Saturday, September 24, 2016

MY Favourite Beaches in North Lebanon

Driving back to Tripoli from Beirut on weekends, I alwaYs notice how beautiful the coastline gets as I near home, and how it especiallY calls out to me right after I exit the tunnel in Chekka and drive further North. When You take a closer look along that coast, You’ll see that it’s lined with a haven of special spots for sea lovers of all kinds. This summer, I made it a point to visit as manY of those different beach spots as I could, and with a little help from Instagram, I ended up discovering places that made me fall even more in love with mY North!

Let’s start with Batroun, a citY just before the infamous tunnel leading North. It’s home to Pierre and Friends, which also doubles as a pub and restaurant. I've known the place for a good ten Years now, ever since high school, and what I love most about it is its verY laid-back and chill atmosphere. But mY favourite reason to love it, are it's incredible sunsets, behold:

Not too far down that coast, is another gem of a spot: White Beach. Like P&F, it's also got a pebblY shore but the water is cool and it's got a mini rockY island in the middle of the sea with a Lebanese Flag proudlY poled to it. White Beach is also a surf school, and You can alwaYs catch windsurfers in the waters. 

Kfaraabida (the area between Batroun & Chekka) is trulY one of the best locations I got to discover this summer, especiallY after the #SaveKfaraabida Campaign, that was launched to raise awareness about the recent project that aims to turn the area into a private Yacht Club. But for me to describe to You how incredible the area is in just words, I’d be doing it no justice... 

One of MY favourite spots there is Joining Beach. And to be honest, if I hadn't come across a few pictures of it on Instagram and known where to look, I'd have missed it completelY! All You can see from the road is a sign that reads "Joining" in Arabic. And even standing from the edge, You'd never have thought it to be an actual beach spot. It's 100% comprised of rocks, most of which is downwards slanting, not a verY comfortable place to laY down and tan (though a lot of people do) but the reason I loved it was because of everYthing that was underneath those rocks! It's also a great spot for cliff diving, and once You're under that water, You'll see an entirelY different world down there!

But if You want to swim awaY from all the rocks and pebbled beaches, then You've got to take that tunnel in Chekka and You'll end up in El-Herri. And here's a little secret: If You're willing to make a little detour on Your waY, if You take Your first exit after the tunnel and head up, You'll end up at the monasterY of Our LadY of Light (SaYdet El Nourieh) where You can catch a breathtaking view of the sea from up above:

Of course You've got the most famous in the area: Florida Beach, but You've also got an endless collection of smaller beaches that include BennY Beach, SandY Beach, and mY personal favourite: MiraLand. I love the latter because of its huge sandY shore. It's also one of mY favourite spots to rent a paddle-board (haské) and row it out to the sea. The water is usuallY calm and just knowing that a holY place rests in the cliff above You gives You a magical kind of feeling...

After Chekka comes a little area known as Anfeh. And boY has it ever grown in popularitY this summer! You’ve got the most well-known beach resort in the area, Las Salinas, and the slightlY less popular, Marina Del Sol. But right adjacent to those two, is the now-popular Ta7t El Ri7, which is comprised of a collection of private chalets on a rockY cliff that is open to the public. The location has been painted in white and blue, reflecting Santorini-like vibes and nicknamed Anforini. All You’ve got to do is dive in! 

FinallY, it's back to mY hometown, Tripoli. If You want to talk beach resorts in the area, You’ve got the big three: Palma, Naji, & Miramar (in Kalamoun). Each resort has got it’s own charm, and nice beaches (& pools) to swim in. 

But if You reallY want the best beach experience ever, take a boat (for as little as LBP 5,000) from Mina's Port out to Rabbits Island!

El Mina is home to nine islands, four of which have been declared as nature reserves, the most popular of which is Palm Island (better known as Rabbits Island). It’s the second largest of the islands with a beautiful sandY shore and crYstal clear blue waters. 

You’ll want to make a full daY trip out of this one. You’ll need to pack some snacks and drinks to take with You as there's no food on the islands, and an umbrella for shade if You need one. Nothing beats a breakfast here (preferablY a man2ouché):

While I've listed some of mY favourite Beaches in North Lebanon, I'm sure there are still a lot of more secret spots to discover! If You'd like to share, please leave a comment!

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