Ehden immerses travellers in the natural beauty of the Qadisha Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where you can discover lush cedar forests, hidden gorges and ancient rock-cut monasteries. The picturesque town is set on the southwestern slopes of Mount Makmal and charms visitors with its tree-lined plazas and colourful cafes.
Things to do in Ehden
Over the centuries, dozens of churches and monasteries have been built in Ehden. Also known as the “Watchful Eye of Qadisha”, St. Sarkis Monastery is perched on a rocky outcrop and commands sweeping views over the valley. Sayidat Al Hosn occupies the former site of a Crusader castle and is also known for its magnificent views.
Ehden is anchored by Al Midan, a sun-dappled area filled with cafes, bakeries and restaurants. In the morning you’ll see locals sipping coffee flavoured with cardamom and honey. Tables shaded by colourful umbrellas are perfect for enjoying a leisurely lunch. After dark, enjoy a glass of aniseed-flavoured “arak” and a shisha session.
Mist-shrouded Horsh Ehden Nature Reserve is laced with scenic hiking trails that take you through beautiful valleys and gorges. Look for wild orchids growing by the trails and Eastern Imperial Eagles soaring overhead. There’s also a chance to spot grey wolfs and wildcats.
After a long day of sightseeing, refuel with a delicious Lebanese meal at one of the local restaurants. Crunchy “kibbeh” croquettes are a local delicacy, filled with spiced meat and toasted pine nuts. Just outside the city are family-run restaurants set in the rolling apple and pear orchards.
Getting around Ehden
Ehden is compact and easy to get around on foot. Hiring a driver for the day is a convenient way to explore the Qadisha Valley and surrounding attractions at your own pace. Local buses run between Ehden and Tripoli in around one hour.