(Original post from Beirut.com)
Most of us have a list of places we want to visit before we die, but how many of those places are in Lebanon? Our country holds many hidden treasures, natural wonders, and breathtaking landscapes and it would be a pity not to discover them before it is too late. So the next time you’re planning a trip or getaway, why not choose a place off this list, and expose yourself to the beauty this country has to offer.
1. White Seawall – Naqoura-Bayyada
Around 20 minutes south of Tyre and you will find the Ras El Bayyada region, well known for its pristine coast and turquoise crystal clear waters. The major sight to see, however, is the rocky white sea wall, which is punctured by several fascinating sea caves that are calling to be explored.
2. Palm Island Nature Reserve – Tripoli
Located off the coast of Tripoli, the Palm Islands Nature Reserve is made up of three islands. From July until September, you can take a ferry and visit these beautiful islands that have been home to diverse fauna including loggerhead turtles, rabbits, rare monk seals, and over 300 species of migratory birds.
3. Oyoun el Samak – Akkar
Image via React2revolt.wordpress.com
Located in Wadi Nhannam, southwest of the village of Al Qaite, is the mountainous area of Oyoun el Samak that is home to not only a beautiful lake, but also several waterfalls. Visit in the months of Spring to hike along the flowing rivers and catch the wildflowers in full bloom.
4. Qadisha Valley – Wadi Qannoubine
Image via cavinglebanon.com
Also known as the Valley of the Saints, Wadi Qannoubine is one of the deepest and most beautiful valleys in Lebanon. The valley is scattered with caves, chapels, hermitages, and monasteries cut from the rock and if you make your way down to the bottom of the valley, you can enjoy a beautiful picnic by the river.
5. Seaside Ruins – Tyre
Tyre is a town with a proud Phoenician past, complete with Roman ruins and a medieval souq. The Al Bass Archaeological site in Tyre boasts the largest and best-preserved example of a Roman hippodrome, a large Necropolis, an intact Roman road, a Roman aqueduct, and a monumental arch.
6. Phoenician Wall – Batroun
There’s a lot to see in the charming coastal town of Batroun, but perhaps the most iconic is the ancient 225 meter long Phoenician wall. Once a natural structure composed of petrified sand dunes, the Phoenicians reinforced it with rocks and used it as protection from sea storms and invaders.
7. Paradise Waterfalls – Baakline
Baakline is a beautiful picturesque Lebanese village in the Chouf District, and among many things, it is famous for its waterfalls. The ‘Paradise’ waterfall is perhaps the most breathtaking and is best visited during the week in summer when the makeshift picnic area surrounding the waterfall is least crowded. The waterfalls even have their own Instagram page: @paradise_lebanon.
8. Greek-style Sea Front – Anfeh
Image via 365daysoflebanondotcom.wordpress.com
Anfeh is a coastal town just 15km south of Tripoli and is largely reminiscent of Greek islands due to its blue and white seaside chalets and the relaxed atmosphere that prevails everywhere in this town. Check out the chalets and then head down to the Talet el Ri7 beach which is known to be one of the most beautiful free beaches in Lebanon.
9. Jannet Chouwen Valley and River – Jabal Moussa
A hike is required to get to the river, but the sight you will see makes it worth it. One of the most beautiful places in the Jbeil Caza, it is best to visit during Spring or in the early days of Summer when the river is full, the flora is at its best and the summer picnickers haven’t taken over (and left their trash everywhere).
10. Rachid Karami International Fair – Tripoli
Image via hiddencities.wordpress.com
The Rachid Karami International Fair was designed by the famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in the 1960s. When the war began in Lebanon in 1975, construction stopped and was never restarted. Today the 10,000-hectare fairground, which contains 15 buildings and large expanses of greenery, is more or less deserted, but still a popular attraction among those interested in its architecture and is a must-see!