DATES & PRICES

Days = 14

25 Apr 2013 - 08 May 2013

Cost = £2795

Deposit = £350

Ground Only Price 
Beirut – Beirut = £2335 

Single Supplement = £395*

Dates and Prices for 2013 tours are provisional, and will be confirmed in August 2012.

* does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged.

TOUR SUMMARY

Day 1
To Beirut

Days 2 - 5
Jezzine & the Chouf Mountains

Day 6
Chouf Cedar Reserve and Keffraiya

Day 7
Baalbeck & Yammouneh

Days 8 & 9
The Adonis Valley & Laqloug

Days 10 – 12
Les Cedres, Bcharre and Ehden

Day 13
Amyun and to Beirut

Day 14
Depart Beirut

LEBANON

APHRODITE’S TEARS

Ares, the jealous husband of Aphrodite, turned himself into a Wild Boar and gouged beautiful Adonis. Aphrodite wept as her lover bled to death in her arms, and where her tears landed red anemones sprang from the ground. Zeus permitted Adonis to return to his lover every six months, and so the spring emergence of these red anemones symbolizes his return. Legend has it that the attack occurred in Afqa at the head of the Adonis Valley, where the Ibrahim River slices a giant gorge through Mount Lebanon. In places the blooms of Aphrodite’s tears seem to be everywhere, as thick on the ground as poppies and many seeming as large, but we’ll soon realize that though there are some Anemone coronaria, most of the tears are none other than Turban Buttercups, magnificent swathes of them.

Much of Lebanon is blessed with good rainfall and so has some of the greenest landscapes in the Middle-east. The terraces and orchards are some of the floweriest places you’ll ever see. Pink-edged white Cyclamen persicum, orange and purple vetches, red Adonis species, yellow Lotus and Securigera and pink Linum pubescens brush the landscape with vibrant colour. The orchids are magnificent. Gorgeous Orchis galilaea, flowers of pale green and white, offset with two deep pink spots, blooms with many Toothed and Anatolian Orchids. False Apollos and Deyrollei’s Festoons fly amongst pastel Orchis syriaca and bee orchids such as Ophrys bornmuelleri and Ophrys levantina in the beautiful Chouf Mountains. Flocks of White Storks, raptors and Bee-eaters fly along the Bekaa Valley migration route as we explore the spectacular temple complex at Baalbeck. A wonderful hotel, perched high above pretty Jezzine and surrounded with orchid-filled garigue, provides a wonderfully comfortable base and superb food. Indeed, the hotels and cuisine throughout this tour are exceptionally good. We’ll explore the highest mountains from Les Cedres, above the Maronite town of Bcharre sitting at the head of the stupendous Qadisha Valley. Fritillaria hermonis and Romulea nivalis join Corydalis and Tulips on the higher slopes and below we’ll look for those magnificent black irises, Iris cedreti and Iris sofrana, both only found in Lebanon.

INFORMATION

Focus

Flowers (particularly Orchids) and superb Landscapes. Also some Archeological Sites.

Leaders

Ian Green,

Walking

No more than two or three miles in any one day, usually much less, and always at a relaxed pace ideally suited to photographers.

Included in the Price

All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Lebanon. Services of the leaders. Please note: Drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature such as travel insurance, are not included.

Group Size

The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15.

Accommodation

There are several very fine hotels on this tour. We start with a night at the elegant and cosmopolitan Hotel Bristol in Beirut. Next we’ve four nights at the magnificently situated L’Etoile du Loup, overlooking a vast tract of south Lebanon’s mountainous countryside and the town of Jezzine. This hotel is a delight. A swimming pool, superb Lebanese cuisine and large finely furnished bungalow-style rooms, (each with a sitting room as well as very comfortable bedroom), will all mean that you’ll not want to leave! Next are two nights at the Palmy rawhose colonial-era grandeur is now somewhat faded. After a night at the very pleasant Shangrila Hotel we move to Les Cedres, set below a small grove of old-growth Cedar-of Lebanon at around 1800m and with impressive snowy mountain ridges all about. Another very fine hotel with excellent Lebanese Cuisine, we’ve four nights here before returning to Beirut and the Bristol for the last night. All rooms have en suite facilities.

Climate

Usually warm and sunny. Showers and more prolonged rain are possible and it can be quite cool on the higher passes.

How to Book

Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form (or contact us and we will send one to you) from the Booking Information section. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Flower and bird checklists are available.
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