Don’t fall in the Baatara Pothole, near Tannourine in Lebanon – video

On my visit to Lebanon last June, I walked the mountain trails of the Tannourine Cedar reserve and afterwards stopped to take a look at the Baatara pothole – you can view my video about the pothole below.

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The pothole is located near the village of Tannourine el Fawqa, a short drive from the Tannourine Cedar Reserve and close to the Lebanon Mountain Trail, a long distance walking trail that runs from north to south of the country. We stopped at what appeared to be a random location at the roadside, marked by a large sign that gave information about the pothole, and then walked down some steep paths into an area surrounded on all sides by steep cliffs.

At the Baatara Pothole, Tannourine, Lebanon

At the Baatara Pothole, Tannourine, Lebanon

There were able to walk right into the open cave system with a stream falling from the roof and stand on the limestone bridges over the deep pothole below. I felt rather nervous walking so close to the edge of the precipice although others were rather more brave (or foolhardy) including our guide who scrambled around the edge of the borehole and along a narrow ledge to point out a cave on the far side.

Baatara pothole, near Tannourine, Lebanon

Baatara pothole, near Tannourine, Lebanon

The pothole was first explored in 1952 and was fully mapped in the 1980s by the Spelio Club. Water has carved the pothole and rock formations out of the surrounding Jurassic limestone as water from a nearby stream infiltrated and dissolved the rock to form the stone bridges and cave over the pothole. There is a whole underground system of passages, which continue to evolve as the rock freezes and thaws in winter, and in order to protect the pothole from unwanted development and contamination, the whole site is now protected.

Baatara Pothole, near Tannourine in Lebanon

Baatara Pothole, near Tannourine in Lebanon

On a beautiful sunny day with the spring flowers still in bloom, I felt lucky to be able to see these natural rock formations without having to share it with crowds of tourists. Although there were quite a few of us in the group on our day trip from Beirut, I believe that if you went there on your own by car you’d be likely to have the whole place to yourself.

More Lebanon articles to enjoy
The Cedars of Lebanon – Tannourine Cedars Reserve Video
Wine tasting stop at Chateau Ksara – in Lebanon
Sea-castles, souks and soap in Sidon – in Lebanon

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  • Reply
    March 14, 2010 at 5:02 am

    Wow, what an adventure you’ve got! I love your pics! It feels like your on top of the earth!

  • Reply
    Heather Carreiro
    March 14, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    That’s the biggest “pothole” I’ve ever seen! It’s crazy how you can get so close to the edge. If that was in the US there’d be giant fences up all around it and tons of warning signs with little stick figures falling over the edge…

  • Reply
    Barbara at Hole in the Donut Travels
    March 14, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    The more I read about your Lebanon travels, the more I want to go this area of the world. Great shots, but certainly a funny name for this geologic feature – a pothole? Glad I don’t have to worry about driving over this one.

  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    March 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    When I think of potholes, I picture huge gaping holes on asphalt highways. This pothole in Lebanon is beautiful, although it would certainly challenge my fear of heights. Lovely post.

  • Reply
    Mark H
    March 15, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Your videos simply keep on getting better and better. What a beautiful looking place and all the work of nature.

  • Reply
    Sherry Ott
    March 17, 2010 at 5:53 am

    I’d certainly be uncomfortable being very close to that edge! However – the photos area brilliant – I can only imagine what it’s like to see it in person!

  • Reply
    March 17, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    They should have given it a better name, would probably draw in more people. Definitely what I had in mind when I was thinking pothole.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed reading your post. As someone who is seriously considering venturing out on a few adventures very soon, simply to experience life and try new things, I found your words inspirational.

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    June 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm

    @ Ayen so glad you enjoyed the post
    @ Anil – you’re right – pothole sounds like something small & narrow with not much to see from the outside

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