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 Home > Eco-Tourism > Mount Lebanon > Jeita 
 

Jeita Grotto
(400m - 20km from Beirut) - Caverns Sculpted By Water and Time


Few grottos in the world match the astounding wealth of Jeita. Over time, the action of water has created cathedral-like vaults beneath the wooded hills of Mount Lebanon. Geologically, the caves provide a tunnel for the underground river, which is the principal source of the Nahr el-Kalb (Dog River).

The caverns are on two levels. The lower galleries, discovered in 1836 and opened to the public in 1958, are visited by boat. The 600m trip on a subterranean lake is surrealistic, starting with the roar of the waterfall at the entrance giving way to profound silence as one slides deeper into the cave. An effective new lighting system illuminates the caverns allowing the visitor to glimpse the uppermost roofs.

The upper galleries, opened in January 1969, can be seen on foot through a 120 meter-long concrete tunnel.  This section shows what the entire cave system was like before geological conditions displaced the subterranean river to its present level, and is a delight to see.  Perhaps the most dramatic sight is the yawning canyons and sink holes, some seen at a drop of over a hundred meters.

In summer you can visit both the upper and lower galleries while enjoying the refreshingly cool temperature inside the caves. The lower section is sometimes closed in winter when the water-level is high, but the extensive upper galleries are open all year.

 


Getting There ...
From Beirut - direction north - driving through the Nahr el Kalb tunnel (18km from Beirut), turn right at the Ajaltoun off ramp heading uphill.  Jeita is only 5km away. (
See Mount Lebanon Map)
 

 

 

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