Jeita is a wonderful tourist destination in Lebanon. There are lots of fantastic tourist attractions located in the city. The town contains stunning caves that contain geomorphological structures that have been formed over millions of years. A visit to Jeita is certainly worth it as you can find many places of interests in the town.
Jeita is a small town which is present in the Keserwan District in Lebanon well known for the Jeita Grotto. The town lies to the north of the capital city of Beirut. Jeita is an elevated town and most of the people of the town are Maronite Christians. The area is home to some of the earliest Christians. One of the things to do in Jeita is to visit Grotto where many tourists arrive each year. It is a very popular place and represents a natural phenomenon which is seldom observed in other places. Another of the best things to do in Jeita is the visiting of the Nahr-al-Kalb which is a small river that empties into the Mediterranean Sea. The Grotto caves connect the different bodies of water of the river and therefore can only be visited by a boat ride. One of the best things to do in Jeita is to go to the beach which is close to the city and presents a nice sight for visitors. Jeita also receives a lot of visitors each year and offers a lot of activities to the visiting tourists. The name Jeita is derived from an Arabic word which refers to noise. As the river nearby produces a lot of noise, the area also came to be known by this name.
Jeita is a small city therefore everything is based around the tourism industry here. The main attraction of tourists is the Grotto cave system which is among the top places to visit in Jeita. The caves are also a national symbol and bring in many international and regional visitors to the country. It is an excellent source of bringing foreign income to the country. It plays an important role especially in the economy of Jeita which is a small district and solely depends on visitors coming to see this wonderful natural marvel from their own eyes. Other places to visit in Jeita are the museums and different beaches which are all close to the central city of Beirut and even Jeita comes under this greater Beirut area. One of the best things to do in Jeita is to visit the infamous Crusader Castle, which is just a few miles outside the city. Tourists love shopping in foreign lands and therefore one of the things to do in Jeita is the visiting of the Old Souk which is an ideal place to buy the local produce and artifacts especially for visitors. Visitors here can also go the Lebanese Marine and Wildlife Museum, which is interesting for people who have an interest in nature.
The Jeita Grotto is considered to be one of the largest caves in the Middle East and is located about 11 miles from the north of the city of Beirut. It comprises of two connected limestone caverns that are about 9km long and contains some of the world’s most spectacular stalactite and stalagmite formations. This is one of the reasons why it is considered to be the pride of Lebanon and why it was almost added to the new 7 Wonders of the World.
The caves were also inhabited by pre-historic generations evidence of which can be found in the caverns. Its discovery was made by an American missionary and pastor called William Thompson back in 1836. It was said that he trekked almost 50 meters inside the caves before firing a gun to measure how deep the cave really went. The numbers were staggering.
The grotto is a prime tourist attraction and also contains a number of attractions for them such as a mini zoo, a train, ropeways besides a number of souvenir shops selling handmade Lebanese crafts and restaurants serving traditional cuisine. In order to get to the caves, you need to drive from Beirut for 18 km or take a minibus from Dawra to the turnoff of Jeita on the highway.