Overlooking a small harbour north of Beirut, Tabarja is an ancient village on Lebanon’s Mediterranean coastline. It’s from here that Saint Paul is said to have departed on one of his missionary trips to Europe in the 1st century AD. Today, Tabarja is a popular resort destination with a lively fishing port.
Things to do in Tabarja
Tabarja is fringed by a string of sandy beaches where you can sunbathe and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. Relax on Safra Beach north of town or head south to Tamary Beach, which is backed by a handful of eateries. If you want to venture below the water’s surface, you can join the team at Scuba Diver Lovers Lebanon, which offers both courses and fun dives.
You can take a step back in time while exploring the Old Souk of Ghazir, which lies a short drive inland from Tabarja. Ghazir flourished between the 17th and 19th centuries as a hub for silk production and is home to more than 10 historic churches. Stores selling textiles and local handicrafts can be found in its winding lanes, which open out into lively squares.
If you continue driving inland, you’ll arrive at the Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve, which lies on the western slopes of Mount Lebanon. Sprawling across 6,500 hectares, it encompasses the “Mount of Moses” and its seven villages, as well as an exceptionally rich biodiversity. It’s a particularly impressive birdwatching destination and is dotted with ruins dating back to Phoenician times.
Getting around Tabarja
Tabarja is around 30 minutes’ drive from Beirut and 35 minutes from Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, which has flights to destinations across the globe. Renting a car is the most convenient way of getting to Tabarja and the town is small enough to explore on foot.