Top 10 Things To Do In Zahlé, Lebanon

Things to do in Zahle

The capital and the largest city of the Beqaa Governorate, Zahle is graced with a stunning location on the foothills of Mount Sanine. Situated an hours’ drive away from Beirut, the mountain retreat is known as Lebanon’s gastronomic capital and is the country’s largest producer of arak and wine. Nicknamed as ‘The city of wine and poetry’, Zahle is known for its unique charm and the intellectual flair of its people. From touring the city’s wineries and vineyards to exploring the tombs and grottos once built by the Romans, here is a list of the 10 best things to do in Zahlé that is affectionately known as the “Bride of the Beqaa”.

1. Get majestic views from Our Lady of Zahle and Bekaa

Situated in a hilltop in Southwestern Zahle, Our Lady of Zahle and Bekaa is a shrine in honour of the Virgin Mary. Overlooking the city and the Bekaa valley, the top of the tower offers panoramic views and great vantage points to soak up the views of the beauty of Zahle. Designed by an Italian artist, an elevator will take you to the top of a viewing platform on the magnificent tower.

Our Lady of Zahle and Bekaa

Address: Zahlé, Beqaa Valley, Lebanon

Price: Free

2. Tour the country's oldest Chateau Ksara Winery

Ksara le domaine
Source: Photo by user Philippe48 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

This wine company in Beqaa Valley was founded in 1857 and was the first winery to develop dry wine in Lebanon. Started by Jesuit priests, the winery is the most popular in the country and benefits from its altitude and the natural water table between Lebanon and anti-Lebanon mountain ranges. Characterized by a balance of dry fruitiness, coarseness, freshness, delicacy and vigour, the award-winning wines at the Chateau Ksara will give some of the most pleasurable tasting experiences you have had.

Chateau Ksara Winery

Address: Ksara, Lebanon

Website: Chateau Ksara

Opening hours: 9am - 6pm (daily)

Price: Free

3. Get a glimpse into the past at the Rayak Abondoned Railway

The Orient Express Rayak Railway Station

Posted by Ali Badawi on Wednesday, 20 August 2014

A trip to the Rayak abandoned railway will take you back in time to the country’s golden age of rail transport. Built in 1891, the Rayak train station was the first train station connected the cities of Beirut and Damascus for over a century until it was shut down owing to the Lebanese civil war. Although some parts of the station were demolished by factions of the civil war, you can still get glimpses of the abandoned locomotives and ghost factories that are frozen in time.

Rayak Railway Station

Address: Riyaq, Lebanon

Website: Rayak Abondoned Railway

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

4. Travel back in time at the traditional Ecolodge

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

ecolodge de taanayel #الخان_المقصود For reservations contact 03124279 #engageindevelopment #arcencielorg #fact #tourism

Posted by arcenciel.aec on Thursday, June 10, 2021

Experience the lifestyle of ancient Bekka by staying in a Bedouin-style room in an eco-lodge set in a traditional village of Bekka with mud-brick houses and a green courtyard. The room can accommodate one to five persons with a private bathroom, wifi and Lebanese breakfast. The rooms are clean, cute and will offer a unique sleeping experience showcasing the lifestyle of the older generations of the valley.

Traditional Ecolodge Bekka

Address: Damascus Road, Taanayel, Bekaa

Website: Traditional Ecolodge Bekka

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 50 -100 USD

5. Explore Niha Spring Cave for its Roman archeological ruins

things to do in zahle | explore niha spring cave for its roman archeological ruins
Source: hf.217 on Instagram

Situated 8 km (5 miles) away from the north of Zante, the Bekka Valley village of Niha is well-known for its Roman archaeological tombs and temples. With ruins that date back to the 1st century AD, the remains include two Roman temples with sculptures and bas-reliefs that have been restored. With visible inscriptions and columns that allude to the reign of the gods and goddesses of the Phoenician times, this temple is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history of the ancient civilizations of the region.

Niha Spring Cave

Address: Valley of the Dog River, Keserwan, Bayrut, Lebanon

Website: Niha Spring Cave

6. Discover a wide variety of migratory birds at the Kfar Zabad

Filled with wetlands, the area of Hima Kfar Zabad is visited by more than 125 species of birds and is a treat for bird watchers and nature lovers all over the world. Well-known for hospitable locals and scenic natural landscapes, the region is also the best bet to sight the Syrian Serin, a globally threatened bird of the Finch family. Hima Kfar Zabad also hosts the annual migratory bird day and other annual festivals that celebrate the magnificent diversity of the birds and the flyways of the area.

Kfar Zabad

Address: Kfar Zabad, Lebanon

7. Tate authentic Ashta at the Boozah Khalaf and Abou Sleiman Berdawni

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Boozah Khalaf and Abou Sleiman Berdwani serve the tastiest ice creams in Zahle well known for its fresh ingredients and its sugary flavour. Ice creams here are prepared using Miskeh, Sahlab and a variety of milk curd known as Ashta that gives the ice cream its unique flavours. Ice creams have been produced traditionally this way for the last three generations and is a must-see for anyone who wants to know how the country’s finest ice cream is prepared.

Boozah Khalaf and Abou Sleiman Berdwani

Address: Berdawni, Zahle, Zahle District

Website: Boozah Khalaf and Abou Sleiman Berdwani

Opening hours: 8.30am - 12pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

8. Rappel the Niha Spring Caves with professional assistance

Posted by Adventures in Lebanon on Wednesday, 30 April 2014

With mountains and caves made up of limestone surrounding the country, Lebanon offers great opportunities for caving and rappelling. Although most of the caves are concentrated in the region around Mount Lebanon, the Nihar Spring caves in Zahle has stunning sinkholes that are perfect to rappel down and climb back up. The region is also home to a magnificent fortress that is shaped in the form of a cave and features rooms and chambers leaning against a cliff.

Rappelling in Niha Spring Caves

Address: Tannourine-Balou3 Bal3a

Website: Rappelling in Niha Spring Caves

Opening hours: 8am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 130 USD

9. Hike through the mountains and valleys

Posted by We Are Hikers on Sunday, 12 July 2015

Zahle is home to some of the best hiking trails in the country that offer breathtaking views of the natural splendour around. Also known as “The Neighbour of the Gorge”, the city is graced with pleasant weather, incredible rivers, waterfalls and nature reserves. Some of the trails go through both villages, archaeological ruins and mountains and includes activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

Hiking in Zahle

Address: Dedyan Center, Al-Mawarid Bank (4.159,27 km), 80586 Dora

Website: Hiking in Zahle

Opening hours: 7.30am - 10pm (daily)

Price: 10 USD

10. Let your children build mini mud brick houses

Lebanon’s non-profit NGO Arc-en-Ciel supports marginalized communities and offers experiences of traditional, rural living. They have constructed domed houses in the site of Taanayel to safeguard the country’s glorious heritage and traditions. As a part of this project, visitors to the site can choose to build mud-brick houses and allows children to learn how to build them and is an activity that should not be missed if you are interested in the architectural heritage of Lebanon.

Traditional Ecolodge Bekka

Address: Damascus Road, Taanayel, Bekaa

Website: Traditional Ecolodge Bekka

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Be charmed by the city of wine and poetry

With gorgeous views of the Beqaa Valley and rich culture and history, it is little surprise that this little town has given rise to a number of writers, poets and thinkers. Take your pick from the above list of things to do in Zahle, Lebanon, and make the most of this red-roofed town in the foothills of Mount Sannine.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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When I am not travelling or writing, you can find me perfecting my Spanish, binge watching Netflix , reading, swimming in the ocean or just daydreaming in a hammock.

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