If you’re looking to explore the lesser-known parts of North Lebanon, you’ll love the Road of Angels tour. We explore just a few of its many highlights.
Kareen Nahas is everything but your regular tour guide. An accomplished painter with over 20 years’ experience in Europe and the US, Kareen talks about her Road of Angels tour with such passion that it sounds almost poetic.
Intertwining roads with majestic views, a kaleidoscope of ever-changing colors and remote areas that represent the mysterious paths of ancient civilizations; this is what Road of Angels is all about.
The small-group tour focuses on the area around Batroun, introducing visitors to many of its hidden gems. “There are caves and temples and some incredible churches with frescoes dating back to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. They are extremely difficult to find and require an off-road vehicle to reach; that’s what has kept them so well preserved,” Kareen says.
To see a glimpse of the area, start your day with a delicious breakfast at Furn Em Nassif (76 377033) in Smar Jbeil, one of the oldest villages in Lebanon. After you’ve enjoyed a zaatar or kishek saj, continue your journey to the ruins of Smar Jbeil’s Citadel. This stunning landmark dates back to the Phoenician period and provides visitors with an insight into the rich history of the area.
From there, you can visit “The Sisters” in Bchaaleh, a group of sixteen 6,000-year-old olive trees considered to be among the oldest in the world.
Take the scenic mountain road from Bchaaleh to Beit Chlala to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls cascading over the cliff edge and have lunch at one of the many restaurants along the Jaouz River.
After lunch, head towards the Greek Orthodox Theotokos Monastery in Kaftoun. The sixth-century monastery is an oasis of calm, housing exquisite icons.
End your day in Batroun by wandering around the old souks. Grab a glass of thirst-quenching lemonade from Chahine (06 741292), Hilmi (06 740507) or Tony Daou (06 741564) and watch the sunset from the old port while the colorful moored boats bob up and down to the rhythm of the waves.
Most of the locations Kareen takes you to are off-grid and virtually untouched, which is why she prefers not to share their exact locations to keep them safe and unspoiled.