Part of the Chouf Reserve, Niha Fortress is an eclectic site, and while perfectly safe, not necessarily for the faint of heart. The ancient fortress was built into the wall of an enormous cliff, and visitors are treated to a tour along its edges where they’ll see the vestiges of troops and refugees of old, who holed up in the nearly-inaccessible rock for long periods of time, facilitated by an ingenious secret aqueduct.
As clouds formed by Mediterranean winds over the mountains wash over the site like soft, white veils, it’s often momentarily impossible to see just how high up the fortress is from the ground, and the only reminder one gets are the distant cries of voices far below. Legend has it that Prince Fakhreddine el Ma’ani II once sought refuge within its natural caves as he was fleeing the Ottomans in the 17th century.
Like many of Lebanon’s multifarious attractions, Niha is little known, so make a point of visiting and count yourself among the lucky few who know something of the staggering beauty and thrilling precariousness of this wild, historic outpost.