A rural tour of Lebanon begins on the subtropical coast, ripe with citrus fruits and banana trees.
From there, make your way up the Mount Lebanon range, passing characteristically Mediterranean fig and olive trees, growing on rocky, terraced mountain slopes since Biblical times. You can also pick apples, cherries, peaches, and pears right off the trees in late summer and early fall.
Further up, you will reach the snowy peaks interspersed with cedar and juniper trees. Passing over the mountains, you will descend into the valley of the Békaa where the dry air and bright sun nurture the famous vineyards, producing highly praised grapes and wine since ancient times.
In the villages scattered throughout the countryside, the Lebanese people still retain many of their old traditions and customs. Although much of the Lebanese population lives and works in Beirut, most families have a “home” village where they spend their weekends and summers.
One of the delights of Lebanon's rural villages is the traditional arts and crafts of Lebanese artisans. Whether it is pottery, blown glass, cutlery, woven cloth, traditional music instruments, inlaid and carved wood, olive oil soap, or gold and silver jewelry, you are sure to find superbly executed handicrafts, perfect as souvenirs.
Visit with a local family at a small inn or bed & breakfast in a traditional, red-roofed mountain town, and sample the pleasures of home-cooked Lebanese cuisine, and gain a deeper understanding of the rich culture and history that rural Lebanon has to offer.