The Raouché rocks, better known to tourists as the Pigeon Rocks, have seen plenty of aspiring climbers and divers attempt, and succeed, to conquer them. Red Bull Lebanon decided it was time to raise the bar and conquer the Rocks in an even more challenging way.
Young extreme sports professional Alex Mason was set a test by world slacklining expert Andy Lewis: to cross a highline 40m above the sea, between the two rocks, and back.
While Mason has tackled some difficult slacklines before, his biggest challenge in Beirut was keeping his concentration – between the wind, the waves, the passing boats, and loud construction work from the shore, he had his work cut out for him.
It’s going to be more of a psychological challenge for me at this point, the big obstacle for me on this project is going to be getting over my fear of exposure… – Alex Mason
To see if he managed or not, watch the video below!
If you’re interested in seeing more slacklining and extreme sports, check out the Red Bull Middle East website or on Facebook.
Great service, tasty food, and an amazing view. What more could you ask for? Getting there early in the morning, taking a bite out of one of the best Pain au Chocolats available in Lebanon, and being served freshly brewed coffee is a must try. Bar Tartine provides its customers with a mouthwatering menu of excellent food and patisseries. With its refreshing, yet cozy ambiance, and its chill mood, Bar Tartine is our go-to restaurant for enjoying a delectable dish with an even better view.
Located in Ashrafieh, Breakfast Bar is a great place with a great idea. With its tangible healthy menu, it is definitely a must visit for enjoying a variety of delicious healthy food. The most enjoyable part is its overlooking balcony of a small street in Achrafieh and a welcoming sign saying, “We serve health, brunch et un petit café”, you feel welcomed and at home the moment you step inside it. Despite being a bit noisy inside, you will enjoy your breakfast with the tasty food, and the attentive service of its staff.
Breakfast Barn Facebook Page
In the heart of Hamra main street, you will find this lovely café. Café Hamra is your go-to when laziness overcomes you on a Sunday morning. Providing its customers with both indoor and outdoor seatings with homey decor , you’ll have an enjoyable time no matter what your choice of food might be. With a breakfast menu filled with a variety of local Lebanese food and authentic tasty coffee, your taste buds are bound to enjoy every bite.
Café Hamra Facebook Page
Treat your tastebuds to a morning breakfast at Gordon’s Café in Le Gray Hotel. Located in the heart of the Downtown District, Gordon’s Café is ready to serve you with strong blends of tasty, flavourful coffee, and an even tastier breakfast. This restaurant’s selection of freshly baked bread and tasty mini pastries is bound to win over you in a heart beat. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a cup of coffee, or just a large pot of white tea, this is the place to go to gratify your cravings. We love its wide selection of breakfast meals, coffee, and tea.
Gordon’s Café Facebook Page
Serving great home Lebanese food at a reasonable price, Em Nazih is our go-to traditional place, where European thinking meets Middle Eastern cuisine. Surrounded by both locals and foreigners looking to savour their breakfast menu, you’re sure to enjoy a full on Lebanese welcome. From the platters to the atmosphere, this is the place to visit to have the ultimate Lebanese stomach-filling experience. A much-loved café with its simple traditional Lebanese food, and an authentic place with an authentic taste.
Café Em Nazih Facebook Page
Whether you’re a local, or just visiting, you have to give this place a try. Café Younes is somewhat considered the Lebanese Starbucks, with its roastery of freshly grounded coffee at your selection. Furnished with a genuine warm and delightful ambience, as a customer, you will enjoy the stories about the family and Beirut’s history of 75 years. In addition to their breakfast menu brimming with luscious maple syrup-ed up pancakes, bagels, and their signature “Sunny Side-up Eggs”, a coffee is a must-have at Café Younes. Their menu is filled with a variety of some of the richest coffees, with choice of Espresso-based, House Specials, a French Press menu, and more, you will certainly enjoy having a taste of their sophisticated coffee. Coffee isn’t all they have to offer, however; the café also presents a fair selection of loose-leaf teas from Awan Tea.
Café Younes Facebook Page
With the beginning of the olive tree season, this event will take you to a place filled a mesmerizing and beautiful scenery of Batroun’s Olive Trees.
Date: Sunday 15 October
Time: 10am – 4pm
Location: La Maison du Maquis, Ebrine, Batroûn
From Danniyeh’s renovated “Zahlan Grotto” with its Indiana Jones Bridge, to its breathtaking “Qasr El-Ahlam” in Bakhoun, beauty seekers, this one is for you.
Time: 7am – 8pm
Location: Miniyeh, Danniyeh District
If you’re a Nightmare Before Christmas fan and have a crafty hand for making dolls, then Joon on the Moon has the perfect event for you to attend this October.
Date: Tuesday 17 October
Time: 6pm – 10pm
Location: Joon on the Moon, Achrafieh
This one is for all the beer lovers out there. Oktoberfest is coming to Cantina this October. Bring your friends and stomach and enjoy their tasty beer and barbecued sausages!
Date: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October
Time: Starting 7pm
Location: Cantina Sociale, Independence Street, Ashrafieh
The Orionid meteor shower is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. BeirutVersus presents an observation night for all the family to enjoy.
Date: Friday 20 October
Time: Starting 8pm – 11:30pm
Location: Kfardebian, Mont Lebanon
This one is for all the fashion fanatics out there – a fashion show collection of 2017-2018 Haute Couture bridals and evening dresses.
Date: Saturday 28 October
Time: Starting at 7:30pm
Location: Forum de Beyrouth, Charles Relou Avenue, Beirut
When I think of wine, particularly fine wine, my first thought is of sipping a cold glass of Cote du Rhone on the Champs-Elysees, or an elegant Chianti in Tuscany, mulling its fruity taste and enjoying its robust bitter finish while I gaze at sprawling vineyards and contemplate life’s bigger questions. But therein lies the problem: I am not a wine drinker, nor have I earned the experience and knowledge to deem myself worthy of understanding or analyzing the sophisticated spirit. My immediate thoughts of wine are spawns of preconceived notions conditioned by the mainstream culture of what wine is. What online survey or cultural magazine does not include places such as Central Italy, Paris, Spain, and Argentina on the top of their lists? And rightfully so, these places have earned their legitimacy as the top growers and sellers, and their vineyards and products speak for themselves; however, I cannot deny that I, like many others who sip their wine rather than chug only because etiquette demands it and not because of an educated sense, have fallen victim to the favorable consensus and forgotten the small finesses that other, lesser-known wineries may possess.
The same can be true about wine culture in Lebanon. Local giants such as Ksara, Kefraya, and Musar have transcended anonymity and have become some of the country’s biggest exports to the Gulf and even the West, forsaking the people’s need to dig deeper and explore and instead settling us down with the popular and familiar.
This is not to discredit these brands. Their fame and reputation are more than justified, and we are proud to have them. But like in any competitive business, the underdog must be sought out and acknowledged.
And so, in seeking out these answers, my girlfriend and I decided to take a trip to wine country, both for romantic and educational purposes.
We ventured northeast off the coast, to the small towns of Edde and Smar Jbeil in Batroun District and cruised along the beautiful road that leads up to the churches of Saint Rafka and Saint Hardini. We stopped at all the local wineries, all of which were closed, including the popular IXSIR, which was busy prepping a wedding ceremony. Feeling defeated, we made one last attempt and stopped at Clos du Phoenix, a small winery situated by the main road.
Oblivious to the inconveniencies of others and driven by youthful resilience, we knocked on the door of a house near the winery and were luckily and undeservedly greeted by a friendly old woman who introduced us to her daughter Ayda, the winery’s official guide. Ayda explained to us, the ignorants that we were, that wineries must be contacted beforehand to ensure a guide is available and that we were lucky to have found her on such a short notice. We nodded agreeably, feeling foolish at our unannounced visit and grateful for her patience and hospitality. She directed us to their humble cellar, wrought with the deep and intoxicating fragrance of fermented grapes, and gave us a step-by-step guide of the process from harvest and picking to sorting, crushing and fermentation; the white and rose grapes heaped together while the red given its own distinct process. We mounted up the ladders to the containers and stared down, mindful not to ruin the precious batch with our drool.
For the tasting, we went up a spiral of stairs to a rooftop with a lovely view and were treated to samples concocted from Marsanne, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Grenache among other varietals expertly supervised by Burgundian winemaker Yvan Jobard. Ayda recounted a story of a sommelier who was dining at a Lebanese restaurant and who ordered a glass of Syrah only to be given a glass of Ksara instead. The somm, expert that he is, tasted the difference and made a point of exposing it. Ayda, a promising somm herself, expressed the same disappointment in the mainstream but was hopeful of the expansion of the culture.
Finally, with the sun setting over the water, we were escorted out of the winery, a little tipsier and a little prouder. We thanked Ayda for her generosity as you would a family member, and that’s what the Clos du Phoenix is: a family rather than a corporation.
We left with a bottle of white Emiresse and made a vow to drink it only on occasion. The next day, it was gone.
Check out the Clos Du Phoenix website for more information.
Photo credit: Clos Du Phoenix Facebook page
Magic Hour; the blissful, precious, and all too brief moment that sees daylight surrendering to night in a swan song of brilliant colors that have inspired poetry, song, scripture, philosophy, religion, and all manner of romantic existentialism since the dawn of time.
While just North of the Lebanese Coast, on the docks of the beach resort Halat Sur Mer, it settles on a gem of a place called The Circle, where, just shy of 7 PM, its customers are treated to a panoramic view of an ocean at dusk and an irresistible feeling of cool and awe harmoniously meshed.
That is the unique charm of The Circle, appropriately named for its circular parameters situated at the tail of the port like a lighthouse or a beacon and supported by a pyramid-like foundation of rocks piling down into the ocean.
The restro-bar reached its heyday this summer, but in fact, it has been around for many years, known only by the summer residents of Halat Sur Mer as a small, albeit unfurnished resting place for boat owners and locals to enjoy a quick afternoon drink before the day’s final stretch.
Enter Wissam Saliba, the enigmatic singer and star, who, along with owner Mike and actor/comedian Charles Hbeiliny, saw the place for the magical jewel that it is and decided to reinvent.
The result? Not long after Wissam and Charles put the word and appeal out did the people begin to amass in consistently rising numbers, coming to seek out the promise of sunsets and music and chilled cocktails.
Since its successful reopening, The Circle has paid host to concerts, birthday bashes, stand-up comedy shows, pool parties, screenings and weekend events and gradually became a stomping ground for celebrities and public figures reclining on spacious comfortable couches, basking in the warm glow of the fading sun, taking in the salty breeze of the ocean, enjoying the finest grilled dishes and wetting their whistles on some of the best cocktails on the coast.
There is a familial sense to the people and the way they interact with each other; not only in cases when they actually know each other but also because of the subtle positive undertones the whole environment entails, an aura of fun camaraderie present in the waiters and bartenders that even strangers can’t resist feeling a bonding kinship amongst each other. So it is in truth when they say The Circle is a labour of love.
The only misfortune or downside one might think of is that, come winter, the place shuts its doors and hibernates amidst the raging waves and stormy winds only to be re-opened and illuminated in due time for the soft breeze and gentle sun to reign supreme once again.
Everything is better with music, and live music in particular sets the soundtrack for our lives as we drink, socialize and sway, or as we make our way through the thick of the crowd and perch ourselves closest to the stage, unmindful of the excess noise, to just sit and listen and reflect with whatever band or artist is on display. The demand for live shows has become so high that bars and venues across the country have integrated them into their business strategies, and as is the odd charm in our small country, a great number of artists with mad skills have surfaced to meet the people’s needs. Here are some of the best places where you can seek them out.
Not only is Radio Beirut the quintessential host to both local and international performers, but this dimly lit shack has also long been a mecca to which legions of aspiring songwriters and hipsters flock on their pilgrimage of music and social gathering. It is credited for encouraging and promoting musicians through their Tuesday Jam Sessions, which airs live on their podcast, and where artists can play any genre ranging from Hip-Hop to electronic so long as it is their own.
Many local artists got their start at the Hole in the Wall, and some of them have since become residents to subsequently create the Hole in the Wall family; a group of local talents that often jam together and play the most beloved cover songs to a devoted following of fans and friends. True to its name, the Hole draws its charm from its good beer and close quarters, making it the go-to-place for people to huddle together and get their live music fix.
Neighbour to Radio Beirut and often regarded as its main competitor on the strip, Lockstock has its Wednesdays and Sundays reserved for their pick of the litter (most frequently Nour Nimri and Joy Fayad) for a rollicking good time and a lively audience.
Located on Amchitt’s beach front, June has quickly risen up the ranks as one of the most known harbors of live performers. They maintain a diverse selection of artists that changes on a weekly basis and often host Sunset gigs that further complement its breezy and comfortable setting.
The veteran on the scene and grandfather to all live venues, the Quadrangle opens its azure walls to hard-hitting rock and metal bands, helping to keep the rock culture alive amidst the ever-prospering pop and techno era.
Nestled in the heart of the eastern side of Mount Sannine in Metn, Zaarour Club is only 35km away from Beirut. This gated community can be easily accessed from several regions like Broumana, Bikfaya, Baskinta, Zahleh, and Aintoura. It is also near El Metn fast highway.
Zaarour Club is the perfect holiday destination all seasons long in summer and winter, offering an array of outdoor activities for snow and sun lovers alike. This secure and friendly environment offers complete amenities including a hotel, restaurants, pools suitable for children and adults, sports courts, a playground, retail spaces and much more.
This idyllic setting with its relaxing mountainous scenery and a wide choice of activities is an ideal getaway for a day, a weekend or even longer stays. A flawless retreat that embodies a true ideal of comfort and style.
The ski station, with its reconstructed north-facing slopes, enhances your sports experience. Here exceptional snow quality combines thrills and convenience. The lake, encircled by a stunning multi-purpose deck, is the ideal setting for a wealth of recreational activities as exhibitions and weddings. Dive into winter and summer leisure with dining, biking and much more.
Xtrem Paintball Lebanon is the first of its kind since September 2002, which has served countless people from various age groups and backgrounds.
Enjoy an unconventional and competitive weekend with your friends as you battle it out in a Paintball arena with different scenarios and rules. Including the always popular capture the flag.
Make sure to call in advance and reserve your spot, and ask about their packages.
Looking for an adventure?
The newly formed travel bundle starts your journey from beautiful Zaarour to Mount Sannine.
Once at Mount Sanine, you will go on an exciting and sight filled 2 hours ATV expedition followed by a delicious lunch that is accommodated. After a long day of adventure, we will stay on our allocated campground that will serve free breakfast.
The Wild Zaarour offers an experience like no other, professionally designed bungalows surrounded by a beautiful landscape and forest is sure to impress.
Some other activities at Wild Zaarour include day hikes in the beautiful scenery.
ATV rental based on 2 persons/machine
Track For Kids
Campground for an overnight stay and an amazing Lebanese breakfast.
Don’t forget to pack accordingly!
Waves is the biggest Aqua Park in Lebanon and one of the biggest in the Middle East covering an area of 60,000 square meters, situated on a pine-forested hill filling the hearts of all guests with the feel of freshness, serenity & in bond with nature that overlooks Beirut City and the Mediterranean.
Waves offer its guests a variety of water activities! The WAVE POOL which is in the heart of the waterpark that takes in 21 million letters of water, a KIDS POOL with an architectural wonder, two hills covered with 7 intertwining SLIDES falling nearly 21 meters into two pools with a length of 2KM wide, a four-lane RACER, an ISLAND POOL amidst a LAZY RIVER and much more…
Committed to serving you and your family with all your needs and ensuring their safety.
Aqua Park operates in summer
June till End of September
French restaurant and boutique hotel
There’s nothing like a hearty dinner and a glass of red wine after a long, tiring day on the slopes. Be it a cool summer’s day or a blisteringly cold winter’s night, every meal in Faqra requires an element of cosiness and warmth. For that, there’s Urban.
This new restaurant bar defines the Faqra experience; rugged yet refined, casual and homey yet purposefully elegant, Urban is a welcome contradiction. Ironically enough, it offers a quiet retreat from hectic city life with good food, a wonderful view, and small town hospitality.
Urban is the latest brainchild in the ever-growing Addmind family, the mother company behind White, Iris, and MAD. Built on rocky terrain and far away from the chaos of the city, it is the place to casually wind down after skiing, indulges in a warm meal, and enjoy a restful night’s sleep. Suitable for both family getaways and weekends with friends, Urban is far more than just another lodge added to Faqra’s repertoire.
It is first and foremost a restaurant bar and just so happens to have 8 cosy guest rooms should you get too lazy to make the winding drive back home.