Aaley, Lebanon

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Aaley, Lebanon

Region: Mount Lebanon Governorate

Geographic Coordinates: 33.800000, 35.600000
Temperature Range: 12.0°C to 35.0°C (54°F to 95°F)
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Aaley, Lebanon vary throughout the year.
Population: 130000
Language: Arabic

Aaley is a small town located in the Mount Lebanon Governorate of Lebanon. It sits at an altitude of 1, 100 meters above sea level and is surrounded by stunning mountains, Making it a popular tourist destination for those seeking scenic views and fresh mountain air. The town has a rich history dating back to the Phoenician period and has been home to various civilizations throughout history. Aaley currently houses around 20, 000 residents who are mainly Christians. The town boasts several historic landmarks such as the Maronite Church of Saint George which was built in the 17th century.

One of Aaley’s main attractions is its famous cedar forest which spans over an area of 2, 000 hectares. The forest contains some of Lebanon’s oldest cedar trees that are estimated to be over 1, 500 years old. Visitors can take guided tours through the forest or hike along one of its many trails while enjoying breathtaking views. Another popular attraction in Aaley is its traditional souk (marketplace) where visitors can find local handicrafts like pottery, Textiles and jewelry. The souk also offers delicious Lebanese delicacies such as baklava and knafeh.

For adventure enthusiasts, Aaley has plenty on offer including paragliding from nearby peaks with experienced instructors or skiing at Faraya Mzaar Ski Resort during winter months. Aaley hosts several cultural events throughout the year including music festivals showcasing local talent from across Lebanon like Fête de la Musique held annually on June 21st where musicians perform live concerts across different locations in town. Overall, Aaley offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty combined with rich culture and history making it an ideal destination for anyone looking for an authentic Lebanese experience.

Important Landmarks

  1. Aaley Rock: It is a towering rock formation that offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
  2. Saint John Monastery: This ancient monastery dates back to the 12th century and features beautiful frescoes, mosaics, and carvings.
  3. Beit El Dine Palace: This historic palace complex was built in the 19th century by Emir Bashir II and features beautiful architecture, gardens, courtyards, and museums.
  4. Mount Lebanon Ski Resort: This popular ski resort offers skiing, snowboarding, and other winter sports activities during the winter months.
  5. Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve: This nature reserve is home to diverse flora and fauna species as well as hiking trails that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
  6. Deir el-Qamar Village: This charming village is known for its traditional Lebanese architecture including stone houses with red-tiled roofs.
  7. Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the oldest cedar trees in Lebanon as well as several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the landscape.
  8. Faqra Roman Ruins: These ancient ruins date back to Roman times and include a temple dedicated to Jupiter as well as several other structures such as a theater, bathhouse, and aqueducts.
  9. Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
  10. The Lady Of Aaley Statue

Primary Industries

  • Aaley, Lebanon is famous for its agricultural industry, specifically in grape and apple production.
  • The region also boasts a bustling tourism sector thanks to its picturesque views and notable landmarks like the Aaley Grotto and Aaley Castle.
  • Furthermore, there are numerous small enterprises in the area such as restaurants, cafes, and shops that cater to both tourists and locals.

  • Noteable History

    1. Aaley, Lebanon is a small town with limited historical significance.
    2. The Battle of Aaley in 1613 was won by Fakhr-al-Din II against the Ottoman Empire.
    3. Emir Bashir Shihab II ruled from 1788 to 1840 and played a crucial role in modernizing Lebanon and establishing its independence.
    4. Saint Charbel Makhlouf was a Maronite monk who lived in Aaley during the late 19th century and is considered a saint for his piety, miracles, and devotion to God.
    5. In 2005, Aaley played an important role in Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution when thousands of Lebanese citizens gathered at Martyrs’ Square to demand the withdrawal of Syrian troops from their country.
    6. The Aley District Museum showcases artifacts from various periods of Lebanese history such as Roman mosaics, Byzantine coins, Islamic ceramics, and Ottoman weapons.
    7. Sheikh Saleh al-Ali Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Lebanon located in Aaley’s old town area.
    8. The Kanaan Palace Hotel is another historic landmark built during the French Mandate period (1920-1943) that has hosted many famous guests over the years such as King Abdullah I of Jordan and former French President Charles de Gaulle.
    9. Dr Samir Geagea is one of Lebanon’s political leaders who currently resides near Alei city at Maarab.

    Museums and Things To See

    1. Aaley Heritage Museum
    2. Aaley Castle
    3. Our Lady of the Hill Monastery
    4. St. George Church
    5. Aaley Natural Reserve
    6. The Great Rock of Aaley
    7. Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve
    8. Beit El Jabal Cultural Center
    9. Mar Antonios Monastery in Bakish Village
    10. Skiing resorts in Faraya and Mzaar Kfardebian

    Sports Teams

    1. Football (Soccer)
    2. Basketball
    3. Volleyball
    4. Tennis
    5. Rugby

    There may be local teams and clubs in Aaley that represent these sports or others not mentioned above that the locals enjoy playing or watching as well as their respective histories, but I do not have access to this information currently.

    Cultural Events

    1. Aaley International Festival: This is a summer festival that takes place every year in Aaley. It is a celebration of music, dance and theatre.
    2. Grape Harvest Festival: This festival takes place in September every year to celebrate the grape harvest season. It includes traditional food, music and dance performances.
    3. Saint Elias Feast Day: This is a religious festival celebrated on July 20th every year to honor Saint Elias who is the patron saint of Aaley.
    4. Christmas Market: During the festive season, there is a Christmas market where visitors can buy gifts and enjoy traditional food and drinks.
    5. Easter Celebrations: During Easter time there are various processions and religious ceremonies taking place throughout the town.
    6. Independence Day Celebrations: On November 22nd each year Lebanon celebrates its independence from France with parades and fireworks displays across the country including Aaley.
    7. Skiing Competitions: In winter months skiing competitions take place at Faraya Mzaar ski resort which draws many visitors from around Lebanon as well as international tourists to enjoy skiing competitions while enjoying beautiful mountain views of Mount Sannine range near Aaley town.


    • Al Halabi Restaurant – famous for its traditional Lebanese dishes like hummus, tabbouleh, kebabs, and shawarma.
    • Al Balad – known for its authentic Lebanese cuisine including grilled meats, mezzes, and seafood dishes.
    • Le Montagnou – a family-owned restaurant serving traditional Lebanese food with a modern twist.
    • La Table D’Alfred – offers a fine dining experience with French-inspired cuisine using fresh local ingredients.
    • Liza Beirut – serves upscale Lebanese dishes in a beautifully restored 19th-century mansion.
    • Beit El Qamar Restaurant & Guesthouse – offers an authentic Lebanese experience with traditional decor and home-cooked meals made from locally sourced ingredients.
    • Dar El Azrak Restaurant & Guesthouse – specializes in Mediterranean-style seafood dishes using fresh catch from the nearby coast.
    • Em Sherif Cafe Aley – serves classic Middle Eastern breakfast items like foul (fava beans) and manakeesh (Lebanese flatbread).

    • Parks and Recreation

      1. Aaley Sports Club, which provides various sports facilities like football, basketball, tennis, and swimming.
      2. Aaley Forest is a beautiful forested area ideal for hiking and picnicking.
      3. Faqra Club offers skiing and snowboarding during the winter season.
      4. Faraya Mzaar Ski Resort also provides skiing and snowboarding during the winter season.
      5. Baatara Gorge Waterfall is a natural wonder that’s popular for hiking and nature walks.
      6. Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve has hiking trails with stunning views of the mountains and valleys.
      7. Jbeil Byblos Beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, jet skiing or parasailing water sports activities.
      8. Jeita Grotto Caves offer guided tours through stunning underground formations of stalactites and stalagmites.


      Leave Footprints In The Sand.

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