The Bekaa Valley offers the perfect Fall escape, bringing heritage, nature and agricultural experiences into the mix. Follow the road to the historical town of Qab Elias and its surrounding lands to discover a vibrant fruit and vegetable market, archeological remnants of another time and ecotourism activities .
Stroll around the old souk where a few heritage houses can be seen, the 19th Century Roman Orthodox church of St. Elias, and the historic mosque and tomb of the Prophet Elijah, dating back to the Middle Ages. The town also has a statue built in 1927 to commemorate the French soldiers sent to Lebanon in 1860 by Napoleon III. The municipality of Qab Elias has developed two hiking trails; beginning near the forest and leading visitors past the landmarks. Starting September, Qab Elias celebrates its local agri-food produce, mouneh, at its yearly fair. Visitors can also enjoy environmental trips, harvest activities and cycling.
To organize a trip call the Municipality of Qab Elias – Wadi el Delm on
2.Souk Qab Elias
Open Mon-Sat, 7am-3pm
Qab Elias town center
For tours contact SPNL on 01 344814,
Where To Eat
For a quick snack and local specialties, Tablyit Massaad (08 806626) is a Zahle institution, founded back in 1967. For delicious Armenian food, in a large atmospheric restaurant eat at Anjar’s Shams (08 622600), where people flock from the surrounding areas. Also, don’t miss Tawlet Ammiq (03 004481, tawletammiq.com), the Mar Mikhael restaurant’s Ammiq stop, with local food, cooked by villagers.
Where To Sleep
Zahle, the gateway to the Bekaa, is the perfect base for a weekend exploring the area. A 5 star hotel in the heart of The Valley, Chtaura Park Hotel (08 540011, chtauraparkhotel.com) offers ultimate luxury with 75 rooms and suites. Akl Hotel (08 820701, akl-hotel.com) is located in the historic part of Zahle’s center. The hotel is over 100 years old and had all the traditional touches from stone walls to high ceilings and arched windows. Guests are greeted upon arrival with that Lebanese touch of hospitality, with a cup of mint tea or coffee. Grand Hotel Kadri (08 813290, 08 800027, cristalgrandkadri.com) is a landmark in itself, overlooking the city’s famous Al Berdawni river. Built in the 19th Century, the hotel’s Lebanese architecture combines oriental style with a modern aesthetic.