10 Things You Must Do In Southern Lebanon!

Southern Lebanon gathers history, culture, and nature. There are many breathtaking sites you need to explore and delicious food you need to taste there!

Go biking in Bkassine Pine Forest

Bkassine Pine Forest is a famous destination for hikers and adventure lovers. It is the biggest pine forest in Lebanon. Bkassine is the home of old bridges, heritage houses, and natural wonders.

Explore Sidon’s beautiful Sea Castle

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Saida, or Sidon, is one of the oldest cities in Lebanon. It is one of the Phoenician cities and towns that have been continuously inhabited ever since they have been established in the ancient times!

The Crusaders built Sidon’s Sea Castle in the thirteenth century. It is located on a small island connected to the mainland.

Step back in time by visiting the Debbane Palace

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I Will Survive. You will forgive the Palais Debbane if it looks a little frayed. We weren’t seeing it at it’s best. With the exception of this lower floor liwan, the rest of the house was empty, floors covered in plastic sheeting, furnishings in storage and a layer of dust on everything. For although she’s still looking snappy (especially for a 300 year-old) like any stately lady, this one has been through the wars. In this case, literally. In the hands of the Debbanes for the better part of the last 220 years, the palace was (of course), squatted by militias and refugees during the war and while these illicit lodgers were not always as careful as they might have been – clogging drains, remodelling rooms and well, generally doing things in places where they weren’t meant to be done (like lighting fires under painted wooden ceilings) – she can count herself fortunate that she exists at all. Almost a quarter of Sidon’s multi-millennial city, a golden sandstone warren of narrow alleys, graceful archways, hidden courtyards and cryptic staircases, not a few of which apparently lead to very dead ends, was flattened in 1982 during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Ironically, amongst the casualties was at least one of the city’s oldest synagogues. Note the plural, here, for Sidon’s Jewish community has (or rather had, as it effectively ceased to exist during the civil war) a long and very rich history. The oldest synagogue (which is still inhabited by refugees) dates back to the 9th Century and sits on the remains of a smaller one that may have been built by Jews fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome around 70AD. The community itself traces its origins back to around 1000BC. Originally known as the Hammoud Palace, after the North African Ottoman notable who had it built, when the palace came into being, Sidon was one of the most important cities along the eastern Mediterranean, as it had been for almost 5000 years. Then, its foreign visitors were pilgrims and traders, some from as far afield as central Asia and northern Europe. Today, it still attracts outsiders in the form of tourists, drawn by the charms built by the wealth of the past.

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Located in Sidon, this palace was built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Ottoman Hammoud family of Moroccan origins. Youssef Debbané bought the palace in 1800 and restored it.

Enjoy Marjeyoun’s old Lebanese houses

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The charming old, abandoned, and restored Lebanese houses add magic to Marjeyoun. 

Learn more about the Phoenician culture by exploring the Temple of Eshmun

Built in the 7th century BC, this temple is dedicated to Eshmun which is the Phoenician god of healing and renewal of life. 

The Sidonian king Eshmunazar II constructed the temple to celebrate the city’s recovered wealth. For more about the Temple and its history, visit here.

Enjoy a mesmerizing view from the Beaufort Castle

Beaufort Castle, or Qalaat Al Shaqif, is a Crusader fortress in Nabatieh. It is strategically located on a hill that overlooks the Litani River and offers a view of Southern Lebanon and Northern Palestine. 

The castle’s strategic location made it a ground for many battles throughout its history. Visit here to know more about Beaufort Castle!

Try the specialties of Sidon

This city is famous for its unique street food culture. While you’re there, make sure to try delicacies such as halewet el rez, malban, mjamar, sanioura, and mfat2a!

Take a dip in Tyre

The beaches in South Lebanon are among the best!

Take a stroll in the old souk of Saida

The Old Souk of Saida is a beautiful maze of alleys where shops display handmade products and traditional artifacts!

Enjoy Tyre’s colorful alleys

These colors bring the ancient city back to life!

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