When visiting Beirut you NEED to stop off at the amazing Jeita grotto. This great little marvel of mature is often called the 8th world wonder by people in Lebanon. Jeita Grotto was one of our highlights when visiting Lebanon and I cannot recommend visiting Jeita Grotto more. That is why I have written out this complete guide to help you plan your visit to Jeita Grotto.
What is the Jeita Grotto
The Jeita Grotto is a nine-kilometer cave that is made from karstic limestone and is situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley in Jeita, whose name means “roaring water”. The cave’s entrance is about a hundred meters above sea level and is five kilometers away from the east of the Mediterranean coastline. The cave provides fresh drinking water and was discovered in 1836 by William Thomson and can only be visited by boat. The Jeita Grotto also known to be a popular tourist attraction due to its symbolism in Lebanese culture and society. It was nominated as one of the seven Wonders of the World due to its historical significance dating back to the early 1800s. The inside of the cave is made out of dolomite and micritic limestone where most of the caverns are now open to the public. Fun fact, in 1969 a concert was conducted in the cave by the French composer Francois Bayle. Since then other cultural events and concerts have been conducted in the cave due to its unique location and unusual surroundings.
What can you find in the Grotto
The Jeita Grotto has two caves, being the upper and lower caves. These caves have formed over millions of years because of geological changes of tectonic forces and dissolution of limestone. The upper cave is accessible to visitors via a walkway. You can also take a scenic cable car ride to the upper cave. Within the upper cave is a location that visitors can access that has three chambers called the White Chamber, the Red Chamber, and a third chamber that is the biggest of all three. Bask in the beauties of nature as you explore the cave. The lower cave can be accessed by taking a train ride and a boat trip under the river cave. Enjoy a beautiful boat trip as you go through approximately four hundred meters in a tranquil journey though the grotto. The lower cave has an underwater river and lake which is broken up into small cataracts and rapids. You can also visit Thompson’s Cavern which is a huge hall with beautiful cave formations. You can enjoy a scenic ride that takes you on a panoramic viewing of nature on a cable car, a great activity to consider doing. One of the most astounding monuments in Lebanon, the “Guardian of Time” statue is located at the entrance of the lower grotto as well. It weighs around 65 tons and towers at around 6.6 meters, a great place for you to take pictures! More exciting attractions await, such as ropeways, trains, miniature zoos, and gardens.
Prices of entrance to Jeita Grotto
Entry fee for Jeita Grotto is LBP 18,150 per person, or approximately £9.5 sterling, and the grotto is open all days of the week except Monday. The grotto is also open at 9 AM till 5 PM, do take note of the time if you are looking to plan your trip at Lebanon. You can find the grotto at Keserwan, Beirut, and is a great place to visit if you are travelling here looking for some photos to take and witness one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The duration of the visit would generally take one to two hours, depending on what you are planning to do at the Grotto. There are tons to do however at the Grotto, you will have a wonderful time chock full of exciting activities for you to enjoy. Love nature and sightseeing? You will definitely love sightseeing the wonderful stone formations, unique columns, draperies, and mushrooms of the Jeita Grotto. Want to take a serene ride at the Grotto’s river? You can enjoy the boat ride that is provided. For around £9.5, you can enjoy most of the activities the Grotto has to offer, quite a great offer for a day full of adventure and discovery!
How to get from Beirut to Jeita Grotto
Depending on your preferences there are several ways to get to Jetia Grotto from Beirut. First option is to take a taxi for around $15 to $30 depending on your location. According to many people, you can haggle the price as some cabs demand around $100 to $120, be advised and try to get a better price so you can save more.
I personally recommend taking an Uber or a Careem to Jeita as that was the cheapest option for us. We paid $25.
It takes around 16 minutes to get to Jeita Grotto by taxi, drivers usually know how to get there if you inquire. Another option would be taking a minibus to Jeita Junction from Cola or Dora bus stations.
If you are travelling by car it is quite easy to get to Jetia Grotto as you can always use a GPS, here are the general directions to go to Jeita Grotto by car for a total of 23 minutes and 21 kilometers approximately:
- Take General Foaad Chehab and Damascus to Charles Helou/Rout 51M
- Follow route 51M to Zouq Mosbeh- Aajaltoun Road in Mount Lebanon Governorate and Exit from Route 51M
- Continue on Zouq Mosbeh-Aajaltoun Road to your destination
- At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Zouq Mosbeh-Aajaltoun Road
Best Jeita Grotto Tours
One of the best ways to get to Jeita Grotto and have a seamless adventure with less hassle is to take a tour led by a wonderful local guide. Doing so will reduce the time needed to find your way around, and you will be guided through tons of exciting activities and sceneries that Lebanon has to offer.
Jeita Grotto-Harissa-Byblos tour
A great tour for people who intend to visit Jeita Grotto, Harissa, and Byblos for around 26€. You will be picked up at the hotel and the tour will include a scenic cable car ride to the upper cave. You will also visit the lower cave via train ride and take a calming boat trip under the river cave. Afterwards, you will visit the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa by cable car which overlooks Jounieh Bay and gives off a panoramic view reminiscent of the Christ statue in Rio de Janeiro. Finally, you will be guided to Byblos which is considered one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. Byblos is recorded to have existed for over 8000 years, truly a wonderful historical site to visit! At Byblos, you will walk through the old souq, visit Byblos Castle, the Fossil Museum, Wax Museum, Byblos Old Port, and the St. Jean Marc Church. You will then be escorted back to the hotel at the end of the day.
Beirut: Byblos, Jeita Grotto, and Harissa Day Trip with Bus Tour
This tour offers a 24-hour buss pass as you travel around Byblos, Jeita Grotto, and Harissa all in one day. You can experience and learn the wonderful history of Lebanon on a bus as you explore its deep and rich history. With the 24-hour pass, you can visit the city at your own accord, unbound to any fixed schedule. You can guarantee to find a multitude of stunning natural sights, and helpful on-board commentary of the wonderful city.
The bus route includes a visit to:
- Cathedral of St. Elian & St. Gregory
- St. Nicholas Stairs
- Sursock Museum & Villa Audi Mosaic Museum
- ABC Achrafieh Mall
- Beit Beirut Museum
- MIM Mineral Museum
- National Museum
- ABC Verdun Mall
- Raouche Rock
- AUB Archaeological Museum
- Zaitounay Bay
- St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral & Beirut Souks
- Roman Baths & St. Louis Capuchin Cathedral
- The Garden of Forgiveness
From Beirut Jeita, Harissa, and Byblos Tour
You can visit Jeita Grotto by cable car and explore one of the majestic Seven Wonders of the World by foot. You will then be guided to the second cave by boat and finally be lead to Harissa to visit the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon. Finally, you will be led to Byblos for a trip back in time as you spend the rest of your day at one of the oldest existing cities in the world. A solid tour overall that will take you through the wonder views of Jounieh Bay and other key landmarks Lebanon has to offer.