4. CRAFT-INSPIRED GETAWAY
A mountain village 24km north of Beirut, Beit Chabab has retained its traditional crafts of pottery, bell making and fabric into the modern age. The only bell foundry in Lebanon, the craftsmen of the village cast the half-ton bronze bells in a single mold. The pottery workshop turns out a selection of pottery ware including huge storage jars traditionally used for storing olive oil, preserving meat or ageing arak. The national textile known as Dima, is the country’s oldest and most famous fabric industry that used to supply the local market and be exported.
Stay in Ain Aar at the (04 914442) or in Beit Chabab itself, where you can take a basic dormitory at (04 980882.) For full comfort lovers, many hotels are available in the nearby Bikfaya and Naas areas.
EAT Qediss Mariapolis Center
St. Peter and Paul Convent
In Beit Chabab taste the famous fatayer
(04 980890, 71 184743) or at Lebanese lunch on one of the terraces of in nearby Naas.
filled with tomatoes and herbs at
(70 284265.) Eat a traditional (04 980979) or (04 983549)
Al Salam Bakery
Stroll through Beit Chabab, passing along narrow streets and old stairs ( including the one featured in 1967 film “Safar Barlik” starring Lebanese singer Fairouz.) Visit craft workshops: pottery by Fawzi Fakhoury and bell making by the Naffaa and Haddad families. Also stop by the oldest church, Our Lady of the Forest, built in 1761. Local guide
(71 876398) can take you on a tour around the village.