It is not surprising that Baskinta means “house of serenity” in Syriac. Visitors quickly feel at peace and at home in this charming village just by contemplating the old stone buildings scattered among the oaks, and the soothing landscapes of apple and cherry orchards.
The village is located 45km outside Beirut at an altitude of 1,250m above sea level. It is possible to reach Baskinta by taking the road through Antelias, Bikfaya and Bteghrine, or the route passing through Kfardebian and Bqaatouta. Alternatively, head onto Nahr El Mott and take the Metn Express Highway towards Baabdat, then to Dhour Choueir. The signs will lead you to Baskinta.
What to Do
Baskinta is famous for its slightly tart apples. Discover regional products at Mymoune, a family-run factory located in the village of Ain El Qabou, just five minutes from Baskinta. The factory offers guided tours for those interested in the manufacturing of preserves, jams, syrups and other delicacies. For more information, visit mymoune.com.
There are over 20 convents and churches in Baskinta, making it an important destination for religious tourism. One of its most well- known convents is Mar Sassine, which was built around 1729.
The Cross of Bakish
On the highest peak of Qanat Bakish, which can be visited after Baskinta, stands “The Cross of All People”. The cross is made of 170 tons of imported iron from France and is over 70m high. It is illuminated by 1,800 projectors. This site overlooks a breathtaking landscape, especially at sunset.
There is a nine-kilometer hiking route that passes through the most important cultural sites of the village, starting at a memorial garden dedicated to Mikhail Neaimy. The trail ends at the house of writer Suleiman Kettaneh, who lived in Baskinta from 1965 to 2004.
Where to Eat
As hidden gems in Baskinta go, Krikor Bakery (+961 4 280293) is one of the most precious. Run out of an old mountain house, the husband and wife owners take their time producing the best manouche in the area.
Expect a Viking theme at Valhalla LB (+961 81 331138). This place boasts an awesome view and great burgers.
Where to Sleep
Overlooking the Baskinta Valley in Sannine, the Monte Sannine Hotel (+961 4 251122) offers comfortable accommodation. Guests can also enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine in the restaurant, which has a large balcony commanding a sweeping view of the surrounding mountains.