With 225km of Mediterranean coastline, as well as numerous rivers throughout the country, Lebanon offers many salt- and fresh-water sporting activities. Lebanon’s rocky coastline and underwater terrain make it a unique destination for snorkeling and diving. A 600m deep underwater valley runs from Beirut to the Bay of Jounié, creating interesting rocky gorges and underwater cliffs and dropoffs for divers to explore. Another popular diving area is at Chikka (near Tripoli), which offers some of the best marine landscapes and flora and fauna off the Lebanese coast.
Exploring the underwater ruins near Jbail (Byblos), Saida (Sidon), and Sour (Tyre) is another popular activity for divers and snorkelers; however, you are required to obtain a special permit to dive near archaeological sites. There are also several world-class shipwreck sites, including “le Souffleur” (a French submarine from World War II) near Khaldé, for underwater exploration.
Lebanon’s coastline is lined with many private beach resorts and diving clubs offering facilities and equipment rentals for diving and snorkeling, as well as a variety of other water activities, including water skiing, windsurfing, and sailing. Nitrox equipment is available for technical deep-water dives.
While water sports in Lebanon are centered on the coast, there are also a number of freshwater activities, including rafting, kayaking, and canyoning. These are concentrated on the rivers of Nahr el Assi in Northern Bekaa, Nahr Litani, in the South, and Nahr Ibrahim, In Jbail, which typically swell as the spring weather melts the mountain snows, creating great deep, fast water conditions. Many ecotour operators offer guided rafting and water sport activities on Lebanon’s rivers.