Beirut is a stunning city with plenty to do by day and some of the top nightlife experiences in the region; however, Lebanon has tons of gems worth exploring that are only a hop, skip, and a jump away from the capital city.
JEITA GROTTOvia Gotolebanon
Just 21 kilometers north of Beirut is this incredible system of two separate but interconnected limestone caves spanning an overall length of nearly 9 kilometers. The lower cave can only be visited by boat since it channels an underground river that provides fresh drinking water for more than a million people across Lebanon, while the upper cave is accessible to visitors via walkway. A daytime family-friendly adventure that's easily accessible if you're staying in Beirut, the Jeita Grotto also has a restaurant so you don't have to bring food along.
Location: Nahr al-Kalb Valley, Jeita
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Hours of Operation : 9 AM to 5 PM — closed on Mondays and when the water level rises
Contact Number: + 9619220841
Facebook: Jeita Grotto
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cost: Under 15: $7. Over 15: $12. Parking fees: $1.50
Transportation from Beirut: Take a bus from Downtown Beirut till Zouk Mikael and from there another bus to take you roughly 2 KM up the mountain and to the grotto. If you want to save time and effort, you can take a taxi from Beirut to Jeita for $20 – negotiate the fees beforehand, or take an Uber.
Located just 30 KM away from Beirut, Swings is a picnic spot, campsite, and multi-activity center. You can rent outdoor picnic tables and grills anytime until 2 AM, set up camp with a variety of different tents provided at a cost, or spend your day discovering everything from tree-top swings and bungee trampolines to mountain biking and archery training. Pets are allowed in designated areas and must always be on a leash. Heads up that they don't have indoor picnic spaces, so it's a good idea not to head to Swings on a rainy day.
Location: Mar Moussa Road, Baabdat
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Hours of Operations: 9:30 AM to 2:00 AM
Contact Number: +961 3 796 648
Email Address: email@example.com
Cost: Prices vary according to activity
RIO LENTOvia Cruncho
One of Lebanon’s only water parks, and definitely the most established, Rio Lento has several pools, water slides, and other fun water games that are suitable for all ages. Only assistance dogs are allowed inside the enclosed area, and no pets are permitted in swimming pools. Rio Lento also has a variety of restaurants so there's no need to pack food for this day trip.
Location: El Metn, Nahr el-Kalb, about 15-20 KM outside Beirut
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Hours of Operation: 6 AM to 6 PM opens during the summer only and closes by the end of September
Contact Number: +961 4 915 656
Facebook: Rio Lento
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Adults: 35,000 LBP (Monday to Saturday); 40,000 LBP (Sunday and holidays)
Children (under 10): 25,000 LBP (Monday to Saturday); 30,000 LBP (Sunday and holidays)
JBEIL DISTRICT via Aeworld
A historic city in the heart of Lebanon, Jbeil is almost 7,000 years old and is home to several historical, religious, and archaeological landmarks, like the Monastery of Saint Maron, Byblos Castle, the tomb of Saint Charbel, and the old Jbeil market, which ends along the shore. Lined with restaurants offering authentic Lebanese cuisine, Jbeil is a great family and pet-friendly day trip if you're spending some time in Beirut.
Location: 38.5 km northeast of Beirut
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Transportation: Take a bus from Beirut to Jbeil, or taxi that will cost $20-$30.
ARNAOON VILLAGEvia Arnaoon Village
About 70 KM north of Beirut is this village known for adventurous outdoor events, weekend getaways, and a fun family escape from Beirut's city life. Arnaoon Village is similar to Swings, with lots of fun family adventures like zip-lining, climbing, and go-karting. Arnaoon Village is known for its excellent buffet, so there’s no need to bring your own food on this day trip.
Location: Highway, Msaylha Fortress Road, around 70 km from Beirut
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Hours of Operation: 9 am - 5 pm
Contact Number: +961 6 642 111
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Cost: Fees vary according to activity
BAATARA GORGE WATERFALLvia Thousand Wonders
One of the most beautiful sights in Lebanon and one of the oldest waterfalls in the world, Baatara waterfall was discovered in 1952 and has been hosting visitors since 1980. The waterfall drops 255 meters, passing three 'holes' and into the Baatara Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone located on the Lebanon Mountain Trail. The waterfall can only be seen during the months of March and April as the snow is melting, so make sure you head up there at the right time if you want to catch the waterfall in action.
Location: Balaa, between Laklouk and Tannourine, about 70 KM from Beirut
Transportation from Beirut: Buses, cars, taxis, or Ubers can take you from downtown Beirut to the village of Balaa; the waterfall is about five minutes away from Balaa.
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SKI MZAAR/MZAAR KFARDEBIANvia Lebanon in a Picture
At almost 2,500 meters above the sea level and with about 80 KM of slopes, Mzaar Kfardebian ski resort is right in the heart of Mount Lebanon inside the western chain of mountains parallel to the seaside. Only an hour away from Beirut's downtown core is Lebanon's most frequented ski resort, with slopes drawing both amateurs and professionals from around the globe.
Location: Centre Nseir, Jeita, Keserwan – between Faraya Village and Kfar Dibiane
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Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation from Beirut: By car from downtown Beirut, turn right around Riad Solh Square and cross two red lights until you reach the coastal highway towards the north of Lebanon. Drive north on the highway for about 15 KM until you reach the Dog River tunnels, after which you need to turn right upwards towards Zouk Mosbeh Village. Then follow the main road, which will take you from sea level up to 1,700 m. On your way up, you will cross several villages like Jeita, Ajaltoun, Feytroun, Faraya Village, and finally Ouyoune Al Simane where most of the resort's accommodations are located. When in doubt, don't hesitate to stop and ask how to get to Faraya Village.
BAALBEK via Wikipedia
Home to some of the world’s best preserved and largest Roman temples, Baalbek is a UNESCO world heritage site just 85 KM northeast of Beirut. Between the Bacchus Temple, the Temple of Jupiter, the Baalbek Roman ruins, and the Temple of Venus, Baalbek is a must-visit for the history buffs looking to discover the story of Lebanon outside the walls of curated museums.
Location: 85 km northeast of Beirut; east of Litani River in the Beqaa Valley
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via Fouad Awada
If you make it out to Baalbek, head about 20 KM east to this small town to find the ruins of a Phoenico-Greco-Roman temple said to be dedicated to Astarte or Venus. About 300 meters away is Naba al-Arbain spring where you can cool off after a long day of historical exploration.
Location: 20 KM east of Baalbek
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Did somebody say wine? Only 30 KM east of Beirut, Château Ksara was founded in 1857 by Jesuit Priests and later developed Lebanon's first dry wine. Now it's open for those who want to explore the vineyards or do a little wine tastings alongside a delicious meal.
Location: Chateau Ksara, Ksara, Beqaa Governorate
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Hours of Operation: 9 AM – 5 PM
Contact Numbers: +961-8-813495 |+961-8-813496
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BATROUNvia Lebanon in a Picture
Another coastal city in Lebanon, Batroun is one of the oldest cities in the world and a major tourist attraction. The town boasts historic Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches and is also a major beach resort with a vibrant nightlife that includes pubs, beach clubs, and nightclubs. It's like a Beirut just 55 KM north of Beirut, so you can head up there and do it all over again Batroun style.
Location: 55 KM north of Beirut
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