The most dramatic way to enter this small, but beautiful, wildlife reserve is over the steep mountains to the east but a word of warning; clambering over the rocks on the thickly-forested slopes is not for the faint-hearted! By arrangement, you can spend the night in Al-Ebri, one of the highest and most remote villages in Lebanon where striped hyenas and wolves roam the pine and oak woods. From there the going becomes gradually easier as you cross westwards to the point where the sparkling Mediterranean comes into view and in the distance, the ancient port city of Byblos. It is not just the sight of soaring honey buzzards or the scattered quills of porcupines that give the park its unique feel; in the spring the open glades are carpeted by a wealth of wild flowers including wild orchids and tulips. This is the mountain where, according to legend the mythical Adonis died in the arms of Aphrodite, gored by a wild boar sent by Artemis to kill him. The anemones which peer out from among the limestone rocks are said to symbolize his blood. These days, though, there are more practical matters to consider; you can buy fig & quince jam or locally-embroidered bags for lavender and thyme at the southern entrance of the reserve. The association which administers the park is keen to encourage local participation!
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