Lebanon is a fascinating diverse country in the Middle East from its turquoise Mediterranean coast, to its highest peaks of 6,000 ft. overlooking the panoramic Quadisha Valley where you find the oldest Cedar trees in the world. It is an incredible nation we felt comfortable and safe in the entire time.
We spent 3 days here touring with Nakhal Tours, and visited Beirut, Baalbek, Bekaa Valley, Besharreh, the Jeita Grotto, and ancient towns of Byblos & Harissa. Wish we had a couple more days to explore Southern Lebanon.
Sharing our list of favorite things to do, places to stay and dine safely in Lebanon.
Beirut to Besharreh, Kozhaya and the Cedars of Lebanon where we stopped to visit UNESCO Holy Valley, Monastery of St Anthony, the Gibran Museum and the beautiful Cedars of Lebanon.
Visitors who love history, nature, adventure can hike along one of the many trails in this holy valley and stay at a monastery or local B&B. Walk the valley floor, pass waterfalls in deep gorges, follow the scent of jasmine and roses that lead up to the snow capped mountains for breathtaking views. Drink freshly squeezed OJ, or snack on organic local fruits -cherries, peaches, and be sure to taste the local sweets called kenafee for only $2. May – August ideal hiking weather & wild flowers blanket the hills. Don’t Miss! A visit to Becharre village, birthplace of Khalil Gibran, the famous poet who wrote The Prophet.
Beirut to Byblos – one of the world’s oldest cities, the Jeita Grotto and Harissa where we visited the Lady of Lebanon on the mountain top, and took in panoramic vistas of the Mediterranean below.
Visit ancient Roman ruins at Baalbek Heliopolis and the Temple of Jupiter, stop by the bustling markets of Anjar and visit the Umayyad Ruins. End the day by dining in Zahle at Arabi along the Berdawni River, and be sure to visit the 2,000 yr old Ksara Caves with wine tasting in the fertile Beqaa Valley.
Good to Note:
Ideally, first-time visitors need 5 days, to explore Southern Lebanon, and Beirut! In our spare time, we visited the Beirut mosque, souks, farmer’s market, and walked the waterfront promenade, the Corniche.
STAY & DINE
We stayed in Beirut for a few nights, and took day trips to our destinations. It was a great way to safely navigate the country!
O Monot Luxury Boutique Hotel: One of the most styling hotels in Beirut – this boutique luxury hotel is centrally located and within walking distance to most attractions downtown. Just across the street from the fashionable neighborhood of Saifi, and within 5-10 mins to many restaurants. Don’t miss! The views from its rooftop, and relax at the pool and terrace bar.
Hotel Albergo: A member of Relais & Chateaux and one of the most charming hotels in Lebanon. Hotel Albergo is a renovated old mansion with luxurious suites – each unique and intimate, decorated with an Oriental & French flair. Don’t Miss! Breakfast on the terrace – we were surrounded by gardenias and the food is delicious.
DINING IN LEBANON
Four Seasons Beirut Rooftop and Lounge: Best seat to watch the sunset in Beirut is the rooftop of the Four Seasons Beirut. We dined on sushi and a few Japanese dishes while watching a beautiful sunset along Beirut’s waterfront.
Al Dente: Located on the ground floor at Hotel Albergo, we dined at Al Dente and highly recommend this restaurant. The menu presents homemade pasta dishes and healthy salads.
photo courtesy of Hotel Albergo
Global Adventuress thanks O Monot Hotel, Hotel Albergo, and the Four Seasons Beirut for hosting our stay & meals.
We also thank Nakhal Tours for hosting our tours and introducing us to Lebanon!