Situated at the foot of Mount Hermon, Hasbaya is a breathtaking town promising visitors a glimpse of bygone years, with its rich tapestry of art, culture and heritage.
Hasbaya is approximately a two-hour drive from Beirut. Head south on the main highway towards Tyre and take the Nabatieh highway (signposted) until you reach Hasbaya.
What to Do
Serail of Hasbaya – Chehabi Castle (Chehabi Citadel)
The centerpiece of culture and antiquity in the town is the long-standing Serail of Hasbaya, also known as the Citadel. Dating back to the Crusader period, the citadel was seized by the prominent Chehabi dynasty in 1170, where their descendants still live today. The exquisite building consists of three floors above ground and three subterranean levels. Visible on either side of the arched entrance are stone lions, emblematic of the Chehabi family. While entering the citadel is not permitted, it is still a spectacle worth admiring from the outside.
Roman Temple of Hebbarieh
A lesser-known site in the region is the Roman Temple of Hebbarieh, located at the foot of Mount Hermon. Incredibly, parts of the temple’s walls are still intact, as are the underground crypts, which date back to the AD 1.
Sabek Soap Factory
Run by the hospitable Sabek family in their residence, the soap factory in Hasbaya is definitely worth seeing. Visitors will have the opportunity to witness traditional soap making carried out using conventional methods. Call Melhem Sabek (+961 7 550217) to arrange a visit.
Where to Eat
If you’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, Très Jolie Pâtisserie (+961 7 551166) is a must. Its exceptional take on the traditional knefe, known as the Hisbayan knefe, is most certainly something you should try before leaving.
Nestled in lush greenery with the mesmerizing sound of the Hasbani River, enjoy a Lebanese lunch at Fawar Al Hasbani (+961 3 297586). Serving traditional fare since 1966, the restaurant has an extensive menu, which includes fresh Hasbani fish and local arak. Be sure to call in advance to check that it’s open.
Located on the banks of the Hasbani River, Al Bohsasa (+961 70 767670) serves authentic Lebanese cuisine in an aweinspiring location. Enjoy picturesque views of the water as you feast on delicious mezze, served with true southern hospitality.
Where to Sleep
Ideal for those seeking relaxation, the Al Kalaa Resort (+961 3 460303) offers guests beautiful chalets in the heart of nature. Bordering the Hasbani River, the resort is a great retreat for solo travelers or families.
The Hasbaya Village Club (+961 3 780580) provides luxury accommodation with fully furnished chalets offering scenic views of the surrounding area.