Rich and fascinating, the plain of the Bekaa Valley lies between the Western mountainous chain of Lebanon and the Eastern parallel chain. Inevitable pathway between North Syria and Palestine, it was formerly a main road frequented by both caravans and invaders. Today, the plain of the Bekaa is considered as the widest agricultural area in Lebanon, being also scattered with farms, villages, fields and wines which cover the plain with a multicolored carpet. The roads are often cut by tractors grazing sheep and goats on the roadside. Keep always a camera in hands because amazing sights await you all the way round.
At an average altitude of 1000 meters, the climate of the Bekaa is dry in the hot days of summer but pleasantly cool in the evenings. In winter, most of the days are cold through often sunny.
The Bekaa is renowned for its numerous archaeological sites including the great temples of Baalbeck. But people also visit the area for its famous delicious restaurants. In fact, if you appreciate the Lebanese cuisine, you will quickly realize that the dishes of the Bekaa differ from those of Beirut, notably the frog’s paws and grilled birds which are very popular in the area. And if you choose to take lunch in a restaurant at Anjar near the famous archeological site, then try to ask fresh trout’s, but also enjoy and taste Armenian dishes.
While driving from Beirut to the Bekaa, most people take the road of Damascus and cross the pass of Dahr Al-Baidar at the altitude of 1510 meters. Between December and May, this route often looks out on snow-covered landscapes. However, if you like adventure, often roads could be interesting namely the crossing via Mount – Lebanon or the route of Bcharrey – the Cedars in the North. But the latter is snowbound in winter. It is also possible to cross the road of Dhour Chweir in the Metn area towards the city of Zahle, or even the route of Moukhtara in the South of the Bekaa.
If you drive a car by yourself or travel by taxi, provide yourself with a road map that would make your trip more interesting.
When crossing the area, remember that the localities are most all marked with road signs or indicators. If you ever find any, then consider that they often indicate the access road to the village and not the village itself.