A summer resort some 45 kilometers north of Damascus, 1175 meters above
sea-level. It overlooks the plain of Zabadani, a fertile land with thousands of fruit trees bearing delicious apples, cherries, plums, peaches, and pears. The source of the river Barada is in this plain and it supplies Damascus with water, and irrigates the Ghuta around the city. The source of the river forms a little lake which is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and play-grounds.

Attracted by its fresh air and beautiful scenery, Damascenes rush to this resort on hot summer days. The area has many hotels and restaurants, cafes and camping sites situated near the banks of the river.

A picnic at the Barada Valley.

The Barada Source.
    Many Damascenes, however, prefer another nearby resort, Bludan, which spreads over the mountain overlooking Zabadani, at 1500 meters above sea-level. It is cooler here and the scenery is particularly impressive, especially at sunset. Here, too, plenty of hotels, restaurants and cafes cater to the needs of all visitors. Most notable among them is the Grand Hotel, with its spacious terrace that overlooks the entire Zabadani plain, Also on the hill-top between Zabadani and Bludan, lies the village of Buqein with its famous mineral- spring gushing out of the hillside, It is customary for visitors to stop here and sample this fresh water. This is now bottled and sold in hotels, restaurants and shops throughout the Middle East.
Recreation spots near Damascus are numerous and varied. In the western Ghuta on the banks of the river Barada, you will find hundreds of them concealed under the shade of poplar and willow trees.

    The main resting-spots in this valley are:
Ein al-Fijeh, Ein al-Khadra, Basseemeh,
al-Ashrafieh, al-Hameh, and al-Rabweh.
The eastern Ghuta, where the International Airport is located, is also a most attractive part of the Damascus environs.
It is full of fruit orchards with apricot, peach, apple, and pear trees. Also a little to the north of Damascus there are two interesting villages, al-Tel and Mnein (1300 metres above sea-level), well-known for their clear springs and pretty cafes.
The village of Erneh is some 52 kilometers from Damascus, suspended at 1400 meters above sea-level on the slopes of Mount Hermon. It has over 300 springs that converge to create al-A'waj River, and it is well-known for its delicious strawberries, cherries, apples and peaches.

The Ghuta.

Back to MiddleEast.com