In the heart of the Bekaa Valley, Zahle, one of Lebanon’s scenic cities is full of history dating back 5,000 years. Located 55 kilometers from the capital, it lies at 945 meters above sea level, making it an ideal go-to destination for outdoor summer fun.
Visitors will enjoy the mix of local red-decked brick houses and Ottoman architecture that gives the city a unique look and feel. Take an early stroll through the marketplace that is home to local shops producing a range of handcrafted goods for that perfect souvenir. Or, hike up the hill for the best view of the city and a perfect opportunity to snap plenty of postcard-quality pictures. Head to one of the city’s multiple wineries for a taste of internationally-awarded spirits. The city has a long culture and rich history of grape growing with some of the oldest underground wineries built around natural grottos during Roman times.
No visit would be complete without heading to Zahle’s city center also referred to as ‘Grape Wine Valley’ spread alongside both banks of the Berdawni river and known for its most traditional food experiences. These water-side open-air restaurants are famous for their ambiance, hospitality, and mezze crowned by the traditional arak, the distilled anise-flavored drink.
Zahle is equally known as the birthplace of many great and highly-acclaimed writers, poets, singers, and painters, chief among these is Said Akl.