Rooted in the Bekaa, Chtaura is a town located 44 kilometers from Beirut, halfway along the famous Beirut-Damascus Highway. It is considered a commercial hub in the Zahle District.
Chtaura has good transport links to Zahlé, Baalbeck, Lake Qaraoun, Marjayoun and Damascus and is situated 900 meters above sea level. Famous for its production of dairy products and its strategic location in the Bekaa, the town is a busy center for commerce and trade.
Take the Beirut-Damascus Highway out of Beirut and follow the signs toward Chtaura. The journey takes around an hour.
What to Do
The Emile Hannouche Museum
Emile Hannouche, a respected art enthusiast, decided to share his beloved collection of over 900 Lebanese paintings and unique Melkite pieces by opening the Emile Hannouche Museum in his hometown of Chtaura in 2017. The walls of the museum display an array of works, including Melkite pieces and oriental icons. The mansion is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens and there’s even a restaurant on site.
The museum is open to visitors from Wednesday to Friday, but make sure you call ahead of time to check the opening hours (+961 8 540163 / +961 3 380037).
Founded in 1868, Domaine des Tourelles (+961 8 540114) is known for its delicious wines, its arak — “Arak Brun” — and liqueur. Wine tours and tastings are available subject to prior reservation.
If you happen to visit Chtaura during the harvest period, check out the harvest trail for some fun activities.
Blue Cloud Spa (+961 70 815999) combines serenity with exoticism and state-of-art convenience treatments.
Those interested in shopping can visit Chtaura Mall (+961 76 077222). Cascada Mall (+961 8 514314) in nearby Taanayel is home to many international brands.
Where to Eat
When visiting Chtaura, renowned for its dairy production, you will find many old, authentic shops serving fresh simple and traditional sandwiches.
- The famous Laiterie Massabki (+961 8 540281) was founded in 1961. Enjoy its labneh sandwich and signature ariché sandwich by Uncle Elias, who has been running this business and making the sandwiches himself for more than 45 years.
- Hadwane Dairies (+961 28 540 625) is another landmark in the area. Opened in 1928, the shop is a popular fresh daily needs for the year.
- Jarjoura Dairy (+961 79 149 387), since 1922, the home of Lebanese authentic and natural dairy products.
You can also have lunch with an amazing lakeside view at the famous Amaleen Restaurant (+961 81 600000), located at Cascada Village, which serves Lebanese cuisine and an international menu, along with the biggest sushi bar in Lebanon.
For something on the sweet side, visit Hallab 1881 Kasr El Helou (+961 8 541881) or Dewan Al Aser (+961 70 112578)
If you are going out at night, visit Skol pub (+961 8 800415) or HillSide Bar & Grill (+961 3 130065 / +961 70 906894).
Where to Sleep
For a five-star experience, Park Hotel Chtaura (+961 8 540011) and Massabki Hotel (+961 8 544644) are great options. Delora Hotel and Suites (+961 8 545999) is a good option for families.