The capital of Mount Lebanon until the early 17th century, Baakline is a mountainous oasis of tranquility known for its blue waterfalls. From a tour of the magical Al Hamadeh Palace to a traditional Lebanese lunch at the restaurant overlooking a waterfall, a visit to breathtakingly beautiful Baakline promises an unforgettable experience.
From Beirut, take the highway south towards Saida. Exit at Beiteddine and turn right into Kfarhim village, towards Kfarhim cave. After Deir Dourit, continue to follow the road until you reach Baakline. Alternatively, continue to Beiteddine and head towards the left in order to reach Baakline.
What to Do
Al Hamadeh Palace
You’ll be transported back in time as you enter Al Hamadeh Palace, for on its walls unfolds the story of Baakline. The first stone of this exquisite palace, which boasts a mixture of architectural influences, was set in 1604. You’ll be amazed as you move from one room to the next admiring delicate objects and artworks. To arrange a visit, contact Talaat Hamadeh (+961 71 585058).
Chouf Craft Museum & Baakline National Library
At the top of the village you will find the Chouf Craft Museum. Be prepared to be dazzled by a group of women, whose expertise in embroidery, lace, weaving and cross stitching is matched by their warmth. Furthermore, don’t forget to visit the Old Serail, which is now the Baakline National Library — the largest in the country according to its director.
Hiking in Horsh Baakline Reserve
For a change of scenery, do not hesitate to move away from the center and experience a local nature reserve. A few minutes’ drive away, in a steep valley, Horsh Baakline offers several enchanting paths with dreamy names, which are as pleasant as they are enriching. Contact the municipality (+961 5 300528).
A number of falls punctuate the Baakline River. The most idyllic corners are now home to many restaurants perfect for an afternoon lunch. Alternatively, you can find a picnic spot and simply enjoy the view.
Where to Eat
A 15-minute drive will take you to many great restaurants that offer scrumptiousLebanese lunches along the Baakline River, including Challalat Al Zarka (+961 3 560301), Al Tahouna (+961 3 212066) and New Garbatella (+961 5 301411). There are also several small restaurants and places to get snacks in the center of the village.
Where to Sleep
There are no hotels in Baakline, although several old houses are being renovated to become hostels. Lodging options are available nearby in Deir El Qamar and Beiteddine. Only a 10-minute drive from Baakline, Bkerzay (+961 3 512020) is the perfect place to take a break from urban life. The project features traditional Lebanese stone architecture that blends into the landscape. Interiors are furnished with vintage pieces in an effort to reduce waste and celebrate rustic design. There is also a spa and an outdoor swimming pool. For more adventurous nature lovers, there is a fully equipped, pet-friendly campsite called Campobar Baakline (+961 76 004666). It is located just a few minutes away from Baakline River.