Beirut Circle Offers

Shouf Biosphere Reserve

Shouf Biosphere Reserve محمية الشوف المحيط الحيوي


  Ecotourism & Eco Treks, Outdoor Activities & Sports

Buy Two for the Price of One - Reserve Entrance Tickets



Alll Days

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Masser El Shouf, Barouk, Al Shouf

Phone: +9615350250
Mobile: +9615350150

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About Al-Shouf Cedar Reserve
The largest of Lebanon nature reserves, Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve stretches from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to Niha Mountain in the south. blanketed with oak forests on its northeastern slopes and juniper and oak forests on its southeastern slopes the reserves most famous attractions are its three magnificent cedar forests of Maasser Al-Shouf , Barouk and Ain Zhalta - Bmohary . These Cedar forests account for a quarter of the remaining cedar forest in Lebanon , and some tress are estimated to be 2,000 years old. The size of the reserve makes it a good location for the conservation of medium size mammals such as the wolf and the Lebanese jungle cat, as well as various species of mountain and plants.
The Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is a popular destination for hiking and trekking, with trails matching all levels of fitness. Bird watching, mountain biking and snow shoeing are also popular. From the summit of the rugged mountains, visitors will have a panoramic view of the countryside, eastward to the Beqaa Valley and Qaraoun Lake, and westward toward the Mediterranean.
A world class Biosphere Reserve where natural and cultural heritage are conserved, resources are treated as wealth, investment receives due care, and development is controlled by citizens, businesses, and the managing authority.
Why is the SBR important?
Covers an area of 50,000 hectares, equivalent to about 5% of the overall area of Lebanon, making it one of the largest mountain protected areas in the Middle East
Home to over 70,000 people living around the core zone of the reserve and belong to 24 different municipalities that stretch out over 2 Muhafazat (Districts)
Boasts 620 hectares of Cedrus libani forest, the largest expanse of this species in Lebanon and 25% of the remaining cedar forests in the country
520 species of plants, 25 internationally and nationally threatened species, 48 plants endemic to Lebanon/Syria/Turkey, and 14 rare species
250 bird species, many of them attracted to the Ammiq wetland
31 species of reptiles and amphibians including chameleon, tortoise, and several species of snakes, lizards, frogs, and toads
28,000 people visited in 2004, however after the 2006 war the number dropped to 14,000, but rebounded to 40,000 in 2009
70 different products are made by members of the local community (women) using traditional methods, and are on sale in visitors centers managed by the SBR
13 permanent and 8 temporary staff make up the SBR Management Team, all of whom are residents of the Shouf region
National Standing
Government legislation, Law No. 532 of 24 July 1996 declared "The communal lands of Niha, Jbeih, Mreste, Khraibe, Maasser, Barouk, Bmohreh, Ain Dara, Ain Zhalta villages, in addition to the Government owned lands on the eastern side of Barouk Mountain" a Nature Reserve.
The Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve is under the authority of the Lebanese Ministry of Environment (MOE), which manages it through the Appointed Protected Area Committee (APAC) that includes among its members the Al-Shouf Cedar Society (ACS), the Mayors of the larger villages, and independent environment experts. APAC liaises with the reserve?s Management Team, which deals with the Reserve s day-to-day management and planning.
Historic significance of the Cedars of Lebanon
The cedar forests of Lebanon enjoy the unique distinction as the oldest documented forests in history. 
The cedars were featured prominently in the earliest written records of the Sumerians dating from the third millennium BC. 
The Epic of Gilgamesh describes the cedar forests of Lebanon as being "one thousand leagues long and one thousand leagues wide".
However, it was the Phoenicians along the coast of present-day Lebanon and from such ancientcities as Byblos, Tyre and Sidon, who became the principal dealers in the timber of the cedar.
Indeed, the cedars made a special contribution to the development of the Phoenician civilization by providing the timbers with which they developed their famous sea-going merchant boats -thus becoming one of the first, if not the first, major sea-going trading nation in the world.
The Phoenicians transported the cedar to Egypt, until Egypt conquered Lebanon and gained direct access to the forests, which were highly prized for building temples and boats. 
Later the Babylonians took a similar interest in the cedars and obtained them for use in building the fabled city of Babylon.
People around the world are familiar with the cedars of Lebanon because of numerous references in the texts of the Old Testament. 
The Bible records in some detail how King Solomon, King of Israel, asked King Hiram of Tyre to cut and transport vast quantities of cedar wood for building his temple and palace in Jerusalem.
In the 6th Century BC, Persian control of the Phoenician ports provided the Persians with the means of assembling a navy for use against their enemies the Greeks, who were already embarrassing the Persians with their mobility in the Mediterranean.
The expansion of the Roman Empire into Syria and Lebanon had a detrimental effect on the cedars until the Emperor Hadrian installed markers around the boundary of the remaining forests and declared them as Imperial Domain. Specimens of these markers have been preserved and held in museum collections.
Centuries later, during the early years of the twentieth century, the Ottoman Turks deforested all of the cedar growing areas within easy transport distance of their Hijaz railway to provide fuel for their wood-burning engines. Only the highest and most remote groves escaped damage.
In modern day Lebanon, the legendary cedar is still revered and remains prominent in the minds of all Lebanese. The cedar is featured on the national flag, the national airline, Government logos, the Lebanese currency and innumerable commercial logos. It is the feature of books, poetry, post cards, posters and art. The Cedars of Lebanon are an important part of the cultural heritage of the people of Lebanon.






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