A mountainous and rocky country composed primarily of limestone, Lebanon offers exciting opportunities for caving. Over 400 caves, caverns, and sinkholes are scattered throughout the country, offering something for everyone, from the expert spelunker to the casual tourist.
Most caves are concentrated in the Mount Lebanon region, stretching from north to south in the center of the country. The most popular and “touristy” of caves include the Jeita Grotto, with its huge caverns and underground lakes, and the enormous and intricate Afqa Grotto, source of the Adonis River where legend has it Adonis and Aphrodite exchanged their first kiss.
For the more adventurous tourists and experienced spelunkers, there are many other caving options that require guides and equipment. The Roueiss Grotto, for example, is a 5km long labyrinthine cave with an underground lake, large halls, and unique crystalline formations.
Lebanon is also home to stunning vertical caves – called “sinkholes” or “potholes” – that are some of the deepest in the Middle East (up to 602 meters). These sinkholes are explored using ropes and climbing equipment, rappelling down into the hole and then climbing back up. Lebanon’s largest sinkholes are concentrated in the northern Mount Lebanon region, especially near Laqlouq and Tannourine.