Epitomizing Lebanese culture since 1857, Gandour evokes nostalgia, providing children — and adults — with a delightful range of sweet treats.
Since the very beginning, Gandour has been committed to promoting products that celebrate Lebanese culture and heritage. This can be seen in their heart-warming range of chocolates and biscuits, including the famous Tarboosh and Dabke varieties.
The company is now encouraging locals and foreigners to explore and appreciate Lebanon with a selection of itineraries that showcase some of the countries most spectacular towns and cities. Unsurprisingly, the first city is Zahle, which is known for its rich gastronomy.
Situated in the Bekaa Valley, 55 kilometers east of Beirut, Zahle is Lebanon’s third largest city after Beirut and Tripoli.
Zahle is known as the “Bride of the Bekaa” thanks to its natural beauty, formidable climate and mountainous surroundings, it is a popular summer destination, boasting an array of exciting activities, including rafting along the Al Assi River, canyoning and hiking.
In 2013, Zahle was adopted within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a “Creative City of Gastronomy.” Indeed, it is a paradise for foodies with its rich selection of riverside restaurants, local specialties and sweet delights.
Stroll through the city and you’ll be amazed by the traditional red-roofed houses, old souk and decorated facades that perfectly showcase 19th century Lebanese architecture.
For a memorable day in Zahle, simply follow this itinerary. Remember to take Gandour Lucky 555 biscuits and Pik-One chocolate candy (peanut) as snacks to enjoy in the car!
- 9.00 am Take the Beirut-Damascus Highway out of Beirut.
- 9.45 am – 10.15 am Stop at Hadwane (+961 8 540625) in Chtaura, where you will be served a deliciously fresh labneh sandwich.
- 10.15 am – 12.00 pm It’s never too early to visit the vineyards! Discover the award-winning Château Ksara (+961 8 801662), the oldest and largest winery in Lebanon.
- 12.15 pm – 12.45 pm Watching over Zahle on a 54-meter tower is Our Lady of Zahle, a bronze statue of the Virgin Mary created by an Italian sculptor in 1958. Visit the statue and admire panoramic views of the city and mountains from the top.
- 1.00 pm La Galette de Grandmere (+961 8 805 845) is a hidden gem in Zahle, serving up the best kaak b halib you can imagine.
- 1.30 pm – 4.00 pm A multitude of high-quality Lebanese restaurants can be found along the Berdawni River.
Casino Arabi (+961 8 800144) is one of the most popular restaurants. Specializing in mezze, the restaurant also serves alcohol and shisha.
- After lunch, make sure you take a stroll along the river and have a refreshing ice cream at the famous Boozah Khalaf and Abou Sleiman (+961 3 408880 / +961 8 823733). The two families joined forces three generations ago, when they mixed miskeh, sahlab and milk curd, otherwise known as ashta. Today, they still serve this authentic, hand-made ice cream in their shop.
- 4:15 pm Head back to Beirut.