As when you choose the furniture to decorate your home, we think that nothing beats insider tips and first-hand experiences. This summer, Maison Flaneur’s team has decided to take you back to their home country and share with you their secret holiday spots. Today Gabriel shares his favourite locations and hotels in Lebanon. From the Bekaa valley to the cities of Sidon and Tyre, discover the best of Lebanon outside of Beirut from one Flâneur to another.
Among the oldest sites of wine production in the world and home to the famous Lebanese vineyards Ksara & Kefraya. It is with no surprise that the Romans built in 150AD the Baalbek temple complex, dedicated to the Roman god of wine. Inscribed in 1984 as an UNESCO World Heritage site, it is larger and better preserved than the Parthenon in Athens.
Up: the ancient Baalbeck temple; Bottom: the Al Haush farmhouse
Anfeh: a fishermen village turned into beach clubs and restaurants
Byblos is believed to have been first occupied between 8,800 and 7,000BC and continuously inhabited since 5,000BC, making it one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Batroun is one of the oldest cities in the world. It is today a major touristic city in Lebanon, with beach resorts, a vibrant nightlife outdoor activities and home to the Batroun International Festival hosting leading local and international artists.
Ancient city of Byblos
Left: Chouwen river; Right: beach club in Hamat
It is one of the best-preserved districts in Lebanon, making it ideal for hikes, treks, and healthy retreats. This mountainous region is wild and isolated in some parts, and covered with small villages and terraced agricultural plots in others. Deir Al Qamar is one of the country’s most enchanting villages, while nearby Beiteddine Palace, a sumptuous 19th-century palace which used to be the Emir of Lebanon residence, is a major draw. High up in the range, Lebanon’s famous and protected cedars overlook the nation from their lofty vantage point.
Breakfast at the Mir Amin Palace - an Emir residence turned into a hotel in the 70s
Left: Shallalat Al Zarqa waterfalls in Baakline; Right: view of the Bouyouti guesthouse pool
Sidon is one of the oldest Phoenician cities and it was ruled in turn by Assyria, Babylonia, Persia, Alexander the Great, and the Romans. It is now famous for its recently refurbished Souk which has kept its old charm. You’ll find homemade soap, woodworking, food & spices, clothes, and even lingerie.
Top: beach in Tyre; Middle: crusaders sea castle in Sidon; Bottom left: souks in Sidon; Bottom right: souks in Tyre
And of course... Beirut's vibrant and unique nightlife... but that will be for another article!