Food and History
Tailormade Lebanon Food and History – an 9 day Tailormade Tour from £2795 per person.
If anyone asks you about Lebanon then anyone who has been there will tell you about the food and drink. The first thing that you will discover and the prime memory of any visit to Lebanon, is the hospitality of the people.
There is a genuine pride in the vibrant flavours and colourful range of dishes that are served up to guests. And no Lebanese meal will be complete without numerous toasts, washed down with a fine locally produced wine.
On this tailormade tour through Lebanon we will experience the best of Lebanese hospitality as well as discovering more about the country’s history and culture.
One of the many highlights of this tailormade Lebanon tour is the visit to Souk el Tayeb’s weekly farmers market.
This famous market hosts around 100 small producers from all over Lebanon who offer fresh, local, seasonal food products and organic produce, ranging from fruits and vegetables, “mouneh”, dairy products, ready- to- eat food and sweets alongside traditional, handmade crafts. By connecting consumers and producers, Souk el Tayeb promotes the consumption of local food, thereby giving livelihoods to small scale farmers and enhances food knowledge and culture throughout Lebanon.
Another of the most visit regions of Lebanon that we suggest you visit is the Beqaa Valley. This part of Lebanon is a fertile valley in eastern region and is the most important farming region in the country. The valley is 120 kilometres long and 16 kilometres wide and is blessed with a Mediterranean climate of wet, often snowy winters and dry, warm summers making it an ideal place to harvest grapes.
It is here where 90% of Lebanon’s wine is made. In particular, we will head to the south of the Valley as this is where the more fertile soils can be found. There are a large variety of vineyards and orchards to explore and many samples to delight your taste buds.
This being a tailormade tour of Lebanon, you are free to choose how long you get to experience in each region and where you go next. Speak to one of our expert travel consultants and we will put together the perfect food and drink tour of Lebanon.
Day 1 - Arrival in Beirut
Begin your tailormade Lebanon holiday when you arrive in Beirut and transfer to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Le Caramel Boutique Hotel. No meals or guided activities are included today.
Day 2 - Beirut
This morning after breakfast, start the day with a stroll on the breezy and bustling corniche, an activity enjoyed by many local Beirutis. During the walk, learn about how the area was shaped by the civil war and the regeneration efforts since. Stark reminders of the conflict are very much still visible including the bullet ridden Holiday Inn hotel building which has remained derelict and were the scenes of intense battles. Continue to Martyrs Square and the impressive Mohammad Al Amin Mosque complete with its towering sandstone minarets. We will also stop to see the archaeological site of the Roman baths in the centre of the city. Continue to the National Museum where we take an enriching visit and learn about the turbulent history of Lebanon which will give the experiences of the coming day’s added context. Any time after 11am you can visit the Souk el Tayeb food market (Saturday and Tuesdays only), an authentic local experience not to be missed. After the visit to the souk, enjoy some time at leisure before this evening heading to the bustling Bourj Hammoud with its large Armenian population. Here you will enjoy an authentic Lebanese/Armenian meal tonight. Overnight Hotel Le Caramel Boutique Hotel. (BD)
Day 3 - Beirut – Batroun – Byblos (UNESCO)
After breakfast, continue a short distance up the Mediterranean coast to Batroun. Explore the narrow cobblestone streets and observe the traditional Ottoman style houses. Also take a stroll through Batroun’s small but old souk and the magical ruins of the Phoenician port including the ancient sea wall. We recommend that you take an opportunity to try the authentic local lemonade here in Batroun, very refreshing and equally as delicious. Later continue up the coast to the ancient town of Byblos, said to have been continuously inhabited since the 6th Century BC. Spend the afternoon exploring this delightful place with its picturesque harbour, the well restored 12th century crusader castle and the roman archaeological site with a beautifully situated small amphitheatre overlooking the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. This evening enjoy a fresh seafood dinner on the shores of the Med and after dinner wander in the atmospheric souk area and perhaps enjoy a drink at one of the bars. Overnight Hotel Ahiram. (BD)
Day 4 - Byblos – Cedars of God – Bcharre- Qadisha Valley
(Approximate overall driving time today is 2 hours and walking time is around 3 hours, depending on your pace)
After an early breakfast, travel inland for an approximate 2-hour drive to the Cedars of God forest. Known as Arz Ar-Rab (The Cedars of the Lord), this is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Here you have the option of taking a 9km hike from Wadi Qannoubine to the picturesque hill town of Bcharre located at an altitude of 1450 meters above sea level. The walk affords inspiring panoramic views throughout. En route, enjoy a picnic mezze lunch. On arrival in Bcharre have a walk around the central area of the town and visit the Gibran museum dedicated to the renowned Lebanese artist, author and poet. Later, continue to the nearby splendid Qadisha Valley and to your accommodation, a quite beautiful 12th Century monastery in the most peaceful setting with just the sound of birds and the wind for accompaniment. Overnight Saint Antoine Monastery. (BLD)
Please Note: The hike today is recommended, but is optional and a later start can be arranged or a shorter hike can be taken in the Qadisha Valley close to the monastery as an alternative. The Cedars of God forest is closed during the winter months.
Day 5 - Qadisha Valley – Anjar Citadel – Chateau Ksara - Baalbek
(Approximate overall driving time today is 4.5 hours)
This morning after breakfast enjoy a short walk as the sun lights up the valley and the bells of the church ring out. We then drive over the mountains dropping into the Bekaa Valley. Then visit what surely must be regarded as one of world’s most astonishing Roman archaeological sites at Baalbek. We spend ample time exploring the site in detail which is believed to date back some 5000 years. The site is so grand in its scale that is not hard to visualise what the city must have been like in its pomp. Continue to Chateau Ksara for a leisurely Lebanese mezze style lunch and wine tasting in the Bekaa Valley. Here enjoy a tour of the cellar and the production areas before enjoying degustation of the excellent wines. Finally, today visit the ancient Anjar Citadel. Dinner tonight will be at Palmyra Hotel which has an excellent reputation for good food and has a very rich and interesting history. Overnight Hotel Palmyra. (BLD)
Please Note: The drive over the mountains to Baalbek can only be made in normal snowfall years between late May and mid-November. Outside of these months the itinerary will take a different route from Days 3 – 5 but you will still visit all of the same places.
Day 6 - Baalbek - Beiteddine Palace - Chouf Cedar Reserve - Deir Al Qamar (UNESCO)
(Approximate driving time today is 3 hours)
After breakfast take the short journey to the exquisite 18th century Beiteddine Palace complex notable for its elegant mixture of Italian and Arab influenced architecture. The palace contains important archaeological collections including some stunning mosaics. The views from the grounds are also a delight to stroll at leisure. From here we continue to the Chouf Reserve to take a short walk amongst the majestic Cedar trees, a symbolic emblem of Lebanon. Finally, we overnight in Deir Al Qamar at a charming property where dinner will be included at its excellent restaurant. Overnight Deir al Oumara. (BD)
Day 7 - Deir al Qamar – Sidon - Beirut
(Approximate driving time today is 3 hours)
After breakfast take a short walk around the charming town of Deir al Qamar admiring the interesting architecture. We then travel back to the Mediterranean coast to Sidon, once a prosperous and flourishing Phoenician city. Visit the 13th Crusader Castle of the Sea and Khan el Franj 17th century, before taking a leisurely stroll in the atmospheric narrow streets of the old souk where once can observe all manner of tradesmen and craftsmen and the kaleidoscope of colours of the fresh produce on offer is striking. Grab an authentic local lunch at a historic falafel shop where the freshest ingredients are used and speed the ingredients are married together is a sight to behold! Thereafter, continue back to Beirut where any remaining time will be at leisure. Overnight Le Caramel Boutique Hotel or similar. (BL)
Please Note: For an even fuller day it is possible to travel south from Sidon to Tyre (UNESCO) and observe the beauty of the ancient Roman streets, arcades and the well-preserved hippodromes. This will mean an early start and arriving back to Beirut for sunset.
Day 8 - Beirut – Mtein – Mrouj – Beirut
This morning enjoy some time at leisure, perhaps take a walk in the corniche and observe the fishermen. Your guide and driver will collect you from your hotel at your chosen time and drive you to Mounir Restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant renowned for hospitality and true authentic cuisine. After lunch, visit the traditional villages of Mtein and Mrouj before heading back to Beirut. Overnight Hotel Le Caramel Boutique. (BL)
Day 9 - Departure from Beirut
And so we come to the end of your tailormade Lebanon holiday. Spend any remaining time at leisure before transferring to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
Dates & Price.
We offer this Tailormade Lebanon Food and History Tour for private departures only.
Prices start from £2795 per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room.
We can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please contact us to discuss your travel plans.
To join your tailormade Lebanon tour, flights from London to Beirut on direct flights start from £350. Please contact us for a quotation. At busy times of year around holidays prices of course may be much more for flights.
Single Supplement from £395 per person.
In winter months alternative routes must be taken to get to the Bekaa Valley so the itinerary will be slightly different (due to weather conditions).
Airport transfers are included in the tour price.
Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?
Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.
For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
- All accommodation as per the itinerary (alternative properties can be arranged)
- Private ground air-conditioned transportation
- Services of an English-speaking guide from Day 2 to Day 8
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Entrance fees for sites as listed as part of the itinerary
- International flights
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa (usually issued on arrival)
- Tips (discretionary)