Dotted with archaeological ruins dating back to the Neolithic period, Hermel is a peaceful town in north-east Lebanon near the border with Syria. Its rugged surrounding landscape offers exceptional hiking experiences and scenic drives and features an ancient pyramid adorned with hunting-themed reliefs.
Marvel at the Kamouh el Hermel, an ancient pyramid that rises atop a hill to the south of Hermel. It’s thought to date back to the 1st or 2nd centuries BC, with some believing it to be of Assyrian construction and others suggesting it was built to celebrate the hunting abilities of a Syrian king. Take note of its relief depicting two deer caught in a hunting trap and another featuring a boar being speared and attacked by dogs.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join a rafting trip along the Assi River, a 571-kilometre-long waterway that flows from Lebanon through Syria and into Turkey before it meets the Mediterranean Sea. Its exhilarating rapids are followed by calm pools where you can soak up the scenery before descending the highest commercially rafted waterfall in the world.
Some of northern Lebanon’s most spectacular scenery can be experienced along the Dennieh to Hermel road, which winds between mountains blanketed in cedar trees and limestone formations. Alternatively, you can explore these mountains on foot during guided hiking trips, with views stretching all the way to the Beqaa Valley on a clear day.
Hermel is just under two hours’ drive from Tripoli and 2.5 hours from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport. Buses connect Hermel to towns and villages across northern Lebanon and private taxis are available. Having your own vehicle is the most convenient way of exploring Hermel’s surrounding attractions.