Vallee du Nahr Ibrahim
Ensemble du site naturel de la Vallee du Nahr Ibrahim has been part of the Tentative list of Lebanon.
Map of Vallee du Nahr IbrahimLoad map
The coordinates shown for all tentative sites were produced as a community effort. They are not official and may change on inscription.
If you want to go off the beaten track in Lebanon the Nahr Ibrahim Valley is a good start. If you come from Beirut it will take you a full day but if you're staying in Byblos it will shave of a bit of the time. Take lunch for a picknick! I researched all UNESCO documents and besides the natural valley I visited all the cultural sites except the caves.
If you're a WHS collector including the tentative make sure to FIRST go to the Roman Ruins in Faqra which are actually part of the Nahr el Kelb inscription BUT will save you hours driving. The ruins are relatively small and do need restauration. Hope this will be done with the small entrance fee.
Now the Nahr Ibrahim Valley; it has several points that are inscribed:
- caves with painting, ceramics etc: not possible to easily visit. you would need gear for that and I couldn't find any reference on where they are.
- First set your GPS or Google Maps to the Adonis Temple in Afqa and drive there. The temple is just ruins but the cave opposite the river is the start of the Adonis (Ibrahim) river. In spring A LOT of water is coming out. You can enter the cave just a bit but if there is less water you can walk in more.
- Now put your GPS to Yanouh (it's on the other side of the valley; you circle the valley) where on the right side of the road you can visit the Mar Girgis al Azraq temple. There is also the Saint George church made of blue sandstone.
- Now continue to Qartaba by pointing your GPS to Saint Sarkis Monastery. I couldn't find an option to see the interior. In Qatarba you can have lunch too but I recommend picknick later.
- Next is the Mashnaka Roman temple which is spelled in a dozen or so varieties. Mashnaka (Souaneh, Lebanon) works is Google Maps though. Here you can take lunch in the grass. Walk passed the temple where you'll have the best views.
- Now it’s time to cross the Nahr Ibrahim River (put 34.077561, 35.724308 in Google Maps). You can have a view of the holy river plus you're now at the bottom of the valley.
- Last Roman aqueduct. This aqueduct is just small and isn’t even on Google Maps so put (34.063076, 35.653333) as coordinates.
Do I think the Nahr Ibrahim Valley will be a WHS site? I do not think so. It's a beautiful valley but what you see isn't different as other (better) examples of the same in Lebanon.
Do I recommend visiting? Yes why not; it's a beautiful valley!
Read more from Christravelblog here.
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