El Mina is the sleepless hub of North Lebanon. Located on a headland overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, 85 km from Beirut, this marine city is famous for the historic coexistence of the Christians and Muslims who lived together in it for centuries and survived even though the darkest periods of the Lebanese Civil War.
The sea has given El Mina its distinguished features. It makes the living of its fishermen and craftsmen. Known as the City of Waves and Horizons, El Mina is a growing tourist city that attracts people from all around the country. Previously known as Al Askala, El Mina acclaimed its new name (which means “port” in Arabic) through a presidential decree signed in 1979. History, the sea and the generous local people intermingle in El Mina to give it a distinguished glamour and natural beauty.
The old town: The old town is medieval in its design with the old souk, the fish market, the khan, the old cafes, the mosques and the churches that coexist in a quite pedestrian area. The main local industries in the old town are carpentry, fishing, pottery, Arabic ice-cream, oriental sweets and grocery.
The modern district: There is also a modern district that has lately become a lively zone with modern restaurants and cafes that offer delicacies from international and local cuisines.
Khan Al Tamasylee: Khan Al Tamasylee is a historical place that has been badly damaged during the civil war. Built by the Mamalik during the 14th century, it was initially used as a residence for the travelers and the negotiators.
The Lion Tower (Borj Alsebaa): The Lion Tower is a miniature fortress dating from the end of the 15th century that was built by the Sultan Qait Bey to protect the coastline against attacks from the Turks. It is an exceptional example of Muslims military architecture. At the top of the tower there is a terrace which has views over the city and the harbor area.
The islands: El Mina offers to the beach lovers a great escape. Along the sea front there are many boats that take you to the lovely nearby islands. The Palm Islands, which has become a wildlife sanctuary, consists of three far islands: Palm, Sanani, and Ramkine. During the summer, the Palm islands are open to visitors who can enjoy the crystal sea, the sandy beaches, fishing and scuba-diving excursions.