Distance from Beirut: 17km
From Beirut, take the Damascus road toward Hazmieh, Fayyadieh, Dahr El Wahesh,
Until the end of the 19th century Aley was just another small
mountain village, but when the railroad linking Beirut with Damascus was built
in 1892 - 95 it took on a new life. The train (no longer operating) made it
easy for residents of Beirut to summer here.
Some of the Ottoman governors of Mount Lebanon also chose Aley as their summer residences and the train station was often crowded with elegant
passengers and their retinues. With time, Aley became one of the most celebrated
summer villages in Lebanon.
Nearby Bhamdoun also benefited from railroad as it developed into
a large, popular resort. Sofar at an elevation of 1,280 meters was another stop
on the Beirut-Damascus railroad and, in fact, is said to have earned its name
from the train’s whistle (saufar in Arabic). Sofar is known for its lovely
tree-shaded “corniche” overlooking the Metn river valley and Mount Kneiseh.
There is also the war-ruined but still impressive Grand Hotel and many beautiful
old houses to admire.
Information From the Ministry of