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Heather Jaber 05 Jun 2015

Here’s Your Beirut Summer Bucket List

The bucket list. While the term refers to things you should do before you metaphorically “kick the bucket,” let’s not talk about death today. Let’s talk about how to make the summer of 2015 one to remember. Beach parties and clubbing events are part of the usual summer routine, but there is a wealth of other kinds of things you might want to do before summer’s end.

1. Go camping on a river

(Image via Tumblr)

Nahr Ibrahim offers one of the most beautiful camping experiences in Lebanon. The vibrant green-blue river leads to a picturesque waterfall, with places to set up camp alongside the riverbank. If you’re not the type to pitch a tent yourself, try sleeping in a tree in the EcoVillage in Dmit. Check out Waves of Energy, a camping festival involving a variety of outdoor activities like dancing, hiking, and yoga.

Dmit Valley, Shouf, Beit Eddine
Mob.: +9613211463

2. Visit a beer brewery

(Image via Facebook)

There’s nothing better than a nice cold beer on a hot summer day. Colonel Beer has a great microbrewery in Batroun where you can learn how the beer is brewed inside, and lounge in the green, grassy outdoor area that’s perfect day or night. It’s also dog friendly, so bring your pups. Look out for music and barbecue events onsite this summer, like The Shoreline Sessions on June 13th. Tip: order the Red Irish. Its caramel malt brew and red-gold glow make it an instant favorite.

Colonel Beer Brewery
Next to Aqualand, Batroun
Tel.: +9613743543

3. Have a BBQ

Whether it’s on your porch, roof, on a river, or an organized event, a barbecue is quintessentially summer. Look out for weekend barbecues at the Colonel brewery, or plan your own on someone’s terrace. Nothing says summer better than the smell of grilled meat, the taste of cold beer, and a slow sunset.

4. Go wine tasting

(Image via Facebook)

You don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy the simple pleasures of a glass of wine and a beautiful view. Kefraya, Ksara, and Ixsir are three of the more popular wineries in the country. For a taste of history, visit the Ixsir winery, where a 400-year-old olive tree greets you at the entrance.

IXSIR Winery
Basbina, Batroun
Tel.: +9619210023

Chataeu Kefraya
Jeb Jannine, Bekka
Tel.: +9618645333

Chateau Ksara
Clos Saint-Alphonse, Zahleh
Tel.: +9618813495

5. Have a picnic somewhere pretty

Pack a picnic basket and get in your car. Once you’ve got some friends to tag along, head to Taanayel for lunch near a lake and forest. Another great place to go is the sinkhole in Tannourine, offering an impressive look into a three-tiered sinkhole.

6. Go on a hike

(Image via Facebook)

Better weather and more free time means having the energy to get out and active. Qurnat as Sawda is Lebanon’s highest point, offering unparalleled views of the country. Other options are Ehden, Chouwen, Chouf, and La Maison de la Foret in Jezzine.

La Maison de la Foret
Bkassine Village, Jezzine
Mob.: +96178828252

7. Lounge on the beach, but bring a book

(Image via Flickr)

Grab a good book to read so you can stay intellectually stimulated while lounging on the beach. An underrated, affordable selection of secondhand books awaits at AUBMC’s Bargain Box, open Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.

Bargain Box, AUBMC
Near the Alumni Club off Abdel Aziz Street

8. Throw some colored powder on yourself

(Image via Facebook)

This year, the Holi Festival of Colours is hitting Beirut. While this may or may not be your sort of thing, it may be worth checking out. The festival is happening July 25 at the Praia Beach Resort in Kaslik, and promises twelve hours of continuous music and partying.

Praia Beach Resort
Zouk Mosbeh
Contact: Mindwhisk Events
Tel.: +9611956339

9. Do some yoga outdoors

(Image via Tumblr)

This one has always been on my “things to do before I die” list, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. With a more laid-back summer attitude comes the perfect opportunity to take up some yoga classes. There are outdoor sessions every Sunday until August at Saframarine Beach Resort with Olga, and Art of Living is hosting a session at Sporting Club on June 15, so keep your eyes open for similar outdoor experiences. Take advantage of the Lebanon’s coastal nature and practice alone or with a friend near the water.

Cimer Safra Marine Beach Resort
Sea Side Rode, Safra
Tel.: +9619852758

Sporting Club
Chouran Street, El-Manara
Tel.: +9611742481

10. Check out Beiteddine Art Festival

(Image via beiteddine.org)

One of Lebanon’s most iconic festivals is turning 30 this year. The Beiteddine Art Festival, held this year from July to September, is hosting 5,500 performers at Beiteddine Palace. Among them is legendary artist Marcel Khalife, as well as Rebecca Ferguson crooning some Billie Holiday hits. Another gem this year is an exhibition of Khalil Gibran’s paintings and manuscripts.

Beiteddine Palace
Chouf Mountains, Beit Al Dine, Chouf
Tel.: +9615500077

11. Go to the Byblos Festival

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Whatever your musical preference, chances are you’ll find something to sing along to at the annual Byblos International Music Festival, featuring headliners like The Script, Alt-J, and John Legend. Another act to catch is Hiba Tawaji, who recently gained fame for her appearance on France’s The Voice.

Unesco Square, Jbeil
Tel.: +9619542020

12. Match some dreams

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Summertime means having a little more time to think about your goals and dreams. It means a break from the daily grind, and getting a little more inspired. Alt City hosts dream-matching events where you can connect with people who can help make your dreams a little more accessible. Want to learn French, meet a sports idol, or start your dream business? This might be a good place to stop by.

AltCity Media
Cinema Montreal, Carré Building, Hamra
Tel.: +9611742582

13. Escape the room

(Image via Facebook)

While this is not exclusively a summer activity, it is still one of the more unique options on the list. If you feel like being indoors for a change, head to Gemmayzeh and get locked into Lebanon’s first live escape game. Get some of your more intelligent friends together and try to make it out by solving puzzles in the shortest amount of time possible.

14. Step inside the dome

(Image via Facebook)

Here’s your chance to take a little trip through the stars. The Cosmic Dome is new to Lebanon, and uses 360–degree virtual projections to bring the solar system down to earth. The planetarium hosts shows targeted to the general audience, as well as shows for kids.

The Cosmic Dome
Hamra-Clemenceau, Beirut
Cell: +96170014614