Dead Sea

Dead Sea, Jordan

The Dead Sea, which borders Israel and Jordan, is the lowest point on earth, sitting 1,410 feet below sea level, and continuing to drop as both countries divert water from the River Jordan. As one of the world’s most saline bodies of water (almost 10 times saltier than the ocean), the Dead Sea cannot sustain life, hence its name. Yet the sea’s therapeutic properties attract thousands of visitors annually. The high saline content enables bathers to sit upright in the water and read a book or newspaper. Visitors also enjoy covering their bodies in mineral-rich mud, which is thought to cleanse and purify the skin. Either stay at one of the region’s luxurious hotels and get your spa treatments there, or hit one of the public beaches on a day trip and slather the mud on yourself.

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Visit the Lowest Point on Earth

The Dead Sea, which borders Israel and Jordan, is the lowest point on earth, sitting 1,410 feet below sea level, and continuing to drop as both countries divert water from the River Jordan. As one of the world’s most saline bodies of water (almost 10 times saltier than the ocean), the Dead Sea cannot sustain life, hence its name. Yet the sea’s therapeutic properties attract thousands of visitors annually. The high saline content enables bathers to sit upright in the water and read a book or newspaper. Visitors also enjoy covering their bodies in mineral-rich mud, which is thought to cleanse and purify the skin. Either stay at one of the region’s luxurious hotels and get your spa treatments there, or hit one of the public beaches on a day trip and slather the mud on yourself.

Take a Dip in the Dead Sea

At the lowest point on Earth, you find the body of water in which you cannot sink. The Dead Sea is a geographic oddity. This inland sea, with no outlet for its water, has a salt content of 20 percent due to evaporation. This means you’re naturally buoyant. A swim (or more literally, a float) here is the most bizarre bathing experience you’ll have in your life.

Floating in the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea or ‘Yam Hamelach’, sea of salt in Hebrew, is considered the lowest point on Earth. It is 1300 ft below sea level. The extra-ordinary salt in the water, enables bathers to float. The salty water and the therapeutic mud are known for their minerals and good for the skin. There are few hotels in the area which offer spa treatments based on the salt and mud of the Dead Sea. The area is quite comfortable in the Winter time and quite unbearable during the hot summer days. The red mountains around the sea make the sunset time a marvelous view. For a couple treat, book a romantic spa treatment with the best minerals of the Dead sea in Ein Gedi Dead Sea Spa or in Isrotel Hotel.

Float On!

The Dead Sea is amazing! it’s true that the salt and mineral content in the water is so dense that you can’t sink. The water is also caustic to clothes and footwear, so wash, rinse, repeat as soon as you leave the water. Nothing dries easily as well, so you can learn from my mistake: I put on (expensive) canvas sneakers after leaving the water which 1. shrunk, 2. weren’t dry after 2+ days, and 3. had holes eaten in the cloth. (So bring disposable footwear. Shore is rocky so you’ll likely need something on your feet anyway). Other tips: The Dead Sea mud is reputed to be therapeutic but smells really bad (at least to me) and I didn’t want that smell on me all day. Mud up at your own risk.

Floating in the Dead Sea

For as long as I can remember, any friend who had come back from a trip to Israel had at least a dozen photos of them floating along the Dead Sea. This past May I spent about two weeks touring through Israel and one of the major highlights for me was spending an afternoon at the Dead Sea. The first thing that struck me was how crowded the area is. While the sea has a huge connection to the Bible stories, most people come here for the fun of it rather than for the religious connection, at least in my opinion. It seemed like one huge party as I snapped photos of visitors covering their bodies in mud. A few minutes later I was doing the same thing. For those of you planning a similar excursion, be careful not to get any of the water in your eyes - it’s stings badly! If it does happen, just head to one of the many emergency showers located a few feet from the shore.

Swimming in the Dead Sea is not as easy as one would think.

My husband, 5 year old daughter, and myself (5 months pregnant) were in the middle of a two month trip to the Middle East. After our second week in Jerusalem, we left the city to explore the desert and had to make a stop at the Dead Sea.

I’m a marine scientist and environmental microbiologist, so the Dead Sea was a fascinating place for me see. I was not satisfied standing on the shore. We all got in to feel the water and see what it was like to float with such incredibly high concentrations of salts. The water actually felt slippery, more like oil, and trying to swim was nearly impossible. My daughter, who is an excellent swimmer, was surprised that she had such little control over her actions in the water; she bobbed like a cork! We were only able to swim for about 10 minutes before we decided to get out. I felt as if the skin had been eaten from my legs. Fortunately, a rinse in freshwater seemed to solve that problem pretty quickly.

The Dead Sea is both fascinating and beautiful. If you’re in the area, make sure to visit. Nearby, also see Masada, and learn about the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Recline and Read a Newspaper in the Dead Sea

I had no clue about the Dead Sea until I started planning my trip to Jordan. I got to the Dead Sea and learned that it is the lowest point on Earth and a source of natural salts! What I found fascinating is that nothing can survive in the Dead Sea due to the high salt content and minerals—which also means the water is therapeutic. I smeared myself with tons of mud before I went into the sea. The most magical part was the buoyancy, which allowed us to recline and read the newspaper. You can’t sink even if you try. Tip: Don’t stay more than 15-20 minutes in the water.

Putting on Black Mud in the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea water and mud therapy is a unique experience that one can have at the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea. A few hours away from Jerusalem, this is usually included in tour packages that would also take you to ancient Jericho, arid En Gedi, breathtaking Masada and sometimes to the famous locations of the twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. I (the shortest one) am shown here with my co-tourists from Canada and the Netherlands all covered with the Dead Sea mud. The mud is extracted from the seafloor depth. No sunlight, no pollution can reach this zone. Black mud contains silica, feldspar, white clay, minerals and magnesium, potassium, bromine, copper and zinc salts. Mineral mud has a strong relaxing action, it cleans skin pores, strengthens the connective tissue and increases its elasticity, makes skin healthy and fresh.

Dead Sea Oasis

On the Jordan/Israel border, we stayed at the Marriott Dead Sea Resort. Umbrellas dot the beach and the salty Dead Sea

The Dead Sea, Israel

Although I was there to experience the Holy Land, and actually stayed in Old Jerusalem while visiting, it is with great joy I enjoyed this unbelievable “Light” (pun intended!) fun experience. To enjoy this fantastic area of the world and get this giddy feeling like a child experiencing joy that make one laugh in shear innocence, make me smile and laugh to this day! To float like a air bubble, so effortless is a thrill that I wish everyone could experience. :) The fine black mud that you see me applying to my body and face that is pure natural and dug up next to the lake by a person that works in the area, leaves you skin feeling as soft as a new little baby’. The water and weather is so warm, even in November, as you can see in this picture. You don’t need to know how to swim to do this. EVERYONE FLOATS! You can drive there independently or go while on a tour. A absolute NOT miss experience. I would love to do this again and again!!

forgo the private resorts

When most think of the Dead Sea they think of Israel, but remember you can visit it in Jordan too. We hired a driver to take us to an area where locals go. We were able to rinse off in a nearby stream and we didn’t have to pay a fee. Floating and smearing mud on our skin was fun, but I think the best part was seeing the salt deposits along the shoreline. Simply beautiful! (I am honestly not sure exactly where this photo was taken. Karak just came up when I clicked on the Dead Sea...sorry I can’t be more specific.)

THE DEAD SEA

Scenic roads lead southwest from the capital of Amman to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the planet at more than 1,300 feet below sea level. Technically a lake, the Dead Sea’s intensely blue waters are also heavily salted, making it easy to stay afloat—and challenging to swim. Try an indulgent spa treatment, involving the area’s therapeutic mineral-dense mud, and explore nearby attractions like the thermal Hammamat Ma’in hot springs and the Mount Nebo, where Christians built an early monastery as well as the mosaic-filled Moses Memorial Church.

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