If you haven’t been to Jounieh, you don’t really know Lebanon. When coming to visit, you should worry about your safety, security and health in Jounieh as you would in any other foreign destinations. This important resort-city, however, has seen millions of tourists that kept coming back for more. Thanks to the famed Casino du Liban, the rich and famous from Europe and the Middle East regularly come here to play, hang out and have fun without fear of being harmed. Learn more about the city and how much you can enjoy yourself in Jounieh.
Perhaps you’ve read about the Hezbollah, the civil war in Beirut and the other problems that used to besiege the country. But Jounieh, Lebanon and the Lebanese people and culture are truly more than that. Jounieh is a port city that is romantically nestled on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The location alone gives you a hint of an unforgettable holiday by the beach. With its high-rise buildings, modern infrastructure and glitzy establishments, Jounieh is sandwiched between the sea and steep mountains. It is very picturesque. It is where the modern, the ancient and Mother Nature come together.
One of the most well-known establishments here is Casino du Liban, a privately owned casino that’s been receiving international VIP guests since it opened in 1959 and re-opened in 1996. Thanks to the casino, Jounieh has earned the moniker from the Washington Post as playground of the Middle East.
The casino has hundreds of gaming tables, 60 slot machines and fine restaurants where you can savor European and Mediterranean cuisine while enjoying a view of the bay below. The casino also offers the best drinks and other forms of entertainment.
Although a bit on the pricey side, you should consider dining in the casino more than you planned if you are really concerned about your health. Dealing with unfamiliar food is a typical concern for most international tourists. Tourists with weak stomach should settle for restaurants and foods that fit them well and are similar to what they are used to eating. Mediterranean foods, however, are generally very healthy, not to mention delicious. Mediterranean cuisine typically makes use of vegetables, rice, grains, beans, fresh fruits, olive oil, and pasta. Technically, Mediterranean foods include French, Spanish, Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese cuisine, as well as several other dishes served in countries around the Mediterranean Sea.
Next to the casino, the other important landmark in the city is the Our Lady of Lebanon shrine on top of Harissa overlooking the city. Religious or not, you should visit mount Harissa and the shrine, if only for the breathtaking view of the bay, hills and city below.
Getting on top of Harissa is very scenic as you take the téléphérique. Jounieh, in fact, is also known all over the country for this gondola lift that hoists passengers several hundred meters into the air for a magnificent view of the city, hills, mountains and the bay. It only takes 9 minutes on the téléphérique to get from the bay to Harissa.
There is definitely much more to Jounieh than the casino, the statue and cable car system. But just as you would in any foreign destination, taking care of your safety, security and health in Jounieh is a top concern. Some of the streets are unlighted and unsafe especially for women.