Perched at 850m above sea level in the Shouf region, the town of Al-Mokhtara is one of Lebanon’s many stunning natural gems. Its name comes from the Arabic origin of “the chosen” and “the persistent.”
For many centuries, Al-Mokhtara was an important historical town in Shouf and has preserved many of its charming traditional mansions and houses.
The town is known for its small alleyways, fertile gardens, and lovely weather perfect to visit during all four seasons.
Al-Mokhtara has a rich architectural heritage, as it is home to the Jumblatt-family Palace, which dates from the 17th century, the water mill at the foot of the Palace, the Druze Makam, which was built around the 1700s, two main Churches, as well as stone houses, and bridges.
The town is also characterized by olive terraces and the waterfalls of the source “Nabaa Merched,” and the ponds of “Berket el-Arouss,” and “Bir-el Blat.”
During August, the locals celebrate the Feast of the Assumption as they gather to enjoy the festivities and exhibit their products.
When visiting Al-Mokhtara, you will also get the chance to taste local culinary specialties, such as spicy Manakish Kechek and Manoushe Hamra.
Hikers can enjoy the fertile valleys along the Barouk River, passing by many bridges and mills, and the region’s nature that many describe as “heaven on earth,” as well as hiking from Ain Merched to Maasser el Shouf.
You can also relax and disconnect at neighboring guesthouses, including Bouyouti, a gorgeous place in the heart of Shouf.
While heading to Mokhtara, you can always visit the stunning Shouf Cedars Nature Reserve, which is featured by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve, the “Ain wa Zein,” and the villages of Beiteddine, Deir el Qamar, Baadarane, and Ain Zhalta!