Picture via Siestke
As promised, here’s my first post on how to spend a full day in Lebanon. Just to be clear, all the places I am mentioning are ones that I’ve been to already and would recommend to friends and tourists usually. No one’s paying me to post about them.
Day1: Madfoun (Batroun) –> Keserwan (Maameltein) or Amchit –> Harissa –> Jbeil-Byblos –> Beirut (Optional)
Beaches are usually packed during weekends in the summer in Lebanon, so it’s preferable to do the below suggested activities on a week day.
1- Waking up:
First of all, you have to wake up between 8:30 am and 9:30am, depending on how far your hotel or apartment is. The closer you are to Keserwan, the more sleep you can get. I will assume hotel is in Beirut since that’s where most hotels are.
Unless you’re having breakfast at the hotel, here are few places you can stop by on your way to Batroun and have a tasty Lebanese “terwee2a”:
- Knefe at Douaihy or Hallab* in Jounieh, Al Baba (My favorite Knefe) in Jal el Dib.
- Manakish from Wooden Bakery or Zaatar wou Zeit if you’d like to sit down and eat.
- Kaak from Abou Arab on your way to Jbeil. A popular place that sells Kaak with all sorts of cheese inside.
* Opening very soon.
3- Beach time
After having breakfast, head to Pierre & Friends in the Madfoun area. It’s a great place to enjoy the beach, chill and have a beer while doing that. The atmosphere is really nice too.
4- Lunch time:
I recommend you stay in Pierre & Friends until 2pm or 3pm, and then head out to have a proper lunch somewhere else. Here are few Lebanese restaurants that are not too far from the beach and that I highly recommend:
- Manaret el Khalij: Great place with a very nice view and amazing food. Located on the hill facing Casino du Liban.
- Dar El Azrak in Jbeil, but since you will be heading back to Jbeil Souks at night, you might want to postpone this until another day.
- Mhanna sur Mer in Amchit, Sultan Ibrahim or Chez Sami in Maameltein. These are great choices as well.
After lunch you will need some time to digest all that food, which is why I recommend you go to the nearby Teleferique, book tickets and go all the way up to Harissa, enjoy the scenery and walk for a bit, pray if you like to, sit and relax. Harissa is a must-visit for every tourist and one of my favorite places in Lebanon.
View from Harissa – [Picture by Bizriart][High Res]
6- Jbeil Souks
After Harissa’s visit, you can either take a couple of hours to rest at the hotel or wherever you are staying, or head to Jbeil to walk in the beautiful souks, visit the museums (if they are still open), enjoy a beautiful sunset near the sea castle and have a coffee or tea at one of the numerous cafes there.
Picture taken by myself: @LeNajib
Jbeil is a beautiful city to walk in and many pubs have opened there in the past years so you can enjoy a few drinks while you’re there and even have a late dinner at ecafe which I highly recommend. I used to love Mother as well but it closed.
By the time the walks, drinks and late dinner are done, it should be around 10-11 pm. If you are still up for something, you can go to one of the many pubs and nightclubs in Beirut. You will need to book a table in advance for night clubs such as White, Iris, Pier7, SkyBar etc …
I hope that this first post was helpful. Traffic is a big problem in Lebanon which is why I tried to suggest places that are close to each other and interesting to visit or know about. If you feel the program is overloaded, you can always skip any part you don’t like it.
PS: I am working on a post that would serve as a guide to Lebanon’s best nightclubs and pubs but it might take some time.