A Visit to Batroun? Here’s How I’d Do it

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This summer, I have been finding myself saying yes to a number of new activities and adventures. This has pushed me to get out of my comfort zone and visit new places around the country. My friends were visiting from abroad and they wanted to spend some time away from the city. Our first stop for the week was Batroun!

Batroun is one of my favorite places, and since I’m often asked for recommendations, I thought I’d share what I know about the best way to spend a day or two on its beautiful shores and mountains.

1- The History: The Old Souk, The Phoenician Wall, Makaad El Mir, & Mousaylaha

Photo credits: Jennifer Kanaan

Batroun is home to amazing scenery and landmarks. It is where Phoenician, Roman and Byzantine history meet. The old souk of Batroun was rehabilitated in 2004 to restore the public buildings while keeping the same old look and feel to it. At walking distance, you can find the fisherman’s port and continue to get to the Phoenician Wall that was built to protect the city from tidal waves. A bit further, and still at walking distance, you can spot the ruins of Makaad el Mir. Finally, one of Batroun’s medieval archaeological sites is the Crusader citadel of Mousaylaha, which was constructed on an isolated massive rock with steep sides protruding in the middle of a plain surrounded by mountains.

2- Pierre & Friends

Photo credits: Jennifer Kanaan

This iconic free beach of Batroun is the definition of old but gold. It is true that many free beaches have opened on the shores of Batroun but this remains my favorite. There is a sense of feeling at home as you step down the long flight of stairs. You can spend the day at the beach, have a delicious sea food lunch and enjoy the beautiful summer sunset, all from the same location.

Photo credits: Jennifer Kanaan

3- Bioland The Farm

Photo credits: trendsnutrition.com

If you are in Batroun during the weekend, then you absolutely have to visit Bioland The Farm for an outstanding clean and organic buffet. The restaurant is located at the heart of the farm in the Sghar Village of Batroun, about 15 minutes from Madfoun. The farm is home to over 40 types of fruit trees and vineyards, all naturally grown through organic means. It is also home to Bioland’s poultry, duck, rabbit and goat units, as well as all apiculture (bee keeping), dairy and fresh meat production unit. All the ingredients needed to prepare the dishes on the buffet are sourced at the farm and put together by world-renowned chef Joe Barza and his team.

At the Farm, there is also a wide variety of activities planned so that children get to experience the love for animals and nature such as farm tours, animal feedings, donkey rides, cooking, planting and face painting.

4- Colonel Beer – The Reef

Photo credits: Colonel Beer Facebook Page

If you are familiar with Colonel Beer, then you most probably know that the Colonel opened its own piece of beach early this summer, with the help of the municipality of Batroun. The catch is, that the reef is also a school for your favorite types of water activities. The aim is to encourage the sport culture and especially promote windsurfing in Lebanon. You can take all types of lessons from windsurfing, sup (paddling), kayaking and free diving at very affordable prices.

So as the colonel says “Grab a board, cruise along our beautiful coast or let the wind take you for a ride.”

5- The Wineries of The North

Photo credits: Jennifer Kanaan

Visit the wineries of the North (La Route des Vins du Nord), a wine trail that passes by Adyar, Aurora, Batroun Mountains, Ixsir, Coteaux de Botrys, Chateau Sanctus and more. You can call them in advance and arrange a tour of the wineries and a wine tasting.

Adyar +961 9 926950

Aurora +961 3 295458

Batroun Mountains +963 3 928299

Chateau Sanctus +961 3 661699

Coteaux de Botrys +961 6 721300

Domaine S. Najm +961 3 524425

IXSIR +961 9 210023

6- Live Art

Photo credits: Lebanon Traveler

About 20 minutes away from the sea and driving towards the mountains, you will find the village of Rashana, one that has become an unlikely home for art. Rashana has been named the “International Capital of Sculpture in Open Air” by UNESCO thanks to the work of the Basbous family. Driving inside the village, you will spot amazing sculptures emerging from the ground as if in an open-air museum as well as Michel Basbous’ one-story home constructed without any right angles.

 

So these are some of my favorite things to explore in this great little city. Hope you will enjoy your sunny day there, and please feel free to comment or suggest any places you think I will enjoy visiting!

 

Resources:

https://www.facebook.com/ColonelBeer/

http://trendsnutrition.com/bioland-batroun-healthy-and-happy-spot/

http://www.lebanontraveler.com/en/magazine/Lebanon-Traveler-10-things-to-do-in-Batroun

http://www.beirutnightlife.com/tourism/batroun-a-preserved-history/

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