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A Zahle Lebanon vacation worth writing about whether it's Zahleh, Zahla, it's beautiful!
A secret location worth visiting...
A small tourist town in Lebanon called Zahle, often mistaken for Zahleh or Zahla in the Beqaa valley is a popular destination for many visitors each summer. This small red roofed town is popular for the good food, good weather and excellent atmosphere of genuine hospitable people and good times.
One could actually drive the entire town in 15 minutes. Its most popular location and tourist's popular hang out spot are the outdoor restaurants that align the running river down the center of the town. It's like most historical towns, a tradition filled environment with people willing to uphold the traditions and values that have been embedded in the roots of the town.
The discovery can easily begin with walking along the narrow roads that zigzag throughout the town and in between the historical homes that have been a part of this city for centuries. Zahle has over 50 churches within a 15 mile radius. If you are lost, there's always someone to ask for directions. Almost everyone in the town speaks English and French, but be ready to accept an invitation to coffee or even lunch. The town of Zahle is popular for the hospitable and kind gestures and remarks made the residence of the town. It is not uncommon for a local to invite you in for coffee or a cold drink while they provide you with directions, or answer a question you may have. Hospitality is an ancient tradition that is practiced regularly around this red roofed town famous for wine and poets.
The main Boulevard of the town provides for a good shopping experience filled with many locally owned and operated retail shops that fulfill a shopper's dream. If you're tired of walking, just listen for the taxi horn, every taxi that goes by will honk to notify you they are ready to serve.
The hills of Zahle, while taking your breath away, ease the stress and mind with the agricultutral Beqaa valley and the now capped mountains surrounding Zahle.
And the story goes...hundreds of years ago a plague creeped into the town of Zahle, all the churches decided to walk through every street praying. In May of every year, the town participate in a traditional event called Thursday the body of christ, where all the local churches, school bands, girl and boy scout teams start at 5 am and walk through the entire town praying and upholding a tradition that started hundreds of years ago. I had the pleasure of enjoying and participating in this exciting event that brought everyone out of their home and into the small streets of Zahle.
Don't be surprised if you get to meet the local officials on a normal day, I also had the pleasure of meeting a popular and loved minister in Zahle Lebanon that has made such an impact on local reform, from regulated parking meters to a beautiful newly designed park for children and adults to enjoy atop the beautiful hills of Zahle. Mr. Elie Joseph Skaff and his lovely wife Myriam Skaff have spent many years outside of Zahle Lebanone but returned to give back to the community they love so much and everyone appreciates their ongoing efforts to support the community. Their various Zahle Lebanon charitable organizations have helped hundreds and continue to grow, their website is a hub for local Zahle News and events.
Dare to Experience...
Zahle, Lebanon is probably the last place one would think about when planning a vacation and it's much easier find closer, less expensive and much more exotic destinations to visit, but it's important to experience those less advertised, yet well preserved towns with much history and culture offering memorable experiences both adults and children enjoy and remember for years to come, not to mention stress free, good food and wine.