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Bekaa Valley

Studded with villages, vegetable farms, wineries and ancient ruins that cover the valley like a kaleidoscopic carpet, the plains of Bekaa are rich with history and culture. Nestled between the Mount Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon ranges, the valley is a natural pathway between northern Syria and Palestine, a route once frequented by caravans and invaders alike.

The Bekaa Valley is today the widest and most abundant agricultural area in Lebanon, and the inroads are often held up by tractors and farmers herding flocks of grazing sheep and goats on the roadside. Always keep a camera handy to capture the amazing and accidental sights that await you.

At an average altitude of 1,000 meters, the climate of the Bekaa is dry in the hot days of summer but pleasantly cool in the evenings. During winter, most days are cold though often sunny.

The Bekaa is renowned for its numerous archaeological sites such as the great temples of Baalbek. But people also visit the area for its famous restaurants that serve delicious traditional gourmet food. In fact, if you appreciate good Lebanese cuisine, you will quickly appreciate the unique taste of the Bekaa, especially frog paws and grilled birds, both of which are very popular in the area. And if you choose to have lunch at a restaurant in Anjar near the famous archeological site, be sure to sample the fresh trout and enjoy a variety of popular Armenian delicacies.

How to get there:

When driving from Beirut to the Bekaa, most people take the Damascus road and cross the mountain pass of Dahr al-Baidar at a 1,510-meter altitude. Between December and May, this route often looks out on snow-covered landscapes. However, if you like adventure, other roads could be interesting, namely the crossing via Mount Lebanon or the route through Bcharreh, the Cedars in the north. The latter is snowbound in winter, but it is also possible to cross through Dhour Chweir in the Metn area towards the city of Zahle, or even the Moukhtara route in southern Bekaa.

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