Ammiq – A Breathtaking Wetland

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Lying in the heart of West Bekaa, Ammiq is a quiet Lebanese village notorious for its fertile lands and jaw dropping fauna and flora, particularly its wetlands. Home to a number of rare species of birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, the vast wetland is in the process of being declared a National reserve. As you can imagine the place is off limit for hunters.

Getting there

Starting your journey from Beirut, Ammiq is easily reachable by taking the Damascus highway all the way towards Chtaura. Once there, a right turn towards Qab Elias will take you straight to Ammiq. The breathtaking landscape will alert you that you have arrived to your destination (road signs will help too). The trip from Beirut to Ammiq will take around 80 minutes.

Our Journey

Bedazzling. Awe-inspiring. Spectacular. These words do not even do justice to the place. When we first arrived in Ammiq, it was dream-like. Staring at your surroundings you will find yourself wondering if you’re still in Lebanon or on a hiking trip somewhere in Europe.

The village itself is very quiet, with little to no traffic. The landscape is relaxing in every direction you look at, with never ending fields of green. Going through Ammiq’s main road, a lot of eye-catching scenery will make you park your car and just gaze endlessly. We’ll do our best to sum up our journey and bring you the experiences we enjoyed the most.

Our first encounter: Buffaloes. Personally, I never knew we had buffaloes in Lebanon. Majestic yet serene animals; the spectacle is so peaceful you could sit all day and just observe. Don’t get too close mind you. The friendliness of buffaloes is no certainty. Just make sure you get close enough to get a clear selfie, or just a normal photograph. These Buffaloes are just a sight to behold.

The wetland itself : That was a big “AWE” for us. First you should know that a big part of the wetland is guarded (being a privately owned land) and access to it is subject to an admission process. However, other parts are open to the public. The nature of the land is very unique, with distinguished flora and big swamps all over the place. You will frequently spot flocks of birds in the skies above you, and often some birds of prey.

DEER. Yes, Deer. Beautiful, fluffy deer. You will find them in a special reserve on the right side of the road at the end of Ammiq village. They are left at large mostly during sunny days. You can feed them through the fences or just scare them off like the kids we met did. Anyhow, the sight of a herd of deer carelessly chewing on grass is definitely something you do not get to see frequently. AWESOME.

The more you look around you, the more amazed you will be. Ammiq is a perfect example of raw nature at its finest.

Our Recommendations

If you plan to visit Ammiq (which in our opinion is best enjoyed on a sunny day during the fall season), here are a few tips to consider:

  • If you are a fan of the “Kaake”, Abou Arab (Chtaura or Aley) is a must stop.
  • In case you wish to dine in Ammiq, then Tawlet Ammiq is the place. We didn’t try it ourselves but the view it provides is reason enough to make you want to visit it.
  • Chateau Kefraya is a nice addition to the trip. If you plan to visit it, just continue driving down Ammiq road until you come across a Lebanese Army checkpoint, then take a left turn.  You can have lunch there, do some wine tasting, tour the wine cellars, etc.

Happy Roadtripping!