The exceptional beauty of Lebanon's nature reserves is characteristic of the magnificent landscape given to it by nature. A true natural source of beauty, culture and tourism, most nature reserves in Lebanon are sites preserved and maintained for the development of biodiversity. Located at an altitude of 1375 m, the village of Yammouneh contains one of the most beautiful Lebanese nature reserves.
Yammouneh is a place particularly appreciated for its many vestiges including a small lake, formerly used for the breeding of sacred fish. Fed by Ain Arbaeen, the source of the Forty Martyrs, the great Yammouneh Lake turns into a muddy plain after summer. A few shady cafes and ruins of a Roman temple line the running water.
The Yammouneh Nature Reserve is on the eastern slope, halfway between the Makmil and Mounaiterah mountains. The site can be reached from Baalbek, following the road northwest towards Bcharre. It is a site particularly rich in water, with 84 springs, 4 rivers and 2 other seasonal rivers.
Yammouneh is also a privileged meeting place for lovers and fans of grilled trout. Many cafes and restaurants offer their customers the opportunity to fish the trout themselves for tasting.
A true historical site, the Yammouneh Nature Reserve is home to Phoenician, Roman and Arab ruins, including a Roman-Byzantine temple that once housed a statue of Aphrodite (now located in Baalbek). The place is also marked by the remains of a large fortress, former residence of Emperor Adriano. According to legend, this emperor ordered his army to carve in stone the ban on felling Juniper trees.
Greenery and trees make up 30% of the area of the Yammouneh reserve, making the region a small valley surrounded by mountains, particularly blessed by nature. Classified as a natural, scientific and cultural reserve since 1998, the site welcomes hikers every year who embark on an excursion towards Chlifa, to a Roman watchtower. On the way, they discover many remains of the Roman road. Built by Emperor Domitian, this road once connected the village of Yammouneh to Aqoura, a village located in the Mount Lebanon region.