Unspoiled forests stretching as far as the eye can see define the northern gem of Qobayat, one of Akkar’s largest villages. It is a place where Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine and Arab civilizations have settled and where one can find archaeological remains dating as far back as 3000 BC.
Qobayat is around 140km from Beirut. Drive towards Tripoli, then Halba, before heading up to the village.
What to Do
Serving as the first school in the village, Mar Doumit — Qobayat’s 183-year-old convent — stands beneath a magnificent, ancient oak tree. One can also visit the Museum of Butterflies, which is inside the convent.
Karm Chbat Nature Reserve
Respect for the environment is a priority in Qobayat, largely thanks to the environmental committee of the village, and visiting the Karm Chbat Nature Reserve is an essential part of any trip. Explore the reserve and witness the beautiful patchwork of firs, cedars, oaks and juniper trees.
There are plenty of year-round ecotourism activities available in Qobayat. These include hiking, climbing and abseiling. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing can be enjoyed in winter.
Where to Eat
The first thing you need to try when visiting Qobayat is the local tannour bread, which can be found at Hatbe w Nar (+961 6 352400 / +961 3 758798). In addition to the traditional bread, they also serve excellent manouche and succulent shawarma, guaranteed to hit the spot. Zahrtoni (+961 81 469844 / +961 3 914717) is a delightful, modern restaurant that offers authentic Italian and Lebanese cuisine, including delicious, homemade pasta. Dishing up all kinds of local specialties, Fares Restaurant (+961 70 500082) is a family business specializing in traditional Lebanese food.It is open only during summer.
Where to Sleep
Jabalna Ecolodge (+961 3 542935) is the village’s first fully ecological guesthouse project. Expect an amazing view, a wonderful atmosphere, great service and a get-away-from-it-all experience.