Shouf Villages


About 60 Km away from Beirut and 1050 meters above sea level, this village is characterized for its traditional Lebanese houses, its Saint Georges Church and some ancient ruins and monuments such as the olive oil presses, sarcophagi and the Joumblatt family Serail dating from the Ottoman period.

Today, the village is known among hikers and nature lovers because it is home to a beautiful guesthouse, owned and run by the Al Achkar family, a mother and her son.

Agriculture and Environment 

Six water sources surround the village and contribute to its lush green atmosphere. These are Ain el Chatawiyeh, Ain el Jadida, Ain el Qadima, Ain el Mechqer, Ain Aadas, and Ain Amer. An old oak tree characterizes its main square which is the connecting point to surrounding villages such as Maasser el Shouf and Mrosti. The village is mainly known for its olive orchards and its olive oil production.

Olive Orchards Khraybet el Shouf

Visiting Khraybet el Shouf

When visiting the village and sleeping over at its heavenly nested old guesthouse, ask the hosts to prepare you some the traditional dishes best known in the higher Shouf region, namely Omayshe  – a warm paste made of kishk, fine bulgur and extra virgin olive oil – and accompanied by grilled onions, a full fledged villager’s meal!

Omayshe Khraybet el Shouf

Shouf Villages

Maasser el Shouf

maasser shouf

This village is situated on the edge of the Al Shouf Cedar Reserve and is about 7 km from one of the oldest groves of cedar trees in Lebanon. Maasser is a rural traditional village with a town square, an old mill, an old oak and pine forest and two natural water sources. Recent archaeological studies revealed that Maasser has been inhabited since the 4th century BC, at the Hellenistic , Roman and Byzantin eras. The El Hosn ruins dates back to the Roman era as evidenced by tombs cut in the rock.

On the trail going from Maasser to Moukhtara, there is an ancient and deserted water mill dating from the late 19th century and an Ottoman bridge that links the two sides of the valley between Maasser and Botmeh. The Saint Michael church and convent are the two major religious monuments in Maasser. The convent has been renovated and converted into a bed & breakfast accommodation. Beside, the village includes a traditional guest house, many wood cabins available for accommodation and the The Maasser Park House, headquarter of the Shouf Biosphere Reserve.

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Shouf Villages


niha fort ..
© Sally Abi Khalil

Niha was inhabited since the Roman times, the Crusaders, the Mamlouks’ and the Ottomans’. The most famous monument in Niha is the cave fortress (Cave of Tyron). This cave was fortified by the Crusaders, the Arabs, and the Mameluk and used to control the vital road linking Saïda to the Beqaa Valley.

The shrine of Nabi Ayoub, or Job, is the second most famous monument in Niha.The shrine is built on a summit overlooking the village of Niha, where the prophet Job is believed to be buried. Pilgrims frequently visit this site searching for its benediction. Niha is rich in old springs such as Ain el Qataa, Nabeh Niha and the very old Ain el Halqoum.

However one should not forget other very old or recent attractions that forged the celebrity of the village: its old traditional houses, its two ancient churches in Niha (Saint Joseph and Saint Georges) as well as two old bridges (El Jisr el Tahtani and Jisr Tariq el Nahr) and an old water mill. Niha now has a well run private guesthouse, and an information center run by the Shouf Biosphere Reserve.

Altitude between 1050 and 1850 meters
Distance from Beirut 65 km

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Shouf Villages



Mrosti village is situated in higher Shouf, it is renowned for its millennium oak woods, the Ottoman bridge in addition to the Roman and Byzantine ruins. There is also an old grape press and three natural springs: Ain el Ghabeh; Ain el Tahta, and Jeita Spring. The Jeita Spring is considered blessed and holy. The Khalwat al-Sheikh al-Sadeq (Druze’s holy place) dates back to the 16th Century and is the main religious attraction of the village.

The square of the village is mostly (particularly) famous for the statue of Kamal Bek Joumblatt.

Altitude between 1250 and 1750 meters
Distance from Beirut 67 km

Shouf Villages


So many natural elements, places and monuments make the reputation of Jebaa: its oak and pine forests known by the inhabitants as the Roman Woodland, an old grape press cut into the rock, the natural caves, the water sources of Ain Chaachouh and Ain el Dayaa, and its Roman temple and tombs in Maabour el Wadi (the passage of the Valley).

Other ruins located in an area known as the Khirbeh are difficult to date. Moreover, a well equipped picnic area was created near Ain Chaachouh on the Lebanese Mountain Trail (the longest trail in Lebanon “440 km”).

Altitude between 1200 and 1800 meters
Distance from Beirut 70 km