Trekking in Lebanon
Who: Lebanon Mountain Trail
a model project in which women are involved on the territory
In a country with great poverty, enormous problems of environmental degradation, economic instability, nature becomes a reason to encourage tourism and meet different peoples.
In Lebanon, the NGO Lebanon Mountain Trail, in collaboration with the Italian NGO COSPE (www.cospe.org), according to Josephine Chaar, in charge of the Community Development of Lebanon Mountain Trail: “created a corridor of tourism responsible for peace, in which women are guardians of culture, through food and hospitality". And now, as explains Helene Abi Assi, LMTA’s communication coordinator, the organization employs about 32 women, of whom 7 are professional guides.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, guides, environment and nature experts, with the seven local tour operators, never stopped, achieving several projects: they took care of the forests and to the maintenance of the paths. In addition, an initiative has been created to get tourists more involved. This is “The LMTA Virtual Hike” that allowed you to experience the Lebanon Mountain Trail from anywhere in the world. You were invited to cover a predetermined number of kilometers that corresponded to those of the various sections of the LMTA. Once the daily goal was reached, you received a video with images and panoramas of the section covered.
But now, the time for real trekkers has almost come.
The Lebanon Mountain Trail is a 470-kilometre-long mountain trail that runs from the massive Sannin Mountain to the winding paths between oaks and cedars, to stone buildings where silk was worked. Its goal is to give strength to rural communities, unite different ethnic groups and religions. The organization is responsible for training young guides, raising awareness for environmental protection and organizing trails in collaboration with some tour operators.
The Lebanon Trail is divided into 27 sections: you may stay in guest houses, in hotels or in tents; you will also be accompanied by local guides, even in cities near the coast using the buses.
The main attraction of the itinerary is the Shouf Biosphere Reserve (http://shoufcedar.org), where women are involved as cooks, guides and hoteliers. Depending on the season you can do several activities including visiting its giant cedars, oak forests or Greek ruins; buy jams, oil, wine; or even just walk, ride, camp or ski.
For all the updates visite the Lebanon Mountain Trail’s site www.lebanontrail.org or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.