Known for its picturesque rural landscapes and scenic roads, West-Bekaa is definitely one of the most beautiful areas in Lebanon. When my friends plan to visit, they often ask me to recommend places and activities, as I was born and raised there. So I’ve decided to put together a list of the top things to do. Here you go!
1- Ammiq Wetlands
It’s the largest freshwater wetland in Lebanon, a remnant of much more extensive marshes and lakes that once existed in the Bekaa Valley. The Wetland area is yearly increasing thanks to the efforts of Eng. Abdallah Hanna and his professional team. It’s a haven for migratory birds and wild animals and a national treasure that should be preserved.
2- Chateau Kefraya
It’s one of the oldest wineries in Lebanon. In Chateau Kefraya you can enjoy wine tasting, a guided tour in the vineyards and a lunch or simply a coffee in their beautiful restaurant.
3- Deer reserve in Aana
Located in a vast protected area in the mountains of Aana, more than 150 deer roam freely in this reserve thanks to the great efforts of Mr. Elias Nassif. Checkout my previous article about this reserve.
4– Stroll and breakfast with “Kherbet Kanafar Promenades”
Weekly promenades are organized by Kherbet Kanafar Promenades. The walks, mostly moderate in level, start at 8:30 AM, with an average duration of two to three hours. A Lebanese breakfast featuring local products is then served in an authentic setup.
5- Kherbet Kanafar Oak
It’s probably the largest and oldest Oak tree in Lebanon and the region. The municipality recently transformed its surrounding area into a public space. It’s the perfect place to take a break and relax before heading to your next destination.
While in Kherbet-Kanafar make sure to pass by “Le2meh w Rif” bed and breakfast for great Lebanese food and traditional mouneh.
6- Tawlet Ammiq
This eco-restaurant is one of my all time favorites. Overlooking the fertile valley and Mount Hermon, it offers a variety of Bekaai specialties cooked by ladies from the nearby villages. Close to the restaurant you can find a beautiful old church and the remains of the old village that was destroyed during the 1956 earthquake.
7- Qaraoun lake
You can catch the best panoramic view of Qaraoun lake and West-Bekaa fields from Kefraya – Maaser road. You can also get a great view from Saghbine, Bab Mareh, Qaraoun or any other village around the lake.
8- Try the goat milk Ice Cream in Saghbine
Joseph Masrouaa, who inherited the tradition of Ice Cream making from his father, has preserved this original recipe for decades. Some vistors love its sour taste while others find it a bit weird, in both cases it’s definitely a must-try!
9- Hike the mountains of Bab Mareh and Aitanit
It’s a beautiful trail overlooking Qaraoun lake. While hiking, you’ll come across abandoned houses, old churches and water springs. Lunch at Joubran Restaurant is a must after the hike!
10- Visit Zaki Nassif museum in Machghara
The house which once belonged to Zaki Nassif, one of the greatest Lebanese artists, was renovated in 2016 to become a museum.