The city of Zahle

Particularly appreciated by the Lebanese for its pleasant climate and traditional cuisine, Zahle is one of the largest cities in Lebanon, after Beirut, Tripoli and Jounieh. Known as the city of wine and poets, this city steeped in history is also a beautiful holiday destination.

Zahle, with a population of about 150,000, is ideally located in the Bekaa plain. Its geographical location gives it pretty little names such as the "Bride of the Bekaa" and the "Neighbour of the Gorge". Its natural beauty is such that Zahle even bears the title of the "City of Wine and Poetry". The city's cultural wealth revolves around wine, grapes and arak, a distilled aniseed drink that locals still serve in the city's cosy cafes during the day.

It is also in Zahlé that the most important cultural event of the region takes place every September: the Vine Festival. 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, including traditional cuisine.

The city of Zahlé also has many tourist sites, including the cathedral of Notre-Dame de salut dating from 1720, and the city itself is an important vestige as it dates from the 18th century.

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