Hosts and local guides

Lina & Joseph Haddad, Kherbet Qanafar

Lina & Joseph Haddad
Lina baking her famous “kaak b haleeb”

Lina never thought that one day, she would become a food producer. After many years in kinder-garden teaching, she found herself without a job and found the answer to her income generation in the lands of her parents. Her first product ever? Mulberry syrup.  10 years now into mouneh making, Lina is well known for the quality of her products in neighbouring villages. For some, she is the “Kaak” lady, for others she is the Queen of Pumpkin Jam. For us, she is a great host, an amazing food producer but most importantly the symbol of perseverance, a woman entrepreneur who never flinch in front of life challenges, always ready for adventures and trying new things.

The colorful table at Lina's house
The colorful table at Lina’s house

At her Table d’hôte, you can enjoy a meal full of fresh ingredients collected in her garden and in her land, and with baladi products all made by her. In season, you can also participate in mouneh making, preparing tomato paste, mulberry syrup, pumpkin jam and more.  On harsh winter nights, have dinner at Lina’s house while making milk cookies (Kaak bi Haleeb) on wood fire.

At Lina's table d'hote, learn how to prepare "kaak el eid"
At Lina’s table d’hote, learn how to prepare “kaak b haleeb”

Meet her husband, Josef Haddad, and pick “Jabaliye” tomatoes with him in the green plains of Kherbet Qanafar.

Visitors making tomato paste at Lina's
Visitors making tomato paste at Lina’s
West Bekaa Villages

Kherbet Qanafar, West Bekaa

Set on the foothills of Mount Barouk, and overlooking the Qaraoun Lake, Kherbet Qanafar is located in West Bekaa, about 65 km from Beirut.

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Origin of the name

The origin of the name Qanafar is not clear. Some say it goes back to the time when the village was ruled and ruined under the reign of King Qanafar. An analysis of the name in light of ancient languages, explains that the word Qanafar is derived from the “kino far” or the house of fruits, “kino” meaning house and “far” meaning fruits.

The majestic oak tree of Kherbet Qanafar ©Jean Estephan

Agriculture and Environment

The village’s landscape invites for hiking and camping. The centenary oak tree is a famous icon of Kherbet Qanafar.

Its diverse countryside is filled with vine yards, vegetable fields and fruit orchards, a true feast to the eyes. The village is mostly famous for its olives, apples, peaches, melons as well as for its  tomatoes, beans, potatoes and onions.

Baladi tomato fields in Kherbet Qanafar

Visiting Kherbet Qanafar

Visiting the food trail in Kherbet Qanafar, you will have an array of agriculture and gastronomic activities to involve in. From tomato picking to tomato paste making, you have the chance to interact with farmers to food producers who will tell you all what you need to know about the history of agriculture in the area and the traditional processing method of tomato concentrate in Bekaa.

Tomato Paste Kherbet Qanafar
Learn how to make tomato paste the traditional way, with a local host

The village is home to two tables d’hôte hosted by the food trail one specialized in milk cookies making and the other in mulberry products making as well as homemade local red wine and Arak. The village is also known for its winery – Chateau Qanafar – which lies on the top hill overlooking the landscape.

Mulberry Compote_Kherbet Qanafar
Making of mulberry compote is an activity suggested by darb el karam in Kherbet Qanafar
Hosts and local guides

Raymonda Nakhleh, Kherbet Qanafar


A mother of two, originally from the capital Beirut, Raymonda got married, moved to Kherbet Qanafar in West Bekaa and became a kindergarden teacher since. Creative by nature, she found in food and moune making a space for exercising her skill and in the garden surrounding her house, the place to care for her fruits.

Raymonda and her husband are most known in West Bekaa for distilling alcohol, making Arak and homemade wine. Along with Lebanon’s traditional drink, Raymonda collects mulberry from her backyards and makes her line of mulberry products: mulberry syrup, jam and compote. Watching Raymonda at work and listening to her story with mouneh making is a fascinating experience. she says it best with her own words ” I am in constant competition with myself to innovate. I work with all my senses”.