Situated 14km east of Tyre, Jouaya has an interesting story to tell. A long time ago, many families from this southern village left the country to make their fortunes in Argentina and Africa. When they returned, they built magnificent homes with lush gardens. The olive tree, of course, remains the emblem of Jouaya’s landscape.
Drive to the city of Tyre, taking the road of Bourj Al Chemali, then continue to Bazourieh and Wadi Jilo, until you arrive in Jouaya.
What to Do
On one of the hills of Jouaya, an outlying section called Jabal El Zaatar, one can find a whole area inspired by beautiful Ottoman architecture. In the same neighborhood, attached to the Maqam Al Sayyah, you can also witness one of the largest mosques in Lebanon.
Pagoda roofs, candy-pink facades, outdoor elevators: the city of Jouaya, whose main street is called Nigeria, is one of those most kitsch and Instagram-worthy rural capitals of the South.
With its cobbled streets and the mosque dating back to the 19th century, the old souk of Jouaya is worth a stroll. A Saturday butchers’ market used to be commonplace, and one can still enjoy the traditional specialties of the village, including the kebbe nayye. Red lentils and bulgur wheat is another favorite dish, and don’t forget to taste some fresh figs and olives.
Where to Eat
After working up an appetite strolling through Jouaya, head to nearby Tyre for a magnificent seafood lunch fit for a king (see Tyre mini guide).
Where to Sleep
While there are no hotels in Jouaya, Tyre hosts a wide array of gorgeous guesthouses and hotels (see Tyre mini guide).