Why Lebanon Should Be On Your Bucket List‬‬

A native of Lebanon shares what she loves about her home country -- and what you might like about it too.

Travel in Lebanon - travel in West Beqaa
The author enjoys heading to West Beqaa to have Mezza lunch with a refreshing Lebanese beer. Photo courtesy Paula Naoufal

Transportation Mode

For those looking for a way to save money, there exists a system (which was one of the first in the world to apply carpooling service) where you can go within Beirut for 2,000 LL (just a little over a dollar). And for those who like to travel more luxuriously, there are always private taxi companies and car rental shops that offer their services to a single party.

Lebanese taxi drivers are known for being quite the conversationalist. They will chat you up on pretty much anything and that in itself has given them a great talent in reading people and situations. I once heard a story from a taxi driver telling me that his son, “a student at Oxford,” found the cure for cancer.

Sipping on some Rrsé wine by the snow at Mzaar. Photo by Rana Boukhari
Sipping on rosé wine by the snow at Mzaar. Photo by Rana Boukhari

Ski & Beach

In winter, 45 minutes away from the capital city, there are many ski resorts with slopes ranging from beginner level to expert level. You can even ski/snowboard from one piste to another off road. This easy access allowed me to be an expert skier by the age of 11. As for those who don’t know how to ski or simply don’t like it, you can always rent a snowmobile or just take some time to play in the snow. Just 20 minutes away from all that you find the beach. From the public beach at Rawshe, there are also a multitude of pools/ beach resorts that are available throughout the entire coast.

Diverse City

Architecture has long been a subject of my interest, so I can’t help but mention its aspects in Lebanon. The range goes from skyscrapers to small houses to villas. Also the presence of beautiful coastal regions as well as high altitude ones add to this diversity.

Travel in Lebanon - Eating along the Baakline river
Enjoying a quiet lunch along the Baakline River. Photo by Paula Naoufal

Home to 18 religious sects, we have two houses that we share with affection and respect: the mosque and the church. You’ll often find them right next to one another. On Friday, we listen to the sound of the mosque, and on Sunday we listen to the bell of the church. However, Lebanon doesn’t only have Muslims and Christians. It is, in fact, the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East, with 18 state recognized religious sects.

Although it has proven difficult throughout our history, we learn every day to respect one another. Despite what the media might tell you, Lebanon is not a toy in terrorists’ hands. It is not a victim. Lebanon is a unique country full of life that has always been a survivor, a fighter.

And we’d be happy to welcome you here.

Author Bio: A native of Lebanon, Paula Nawfal has visited more than 34 cities in 19 countries – and she not only seeks to expand this number, she’s also keen on sharing her experiences and newfound understanding of cultures.