The Qadisha Valley feels like a world away from Beirut — but in a day trip you can see quite a bit of it. Mountains rise into the mist; rivers wind through the countryside, and mammoth rock faces give way to monasteries. The Qadisha Valley — also called the Kadisha Valley — was home to some of the earliest Christians fleeing persecution.

Qozhaya (Kozhaya) is one of the most important monasteries in the Qadisha Valley, and home to a convent dedicated to St. Anthony. A long drive through a wooded canyon takes you to the buildings, examples of Arabic architecture in the Middle Ages, and a rock-hewn chapel painstakingly built inside a cave.

The Qadisha Valley is one of the best places to visit in Lebanon if you’re looking to enjoy nature. Here you can hike, climb mountains, or even ski.

The Qadisha Valley is one of Lebanon’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, designated for its history as one of the most important early Christian monastic settlements.

How to get to Qozhaya: The Qadisha Valley is about a 90-minute drive from Beirut. Qozhaya is best visited by hiring a private driver or booking a day tour from Beirut. This day tour takes you through Bcharré, the Qadisha Valley, and the Cedars of Lebanon.