The Barada Valley
Flowing from the Anti Lebanon mountain range into and through Damascus, the Barada River is an important source for Damascus. In fact, it is one of the main reasons for Damascus' s existence.
Many Damascenes travel up into the mountains, to the valley of Barada to enjoy the fresh air, and the running water. Ain el Figeh where restaurants line up on the riverside of a spring that used to be a source for drinking water and Souk Wadi Barada where Abel's tomb is said to be (opposing the idea that he is buried in Kassioun), are very popular places.
However Zabadani and Bloudan are the most favorite.
This resort, lying 1200 meters in altitude and 50 Km from Damascus, gets extremely busy in the summer. Visitors generally come here to escape the summer heat of the city. From here you can visit the lake, which is Barada's source and the beautiful plain of Zabadani, which is planted with apricot, apple and walnut trees.
Further up into the mountains is Bloudan, a resort more than 1400 meters in altitude. It is much cooler in this village, and many springs are found in this area. The famous spring of Boukein is located in this area, and is the source of the biggest bottled mineral water company, Boukein