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A very diverse and intense itinerary across the historical valley and unique landscapes of Wadi Nahr Ibrahim. Occupied at least since the Bronze age, the valley became more densely populated in the Roman period and punctuated with temples, many of which still exist and will be visited during this trip, in Machnaqa, Yanouh and Afqa. This itinerary will deliver a beautiful mix of archaeological sites and natural settings, such as the byzantine settlement located on the high plateau of Hsayya, the Bronze Age ruins on the peculiar yellow sandstone promontory of Jabal Serghol, the temple of Aphrodite at the foot of the impressive cave and waterfall of Afqa, or the great altar of Machnaqa, elevated in front of the abrupt mountain of Jabal Moussa. And everywhere, all along the way, views on the surrounding mountains and on Wadi Nahr Ibrahim.
Visitors will be picked up in Beirut after a wholesome breakfast. Lunch will be provided during a picnic among the unique rock formations of Jabal Serghol, at the edge of the scenic valley.
Visiting the roman-period altar and surrounding ruins. Short walk down to the necropolis with carved human figures and many sarcophagi. Short walk to the edge of the Nahr Ibrahim valley, with a sensational viewpoint on Jabal Moussa
Walk on this partly agricultural and partly natural plateau that offers wonderful view on the valley of Nahr Ibrahim and the summits of Jabal Mneitra. It holds interesting geological formations, rock-cut structures, and ruins dating from the byzantine period, including the remains of a church with a still-visible apse.
Walk on this promontory that projects towards the Nahr Ibrahim, offering exceptional view on the valley and the surrounding mountains. Highlights include rock-cut tombs, remains of a bronze-age settlement and exceptional yellow sandstone formations dotted with oaks and other trees.
Visit of the roman-period temple of Yanouh, a well preserved roman-period religious structure that holds unique architectural features and elaborate carvings. It is surrounded by its “temenos”, its sacred enclosure and is neighbored by a second smaller temple and the remains of a byzantine church.
A famous site known for its immense cavern from which one of the main sources of the Nahr Ibrahim erupts in an impressive waterfall. The site is crossed by an ancient bridge and arch. The tumbled remains of a roman-period temple dedicated to Venus is located close-by and used to be a famous pilgrimage site in antiquity.
On the way back to Beirut, a beautiful road offering magnificent views is taken. It goes through the picturesque village of Ghineh where the remains of a roman-period temple can be visited. It is today partially occupied by a byzantine church displaying interesting mosaics. Nearby, above an ancient tomb, an elaborate carved panel can be seen: it display the figure of a fighter, said to be the legendary Adonis, in combat against a wild boar.