Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam
Lebanon that small country with 10,425 square Kilometers, is very noted with its magnificent historical, touristic, and natural landmarks. In this post we are going to mention some popular sea related natural landmarks in Lebanon: Raouche Rocks, Sporting Beach club cave, Palm Island as known rabbits Island, and Ziri Island.
1- The Famous Rock of Raouché (In Beirut)
The two huge rock formations, which stand like gigantic sentinels, are a popular destination for locals and visitors alike.
Some historians believe that the word “raouché” derives from the Aramaic word rosh or Arabic word ras, both meaning head. Other historians argue that it is a corruption of the French word roche (rocher), meaning rock.
Activities at Raouche Rocks:
One of the activities done at Raouche Rocks, is a non-forgettable dive called “The Tunnel”. Where you can dive between the 2 walls of Raouche Rock. This site is a crack in the rock towards the west, 7m wide, 100m in length, making it look like a passage between 2 walls. Marine life is pleasant and diverse, with a reef fish population that seems concentrated on this small spot by these favorable conditions. Best time to dive is year round in calm weather.
Conditions: Currents and waves can be considerable
Depth of dive: 15 – 20 meters
Level: All divers level
Quality of marine life: Moray eels, octopuses, groupers, and turtles
Visibility: 6-20 meters north wind will reduce visibility and produce strong currents
2- Sporting Beach Club Cave (In Beirut)
Through out the years nature has created this cave, by the collision of strong waves with the rocks. This cave ages more than 300 years, and in winter season migrant seals rest at this cave site. It is located at Raouche Rocks area shore, the cave depth is 2 meters at maximum.
3- Palm Island (In Tripoli – North of Beirut)
The Palm Islands Nature Reserve consists of three flat, rocky islands of eroded limestone and the surrounding sea area, located 5.5 kilometers offshore and northwest of Tripoli, Lebanon. The overall area of the reserve is 4.2 square kilometers, it has been designated as a Mediterranean Specially Protected Area under the 1995 Barcelona Convention. The islands have been identified as an Important Bird Area by Bird Life International. The islands are a haven for endangered loggerhead turtles (Chelona mydas), rare monk seals and a resting and nesting grounds for migratory birds.
The largest of the three islands is Palm Island, declared as a protected area by UNESCO. It is also known as Rabbits Island, in Arabic “Jazeeret el Aranib”. The name ‘Araneb’ (rabbits) comes from the great numbers of rabbits that were grown on the island during the time of the French mandate early in the 20th century. The rabbits had to be removed, since they ate the many rare plants that survive in this salty environment and the newly planted palm tress. Palm Island is characterized by its flat terrain and has no obvious reliefs, it covers an area of 180,796 square meters. The island’s highest point is at 6 meters above sea level. It’s rocky shoreline extends from the northwest to south while its sandy beaches lay at the northern and eastern faces.
Summer is the best time to go there, visiting a place you will never forget. It is not an escapade to Hawaii nor to Bora Bora Island. It is the Palm’s Island in Lebanon! If you are looking to escape the busy life and you consider yourself a beach-going person, then you’re going to love this choice.
Enjoy the sandy shore and the great views the island has to offer. It will be calm and relaxing. The people in charge of the reserve close it down 9 months a year in order to maintain the balance of natural life.
4- Ziri Island (In Sidon – South of Beirut)
Ziri Island, a tiny rocky island with a lighthouse, located 1.5 Kilo meters off the coastline of Sidon city, Lebanon. In ancient times, it was used as a breakwater for the protection of ships and fleets. Accessibility to Ziri Island is very easy by several ferry boats from Sidon’s port. Since the island is a preferred destination for the locals who come here for picnics and swimming around the Island.
Enjoy the relaxation and the pleasure of the sun and sea at Ziri Island, but don’t forget your sunscreen, eyeglasses, and hat …
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Posted by: Ibrahim K. Msallam