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Bekaa Valley

Bekaa Valley - An excursion in Beirut, Lebanon
Bekaa is a fertile valley in eastern Lebanon, about 30 km east of Beirut. The Romans considered the Bekaa Valley to be their ‘bread basket’, and today it remains Lebanon’s most important farming region. Despite its name, the Bekaa Valley is actually a high plateau between the Mt Lebanon Range and the Anti-Lebanon Range. It has a Mediterranean climate of wet, often snowy winters and dry, warm summers. For millennia the Bekaa Valley was a corridor linking the Syrian interior with the coastal cities of Phoenicia. The many invading armies and trading caravans passing through left traces of their presence, which can be seen in small sites around the valley and most magnificently at the Umayyad city of Anjar and the gorgeous temples at Baalbek. Zahle is the largest city and the capital of the Bekaa Governorate. The majority of Zahle's residents are Lebanese Christian, including those belonging to the Armenian Apostolic Church, Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Maronite Church, and members of the Greek Orthodox Church. The town of Anjar, in the eastern part of the valley, has a predominately Armenian Lebanese population. It is famous for its 8th century Arab ruins. The Bekaa Valley is home to Lebanon's famous vineyards and wineries. Wine making is a tradition that goes back 6000 years in Lebanon. There are more than a dozen wineries in the Bekaa Valley. Today’s Bekaa Valley is also known for being a Hezbollah stronghold and for its cannabis production, which the government has been counter-acting with varying levels of success since the end of the civil war in 1990. There is however much more to the Bekaa Valley than this. With a diverse and friendly population, fabulous food and wines, and two astonishing world-class ancient sites, the Bekaa valley is well worth a visit. Please note that travel to the northern Bekaa valley is not recommended.

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More to do and see in Beirut
» Skiing and winter sports
» Hiking and trekking
» Beaches and Seaside
» Caves
» Zahlé – The Bride of the Bekaa Valley
» Tyre (Sour)
» Sidon (Saida)
» Jounieh
» Chouf Mountains
» Byblos (Jbail)
» Baalbek – the ‘Sun City’

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