A trip to Batroun makes for the perfect warm-weather getaway. Known for having some of the best beach clubs in the country, Batroun greets visitors with pristine blue waters and white pebble beaches.
Take the northbound road from Beirut past Jounieh and Byblos until you reach Batroun.
What to Do
Phoenician Sea Wall
The natural sea wall adjacent to the old harbor is almost synonymous with Batroun. The Roman theater is situated north of the wall, with its nine remaining steps.
The charming cobblestone market of Batroun is a popular destination for visitors. Between the vaulted sandstone archways you’ll find merchants selling a variety of products.
End your day at the ruins of Makaad El Mir (Prince’s Rock Seat) with a tall glass of Batroun’s famous lemonade from Hilmi’s (+961 70 173036) or Jessy Juice (+961 6 741564).
Hike along Walnut River
Batroun’s distinct topography allows you to enjoy both the sea and the mountains in the span of a few minutes. Head up 11 kilometers from the city to one of the most beautiful trails along the Walnut River (Nahr el Jawz). Lined with walnut trees near the river’s edge, the trek is fairly easy and picturesque.
Tour the wineries
Follow the wine trail that passes through the northern Lebanese wineries: Batroun Mountains (+963 3 928299), IXSIR (+961 9 210023), Adyar (+961 9 926950), Atibaia (+961 1 584555) Aurora (+961 3 295458), Coteaux de Botrys (+961 6 721300), Domaine S. Najm (+961 3 524425), Chateau Sanctus (+961 3 661699) and Clos du Phoenix (+961 3 271672).
Lining the coast are back-to-back beach clubs, ranging from super luxurious resorts to shabby-chic spots.
If you’re looking for something a little upscale, try Orchid (+961 3 040420, orchid-resort.com). For somewhere less expensive, check out Pierre and Friends (+961 3 352930), which has a beautiful pebble beach. Another good choice is Joining Beach (+961 3 517492), surrounded by rocking cliffs perfect for diving and plenty of underwater caves to explore. You call also head to White Beach (+961 3 732404, whitebeachlebanon.com). Colonel Reef (+961 3 743543) is an excellent choice for a casual day at the beach with friends. For more suggestions, read our article about the top beaches in Lebanon.
The fairytale castle of Mseilha, a medieval fort, sits nearby. Built by Emir Fakhreddine II in the 17th century, it was used to guard the route from Tripoli to Beirut. Perched high above a narrow limestone rock, the citadel was recently renovated to make it more accessible to visitors.
Where to Eat
Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Manouchet Merchak (+961 6 740010). The place serves all kinds of manouche, including zaatar, cheese and spinach.
If you find yourself craving home cooked and freshly prepared food while in Batroun, a visit to Chez Maguy (+961 3 439147) is a must. The charming seaside restaurant is run by Maguy, who loves to share her passion for cooking with the world. Despite its popularity, Chez Maguy has maintained the cozy feel of a small family-run restaurant.
Colonel Brewery (+961 6 743543, colonelbeer.com) has been attracting beer connoisseurs and hipsters since 2014, who come for the locally brewed beer and stay for the magnificent views of Batroun. It is the first of its kind in Lebanon, offering home-brewed beer, delicious seafood and German specialties. With plenty of events in the summer months and an eco-friendly tilt, Colonel has become a popular hangout for locals and foreigners looking to enjoy a microbrewery with a difference.
Where to Sleep
Tastefully furnished with exquisite antiques, Beit Al Batroun (+961 81 064460, hotelibanais.com) is a welcoming guesthouse that’s ideal for a weekend getaway.
In the heart of Batroun’s old souk is L’Auberge de la Mer (+961 6 740824, laubergedelamer.com), a nine-room boutique hotel boasting marvelous sea views and a slower pace of life.