The Lebanese town of Bkassine was named one of the best tourist villages in the world by the World Tourism Organization

The Lebanese town of Bkassine was named one of the best tourist villages in the world by the World Tourism Organization
The Lebanese town of Bkassine was named one of the best tourist villages in the world by the World Tourism Organization

The Ministry of Tourism announced in a statement that the Lebanese town of “Bkassine” won, as one of the best tourist villages in the world, in the first edition of the initiative on the occasion of the 24th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid – Spain. More than 170 villages in 75 countries.

The Ministry considered this important achievement a clear evidence of the value of Bkasin, as it is an outstanding example of a rural tourist destination with recognized natural and cultural origins, that has preserved and enhanced societal values ​​and lifestyles, and has a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental.

The ministry attached its statement with a detailed definition of the town, which stated:

There have been many interpretations about its name, and it remains likely that it is a compound Phoenician name of two parts: “Baka” which means country, and “Sin” meaning the sun.

This dreamy town where beauty, gentleness and serenity embrace, characterized by its calm nature and moderate climate, and adorned with the evergreen of its pines and olives, is considered one of the picturesque southern Lebanese villages.

Bkassin is 70 kilometers from the capital, Beirut, and its average height is eighty meters above sea level.

It contains in its soil the largest and finest pine forest in the Middle East with an area of ​​200 hectares, making it a prominent landmark in ecotourism, and it was declared a protected forest by the Ministry of Environment in 1996.

The pine forest is one of the most important features of the village, which attracts tourists to it, and plays an important role in the rural economy and provides high economic opportunities through pine harvesting. The forest contains a rich biological diversity of aromatic and medicinal plants.

Bkasin’s landmarks are distributed among the heritage houses that are covered with the finest tiles, and the old bridges dating back to the Ottoman era. The National Heritage Foundation awarded it the Appreciation Award for Heritage Achievements in the year 2002.

The magnificent Church of St. Thecla, built since the early part of the last century, remains a palpable symbol in the architectural heritage that distinguishes two cassettes. The Ministry of Culture has included it in the general inventory of historical buildings since 1997. The annual festival is held in its courtyard, which is organized in September, and a site has been reserved for it. On the map of Lebanese festivals, it has become, over the years, an unmissable event with many artistic, cultural and religious activities, attracting more than 20,000 visitors every year.

Nearby, the visitor discovers a series of contrasts, from barren mountains to luxuriant valleys watered by waterfalls, scenes change rapidly from pine-covered hills to rocky landscapes, to fertile plains planted with olives.

Bkassine, the endless paradise of pines, grabbed the headlines after being named “The Lebanese’s Favorite Village” in the third season (in 2018) of the annual competition organized by L’Orient-Le Jour in partnership with Fransabank.

It is also a paradise of discovery, with its water tunnels and walking paths after the construction of an alternate trail that connects Bkassine to the Lebanese mountain trail, without forgetting, of course, the cycling enthusiasts who can practice their sports in the Bait Al Ghaba eco-tourism complex within the pine forest.

The Association of “The Most Beautiful Towns of Lebanon” ranked it in 2019 among “Lebanon’s most beautiful towns” at the rank of three oaks due to its exceptional environmental features and exemplary rural character at the national level.

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