Food, Hotels & Activities in Lebanon: 5-Day Cultural Adventure

Advisor - Christine Lahlouh
Curated By

Christine Lahlouh

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  • Lebanon

  • Beaches

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Foodie

  • Local culture

  • Outdoors

Girl walking down colorful street on a sunny day during daytime
Curator’s statement

Lebanon has become a home away from home. I've lived in and around Beirut for the past six years, discovering everything the country has to offer. Few countries share such diverse landscapes, mouth-watering food and culture & outstanding hotels.

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Where to stay

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Beit al Batroun

Peaceful countryside retreat overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Hotel Albergo

Urban sanctuary in the heart of Beirut featuring a rooftop pool and landscaped terraces.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Complimentary roundtrip private airport transfers.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Beit Trad

Set in a 200-year old traditional Lebanese house, this nine bedroom property is surrounded by gorgeous grounds in the Lebanese mountains.

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Day 1: Arrive in Lebanon and start exploring

Three story with blue skies during daytime

Arriving to Beirut's airport can be a lot to take in, so a quick Uber ride to Albergo Hotel to drop off your bags has got to be the plan.

Situated in a beautiful neighborhood called Achrafieh, Albergo is just one example of the beautiful architecture Beirut is well known for. All around you are old buildings with shops and restaurants, well known for Lebanese mezza.

Be sure to walk to a little savory bakery called The Lebanese bakery. Order a zaatar manouche and some spinach pies and continue your walk to downtown. Be sure to have the concierge book for you a table at Em Sherif Cafe. The food is out of this world and you'll be fully immersed in Lebanese modern culture. Walk through Souk Beirut before grabbing lunch to see modern Arabesque architecture.

After taking a break at the hotel for a shower and rest, cab it to Mar Mikhael Street for a local's bar scene. Be sure to have a drink at the Bohemian Bar or a bit further to Cyrano Cafe for a glass of wine.

Day 2: Explore the mountain village of Shouf

Green mountains with pink flowers with fog during daytime

Waking up early is important because although Lebanon is a small country, every village has its must-sees but they often require hours of driving to get to.

About an hour from Beirut is a village called Shouf. Famous for the minority Druze population, the village has amazing mountain views with incredible restaurants and amazing guesthouses.

If you prefer a more luxurious spa and hammam experience, be sure to check out Bkerzay. Nestled in the mountains is this unforgettable eco-friendly property with an amazing brunch spread of all local preserves and jams sourced from the community.

After breakfast/brunch, take a short drive to Baakline waterfalls. The crystal blue water is a must-see. Follow with a large fixed-price lunch of what seems like 100 plates at Shallat al Zarka.

If you still have the energy and enough hours of daylight, you can see the Shouf biosphere for a few hiking trails. Since it tends to be a quiet village at night, you can either head back to Beirut or settle for a dinner at Bkerzay al fresco.

Day 3: Enjoy the beaches in Batroun

Body of water with rock cliffs and houses during daytime

If you know anyone from Lebanon, they'd be sure to mention that a trip to Batroun is necessary. Batroun is a large village on the north coast, about one hour from Beirut. It boasts some of the cleanest waters in Lebanon and many beach clubs with sand and rock beaches.

Before you reach Batroun, you should stop at a small bakery called Furn al Sabaya. They are famous for a pastry filled with almonds, pistachios and zaatar or cheese manouches.

Many new guesthouses have opened there, but by far the most authentic is Beit Batroun. It's perfect for a night or two with friends or solo to enjoy the tranquility of the location.

As far as beach clubs go, I highly recommend White Beach for a family atmosphere and fish for lunch. For a more unique experience, but definitely requiring a reservation, I would go with Jammal. It can be tricky to find and a bit on the pricier side, but really offers the Mediterranean wow factor.

Last, but surely not least, is Chez Fouad in the northern village of Anfeh. Loud music, local fish and waterfront views are what make this place so special. For sunset drinks, Bolero is a must. An old house turned into bohemian hangout is where all the locals go for the scene.

A walk in the old town at night is a must, between the old streets and century-old churches. Dinner can be had anywhere in that area but my recommendation would be Ohannes for an Armenian dinner filled with flavor.

Day 4: Spend a day exploring Tannourine

Road on the side of a mountain with clouds during daytime

Waterfalls like Baatara Gorge don't come by every day. The gorgeous waterfall in Tannourine is just one of many reason to visit the area. A long 2.5 hour drive north of Beirut, Tannourine is a village known for Maronite churches, gorgeous mountain scapes and wandering shepherds with their goats and sheep. Authenticity is what the village is known for but people mainly stay for the hospitality.

In a small village nearby is a guesthouse called Beit Douma. Everything about the experience takes you back to Lebanon in the 1930s and 1940s. The furniture, breakfast and garden make for a very homey experience. While you can have a great breakfast at the property, you can also stop by any of the local bakeries for a delicious local manouche breakfast.

For adventure seekers, you can book rock climbing or hiking in the Tannourine Nature Reserves. Some of the oldest cedar trees can be found on this reserve with incredible views.

Lunch can and should be had at restaurant called Headshot. It's a local family restaurant with local eats and views of the Mt. Sannine and irrigation pools. It can get chilly due to the altitude so I highly recommend taking a jacket.

At night, you can book a meal at Beit Douma or head down to Batroun for a lovely dinner by the port at Bistreau.

Day 5: Enjoy the coastal town of Byblos

Docked boats in body of water with cloudy skies during daytime

Byblos is well known to be one of the oldest inhabited villages and ports in the world. Walking in the old streets, it's clear why it is become such a tourist destination.

Many people that visit head straight to the port to grab a nice lunch seaside with amazing sunset views. The Lebanese live for long lunches that turn into early dinners.

Some often skip the port and head straight to the trendy new restaurant called Grecco. Grecco features Greek style food with a Lebanese twist and DJ beach bar during and after sunset. Many beach clubs line the coast in Byblos but a favorite of the locals is Ocean Blue. It has a trendy restaurant called Se with sandy beaches for maximizing your time for RnR. Another option for sunset drinks and light bites is Kina handcrafted bar.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out my guide to Athens: The Best Things to Do in Athens, Greece.

Advisor - Christine Lahlouh

Travel Advisor

Christine Lahlouh

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