Located on the foothills of Mount Barouk, my hometown “Kherbet Qanafar” is a spectacular town in West-Bekaa. Boasting splendid scenery and a whole host of activities, this destination is perfect for adventure seekers. I’ve previously worked with Lebanon Traveler magazine on this mini-guide, I’m re-sharing this updated version with more insights and places.
The town was previously known as “Beit Qanafar”. Qanafar in Syriac means “The Fruit Seller” and the town is still famous for its fruit production. “Beit Qanafar” was totally destroyed (probably during the devastating 1759 earthquake) and the name became “Kherbet Qanafar” since then.
The Old Oak Tree
The town is perhaps most famous for its old Oak tree, which is depicted in Kherbet Qanafar’s logo. Believed to be more than 1,000 years old, the tree is surrounded by a public garden, where visitors and locals can sit and admire its majestic beauty.
“Kherbet Qanafar” is also known for its wonderful wineries. Some like Umami and Terre Joie are situated at the lower part of the mountain , whereas Chateau Qanafar can be found at the highest altitude of 1100 meters.
“Kherbet Qanafar” is famous for its pretty hiking trails in the mountain and the valley. The trails in the valley range from hybrid to easy. Those in the mountain, on the other hand, are more difficult but worth the walk. While hiking in the mountain, you will pass by springs, Roman ruins and caves where the Romans used to bury their dead. Kherbet Qanafar Promenade organize great weekly hikes. The walks, mostly moderate in level, start at 8:30 AM, with an average duration of two to three hours. A Lebanese breakfast featuring local products is then served in an authentic setup.
“Kherbet Qanafar” is the birthplace of “Adī Bin Musafir” (1073 – 1162) who renewed the Yazīdī sect and who’s considered the national Yazīdī Saint.
Where to eat
Tante Nawal (+961 8 645331) is known for the best Saj. Alternatively, Le2meh w Rif offers delicious local Lebanese food. Centro Cafe, Uncle Toni and Rabih’s are local snacks with great food quality.
Where to sleep
You can spend the night at Chez Pierre Chalet (+961 3 661554) or West Bekaa Country Club (temporarily closed) inside the town. For something a little more traditional, Khraizat Hotel provides comfortable lodging and the new chalets at Villa Isabella are just 5 minutes away.