About an hour and 20 minutes from Beirut is a dreamlike location hidden in West Bekaa and situated about 7 km from Qab Elias: Ammiq.
With its picturesque natural surroundings and its ecological diversity, it’s hard sometimes to believe a place like this exists in Lebanon.
If you haven’t visited yet, here are some good reasons why you must.
#1 The breathtaking nature of West Bekaa
Ammiq is located in one of the most fertile parts of the Bekaa Valley. The village is known for its green lands and rich flora and fauna.
#2 Aammiq Freshwater Wetland
The Ammiq Wetland is the last significant freshwater wetland in Lebanon. It is living proof of the many marshes that once existed in the region. In 1999, it was declared Ramsar site number 978.
“Rain and snow falling on the high ridge of Jabal Barouk to the west provide water for the wetland,” states A Rocha Lebanon, an organization founded in 1996 dedicated to saving the Aammiq marshes from destruction.
#3 Hundreds of birds’ species
According to A Rocha Lebanon, Aammiq lies on one of the most important bird migration routes in the world. There have been over 250 species of birds recorded in the area.
This includes “the globally vulnerable Great Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga, Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, and Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni.”
#4 Animal sightings
In addition to the birds, you’ll be surprised to find water buffaloes grazing near the wetland and even diving in for a swim. Water buffaloes were introduced into the area to maintain the health of the swamp.
In fact, 23 species of mammals have been recorded living in and around the marsh. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a deer or two in near the village.
#5 Refreshing hiking trips
Due to Ammiq’s increasing popularity, many hiking trips are organized to explore the wetlands and visit the serene village.
#6 Peaceful bike rides
Bikes are available to rent at the entrance to the wetland. You can wader through the area and discover the natural beauty hidden in Ammiq.
#7 Picnic in the wetland
There are no restaurants in the wetland. It is advised to bring your own snack or lunch and enjoy a picnic out in the vibrant nature of the area.
#8 Tawlet Ammiq
If the picnic isn’t your style, Souk El Tayeb’s eco-tourism project Tawlet Ammiq is the ideal balance between nature and humans. You can have a fantastic meal with gorgeous views, while also helping the local farmers and small business owners.
#9 Wine Tasting
Harvested grapes from the vineyards in Ammiq contribute to the local wine production of Reserve Ammiq, a local attraction for wine lovers of Lebanon.