On the 11th of September, The Lebanese Ministry of Tourism organized a FAM trip for the media representatives, and travel agents to Bekaa governate. The main aim of the trip was to familiarize the participants with the Bekaa and to highlight religious tourism in the region.
In particular, the program included a visit to Khan El Maksoud, where Lebanese breakfast was served, followed by a guided tour to Ksara winery, its Roman caves and wine tasting. The third visit was to the Shrine of Our Lady of Zahle and Bekaa, and Saydet el Naja church.
Finally the participants visited Anjar Municipality and discussed with the Mayor Mr Vartex Khoshian in the presence of municipality members about Touristic projects. The final stop was at the Ummayad site of Anjar and Omar Ben Khattab historical Mosque in Mejdel Anjar.
Special thanks to Mr Sako Mardirossian, Mrs Racha Abu Alawi, our lovely guide Mrs Georgette Rouhana and Nakhal Tours.
1- Khan el Maksoud
Located within the Taanayel eco-lodge, which was built as a typical Bekaa village of mud brick houses around a central green courtyard. Khan El Mkasoud is a traditional/eco friendly Lebanese restaurant committed to preserving cultural heritage and sustainable development, aimed to reflect the hospitable traditions of the Middle East.
2- Ksara Winery
From its founding in 1857, Château Ksara Estate lives and grows through the core values of Tradition, Nobility, and Modernity. And as the country’s oldest winery, Château Ksara have made it’s mission to not only continue it’s unique, centuries-old practice of winemaking, but to also implement the newest and most innovative processes, and continue leading the winemaking in Lebanon for generations to come.
3- Our Lady of Zahle and Bekaa
Our Lady of Zahle and the Bekaa, is a Marian Shrine located in the city of Zahle in the Beqaa Valley. In 1958, Bishop Euthym, a man of great devotion to Our Lady, decided to build a shrine in honor of the Virgin Mary on the top of a hill overlooking Zahle and the Bekaa Valley. A ten-meter-high bronze statue of the Virgin Mary, the work of the Italian artist, Pierroti, rests on a 54 meter high tower, crowning a hill known by the name of Tel Chiha. An elevator takes pilgrims and tourists up to a viewing platform overlooking the red-roofed city and offering panoramic views of the valley. The base of the tower houses a small chapel that seats about 100 people
4- Saydet El Naja church,Zahle
5- Anjar archeological site
The city of Anjar was founded by Caliph Walid I at the beginning of the 8th century. The ruins reveal a very regular layout, reminiscent of the palace-cities of ancient times, and are a unique testimony to city planning under the Umayyads. Founded during the Umayyad period under Caliph Walid Ibn Abd Al-Malak (705-715), the city of Anjar bears outstanding witness to the Umayyad civilization. Anjar is an example of an inland commercial centre, at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other crossing the Bekaa and leading from Homs to Tiberiade.