Zahle is situated only 52 kms. to the east of Beirut and located on the slopes of the Anti-Lebanon range at 1010 metres altitude. To get there from Beirut, you have to take Damascus road which passes through Bhamdoun, Sofar, Mdeirej, and Chtora and then to Zahle.It is about one and a half hours from Beirut.
Zahle, the capital of the Beqaa, is known as "Arouss El-Beqaa", the bride of the Beqaa, and is much appreciated for its healthy climate and good food. It is also the seat of government for the Beqaa. All amenities are available there, with hotels, good shopping and souvenir shops. Zahle's many beautiful old houses can be appreciated on a leisurely walk around the town. The main attraction, however, is the Bardaouni river, which flows out of Mount Sannine through a wooded gorge shut in between tall perpendicular rocks. Along this branch of the Litani river, there is one open-air restaurant after another. All are protected from the sun by awnings and leafy trees, while streams, fountains and pools cool the air.
Zahle is the town of the mezze which is a variety of more than thirty different dishes,and of arak, the anisated alcohol. So in this spot, one can enjoy a typically Lebanese passtime: the long leisurely lunch. The Bardaouni is just as popular in the evenings where dinners can become quite festive.
A walk in the hills overlooking Zahle leads you to Iron and Bronze age tombs. In Wadi El Arayesh are Byzantine and Roman sarcophagi.