Zahle Travel Guide

Explore the culturally rich and natural attractions of Zahle, Lebanon with this comprehensive travel guide featuring a list of places to visit, outdoor adventures, must-try dishes, transportation options, and more.

Introduction to Zahle

Zahle is a charming city located in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural treasures, and outdoor adventure. Known as ‘The Bride of the Bekaa,’ Zahle is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Lebanon and has a population of around 80,000 people. The city is famous for its wine, food, and traditional architecture.

List of Places to Visit in Zahle

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Maison du Vin - a wine museum that showcases the history of Lebanon’s winemaking tradition, located in the heart of Zahle.
  • Our Lady of Zahle and the Bekaa Valley Sanctuary - a stunning religious site that features modern architecture and stunning views of the Bekaa Valley.
  • Beit El Din - a historic palace where the Lebanese government holds official functions, located on the outskirts of Zahle.

Natural Attractions of Zahle: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Cedar Forest of Favaya - a breathtaking natural park featuring a cedar forest and stunning views of the Bekaa Valley.
  • Saidet El Talleh - a religious site perched on a hill overlooking the city, with panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Ain Zhalta - a natural reserve that features numerous hiking trails, waterfalls, and an eco-museum exhibiting the fauna and flora of the region.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Zahle

Zahle has a diverse range of hiking and biking trails that will suit different ages and ability levels. Some of the most popular trails include:

  • The Zahle Historical Hiking Trail - a 4.5 km trail that takes you through the city’s historic and cultural landmarks.
  • The Beqaa Biking Trail - a 10 km trail that is perfect for mountain biking, offering stunning views of the Beqaa Valley and Mount Lebanon.
  • The Talleh Trail - a 2.5 km trail that takes you to Saidet El Talleh, a religious site that offers stunning panoramic views of the city and beyond.

Best Things to Do in Zahle: Activities and Tours

  • Wine Tasting Tours - explore the rich wine-making traditions of Lebanon and taste delicious Lebanese wines at the many wineries and vineyards in and around Zahle.
  • Food Tours - indulge in the delectable Lebanese cuisine and get to know the city’s food scene.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides - experience the city’s natural beauty from above with a hot air balloon ride over the Bekaa Valley.

Week-Long Itinerary for Zahle

Day Activity
1 Explore Zahle’s old town
2 Visit the Maison du Vin and go on a wine-tasting tour
3 Visit the Our Lady of Zahle and the Bekaa Valley Sanctuary and go on a hike
4 Explore Beit El Din
5 Take a hot air balloon ride over the Bekaa Valley
6 Spend a day exploring the Cedar Forest of Favaya and Ain Zhalta
7 Indulge in the local cuisine on a food tour

Food and Drink Scene of Zahle

Must-Try Dishes

  • Mezze - a selection of small dishes that may include stuffed grape leaves, hummus, baba ganoush, fried kibbeh, and more.
  • Kebbeh - a traditional savoury Middle Eastern dish made with minced meat, bulgur, and spices.
  • Manousheh - a popular Lebanese breakfast dish consisting of flatbread filled with cheese or zaatar.
  • Fatteh - a dish made with chickpeas, yogurt, and toasted bread served with meat or chicken.

Local Beverages

  • Wine - Zahle is known for producing some of the finest wines in the country, such as Château Ksara and Château Musar.
  • Arak - a popular Middle Eastern alcoholic drink made from anise and grapes.
  • Ayran - a refreshing non-alcoholic yogurt drink.

Where to Stay in Zahle: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Zahle offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Some of the top-rated accommodations in the city include:

  • Hotel Saint Jean Zahle
  • Hotel Grand Kadri
  • El Rancho Zahle

What to Buy in Zahle: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Wine - bring home a bottle of Lebanon’s finest wine from one of the many wineries and vineyards in and around Zahle.
  • Olive Oil - Lebanon is known for producing some of the best olive oil in the world, and you can find it in Zahle’s markets and stores.
  • Pottery and Ceramics - Zahle is home to many pottery and ceramics studios where you can buy handmade plates, vases, and other decorative items.
  • Lebanese Sweets - indulge in the sweet treats of Lebanon, such as baklava, maamoul, and halva, which you can find in many sweet shops in the city.

Local Culture and Customs of Zahle

Zahle has a rich cultural heritage, and visitors are encouraged to respect their customs and traditions. Some cultural practices to keep in mind include:

  • Dress modestly when visiting religious sites.
  • Avoid public displays of affection.
  • Cover your head and remove your shoes when entering religious sites.

Best Time to Visit Zahle

The best time to visit Zahle is between March and May and from September to November. During these months, the weather is mild and pleasant, and the scenery is breathtaking.

Do’s and Don’ts of Zahle


  • Respect local customs and traditions.
  • Try the local cuisine and wines.
  • Take a hot air balloon ride over the Bekaa Valley.


  • Drink tap water.
  • Show public displays of affection.
  • Wear revealing or provocative clothing outside of beach areas.

Safety and Health

Safety in Zahle

Zahle is a safe city for tourists but, like any other city, it is always best to practice common sense and take precautions to avoid theft and other crimes. Travelers should be aware of these tips:

  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep your valuables in secure locations.
  • Be cautious when traveling alone at night.

Health in Zahle

Travelers should take the necessary precautions to protect their health while in Zahle, such as:

  • Drink bottled water.
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • Wear sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

Getting to Zahle: Transportation Options and Logistics

Zahle can be reached by several modes of transportation, including:

Airports Near Zahle

The Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport is the closest airport to Zahle, located approximately 54 km away.

Bus Stations Near Zahle

Zahle has two bus stations: the Charles Helou bus station in Beirut, which is approximately 57 km away from Zahle, and the Zahle bus station.

Other Options

Travelers can also hire a taxi or rent a car.

How to Get Around in Zahle

Zahle can be explored by foot, bike, or taxi. Walking and biking are the best ways to discover the city’s hidden treasures and scenic beauty.

Where to Go Next from Zahle: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Baalbek - a town located 25 km away from Zahle that is best known for its impressive Roman ruins.
  • Bekaa Valley - a beautiful valley that stretches across Lebanon and is known for its vineyards and outdoor recreational activities.
  • Byblos - a picturesque coastal town located 87 km away from Zahle, known for its ancient ruins and charming old town.


Zahle is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the beauty and cultural heritage of Lebanon. With its rich history, stunning natural beauty, and delicious cuisine, Zahle is sure to enchant visitors of all ages and interests. So pack your bags and head to Zahle for an unforgettable adventure!