Deals For Winter

Winter 2012 is still on its way, and we’ve already got a couple of great deals to help you plan your ski getaway in Lebanon!

The Early Bird Discount
Start now and book your ski package for any time during January 2013 and get a 10% discount on the total rate of your booking. Are you an early bird? As they say, “the early bird gets the worm!”

Deals for winter Skileb

Free Ski Rental at InterContinental Mzaar Hotel
With any stay of 4+ nights at the InterContinental Mzaar Hotel, benefit from a free ski or snowboard rental, with complimentary access to to the hotel’s gym, indoor swimming pool, and spa. This offer is valid through January and March of 2013.

Call us at +961.70.103222 or email us on [email protected] for any inquiries or booking and reservations.

Share the Love – Help a Friend Hit the Slopes

It’s already a pretty bumper season of snow on Lebanon’s top ski slopes and we hope that many of you have already managed to make your way out onto the pistes to enjoy some of the outstanding powder that’s fallen so far this year.

If you’re a ski lover, have you considered spreading a little joy? Maybe you’ve got a friend that you’d like to introduce the experience to or maybe you want to stage an intervention and get someone out of their office and onto the mountain.

Flowers to Lebanon - New Gift Service

Luckily, there’s a great new way to share the wealth. Flowers to Lebanon is a great new gift service that allows you to purchase holiday experiences for your friends, colleagues and family. If you feel like playing the guardian angel, you can arrange for one of the very special packages to be sent directly to your lucky recipient.

In addition to gifts and presents, you can get your friends onto the slopes with a full day lift pass for the Mzaar resort. Or if you’re feeling especially generous, you can sign them up for the full ski experience package – plucking them out of the daily grind in Beirut for an amazing trip to the slopes.

Perhaps you’ve got a buddy who’s not so keen on skiing and you want to keep them out of your hair while you get some time to yourself? Why not help them gain a skiier’s appreciation for the breathtaking local scenery by having them hop on the back of a skimobile for a tour. You get to hit the slopes and they get a taste for powder while keeping their feet dry at the same time. Everybody’s a winner!

Of course, there are plenty of other gifts available for delivery if you want to send your commiserations to a friend who can’t get the time off from work to come skiing with you. Perhaps a nice bouquet of flowers or even a cake will be enough to cheer them up!

Share the love, share the fun and tell us about it on Facebook!

Any day now …

We’ve been seeing sub-zero temperatures at night and plenty of new snowfall at our favorite ski resorts in Lebanon lately. It can only mean one thing — ski season is just around the corner!

Everybody is speculating about when the lifts will open. The date, as always, depends on the snowpack and conditions of each resort, but we’re ready to make an educated guess as to when that will be.

How do we predict the future of ski conditions and open lifts in Lebanon? We do turn to scientific methods like crystal balls and tea leaf readings, but sometimes we take a more mystical approach, just for fun. Check out our post on three ways to learn the forecast in Lebanon’s resorts.

cedars ski cam screenshot
Cedars webcam

On top of that, we have a live slopes status page for each of Lebanon’s favorite ski resorts. It gets updated by each resort approximately every morning. For example, in the Mzaar slopes status  page, you can see the entire list of Mzaar lifts, from Jonction to Refuge to Wardeh, and check the status of each slope, from baby 1 on Jonction to Vallon on Wardeh.  Along with the quick red or green light as to whether or not the slope is open, the page also tells you the lift length, difference in hight from top to bottom, average gradient, top altitude, and difficulty level. So much information, you could plan your whole day on the slopes before you even get here.

Similarly, the Cedars Resort slopes status page is your one-stop guide to conditions to Lebanon’s lesser-known but equally-loved ski resort. Here, find out the status about all six lifts on the mountain: Baby T-bar, Cappucines T-bar, Cappucines Chairlift, Baby lifts, Kornet Chairlift, and Pic des Dames. Again, with information like lift length, difficulty level, maximum altitude, average gradient, and total change in height, you get a clear picture of where to hang out with the kids and where to find yourself a real challenge.

Lebanon by satellite, Nov 28 2011
Lebanon by satellite, Nov 28 2011

The third slopes status pages is the Laqlouq resort, just between Cedars and Laqlouq. Laqlouq has a more laid-back atmosphere for taking your time on the slopes and teaching the kids. Find out what the situation on the slopes is today, with all the same stats and information.

Right now, all we see is red ‘closed’ lights, but we know that the green ‘open’ light is about to go up any day. Rumor has it that some slopes are open already at Cedars. To put a finger on the pulse of what Lebanon ski fans are predicting themselves, we took a Facebook poll about when our fans think the slopes will be open, and the most popular answer was ‘before Dec 10.’

Remember to book your hotel, airport transfer, or entire ski package vacation with us here on skileb.com for the best deals and online ski community to be found in Lebanon. Our selection is as wide as your tastes are. Find your budget hostel or your dream chalet in Mzaar today!

Rad 80s Parties Every Thursday Night at B018

80s night beirut artAre you an 80s child? Maybe you grew up in the decade of fluffy hair, shoulder pads, tight ripped jeans and stilettos. If Atari, Ghostbusters, and The Cosby Show and Ferris Bueller were the stuff of your childhood, here’s your chance to relive the glory days of the 80s every Thursday night in Beirut.

The past two 80s parties at B 018 have been a radical success. Check out some photos of the event on the beirut.com info page here. This is the place for some throwback fun in Beirut to get the weekend started a little early on a Thursday night. The event is hosted by B 018 and Mix FM, Lebanon’s number 1 radio station.

This coming Thursday, some of the crew from skileb.com are planning to go steal the show at the B 018 party. Can you keep up with us? We’ve been doing a lot of 80s research on YouTube and practicing our 80s dance moves. You know what we’re talking about: the moonwalk, the electric slide, the robot, the sprinkler, we’ll even bust out the worm if you don’t watch out. We’ve also been scouring closets and thrift stores for the most outrageously stellar 80s costumes.

Join the fun! If you’re not sure what to wear to an 80s party, here are a few costume ideas:

  • Madonna
  • The Karate Kid
  • Michael Jackson
  • A Rubik’s Cube
  • The Smurfs
  • 80s prom queen
  • 80s bride and bridesmaids
  • Full House
  • Saved by the Bell
  • Punky Brewster
  • Classic punk rock
  • Anything with a mullet

80s night beirut

You get the idea. Or you could take the easy route and just see what has been buried in your parents’ closet for more than 20 years. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find an awesome ski jumpsuit in neon green and pink that you can also use this winter while skiing in Lebanon.

80s night beirut 2

To stay in the loop about other hot events, parties, and good times in Lebanon, follow our Lebanon events calendar!

Anatomy of the Skileb.com Community

It’s easy to see that Skileb.com is a fun crowd. Take a look at Skileb.com on Facebook with 5,268 fans and counting, for example. It’s an active community space where people from all over the world share a love for skiing and Lebanon.

If you take a look at Skileb.com on YouTube, you’ll find a fun community of extreme outdoors sports enthusiasts of all kinds. We’ve shared our footage of 4×4 quad riding in Lebanon, paragliding over Beirut, rafting the rivers of Lebanon, and of course some killer ski moments.

On the Skileb.com website itself, you can get in touch with the community by checking out the hot Lebanon events that we post, and by keeping up with all the latest news on this skileb.com blog.

skileb.com facebook demographics

From our viewpoint on the admin side of the skileb.com Facebook page, we can use the Facebook Insights data to find out even more about our vibrant Skileb.com community. Ever wonder how old we all are? Or what the guy to girl ratio is? Or where we’re all from?

Here’s an inside glance at a cross-section of the Skileb.com Facebook community demographics. It looks like most of us are between 25 and 34 years old, and that guys slightly outnumber girls.

skileb.com facebook demographics 2

We’re a very international bunch. According to the following Facebook data, we have members from a diverse lineup of countries, both in the Middle East, Europe and beyond. We also very multi-lingual, with English as the vehicular language but also a great mix of other tongues in there to keep it interesting. Conclusion: we’re a young, international, and very fun-loving online community. Just imagine what a real-life Skileb.com party would look like!

Connect!
How many ways could we think of to build up our community? Lots! Choose your favorite way to get in touch online:
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Watch us on YouTube
Subscribe to our newsletter
Read our blog (you can even write for us too!)

5 Fun Facts about Skiing in Lebanon

Not everybody realizes that there’s a great ski destination in the Eastern Mediterranean. ‘Skiing in the Middle East’ sounds almost like a contradiction, unless you imagine the artificial slopes of Dubai. But little-known Lebanon makes a great white holiday without the lines and congestion of some of its more famous European counterparts. Here are more little-known facts about skiing in Lebanon:

1) You can hit the slopes in half an hour.
Lebanon is a small country, which you can drive across in less than three hours. There are two mountain ranges that are separated by the Bekaa Valley, and some of the best skiing to be found is on the western mountain range, toward Beirut. This means that you can get from the capital to some of the best Lebanon ski resorts in about half an hour!

skiing in Lebanon
Photo by Taras Kalapun

2) It is less than 100 years old.
The sport of skiing arrived in Lebanon in the early 20th century, when an engineer from Lebanon went to study in Switzerland and came back to his home country with a new-found love for the sport. This was in 1913. The first ski club wasn’t formed until 1934. Skiing really took off as a commercial activity in the early 90’s.

3) The word ‘Lebanon’ actually means ‘snow’
Although skiing wasn’t introduced in Lebanon until relatively recently, the area has been known as a snowy white haven in the Middle East. ‘Lebanon’ is derived from the Semitic word ‘laban’, which means ‘white.’ It’s no wonder that this is the first impression of Lebanon for the ancient civilizations who first beheld it — its stunning white peaks rising just beyond the Mediterranean are characteristically Lebanon.

4) You can reach 3088 meters of altitude.
The highest peak in Lebanon, called Korneh El Sawda towers at an impressive 3088 meters above sea level. Many people choose to reach the highest summit by hike during the summer months. Like most peaks in Lebanon that are over 2500 meters, it is covered in snow for over 6 months of the year.  The closest ski resort is Cedars, which has some of the highest slopes in Lebanon. Check out our Lebanon ski resorts comparison for the stats.

5) Lebanon goes for Olympic gold
With great ski infrastructure in place, Lebanon has been able to send a number of local champions to the Olympics and World Championships. Lebanese skiers represented their country in 1964, 1967, 1972, 1976, 1980, 1988, and 1992. Rumor has it that engineers are working to build additional slopes that will rival world-class resorts, and Lebanon will eventually bid to host its own winter Olympic Games.

If you haven’t already checked out the ski scene in Lebanon, this winter is the time to do it. Ski season starts in December, so start planning your Lebanon ski holiday today!

An Overview of Lebanon’s Top Ski Resorts Part 2

This is the second part of a short series of posts highlighting the best aspects of Lebanon’s top ski resorts. We aim to give you an oversight of some of the options available to you when planning a skiing holiday in Lebanon. Whether you’re planning a return to the slopes, or are looking to try out something completely new, we’re confident that you’ll find something to suit your tastes.

In our last update we looked at the resorts of Laqlouq, Mzaar and the Cedars. You can read part one here.

Faqra

Faqra, also known as Faqra Club, is located some 50km to the North East of Beirut. This makes it easily accessible from the capital’s main airport and also makes it ideally suitable for shorter breaks for those operating out of Beirut itself.

Faqra is a smaller resort with around 4 lifts, but it has a lot to offer to visitors. The resort’s main hotel, l’Auberge de Faqra, boasts excellent facilities including a heated swimming pool, squash courts and a sauna – the perfect way to relax after a hard day on the slopes.

The resort has an unusual claim to fame – the remains of a Roman temple are located nearby. These historical relics are a testament to Faqra’s enduring popularity – even the ancients recognised it as a wonderful location!

Click here to read more about Faqra.

Qanat Bakish

Located close to Faqra, Qanat Bakish is a quiet, picturesque resort. While it doesn’t have as much to offer by way of nightlife when compare to some of the busier tourist hotspots, what it lacks in hustle and bustle is more than made up for by its tranquillity.

Home to just three lifts, it’s probably fair to say that Qanat Bakish is an acquired taste. If you’re looking for challenging runs or adrenaline pumping action, you’d be better off opting for a resort such as Mzaar.

But if you’re looking for the perfect place to get away from it all and relax with some gentle runs, this could be your ideal destination. Like Faqra, Qanat Bakish is near to Beirut, making it perfect for short breaks. Its relatively high altitude also ensures quality snow.

Click here to read more about Qanat Bakish.

Zaarour
The view across Zaarour

Zaarour

Out of all of Lebanon’s ski resorts, Zaarour is closest to the capital city of Lebanon. It’s easy to reach for those staying in Lebanon hotels and makes weekend ski breaks a distinct possibility.

Its north-facing slopes mean excellent snow and its multiple lifts mean that its easy to pack as much skiing as possible into a a single day.

Zaarour is also home to some outstanding cross-country skiing routes, giving you the chance to mix up your piste action with something slightly different.

Click here to read more about Zaarour.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our brief look at the highlights of Lebanon’s ski resorts. With winter just around the corner, now’s the perfect time to be planning your ski getaway. If any of these resorts have taken your fancy, we recommend getting in touch straight away to discuss how we can put together your ideal skiing holiday.

Also remember to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to be first in line for upcoming deals and announcements.

An Overview of Lebanon’s Top Ski Resorts – Part 1

The season is nearly on us once more and, if you haven’t already, it’s time to start planning your next ski vacation in Lebanon.

The old hands and experts will undoubtedly already have their favorite destinations when it comes to choosing a resort, but for all the new people who are yet to experience the rush of a Lebanese skiing holiday, we’re here to give you a run down on the best resorts the country has to offer.

The View from the peak above Mzaar, Lebanon
The incredible view from the peak above Mzaar, Lebanon

The Cedars

Sharing its name with the country’s national emblem, The Cedars Resort is a great destination for those who love nature, or are looking for a relaxing break in (relative) isolation.

Located at an elevation of 2000m, the resort enjoys a slightly longer season than some of the country’s other resorts. In addition to multiple runs, visitors also have access to great hiking routes and incredible views.

The Cedars has plenty to offer to both beginners and experts, with pistes ranging from entry level all the way up to challenging black runs.

Click here to read more about the Cedars Resort.

Laqlouq

Situated at a slightly lower altitude of around 1600 m, Laqlouq is a more accessible resort. In addition to being easy to get to, it also has a range of courses that are slightly more beginner-friendly than other destinations.

While the traditional skiing is excellent, Laqlouq is also known for the quality of its cross-country runs. If you like to complement your pistes with level courses, this is an excellent choice.

Click here to read more about Laqlouq.

Mzaar

Also known as Faraya Mzaar – Faraya being a nearby village. This is Lebanon’s most popular resort and has a huge variety of skiing on offer.

The Intercontinental Hotel, Mzaar
The Intercontinental Hotel - one of Mzaar's most popular accommodation options

Those who love a challenge will be impressed by the sheer number of options available to them, while newbies who are just starting out will receive an excellent introduction on the gentler slopes.

Mzaar is a bustling and welcoming resort with plenty going on. This is an excellent all-round destination and particularly appealing to those who enjoy the après-ski aspect as much as the slopes themselves.

Click here to read more about Mzaar.

Next week we’ll round off our overview of Lebanon’s best ski resorts. Until then, do you have a particular favorite? We’re always keen to hear from you! Leave us a comment below.

Remember, you can also follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to be in with a chance of snapping up some great early bird offers!

The Wild West Comes to the Cedars

If there’s one thing a good skiier needs, it’s balance. And if there’s one thing that a cowboy on the back of a bucking bronco needs, it’s almost certainly the same thing.

It’s not very often that the passtimes are compared, but now with the arrival of first and – to date – only international rodeo competition to be held in Lebanon rolls into the Cedars later this month. The Cedar Stampede Rodeo And Wild West Festival 2011 will bring plenty of unusual forms of entertainment to an area of Lebanon that’s best know for, amongst other things, its ski resorts.

Ski Leb Wild West

The festival brings with it a wide range of exciting and different passtimes – and offers a great deal more than jsut the opportunity to brush up on your balancing skills. Stunt riders, performers and rodeo champions from around the world will be descending on the El Rancho resort to demonstrate their skills, and perhaps share some tips with those who come to try their hand.

Prices start from 30,000 LBP, but there are discounts available for kids under 10. Things kick off on August 26 and run until September 4.

Ghodras, the small village that will play host to the event, is ideally located close to a number of key cities and towns, making it easy to get to. Bcharre, the focal point for many of the Cedars hotels and ski resorts, is located a short drive to the North East.

Beirut, and its wealth of Beirut hotels, is located a 40 minute drive to the south. Tripoli is about the same distance away up the Mediterranean coast. The beautiful waterfront destination of Byblos is, however, the closest of all – mere minutes away from Ghodras.

Practicing staying upright on your board using a mechanical bull is certainly one option, but there are plenty of other ways to get your fix of adrenaline-pounding excitement during the summer months in Lebanon. Take a look at our summer activites page.

While summer entertainment is an interesting way to pass the time before the ski season begins, the mountains and hills of North Lebanon are known and loved by many for the fantastic skiing experiences that they offer.

It’s never too early to start planning your next on-piste adventure!