Introducing Bekaa Valley
The fertile, pastoral Bekaa Valley is famous for its magnificent archaeological sites at Baalbek and Aanjar, and infamous for being the homeland of Hezbollah (Party of God), along with crops of ‘Red Leb’, high-quality cannabis. Heavily cultivated over millennia (the valley was one of Rome’s ‘breadbaskets’), it’s actually a high plateau between the Mt Lebanon and Jebel Libnan ash-Sharqiyya (Anti-Lebanon) ranges. Though less agriculturally productive than in centuries past, due to a combination of deforestation and poor crop planning, its plentiful vineyards are slowly gaining an international reputation for their wines. Though you’ll see Hezbollah’s yellow flag fluttering around Baalbek, you’ll find the locals (a mixture of Christians and Shiites) a welcoming lot and the attractions of the valley as intoxicating as its vintages.