Floating in the Dead Sea has to be one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. It’s also one of the reasons millions of tourists have made the trip to the Dead Sea.
Thanks to its uniqueness, Israel’s Dead Sea– which is actually a salt water lake and not a sea – has attracted visitors for centuries. The Dead Sea elevation marks the lowest ‘dry point’ on planet Earth, some 417 meters below sea level. The water itself is saline-rich, meaning it contains a high proportion of salt that makes it impossible to support life. It also means bathers can comfortably float upon its waters.
The unique Dead Sea elevation also creates atmospheric conditions that many believe to be beneficial to the body, mind, and spirit. Sunrays are low risk while the air is reported to be good for those with breathing conditions. As such, a vast stream of health tourists visits the region every year. This has led to plenty of spas and hotels popping up on its shores. In addition to bathing within the Dead Sea’s water, visitors can enjoy everything from a full body mud bath to a Margarita.
Immerse yourself in history & nature
A trip to the Dead Sea doesn’t just have to be about floating in the Dead Sea and enjoying the sun’s rays as the salty water laps at your feet. The Dead Sea also offers a gateway to explore some of the region’s best historical sites.
The remains of the mountain fortress of King Herod can be found at nearby Masada, a popular tourist destination in its own right. The archaeological site of Qumran – and the caves in which the Dead Sea Scrolls were rediscovered – is another popular choice. If you want to see magnificent sights, the oasis at the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve is something to behold. Likewise the stalagmites and stalactites that can be found in the caves near Mount Sodom are well worth a visit. If you’re feeling adventurous, mountain biking and abseiling (rappelling) should give you and adrenaline rush, while a 4x4 ride in the desert is highly recommended.
Getting to the Dead Sea
Where to eat
The shores of the Dead Sea offer plenty of places to eat and drink, particularly in Ein Bokek and Ein Gedi. Cafés offer a chance for a refreshment break, while restaurants – with varied menus – are suitable for dinner.
When to visit
With 330 days of sunshine, the Dead Sea is a year-round tourist destination. Temperatures in the summer months (May-September) are between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for some. The fringe months offer temperatures in the 20s. July to September tends to busiest due to school holidays.
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