Bekaas World Class Wineries

By: Douglas Scott

A vast, open valley nestled in the east between Lebanons two mountain ranges, the Bekaa Valley has been known since ancient times as the bread basket of Lebanon.

The Valley is a checkerboard of fields, dotted with small villages, a testament of the regions agricultural heritage.

Here you will find a centre of Lebanese gastronomy, with a number of wineries producing world renowned Lebanese wines and an array of local restaurants with mouth watering Lebanese cuisine.

The Bekaa Valley might also be known as a corridor of civilizations. Throughout ancient history, the Valley was a thoroughfare for commerce, a meeting point for major trading routes connecting Damascus with the coast and the Arabian Peninsula to more northern regions.

The many impressive archaeological ruins in the Valley reflect its historical role as a crossroads for the civilizations that have inhabited the area over time.

Beirut may be the nightlife capital of Lebanon, but there also is plenty of entertainment for the high energy individual in other parts of Lebanon following a day of sightseeing or outdoor adventure. For example, after a morning touring the ruins of Aanjar or Baalbek, stop in at one of the Bekaas wineries for some food and wine tasting. Increasingly, the wineries are catering to tourists, tempting them out of Beirut with live jazz on the weekends or yoga and other activities.

What to see and do in the Bekaa includes some of the following.

Visit City of Wine and Poetry to enjoy tantalizing local cuisine in a beautiful, traditional setting and view traditional red roofed architecture.

Relax at one of Zahles beautiful, open air restaurants, set on a cliff above the Berdaouni River, shaded by vine covered awnings and leafy trees.

Tour the Bekaas world class wineries and sample for yourself the fruits of Lebanons 4,000 year old tradition of wine making. Sunny days and cool evenings create the perfect vineyard climate.

Explore the magnificent Roman ruins at Baalbek, home of the best preserved and largest Roman temples in the world. Walk along wide avenues lined with graceful stone arches in the ruins of the 8th century Umayyad city of Aanjar.

Explore the cities commercial history by visiting the remains of over 600 small shops, city walls and gates, temples, and baths.

Go trekking or cycling or camping in the remote, beautiful, rolling hills and mountains of the northern Bekaa.

Take an adventurous rafting or kayaking trip on the Nahr al Aassi River.

Climb to the 5th century, rock cut monastery of Deir Mar Maroun and visit the mysterious and monumental 2,000 year old Hermel Pyramid, near the city of Hermel.

Discover the numerous Roman ruins sites nestled in the Bekaas small villages and then enjoy the traditional crafts, cuisine, and village life of the area.

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