Geography of Lebanon: Topography

Geography of Lebanon: Topography Last updated on Wednesday 21st April 2010

There are four main geographical regions running north to south parallel to the Mediterranean -- the coastal plain, the Lebanon mountain range, the Bekaa Valley and the Anti-Lebanon range.

The narrow fertile coastal plain broken at several points by the foothills and peaks of the Lebanon Mountains. Lebanon's main cities, Beirut and Tripoli, are along this plain. The Lebanon mountains include numerous rivers which flow down to the sea, and Lebanon's highest peak Qornet Es-Sauda at 3090 metres. Behind the Lebanon Mountains is the Bekaa Valley, an extension of the Great Rift Valley.

The 15-kilometre-wide fertile Bekaa valley is the country's main agricultural region, growing crops as varied as sugar beet, potatoes, and grapes. The Bekaa's archaeological treasures are among Lebanon's finest: Baalbeck, once a Roman metropolis, and Anjar, an Umayyad city that was an 8th century shopping centre, much as nearby Chtaura is today.

Lebanon's two major rivers, the Litani and the Orontes, rise in the Bekaa Valley. The valley ends abruptly at the foot of the Anti-Lebanon range, an arid mountain mass which forms the boundary with Syria. Its highest summit is Mt. Hermon at 2814 metres.

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