Besides the beauty of a Mediterranean coastal town, the UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a walk through 7,000 years of history deeply embedded in the city’s stones and walls. If you’re looking to enjoy the best of Byblos, read on for some of the must-see sites of this magical city.
Walk in the old souks
From cobblestone flowery streets passing by old entrance gates and side ruins, to local restaurants, picturesque cafes, and souvenir artisanal shops, the old souks of Byblos are a sweet reminder of Lebanon’s past still resonating within the walls of what has become today a thriving modern city.
Visit the Crusader Castle
A tour in Byblos will show you that the Crusader era has left a considerable mark on the city, mainly through its castle built in the 12th century from limestone and Roman structures. Whether guided or not, a tour inside the castle is supported by explanatory panels, not to mention breathtaking panoramic views from its rooftop overlooking Roman, Egyptian, and Phoenician structures, and Byblos’ most iconic and photographed house.
Photo: Aurélie Falco
See the Roman temple and theatre
Further evidence of the city’s antiquity is the 3rd-century Roman theatre reconstructed by the sea cliff in 1930, facing nine vertical royal tombs, and great sea views – no doubt a monumental testimony of time.
Discover century-old churches
The Crusaders’ imprint on the city manifests also through churches scattered around the old city, the most impressive of which is the Church of St. John the Baptist. With construction work that spanned over centuries, the church’s design reflects the combined influence of the Crusader, Roman, and Byzantine eras.
Stay at Beit Faris wa Lucia
Why not make a weekend out of your escape and experience the magical charm of one of Byblos’ old authentic houses. Named after the owner’s grandparents, Beit Faris wa Lucia is L’Hote Libanais’ latest family member and an invitation to get immersed in the old soul of the city through traditional architecture and a family’s heart-warming hospitality.
Dive in the world of fossils
Somewhere on the cobblestone street that leads to the port, you can find the Byblos Fossil Museum. Run by a passionate family who has been collecting fossils for generations, the museum shows a fascination selection of fish, sharks, eels, shrimps, squids, rays, and other local sea life.
Built upon layers of ruins, Byblos’ port was once the busiest trading centre of the Mediterranean and the origin of our modern alphabet.
Enjoy the best sunset from the old harbour
You can’t leave Byblos without visiting its ancient port, the gateway of the Phoenicians to the world. Built upon layers of ruins, the port was once the busiest trading centre of the Mediterranean and the origin of our modern alphabet. Ponder on that marvelling history while enjoying the sun setting on the harbour.
Photo: Šárka Babická
Take a boat ride
Top off your day with renting a boat from the port and enjoying a different perspective of Byblos from the heart of the sea.
Enjoy the fresh taste of fish
A wide choice of restaurants in the souks or by the port offer the taste of the sea with never a dull backdrop, such as “Al Baher”, “Al Feniqi”, “Beib el Mina”, or “Byblos sur Mer”. Fans of international or fusion cuisine can also indulge themselves in restaurants like “La Locanda”, or the Mexican “El Molino”.
Escape to nature
Complete your stay with the perfect nature escape, only 8km away from Byblos. The Bentael Nature Reserve is the first protected area in the region, offering a rich biodiversity and cultural heritage amidst a dense pine forest, making the ideal city break.
Cover photo: Emmanuel Campos. · Visit Notes of a Traveler, Krystel Riachi’s blog.