Tourism in Lebanon
Lebanon is one of the most beautiful Mediterranean countries which is located in Western Asia along the borders of the Mediterranean Sea. It is blessed by the equal climate of all four seasons that take place throughout the year. Lebanon shines with the advantage of having both the mountains and the ocean available for access at any time during the same day. Being one of the smallest countries in the Middle East did not stop Lebanon from hitting the top lists of the most visited touristic Arab countries in which the tourism rates has been drastically increasing over the years.
Another significant factor about Lebanon is that it includes a lifestyle for different people from different backgrounds and beliefs, along with a living cost for all types of people from various social classes. This makes tourism in Lebanon available for a wider range of tourists where they have the choice to choose between an affordable or a high-end vacation which we will discover about in this article.
1- Beirut and Tourism in Lebanon
Beirut being the capital of Lebanon and its largest city, it is also considered as one of the oldest cities in the world. It is nicknamed as ‘The Paris of the Middle East’ because it was influenced by the French culture and lifestyle after World War II which became an important touristic destination.
Raouche, which is the most commonly visited place in Corniche Beirut is a coastal area engulfed by restaurants and cafeterias.
It is famous for the ‘Raouche Rock’ which is a gigantic natural rock close to the shore with a natural passage for boats among it.
This rock is also known as ‘The Rock of Love’ where tourists can have a walk and take pictures with the view of the Raouche rock in the background.
- Downtown Beirut
Downtown Beirut is the central district of Beirut that includes a lot of high-end fashion stores and restaurants.
Close to it is the ‘Zaituna Bay’ which is popular mainly for its port of fancy yachts.
2- Jounieh and Tourism in Lebanon
Jounieh is a coastal city and a part of Mount Lebanon that has amazing city views.
Tourists can walk through the ‘Old Souk Village’ and benefit from shopping at more affordable prices.
- Harissa- Our Lady of Lebanon
From Jounieh itself, you can take the Teleferique which is an aerial cableway in which the destination is Harissa- Our Lady of Lebanon.
Harissa is a site visited by people from various cultures and religions where they can either pray and practice their religion or use the binocular to get a closer look of the amazing view.
Even without a binocular, people can enjoy the beautiful view of ‘Jounieh Bay’ that is known to be as one of the most majestic bays from all around the world.
- Paragliding in Lebanon
As an activity, paragliding is the best option in Jounieh where tourists have the opportunity to fly among this mesmerizing view and get the adrenaline pumping with professional pilots which guarantees a safe journey as they float among the Mediterranean Sea.
3- Jeita and Tourism in Lebanon
Jeita is a town located in the District of Keserwen, where its name is derived from the Aramaic word ‘Ge’itta’ which means ‘noise’ or ‘roar’ in English.
- Jeita Grotto
Jeita Grotto consists of two separated but interconnected caves that is of 9 km length which was discovered by Lebanese and American speleologists many years ago.
This cave provides fresh drinking water to more than a million people in Lebanon.
- Jewel of Tourism
Lebanese people consider Jeita Grotto as the ‘Jewel of Tourism’ in the country as it was a candidate among the top 14 finalists in the 7 wonders competition from all around the world and was so close to winning among the top seven competitors.
- Touring within the Grotto
There is a small Teleferique that takes people from the entrance to the beginning of the cave.
Jeita Grotto has multiple walkways for tourists to be able to safely approach this natural phenomenon that is supplied by lights to lead the way through the darkness and enhance its natural features.
Throughout the years, the flowing water has created mesmerizing sculptures and shapes that people can gaze at through their trip in a boat among the natural flowing river present in this cave, and a guide is available to explain about this majestic place and its sculptures.
4- Cedars of God and Tourism in Lebanon
‘The Cedars of God’ as known by the Lebanese people is a highly important tree as well as the emblem of Lebanon, that marks one of the last available extensive forests in the country.
Tourists like to hike within its Kadisha Valley where they gain positive energy from the greenery surrounding the entire walkway.
- Shops and Souvenirs
Traditional shops are available in which imprinting on the cedar’s wood is the most popular among these shops. People usually get souvenirs for others with their names, prayer, or even quotes engraved onto this piece of wood that holds the great smell of the cedars forest.
- Activities and Festivals
During the winter season skiing is a fun activity that tourists can enjoy there, whereas in summer, paragliding is also available as an activity which makes it convenient to visit the village of Bcharre in which the Cedars is located, during all seasons.
In summer, ‘Cedars International Festival’ takes place every year where different artists from all around the world perform in this event that occurs in Bcharre.
- Gibran Khalil Gibran Museum
Tourists can also visit Gibran Khalil Gibran Museum and house in Bcharre who is the greatest poet, writer, and artist that Lebanon has given to the world in which his books were translated into more than 100 languages.
5- Jbeil and Tourism in Lebanon
Byblos or Jbeil (in Arabic) is one of the oldest inhabitant cities in the world in which the Phoenician alphabets were invented, and that is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Byblos Citadel
The Byblos Citadel was built by crusaders in the 12th century which is a castle that tourists can visit.
The city of Jbeil itself is a Phoenician site where tourists can learn about the history of Byblos through the impartial panels available at the ‘Byblos Site Museum’ inside the castle. These panels help to explain about the medieval period in which the castle was built in.
- Summer in Jbeil
Jbeil is also known for its ocean and beautiful shore where tourists can take a small boat and tour through the city. During summer, swimming pools are a huge hit in this city since most of them are of great views overlooking the mountains and the seaside.
- Jbeil Souks
Jbeil Souks are popular for their walk through and festivals that take place during summer. These souks include a variety of antique shops, restaurants, and pubs which is fun to stroll through and enjoy the old streets that are still lively till this day.
6- Baalbeck and Tourism in Lebanon
Baalbeck is located in the Beqaa Valley and was called ‘Heliopolis’ by the Greek which means ‘Sun City’. This nickname is used as reference to the solar cult during the Roman Empire.
- Baalbeck Temple
Baalbeck Temple is one of the most visited sites in the district of Beqaa which includes two of the largest Roman temples in the world that are ‘Temple of Bacchus’ and ‘Temple of Jupiter.’
- Historical Monuments
Tourists enjoy exploring and learning about the traditions and cultures that occurred during that period of time.
The temples are famous for their high and gigantic architectures with sculptured drawings and writings all over their surfaces.
It is a great place to visit during the day and to take pictures among these historical monuments.
- Temple of Bacchus
The Temple of Bacchus is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the ‘Baalbeck International Festival’ takes place every summer within its venue.
This festival is huge in the Arab world since famous Arabian artists like Fairuz and Oum Kalthoum…, along with international artists such as Deep Purple and Luciano Pavarotii etc. have participated in it. In addition to these huge famous names, many local performers have attended the festival throughout the years.
In this article, we came across six touristic places in Lebanon that we learned some fun facts about along with the best destinations and activities to accomplish while specifically touring in them. Tell us about your personal experience if you have visited any of these places by commenting your opinion.