Didn’t I say that I’d be back to Byblos one more time this trip? This time around, it was to visit the old Souk. Although it’s right next to the pier, we skipped it on our last trip. Yesterday though, we dedicated a whole afternoon to stroll around the old Souk and enjoyed it.
Tucked under historic arches, in ancient stone houses are dozens of little shops. With wooden doors wide open, welcoming you in to browse and buy antiques, souvenirs and more. There’s even a small shop selling fossils discovered right there in Byblos.
My favorite shop though is a little spice shop. You can find it right in the middle of the lower part of the Souk. You can’t miss it, the aroma will indicate you’re on the right track.
Big baskets of dried flowers and herbs neatly arranged outside decorate the entrance of the shop. Inside, you’ll find all the spices of Lebanese cuisine and more. All fresh and of high quality, it’s a food lover’s heaven! If you’re not sensitive to strong smells, just go inside and take a sniff. The air smells of a mix of ancient stones and spices… It’s really hard to describe. Some might find it overwhelming, others, like me, will love it!
The old cobblestone path of the Souk will lead your way to the Phoenician ruins. Standing tall in the middle of the souk, the ruins are a small reminder of how ancient this city is. Byblos is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and wherever you look you’re constantly reminded of its rich history. You can also stop by St. John-Mark church dating back to the Crusades.
In between the shops, there are some restaurants, cafes and bars. Make sure to stop a cafe for a traditional cup of coffee before heading back home. At night when the shops are closed, the bars take over the place and set up outdoors for a night of fun. Can you imagine partying in a historic souk?… Well, it’s something you’ll have to experience yourself!