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In the most underrated part of Lebanon, Akkar, Ouyoun El Samak is a beautiful venue for any nature buff. Akkar in the North has been left behind in terms of development and tourism but it’s always the perfect destination for a day trip outside the cities and into the mountains. With an artificial lake, amazing greenery and mountainous terrain, Oyoun El Samak is the perfect place for a picnic or hike. Don’t miss out on the experience Northern Lebanon has to offer.
Another severely underrated place is Palm Island off the coast of Tripoli. A known venue to locals, the island is largely uninvited by tourists despite its beautiful shore and ideal swimming position. Even the trip via small boat to the island is part of this singular experience in Lebanon. The largest of three islands, Palm Island used to be called “Rabbit” Island as it was a reserve for rabbits during the French mandate in the 20th-century. It also has a deep history with excavated evidence dating back to the Crusades and Romans. While all that history is not visible, it is still a perfect spot for a special day out.
Another site of note is the Rachid Karami International Fair Grounds. Now a public park/local event venue, this large stretch of land is anything but ordinary. Incomplete, the site includes an experimental outdoors theater, a large exhibition complex, several fountains and large stretches of green well-kept grass. What’s notable about the park is the myriad of architectural structures littered across the greenery. From a large arch to a giant dome, there is much to explore in this local treasure.
Rachid Karami International Fair Grounds, Tripoli, Lebanon +961 6 201 253
Overshadowed by Byblos, Enfeh is another under-appreciated town in Lebanon. Increasing interest and excavation around the town has shown that it has played an important role in the history of the country. Inhabited even before the Phoenician period, this coastal town has been a Phoenician shipyard, crusader fortress protected by a legendary moat and eventually a place for salt work. Its picturesque coast and beachside architecture is sure to make anyone fall in love with the place.
It seems not may places around Lebanon are free from deep history and mythology, as the country occupied a strategic location on the coast of the Mediterranean. Nahr Ibrahim (Abraham River) is no exception to the rule as it is also known as the River of Adonis. It is said that Adonis, the Greek god of love, rebirth and beauty was killed by a boar sent by Ares the God of War near this river. This is said to have turned the water light red for centuries and is the reason red buttercups grow on its banks. The reality is soil deposits from the mountains give this river its distinctive color but the beauty and the sheer romantic notion of the story are enough to draw anyone in.
All of Lebanon’s coast has been a settlement for ancient civilizations and Tyre is no different. Founded around 2750 BC, this city occupies an interesting position in Lebanon’s history as it was the center for ancient commerce. It’s been mentioned in the bible and literary texts as a symbol of great power and status. It has been damaged in ancient wars and contemporary ones but still stands strong as a beautiful city to visit.
Dubbed a “piece of heaven”, it’s easy to see why we would recommend this underrated venue. It may fade between all the spots to visit around Lebanon but it should still be an essential part of your must-visit list. A perfect place to spend the day, picnic and hike, there’s no reason not to visit Paradise Waterfalls in Baakline.