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Skiing in the Middle East?…

Published November 4th, 2009 | Author:

It isn’t all Desert!

If you fancy a ski weekend, why not consider Lebanon?  Faraya Mzaar ski resort operates 42 slopes and more than 80 kilometers of ski tracks. The resort’s base level starts at 1850m and you can reach the 2465m top of Mzaar and enjoy a 360 breathtaking view over the rest of the peaks and the Mediterranean sea.  Faraya is the gem of the burgeoning Lebanese ski area, with the most lifts and best terrain. While not the equivalent of most areas you will find in the US or Europe, Faraya still has a unique feel that will impress even the most hardened skier.

lebanon_farayaFaraya is just a 1-hour drive from Beirut, making it a perfectly reasonable day trip if you have a car, and it is its location that makes it so spectacular. In late January in Beirut it is perfectly possible to be walking on the coast of the Mediterranean in a T-shirt, but just 1 hour and almost 3,000 meters later, you are on a snow-covered peak that looks like it belongs more in Switzerland than Lebanon.

Rental of all necessary ski equipment is not only possible but extremely easy. Along the road to Faraya you will come across numerous ski shops where you can not only rent skis, boots, and poles, but snow pants, jackets, helmets, goggles, hats, and gloves as well.

The mountain is almost 3,000 meters tall, snow only falls on the top 800 meters, meaning that the actual vertical ski terrain is not comparable to the US, but what it lacks in height, it makes up for in area with 12 full lifts. The skiing is not nearly as regulated as in the US or Europe – you are basically free to do what you want. Some of the best trails on the mountain can be found by taking a brief hike to various precipices scattered on the mountain satisfy even the most advanced skiers lust for verticality and speed.

There is one thing that will make Faraya stand out over all other mountains the views. From the top of how many other mountains in the world can you stare down at the Mediterranean Sea? The fact that you can stand there in the biting wind on the highest peak of Faraya, hiding from the cold in your winter jacket and peer down at the Beirut Peninsula jutting out majestically into the Mediterranean, makes Faraya a ski experience unlike any other.

Lebanon is only 2 to 3 hours away from any country of the Gulf region.  Travel to Beirut by private jet – call our T24hr +971 4 299 6868 for a cost for the size of your group, or email your enquiry to mailto:[email protected]

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