Our long Mediterranean coastline and numerous rivers offer many plenty of salt and freshwater sporting opportunities. Coastal strips with rocky underwater terrain are unique destinations for snorkeling and diving. A 600-meter-deep underwater valley runs from Beirut to Jounieh Bay, creating interesting rocky gorges, underwater cliffs, and drop-offs for divers to explore. Another popular diving area is Chekka, near Tripoli, which is home to some of the best marine landscapes, flora and fauna off the Lebanese coast.
Exploring the underwater ruins near Jbeil (Byblos), Saida (Sidon), and Sur (Tyre) is another popular activity among divers and snorkelers. You are, however, required to obtain a special permit to dive near archaeological sites. There are also several world-class shipwreck sites for underwater tours, including Le Souffleur (a French submarine from World War II) near Khalde, and the HMS Victoria, which is the only vertical-standing shipwreck in the world.
Lebanon’s coast is lined with many private beach resorts and diving clubs that offer facilities and equipment rental 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 take place mainly along the coast, there are also a number of freshwater activities, including rafting, kayaking, and canoeing, that are available in the larger rivers like Nahr al-Assi in the northern Bekaa, Nahr Litani in the south, and Nahr Ibrahim in Jbeil, all of which typically swell as the spring weather melts the mountain snow, creating great, deep rapids. Many eco-tour operators are available to offer guided rafting and water-sport activities in Lebanon’s rivers.