Choosing Jounieh in Lebanon as your next holiday destination may be one of the best holiday decisions you have made. This Lebanese coastal city is known for a number of sites and landmarks, one of which is the crescent-shaped Jounieh Bay.
The mention of Lebanon and the capital city of Beirut may bring a sour taste to many international travelers. The country has been bothered by war, political instability, religious unrest and the Hezbollah, but these shouldn’t stop you from visiting one of the most picturesque cities in the world.
Jounieh is sandwiched between the gorgeous bay and the steep lush mountains that are reminiscent of the Swiss Alps. It is also squashed between modern urban advancements and Lebanon’s rich ancestry. Nowhere in the world can you find a city that perfect blends its ancient roots with modern-day living. If you love nature and history, Jounieh is the place for you, and if plush restaurants and modern restaurants are your thing, Jounieh is also the place to be.
Other than the bay, the city’s leading attractions are Dog River, Jeita Grotto, Mount Lebanon, Casino du Liban, and the looming statue of Our Lady of Lebanon. Dog River (a.k.a. Nahr al-Kalb or Lycus River) is a historic body of water since on its banks are unbelievably well preserved inscriptions written by important historical figures such Ramses II, King Nebuchadnezzar, Marcus Aurelius, and Napoleon III.
Another important feature of Dog River is that its waters spring from Jeita Grotto, which is a majestic system of karstic limestone caves. Jeita Grotto is made up of the interconnected Lower Galleries and Upper Galleries where you can find some of the largest and most spectacular columns, draperies, stalactites and stalagmites in the world. The grotto has been named as finalist in the search for the New 7 Wonders of Nature. The caves have never ceased to amaze speleologists and nature enthusiasts around the world.
Mount Lebanon, on the other hand, is where you can find wild flowers, colorful rock formations, interesting landscapes and a great view of the area below.
A fourth attraction is not a work of nature but rather an international achievement in entertainment, tourism and global recognition, Casino du Liban. It is the only land-based casino in the country and definitely the largest and most popular in the Middle East. Located in northern Jounieh, the casino has hosted the richest and most popular high rollers in the Middle East and Europe since the 1960s.
And then there’s the majestic outstretched statue of the Virgin Mary named Our Lady of Lebanon. Jounieh is the seat of the Maronite brand of Catholicism, and Our Lady of Lebanon is the Maronite Catholic Church’s crowning symbol. Nestled on top of Harissa, tourists and pilgrims could reach the statue on the famed téléphérique cable car. The ride to the top offers a breathtaking view of the bay below.
Jounieh Bay is simply romantic, especially as the sun begins to set and paints the sky golden orange. A stroll on the coast during the day and partying in the rows of pubs and bars during the night will surely make your Jounieh vacation unforgettable.