Particularly appreciated by the Lebanese for its pleasant climate and its traditional cuisine, Zahlé is one of the largest cities in Lebanon, after Beirut, Tripoli and Jounieh. Baptized city of wine and poets, this city steeped in history is also a very beautiful holiday destination.
Zahlé, with a population of around 150,000, is ideally located in the Bekaa plain. Its geographical location gives it pretty little names like the “Bride of the Bekaa” and the “Neighbour of the gorge”. Its natural beauty is such that Zahlé even bears the title of “City of wine and poetry”. The cultural richness of the city also revolves around wine, grapes and arak, a distilled aniseed drink that locals continue to serve in the city's nice cafes during the day.
It is also in Zahlé that the most important cultural event in the region takes place every September: the Festival of the Vine. This event takes place over several weeks during which concerts, poetry readings, art exhibitions and plays follow one another.
Known in Lebanon as a true place of relaxation and family vacation, Zahlé concentrates a very large number of restaurants which ideally border the Nahr el-Berdawni river. These establishments are the places to go to taste local specialties, especially traditional cuisine.
Many tourist sites also make up the city of Zahlé, including the Notre-Dame de Salut cathedral dating from 1720. The city itself even represents an important vestige because it dates from the 18th century.