Skip the self-drive dangers and relax with a designated driver at the wheel as you check off two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one delicious wine tasting on this action-packed tour. Immerse in the Bekaa Valley’s rich history as you explore the Roman ruins of Baalbek and the 8th-century Islamic city of Anjar with local experts. After a restaurant lunch, discover the Chateau Ksara winery and savor Lebanese wines.
Explore the Bekaa Valley, visiting Baalbek, Anjar, and Chateau Ksara
Feast on a Lebanese lunch and enjoy a tasting of local wines
Ensure attention from your local expert guides in a group no larger than 15
Take it easy with door-to-door round-trip transfers
Anjar was established during the Umayyad period by Caliph Walid Bin Abed Al Malak at the beginning of the 8th century. Since the city was built at the beginning of the Islamic period, it witnessed the development of Islamic art and architecture. The city is strategically located at the crossroads of two important routes: one leading from Beirut to Damascus and the other connecting the Bekaa Valley to Homs. Archaeologists discovered the Umayyad ruins of Anjar at the end of the 1940s. It's a perfect testimony of the ancient Islamic civilization. The ruins of Anjar include the walls of the Umayyad palace, harems, a mosque, the great palace of the Caliph, thermal baths, and many pillars which include some elements of the Roman architectural style. The Umayyads adopted the construction techniques of the Byzantine and Sassanid empires. They often reused existing buildings.
The city of Baalbek is a major city in the Northern Beqaa valley, approximately 85 kilometres from Beirut. This vibrant city is famed for its Roman remains of a large temple complex. It was known as Heliopolis in the Roman period. The image of six standing columns from the peristyle of the temple of Jupiter has become the icon of cultural tourism in Lebanon. The original temple complex included four monumental temples, those of Jupiter, Bacchus, Venus and Mercury; the last of which did not survive. It also includes enormous propylaea and vast courtyards.
Baalbek has been occupied by successive civilizations. Recent excavation dates some of its finds to the Bronze Age, however the Romans gave particular attention to this site because of its geographic location as an end of a series of cities in the eastern Mediterranean which was caravan stops for the commercial routes from Central Asia, India and China, among these cities is Palmyra in Syria. The city was also important for the successive Muslim dynasties that ruled the eastern Mediterranean especially for the Umayyads, the Ayyubids and the Mamluks.
We wBaalbeck, also called the city of Baal or Heliopolis, is known for having one of the largest temples of the Roman Empire. In Baalbeck, Romans worshipped the gods Jupiter, Venus and Bacchus – gods that may also have been related to the Canaanite deities Haddad and Astarte.
Though the Temple of Bacchus is the site’s largest ruin, there are actually three ancient temples at the Baalbeck Archaeological Site—the Temple of Venus, Jupiter, and Bacchus. The Temple of Jupiter originally featured 54 of the largest such columns in the world, some of which can still be seen today. The Temple of Bacchus is easily one of the best preserved remains of a Roman temple in the world, and it is rumored that its halls were once used for human sacrifice. The mammoth structure took 120 years and 100,000 slaves to construct, and today, its glory is a reminder of the history buried deep within Lebanon’s past.
The sheer size of the Baalbeck Temple is enough to astound visitors. It ancient columns loom high overhead and support an intricately decorated roof. The carving throughout the temple depicts Roman scenes and history-buffs will enjoy recognizing famous gods and goddesses in the artwork.
ill visit 3 Roman Temple in Baalbek
Lebanon’s most famous wine producer, Ksara was founded in 1857 by Jesuit priests. It is Lebanon’s oldest and largest winery and the third most visited tourist attraction. When the winery was founded, Lebanon was under Islamic Ottoman rule; the Ottoman masters in Istanbul allowed the production of wine as long as it was used for religious purposes. Lebanon’s first red wine was created in the monastery and Ksara’s wine making tradition began. Of course, one cannot describe Ksara without mentioning its iconic caves, a truly remarkable subterranean structure dating back to Roman times (most probably built at the same period as the temple of Bacchus in Baalbek nearby). These mile-and-a-half-long caves were used as cellars as they provided the ideal temperature and humidity levels to store the wines.
Hello everyone! Just did this tour of Baalbek, Anjar & Ksara and I had lots of fun!! Hassane was my guide for this tour, he is Lebanese and I noticed since the beginning that he is a complete expert of Lebanese Culture and its archaeological sites. He gave me plenty of insights and shared with me personal experiences, making the tour totally authentic. The time for visiting each site was enough so don't worry about being in a rush. Baalbek its a must, I am very happy that I was able to visit this place!!
P.S. Hassane will invite you a delicious traditional Lebanese meal. I won't say the name of the dish so it will come as a surprise ;)
Our guide, Ziad, kept tabs on the situation, including road closures, and was able to get us to and fro with minimal interruptions. There is very little tourism given the current situation so it was nice to support the local communities. Heartbreaking but important to see the encampments of Syrian refugees all along the way however.
Fadi was our guide. The situation in Lebanon is complicated these days and we found lots of roads cut but he made possible to get to Anjar and Baalbek safely and on time. We also had a great meal. The only thing I would improve was the guide in Baalbeck, difficult to understand and may be bored of giving always same explanations. I suggest you read a bit about it before getting there, for the rest excellent!