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Skiing in Lebanon

Lebanese ski racers planting a Cedar tree in Faqra ski resort Lebanon
The British and the people of Lebanon know better than most that a nation’s ski resources and reputation are sometimes better than its Winter Olympics medal count. Alain Baxter, the only British skier ever to shine in Olympic lights, had his bronze stripped away in 2002 for using a Vicks Inhaler, one ingredient of which was a banned stimulant. Lebanon, which has missed only the 1994 and 1998 Winter Olympics since 1948, has never even come close to mounting the podium.

And yet able British downhillers adventure further than most in search of quality winter wonderlands like those in Lebanon. Why Lebanon? Well, there’s the shared pursuit of elusive Olympic glory, of course. It’s also just 4½ hours from London. Best of all, Lebanon may just be one of the world’s most undiscovered ski destinations – home to six quality resorts.

Yes, yes, we know. Lebanon sounds like an unlikely ski hotspot, but life is full of surprises. These days, Lebanon is drawing in more and more visitors than ever before, many from the UK revelling in the accessibility of ski slopes as day trips from the coast, world-class services available to those staying in the mountains and amenities catering to all budgetary standards (fully inclusive chalets, five-star hotels, budget lodges).

Chirine Njeim Lebanese skier participating in Winter OlympicsBetter yet, where else can you ski in the morning and plunge into the Mediterranean in the afternoon? Lebanon’s most famous ski facility is the world-class Mzaar resort, just 45 minutes from Beirut and the coast. Not far beyond are the country’s other attractions – variable terrains (mountains, green valleys, extensive coastline), many spotted with ruins from all ages, natural wonders of all shapes and sizes, and cities and villages home to souks overflowing with the kind of food and wine you would expect from a Mediterranean idyll.

Now’s the time to ski Lebanon and enjoy the Middle Sea charm and welcome of a country that’s back on the map!
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