January 14, 2018 North Lebanon Lebanon Middle East

Ghabat el Ozor, Akkar: One of Lebanon's Most Beautiful Places

(Lebanon Untravelled) The largest of Lebanon forest, Kamouha forest stretches from Fnaideq to Akkar el Atika in the caza of Akkar . Kamouaa is considered as the largest forest in the middle east.

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The surrounding heights rise to 2,454 meters of forests and remarkable trees such as junipers, hairy oaks, cypresses, cedars and Cilician firs. Judged by its cedars trees, geologists say that these historic forests are at least a thousand years old. The plains of Kamouaa lie at 1,450 metres altitude in a sort of depression between the mountains.

The Forest of the Iron Oaks (غابة العذر): Specialists, including ecologists, insist that the forest of hairy/iron oaks is considered among the most beautiful forests in the world. It stands at an altitude of 1,600 meters and is considered unique in its charm. It is named after more than 4,000 hairy oaks/Iron Oaks and 100 varieties of wildflower. This particular tree is of outstanding interest. A square kilometer of hairy oak forest gives 600 tons of oxygen per year and absorbs more than 700 tons of carbon dioxide gas.

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(Lebanon Traveler) The Qamouaa plain and the iron oak forest is one of the most stunning areas to explore in the region. The biggest forest reserve in Lebanon has some 10 million trees of 46 different species, as well as hundreds of shrubs and thousands of flowers. The forest in Fanidiq is considered unique in its beauty and diversity, with over 400,000 trees made up of iron oaks, junipers and cedars, at an altitude of 1,600m above sea level. The trees were heavily logged, especially during World War II, when the British army purchased wood to make logs to build the Orient Express Railway. 

For nature enthusiasts, 33 North offers two days of advance trekking in the areas of Akkar el Aatiqa, Qobayat and Qamouaa. During the journey, discover Lebanon’s rich forests, filled with cedars, juniper, and iron oak and follow trails stamped with history, first delineated by the British during the world war. 

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(Cedar Wings) The Enchanted Iron Oak Forest, Unique in the Middle East; Fneidek village then the Iron Oak Forest also called in Arabic Aazer Forest. Driving in rural Akkar is an opportunity to see scenes of people’s lives. On that warm sunny August day, the wheat was being harvested and peeled in a small machine. Few meters away, lamb wool was left to dry in the sun; it will be used in making mattresses. There were also beehives, tannours - bread ovens - and three women spreading burghul on their roofs to dry in the sun.

In the lively center of Fneidek village, banners were hanged across the width of the main street congratulating graduates for their success. We continued further up when a beautiful view of the forest appeared. It’s said that this is where the trees reach the sky. Around 4000 iron oak trees, 20 to 30 meters high, attract visitors. At almost 1400 meters altitude, this unique forest in the Middle East seems like a sanctuary whose colors change with every season. Fall is a fascinating period when the leaves take gold and flamboyant colors and cover the ground.

We left the forest and drove down, pursuing our journey. We stop at Fneidek Spring. The water was running out of a deep cave. At its entrance a small niche was carved in the rock. According to our guide Abdel Kader, it dates back to ancient times and was dedicated to the queen of Ranta who would have spent summer at Fneidek only to drink its fresh water.

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