Located on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea, Lebanon is a country renowned for its beautiful stretches of coastline – and for locals and tourists alike, Lebanon’s beaches certainly don’t disappoint. From bustling golden sands in the shadows of Beirut packed with sunbathers and bars to island beaches reached only by boat, here are the best Lebanon beaches to add to your travel itinerary this season, from islands reminiscent of the Greek islands to wildlife-packed islands and a fun-filled city escape.
Tahet El Rih, Anfeh
Just over an hour from Beirut, and 20 minutes from Tripoli, sun-seekers will find what appears to be a mini version of a Cycladic Greek Island – the little village of Koura. Located in Lebanon’s northern governorate, and one of the most photographed Lebanon beaches, this small village is all gleaming white with bright-blue accents, even complete with small windmills reminiscent of Mykonos or Santorini. The surrounding Mediterranean Sea is crystal clear, so much so that you can clearly see the rocks on the seafloor, and a slick of public beach is open to visitors who want to soak up the Aegean atmosphere. Anfeh itself has a jumble of bustling waterfront cafes, tavernas, bars and guest houses linked by wooden bridges and passages and there are plenty of spots to grab lunch and enjoy mezze and seafood.
Byblos Beach (Jbeil)
Byblos Beach, known as Jbeil in Arabic, is located on the western coast of Lebanon, around 40 km north of the capital, making it the perfect weekend escape or day trip destination. It’s regarded as one of the country’s top beaches, thanks to its clear blue waters, views over the mountain ranges and natural breakwater harbour, allowing for calm and protected swimming and snorkelling (watersports are also possible from the beach). The area is steeped in history and a key archaeological site, where numerous ruins are a testament to millennia of human occupation, and the beach is located near the Crusader castle. The beach itself is golden and sandy and dotted with chairs and umbrellas, many of which belong to cool cafes and beach clubs like party hotspot C Flow Beach Resort.
Tyre Beach could just be the Mediterranean’s best-kept secret. In 2019, it was listed by National Geographic as one of the best in the Middle East, home to an expansive stretch of fine white sand and just a stone’s throw from the city of Tyre itself – Lebanon’s fourth city (80 km from Beirut). The site was once a powerful Phoenician city and was later occupied by the Greeks and Romans, listed as a World Heritage site since 1984 thanks to its archaeological remains – remains that can be seen today while snorkelling in the sunken harbour at the Al Mina UNESCO archaeological site. There’s a distinct Mediterranean summer hot spot vibe, thanks to heaving beach bars (try Cloud 59) and plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas. Snorkels can even spot sea turtles.
As the name suggests, The White Beach is one of the most beautiful and clean (and popular) in Lebanon, situated just 45 kilometres from Beirut and five kilometres from the nightlife hotspot of Batroun, Open all year-round, White Beach has been welcoming visitors from the country and further afield since 1988 to its white pebble beach lapped by emerald green waters. A basic entry fee includes sunbed and access to showers and there are great cafes and bars for fresh seafood (try The White Beach Restaurants) and fruity, tiki cocktails (head to Tonic Café Bar).
Benny Beach is a charming and affordable place to visit in the north of Lebanon, often regarded by locals as a hidden gem. Located in the Chekka district where the coast is sandy, sun-drenched, green and peaceful, the beach offers soft, golden sands and plenty of space for families and those looking for some low-key beach time, away from the party vibe. The entrance fees are incredibly affordable (10,000 LL for adults and 5,000 for children,) and there are great facilities for watersports (think jet-ski, pedalo and paddle boarding) and a handful of cafés and restaurants, plus sun loungers for hire.
While Lebanon’s mainland coastline is dotted with beautiful beaches, many travellers don’t know that the country has a beautiful island nature reserve with miles of clear water and white sand beaches. Named Rabbit Island, or Palm Islands Lebanon, the peaceful nature reserve is a 30-minute boat ride from the city of Tripoli (a two-hour trip from Beirut). There aren’t many cafes or restaurants, so pack a picnic and enjoy the peace and tranquillity, and settle into the quiet sands or on the selection of chairs with umbrellas available to use. While you won’t spot any rabbits today (the island was formerly a breeding ground during the French occupation), you might spot green turtles, monk seals and several bird species.
Ramlet al-Baida, Beirut
As Beurit’s only public beach, Ramlet al-Baida is the perfect spot to escape from the city and enjoy sunbathing, swimming and general frivolity. Located at the southwest end of the capital’s corniche and backed by the city’s tower blocks, it has a laid-back cosmopolitan vibe and is extremely popular with city dwellers. Locals and children flock to play football and volleyball and relax on the beach and its cafes, the golden sands attracting sun worshippers year-round. One of the liveliest Lebanon beaches all year round.