In northern Lebanon, at 1500 meters above the sea level, dwells the little heaven Bcharre, a small town with remarkable touristic attractions including history, culture, nature and others. Both locals and tourists choose the town as their destination throughout the year for its marvellous location and breathtaking landscape, be it in summer, autumn, winter or spring.
The town overlooks the holy valley known as Qadisha Valley, where dwelled the Maronite Christians who fled persecution, as well as diverse populations such as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Africans, Amorite tribes and others. The magnificent sights of the valley inspired explorers from all over the world including Lamartine, Jean de la Roque, the Jesuit fathers and many more. The valley is a witness to pre-historic cultures and civilizations and still bears some of their traces: for this reason, among others, it has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.
Another historical and panoramic landmark of the area is the Cedars, where still live thousands-of-years-old trees, witnesses to centuries of different civilizations. While taking a walk in the forest, one experiences a sacred timelessness, hears the whispers of a distant history, smells the odour of aging wood and perceives the magnificence of nature overcoming all odds and proudly surviving to the present day.
Cultural tourism also has its share in Bcharre, the hometown of renowned author Gibran Khalil Gibran, whose art and philosophy has inspired millions around the globe as his works, such as The Prophet, have been translated into many languages. The museum includes a considerable collection of his works, in addition to some personal items, not to mention its awe-inspiring location. Not far from the museum lies the humble house of the poet with its original furniture and a small garden that is in harmony with the surrounding panoramic views.
Besides the cultural and historic sites of the town, Bcharre is also a perfect destination for outdoor activities and sports all year round. During the winter, professional and recreational skiers meet at the mountainous slopes to enjoy the powdery snow and the beautiful sunshine. It is worth noting a special characteristic of Lebanon's geography and weather: during the spring season, people can enjoy skiing on the mountains in the morning and have the best swim in the Mediterranean Sea later in the afternoon. Another widely practiced activity in the area is hiking, particularly in the summer. The mountains are too tempting to disregard the urge to go on an adventurous hike or to simply take a walk and contemplate the transcendental scenery.
Summers in Bcharre are vibrant and exciting, as many people leave the city during this season to spend their vacation in their home town and enjoy the beautiful weather, not to mention the visitors and tourists that roam the place to enjoy the peacefulness that pervades the place despite the business all around. One of the advantages of living in or visiting this town is the possibility to enjoy the heavenly taste of various kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables, at your disposal particularly in spring and summer: cherries, peaches, berries, pears, apricots, apples and many other home grown vegetables.
The locals are another notable feature of the town as they are mostly known for their hospitality and cheerful spirit. They have preserved their culture and traditions throughout generations without ever failing to show a generosity that pretty much defines them. The familial bond that is still pervasive among them is proved by the genuine solidarity, love and warmth that touches whoever meets these people. For this reason, the food they share and the meals they prepare are full of this love and warmth as much as they are delicious and healthy. Whether it is home baked bread, lentils soup, fresh tabbouli or others, you will crave more of whichever food you try, once you taste it.
With much more left to say about this magical place, words remain inadequate to depict the unforgettable experience of living in or visiting Bcharre, the town where a peaceful and transcendental nature has witnessed decades of diverse civilizations and traditions.