“IT IS THE SWEET, SIMPLE THINGS OF LIFE WHICH ARE THE REAL ONES AFTER ALL.”-LAURA INGALLS WILDER
Imagine yourself in an olive grove on a hill by the Mediterranean, the same grove that our great grandfathers cultivated hundreds of years before us. Imagine strolling down a cedar grove that has stood in defiance for thousands of years beside snow-capped mountains, and stopping on the way by a 900-year-old monastery tucked in a cliff away from invaders. And how about uncorking a bottle of wine from the same cellars the Romans used to age their noble wines and enjoying it with Lebanon’s incredibly delicious mezza or walking the cobblestoned streets of Byblos, one of the oldest cities in the world where the Phoenicians sailed their ships throughout the Mediterranean basin. If that captures your inner peace, look no further than the experiences of Roots.
Olive Harvest is proud to bring you the authentic experiences of “Roots”, where agri-tourism, history and heritage meet. In November 2017, Roots launched its first agri-tourism trip to Lebanon. Participants were able to take part in agricultural experiences that have existed and sustained families for thousands of years. As a Roots guest, you will be able to witness and take part in agricultural practices such as olive harvesting and the making of liquid gold (olive oil), olive oil soap, arak (Lebanon’s famous liquor), pomegranate molasses and flower waters, just to name a few. In addition, you will be feasting on Lebanon’s authentic dishes, and visiting several historical and tourist sites.
This is a fully guided seven-day tour. Prices will cover everything from transportation within Lebanon, accommodations at Roots Bed and Breakfast in Koura, fee entrances to all sites, and all meals including fine dining and wine.
Space is limited to 10 people only, so please sign up early. This program is created and conducted by Chafic Maalouf, olive grower/miller and founder of Olive Harvest LLC.
“Like anyone who follows the news I find it’s impossible to ignore what is going on these days in the Middle East. But I have a particular take on those events now. You see I spent an incredible 8 days in Lebanon last fall as a guest of Chafic. My business partner John from Rosemont Market in Portland, Maine and I along with our wives and four other intrepid travelers were treated to one of the best cultural and food-based experiences of our lives.
We stayed with Chafic and his sister Leila in their family’s stunning home an hour (or two depending on the day) north and inland from Beirut. The place is gorgeous and comfortable with a grand panorama of the high mountains from the wide, marble porches. We ate delicious breakfasts there before heading out on the road to see the olive groves, picked olives, pressed olive oil, walked in quince orchards, swam in the Sea, went to monasteries, churches, saw Khalil Gibran’s abode, ate at amazing restaurants all the while accompanied by Chafic’s knowledge and good cheer. There were more surprises as well, and I’m sure Chafic will spring them on the next group he recruits.
I could go on…this trip was amazing. I will get back there with Chafic again I am sure. It impressed me deeply. For anyone interested in joining him on a tour I cannot recommend it more highly. You know even the little stuff was easy to get used to- the coffee was ready as soon as you get up, the beds were comfortable, if you want to go to bed early you can. The whole trip was super relaxed as well as constantly interesting. For me it was life changing.
I encourage you if you are curious to give this trip a try, you won’t regret it. Lebanon is a remarkable place- now if I could just learn some Lebanese Arabic…”
-Scott Anderson, Portland, ME
“Our visit to Lebanon with Olive Harvest was an experience beyond compare. From our first dinner in a Beirut restaurant, to harvesting olives and touring ancient wine cellars we were introduced to the food, history, wine, music, friends and family of this amazing country. Warmly embraced wherever we went, we were able to get to know Lebanon in a way one only can when seeing it through the eyes of someone with deep roots and a sincere love for the land. A trip we will never forget!”
-Michelle Lord, Cambridge, MA
“The Olive Harvest trip to Lebanon is not to be missed by anyone — if you are a hesitant traveler you will be instantly at ease by the hospitality and kindness of not just the hosts, but the entire country. If you are a savvy traveler, your expectations will be exceeded. Why? Because you don’t have to think about anything (for once, right?)! Unlike most trips to unique places, where no matter what you do you are always an observer, Chafic has developed a tour that not only takes care of every detail, but puts you on the inside looking out. You really feel and understand Lebanese culture in a way that will change your perception of this part of the world forever.
Of course, I could go on and on about the village of Kfarhazir and the region of Koura, the B&B, the food, the day at the olive groves, producing our own olive oil, a picnic on the farm, the food, amazing wineries, artisan soap makers, the Cedar groves, Byblos, Beirut (did I mention the food?) and so much more. However, I don’t want to spoil all the wonderful surprises in store for you”
-Tracy Jean-Chronberg, Cambridge, MA