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Every visitor to Lebanon has heard that this is the only country in the world where one can ski on snow in the morning and swim in the waters of the Mediterranean in the afternoon. This is due to a moderate climate and to the fact that Lebanese mountains rise up above a very narrow coast. Even the highest resorts are only a short drive from the coast, which offers on a clear day some breathtaking views.

Skiing in Lebanon became widely popular in the 1930’s and the first ski lifts were installed in the 1950’s in the Cedars resort. Today Lebanon has six ski resorts with groomed slopes, catering for skiers and snowboarders from all levels. Beyond the skiable domains await you kilometers of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails waiting to be explored; Lebanon has something for everyone. Each ski resort has a different flavor; however, it is Faraya Mzaar, now known as Mzaar, with its world-class infrastructure, the Cedars having the highest slopes in Lebanon and Laklouk with it charming atmosphere that retain most of the attention.

Mzaar resort has 42 slopes and 80 kilometers of ski tracks, and falls one hour away from Beirut. The skiing season in Lebanon is similar in length to that of the Alps, stretching over a period of 4 months from mid-December till early April. Skiers, snowboarders, snowmobile addicts and cross-country lovers book this resort from all parts of the world. Starting at 1850m, you may reach the 2465m top of Mzaar and enjoy the breathtaking view over the colorful Bekaa Valley, Mount Hermon of the Anti-Lebanon and other peaks like Laqlouq and the Cedars. Coastal towns and even Beirut the capital might be seen on a clear day.

At Faraya Mzaar (now the name has been changed to Mzaar) if you are an advanced skier, you will need at least two days to ski the best of the resort and start searching for new tracks. An option here, if looking for a more challenging day, is to hire a guide from the ski school to show you other exciting areas. Intermediates will have a lot of fun, and it is also an ideal resort for beginners as the lower slopes are wide and gentle.

The Cedars resort is located in the North of Lebanon at two hours from Beirut. Located at a high altitude of 2000m, the Cedars resort has a slightly longer season than the others, sometimes beginning early November and often lasting until late April. The resort is beautiful and the lifts are in a huge basin, with several new chairlifts added in 2006. From the top of the mountain, off-piste skiing and down-hill thrills are a common practice. For beginners, the Cedars is paradise, offering several snow-wire lifts on gentle slopes. An alternative suggestion is to practice cross-country skiing which is unmatched at the Cedars, mainly because of the charming surroundings and nature. Snowmobile trips are also a common practice at the resort.

Laklouk is a winter and summer resort, situated on a plateau at an altitude between 1750m and 2000m, and encircled by jagged ridges and terraces bearing thousands of trees. In addition to alpine skiing, it is also one of the best resorts suited for cross country skiing. Laklouk is mostly visited by families.

>> You can find more information about skiing in Lebanon by visiting www.skileb.com
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