Rashaya is a most attractive little town seated on the western slopes of Mount Hermon. It lies in the South Beqaa 85 kilometres from Beirut, ensconced in the northern side of the valley known as Wadi et-Taim, from where there flow a number of water courses that feed the river Jordan, famous for its religious associations, which descends southward into the Sea of Galilee and beyond that into the Dead Sea much lower down.
The township stands at an altitude of 1,360 metres, half way up the famous mountain, whose summit rises to 2,814 metres above sea level and to be exact to 3,300 metres above the Beqaa-Ghor depression, which makes it the second highest mountain in Lebanon, somewhat lower than Qornet es-Sawdat but rather higher than Sannine. It is from Rashaya that anyone sets out who wants to climb Mount Hermon from the Lebanese side, winding up the mountain past picturesque vineyards and fig-tree groves below, then wild ravines and jagged escarpments till one reaches the very top, which marks the frontier between Lebanon and Syria. It might even be that this was the high mountain mentioned in the Gospels, Mark 8: 1 and elsewhere, scene of the Transfiguration, “after Jesus had passed through the upper valley of the Jordan north of Cæsarea Philippi” (the present town of Banias.)