidet Annoubine:
    This is one of the oldest Monasteries in Lebanon.
    The monastery was built in a rocky pit, most probably by Byzantine emperor Theodos the Great in 379 – 395. The walls of the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary are decorated with mural paintings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The monastery was rehabilitated in 1990 and is now used by the Antonine Sisters who welcome pilgrims to spend the night.

    St. Marina:
    The chapel of St. Marina now holds the tombs of eighteen patriarchs from the 15th to the 19th centuries. The chapel of St. Marina stands in the memory of a girl named Marina who entered Annoubine monastery disguised as a monk. (The whole story will be told during the hike).

    Deir Mar Licha:
    Deir Mar Licha is the birthplace of the Maronite Orders of Monks. It has a church in the cliff, and four small chapels built inside a natural cave, together with monk cells.

    Saidet Hawka:
    There you can see a tiny chapel in a huddle of caves and grottos with the barest remnants of fresco paintings. A Colombian hermit now resides there. We will have the chance to visit him.

    The hike will be divided into three levels: Level 2 level 3-4, and level 6-7.
    We already visited Annoubine Valley several times and our hikes were always moderate to difficult. This time however, we decided to allow Level 2 to join us, to enjoy a nice walk and spend some unforgettable time in the Holy Valley of Saints.

    Level 2 will start their walk at the Mar Lichaa Entrance and follow a 3 kilometers path, until they to reach the Lady of Annoubine Monastery. There, they will be allowed to have some rest and visit the location before returning to the bus either on foot, or in a shuttle specially set for that purpose.

    Level 4 will start from Hawka, visit the hermit, St. Marina, and Deir Saidet Annoubine. You will have enough time to contemplate scenery and take pictures. Then you will meet with the other groups by the river for lunch. After lunch, you will continue to Mar Licha. There will be some ascents and descents since the topography of the valley is quite steep.

    LEVEL 6 will start from Hawka as well with level 4, all the way through the valley to Mar Licha. From Mar Licha, the levels will be divided and level 6 will take a 4 Km uphill trail from the monastery to the town of Bcharre. There, they will be able to enjoy some good views of the surrounding area, before taking the bus back to Beirut.

    WHERE: Annoubine
    In the region of Bcharreh & Ehden
    1200 m above sea level.
    80 Km from Beirut

    WHEN: Thursday, Aug 15

    MEETING PLACE: 7:30 AM in the parking of Sagesse School in Jdeideh, facing the public garden. (See map on: https://www.vamos-todos.com/Pages/ParkingMap.aspx)
    There will be a breakfast stop along the way.

    PRICE: 55,000 LL per person including transport, guides and insurance. (Please get the exact change to facilitate the registration process).

    WHAT TO GET: Lunch, light snacks that will boost up your energy such as dried fruits, water, cap, sunglasses and sunscreen. Wear comfortable shoes such as hiking shoes and always keep a windproof jacket in your backpack

    SPECIAL RATES:
    - Children with the age of 10 and younger will have a discount of 20’000 LBP
    - Children/ Teenagers between the age of 11 and 18 will have a discount of 15’000 LBP
    - University students will have a discounts of 10’000 LBP provided that they present their university card
    - Groups with 5 to 9 persons, with different criteria than the above, will get a 5’000 LBP discount
    - Groups with 10 or more persons, with different criteria than the above, will get a 10’000 LBP discount

    PAYMENT TERMS:
    - Cancellation with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged half-price
    - Reservations with less than 24 hours’ notice will be charged an extra 5’000 LBP
    (e.g. Cancelling or booking for a Sunday’s event on Saturday will be subject to the above terms)

    ESSENTIAL ECOTOURISTIC RULES & REGULATIONS
    - Smoking is strictly prohibited during the event
    - Always follow the guide on the designated trail
    - Do not go off road without notifying the guide
    - Do not get close to a cliff especially when the guide in charge tells you not to do so
    - Although accidents are covered by the insurance but they remain under the responsibility of the member
    - Sometimes, due to reasons beyond our control, slight modifications to the program may occur. Ecotourism rules must be followed, otherwise personal accidents will not be accounted for by the insurance.

    RESERVATION: Every day from 8am till 5pm on 03-917190 or 79-115001. It is preferable to send an SMS or WhatsApp from your mobile, giving your name, surname, and the event you wish to join.

    COLLABORATION:
    - “Sports Experts” is the exclusive sports gear and outfit sponsor of Vamos Todos. Members will get a special discount at all “Sports Experts” branches in Lebanon
    - “Antaki Group” is the exclusive “Fujifilm” cameras & devices sponsor of Vamos Todos.

    Regards,
    Vamos Todos
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