Water, water everywhere
Photo by: Lebanon Diving Center
July 24, 2020
It’s that time of year again and summer fun should be underway. It’s time to get up and move on! Sports are an essential part of everyday life and Lebanon has so much to offer. There are plenty of activities at hand but we at Today’s Outlook have chosen water sports as our primary option for your ultimate fun in the sun. Read on and discover where to go and what to do this season… we promise you unforgettable excitement that will have you coming back for more.
Discover the underwater world
There is nothing on earth like diving… Slide into the clear, warm water where you’re suddenly weightless. Pull yourself down the anchor line and discover the mast of a sunken ship at your feet. Descend still further and come to rest on the ship’s gate, where you can take a rest while admiring the millions of tiny fish that swarm in every direction.
With almost 300 kilometers of coastline, Lebanon has many secrets hidden offshore. Of course, Lebanon is neither Sharm el-Sheikh nor the Caribbean, but its underwater world does have treasures to be discovered: sunken ships, scuttled submarines and shallow reefs. In Tyre, Sidon and Byblos, divers find ruins, columns and ancient ports – the heritage of Romans and Phoenicians that has yet to be explored. The marine life in the Mediterranean may not be as spectacular as that in the Red Sea, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Each year, a family of small tooth sand tiger sharks spends the summer at shark point next to Raouché. For the divers, their return is a pleasure – the sharks pose no danger unless provoked, and they are just as curious as the divers.
Lebanon has been the site for many important historical episodes, and the evidence is still being found underwater. In 1963, two fishermen set out to dive for sponges near Khalde. Instead of sponges, though, they found a submarine! They kept the secret for a while, hoping to find treasure. It turned out that the sub itself was the treasure. There are other shipwrecks in Lebanon. They don’t have such a romantic past, but they’re in good shape, and very photogenic. The Alice B, for example, lies at a depth of 38 meters on the flat sea floor, and is largely intact – even the mast remains standing.
The mysteries of what lies beneath are just waiting to be unraveled. So, why hesitate any longer? Lebanon has many well-established diving schools with qualified instructors where you can get the license as well as well-maintained rental equipment – just plunge into this unknown world with the National Institute of Scuba Diving, Lebanon Diving Center and the Aquamarina Diving Club. But beware; diving is also a dangerous sport. It is preferable not to dive alone – it’s more fun with a buddy anyway. Ask your diving instructor for weather conditions and possible risks. He will be happy to tell you about the best destinations in the region you chose to dive in. A trip to the underwater world is truly an awe-inspiring experience almost all year round – however, the preferred months for this water sport are April and May, when the visibility is the best and the sea is calm.
Kayaking and rafting
There’s one good thing about long winters with a lot of rain and snowfall – the rivers are flowing full and fast and promise a long, wild kayaking and rafting season! Is there anything more beautiful than setting off on a lonely mountain river early in the morning, or cruising along a creek nearby the seashore? Just get into a boat, grab your paddle, and off you go!
Before you set off, ask your tour organizer about the degree of difficulty and the conditions of the river. Kayaking is lots of fun – but it sure does require some skill. The stronger the current, the faster the ride, and the more difficult. You need to choose your river carefully, with the paddling skill and experience of the group in mind. Even in less challenging conditions you should paddle as part of a group. Why not get a few friends together, rent a couple of boats and make a race of it? And when the race is over, you can take it easy, cruising along at a relaxing pace.
If you’re a bit of a loner, then kayaking is the right sport for you. You shouldn’t go solo, but with each paddler in his or her own boat, it’s easy to get a feeling of solitude. Just paddle along , taking in the scenery.
Try touring the Litani river by canoe or kayak or, in spring, raft the Nahr Ibrahim and Nahr al-Kalb. Experienced rafters will definitely not want to miss running the fast-flowing Nahr al-Kabir in winter and spring. For year-round riverside fun, the Assi river is the place to head.
If you’re searching for a truly wild experience without all the planning, try Wild Discovery’s adventure programs. Every detail is taken care of for you. All you need to do is choose your activity from the wide range available – try camping and trekking or hit the river for some kayaking, canoeing or rafting. The list of options is huge… you should really check it out.
If you like your watersports on the luxurious side, try yachting. Just picture yourself stretched out on the deck of an enormous yacht, wearing your designer bikini, sipping a long drink, soaking up the sun while your favorite music plays in the background. Picture, if you will, the yacht’s chef serving some delicious antipasti, while your partner gets hooked on some serious fishing.
After hours of doing nothing, you’ll no doubt be ready to anchor at one of Lebanon’s up-market beaches, dive into the sea and dance to the latest Ibiza-sounds at Oceana, La Voile Blue or Bamboo Bay. Cruise back to your home harbor while the sun is setting – summer is great and life is just wonderful! So what’s the recipe for the perfect summer? Just add water.