The blue sky and warm waters of the Mediterranean, the fresh air and rugged mountain peaks, and the pleasant chill of snowmelt-fed rivers make Lebanon a perfect destination for those who enjoy nature and the outdoors. From a leisurely afternoon of snorkeling or diving on the coast to a multiple-day trek through ancient cedar forests and mountains, the compactness of the country makes it possible to explore much of Lebanon’s natural beauty and the cultural diversity in a single trip.
In this country of rich biodiversity, nature-lovers will enjoy watching endangered loggerhead and green turtles come to shore for breeding along the southern coast or going on guided nature walks in the north in search of tiny orchids, medicinal plants and colorful wildflowers.
With a rich variety of terrain, adventure-lovers will find any outdoor sport under the sun. In summer, many seaside and mountain resorts offer the perennial favorites, such as swimming, water-skiing, tennis, golf, and parasailing. Diving and snorkeling are also very popular. You can explore Roman and Phoenician ruins off the coast of Saida (Sidon), Jbeil (Byblos), or Sour (Tyre) or the wreckages of a World War II submarine at Khaldé, south of Beirut. In addition, eco-lodges, clubs, and small outfitters offer mountain biking, guided hikes, rock climbing, rafting, archery, orienteering, and camps or other multi-day outdoor excursions throughout the year. In the winter, you can add downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing across Lebanon’s snow-capped mountains to the list of outdoor activities.
For those seeking serious adventure and adrenaline, why not explore Lebanon from the air by paragliding or rock climbing to the more inaccessible rock-cut sanctuaries and hermitages hanging precipitously from steep mountain cliffs? Caving in Lebanon is another unique experience. Considered one of the most beautiful caves in the world, the Jeita Grotto was discovered a hundred years ago. The cave is open to the public all year round. For exploration of Lebanon’s other more remote caves, many clubs and small outfitters offer tours with experienced guides and all equipment provided.