Are you looking for a new travel destination? The Dead Sea is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It offers something for everyone, from its therapeutic waters to its stunning landscapes. There’s no better place to relax and rejuvenate than the Dead Sea.
With this guide, you can plan your perfect trip to the Dead Sea. We’ve included everything you need to know, from how to get there to what to pack.
So let’s jump in!
What is the Dead Sea?
The Dead Sea is a salt lake located in the Jordan Rift Valley, on the border of Israel and the West Bank. It is the lowest point in the world at 394.6 meters below sea level. The Dead Sea gets its name because its salt concentration is so high that very few organisms can survive in it.
Therapeutic Properties of the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea has been a popular destination for travelers due to its therapeutic and healing properties. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Israel (and Jordan), boasting a unique combination of natural beauty and health benefits.
The Dead Sea’s high salt concentration makes it so beneficial. Its mineral-rich mud and water are full of magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which can help to improve skin hydration, reduce inflammation and relieve muscle pain. The high salt content also makes it a great spot for swimming and relaxation. Soaking in the Dead Sea can help to reduce stress, improve circulation and even promote better sleep.
How to get to the Dead Sea
There are several options available for getting to the Dead Sea. The most popular and simplest way of arriving is by car.
Renting from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, both of which are only about two hours away from the Dead Sea, is typically quite easy and affordable.
When traveling by rented car, you should make sure and research your routes beforehand. I recommend using an online navigation system, such as Google Maps or Waze, to avoid unnecessary delays or detours. Waze was actually developed in Israel and is the most accurate navigation app to use in the country and what I personally use.
With a tour group
Another option is to join one of the many tour groups that run trips to the Dead Sea. These tours typically include accommodation (either on-site at one of the resorts or nearby), meals, organized activities, local guides, and transportation from their departure locations to the Dead Sea itself.
Many tour companies also provide extra services such as trip insurance and spiritual guidance services, which can be particularly useful for foreign visitors looking to take a deep dive into understanding Israeli history and culture.
Combine your visit with nearby destinations
For those wishing to experience more of what this region has to offer along with their visit to the Dead Sea, there are several excursions available that combine both natural beauty and religious significance, such as trips up Masada Mountain or hiking around Qumran where some believe ancient scrolls were found near caves two thousand years ago.
Which Beach To Go To
Ein Bokek Beach is widely considered to be the best beach to visit along the Dead Sea. Located along the southern basin of this turquoise-hued part of the sea, this wide public beach offers travelers plenty of free amenities and activities. From lifeguards to shade shelters, changing booths, and open-air showers, Ein Bokek Beach has everything you need for a perfect day in the sun.
The beach’s sandy shoreline provides a great opportunity for sunbathing or swimming in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Its spotless sands have been recently renovated and are often illuminated at night by a series of modern lighting fixtures. The paved promenade that follows closely alongside the shoreline makes it easy to navigate around and also offers some beautiful views out into the horizon.
No matter your age or interests, Ein Bokek Beach at the Dead Sea is sure to provide an unforgettable day out in nature’s beauty. With its crystal clear waters and spotless white sand shores, visitors have no shortage of activities to choose from — all surrounded by unparalleled views from this unique location on Earth.
What to do at the Dead Sea
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy once you’ve arrived at the Dead Sea.
The most popular activity is swimming and floating in the sea itself. This can be a very relaxing experience, as buoyancy allows your body to float effortlessly. Until you have experienced it, it is difficult to imagine how different this is from a dip in the ocean. While floating is easier than usual, walking is more difficult because your body is so buoyant.
It’s important to take care while swimming here, as the high salt concentration makes it easy to dehydrate quickly.
Another great activity is visiting one of the many spa resorts in the area. These resorts offer a variety of treatments and therapies that take advantage of the healing properties of this unique region. From mud wraps to mineral baths, there are plenty of options available to help you relax and rejuvenate.
There are also many interesting sites to explore near the Dead Sea. These include Masada, where King Herod built a massive fortress, and Qumran, which is believed to be the home of a first-century sect known as the Essenes, who created the Dead Sea scrolls.
And lastly, don’t forget to take a moment and just enjoy the beautiful view of the Dead Sea.
Where to Eat at the Dead Sea
There are a few decent dining options available for those planning to spend a night or two near the Dead Sea. The most popular choice for overnight visitors is to book in for half-board at their hotel, which includes breakfast and dinner.
Several restaurants and cafes serve up delicious Middle Eastern cuisine for those looking for somewhere to dine during their stay. In Ein Bokek, the Taj Mahal is considered by locals to be the best restaurant in town. Offering grilled meats, it is located outdoors in a rustic Bedouin-style tent complete with rugs, pillows, and low couches – making it an authentic and atmospheric experience.
Along the same strip of Ein Bokek, several mini-markets offer limited food supplies if you’re feeling adventurous and wish to cater for yourself.
A little further out from Ein Bokek is Kibbutz Ein Gedi, where you can find restaurants and a grocery store – an ideal place to stock up on picnic supplies if you’re looking for something more casual.
If you’re planning a day trip, you can also pack a picnic lunch with you and enjoy some of your own food on the beach.
What to Bring to the Dead Sea
When traveling to the Dead Sea, it’s important to bring a few essential items and accessories with you.
Firstly, make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats for protection from the sun’s harsh rays.
You should also bring swimwear and a towel if you plan on taking a dip in the sea. They will most likely provide towels if you’re staying at a hotel or resort.
It’s also a good idea to bring some cash with you, as many places in the area don’t accept credit cards. Additionally, you may want to bring along bug spray and comfortable walking shoes if you plan on exploring the nearby sites.
Most importantly, don’t forget to bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. I also like to take some snacks for the drive and to have them at the beach.
With these items in tow, you’ll be sure to make the most out of your visit to the Dead Sea.
The best time of year to visit the Dead Sea
If you’re looking for the best time of year to visit the Dead Sea, May through October is typically considered the swimming season. During this period, the weather will be warm enough to enjoy the incredible experience of swimming in salty waters.
In the summer months, the temperatures can get quite hot (up to 47°C), so it’s even more urgent important to stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen.
If you’re worried about the heat, book your trip for the shoulder seasons, April-May or September-October, when the weather is still warm but milder.
Safety Tips For Visiting the Dead Sea
Visiting the Dead Sea can be a truly unique and rewarding experience, but the salt-filled waters and intense heat mean it is important to take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips for making your trip to the Dead Sea a safe and enjoyable one:
1. Before you go, don’t shave anywhere for at least two days so that any scratches or cuts won’t sting in the salty water.
2. Wear flip-flops to protect your feet from hot sand and sharp stones. You may also want to bring some water shoes in case you end up going into deeper areas of the sea where there are jagged rocks on the bottom.
3. Don’t wear any jewelry while swimming. Metals will tarnish instantly when exposed to the high concentration of salts in the water.
4. Be very careful not to splash or dunk your head in the water, as this could cause irritation and sting due to its high salinity.
5. Take regular breaks from swimming and sunbathing to hydrate yourself with plenty of fresh drinking water, especially during unusually hot days when temperatures can reach up to 47 °C (117 °F). Ensure you don’t get too dehydrated, as this can pose serious health risks.
6. Pay close attention if westerly winds blow – they could push you out towards Jordan if you aren’t careful.
7. Bring plenty of sunscreen and reapply it regularly as UV rays will be significantly stronger due to reflecting off the clear blue waters of the sea surface. Also make sure that your skin is properly covered with clothing when not wearing sunscreen, particularly during peak midday hours when UV rays are strongest.
Finally, remember that although visiting The Dead Sea can be an amazing experience, it’s important to take all necessary safety precautions so that you don’t inadvertently put yourself at risk by coming into contact with its high concentrations of salt, strong winds, painfully hot sand, and unforgiving rocks.
My Experience Visiting the Dead Sea
My experience visiting the Dead Sea was absolutely unforgettable. The stunning landscape, combined with the calming waters, made for a perfect day of fun and relaxation.
The moment I arrived, I was in awe of the area’s natural beauty. It’s one of those places that truly takes your breath away with its serene yet majestic aura. The combination of salt water and sand creates an amazing reflective effect that can be seen from miles away. It truly is a sight to behold.
Although I have visited multiple times, my last trip there in April with my aunt and cousins was a particularly memorable one.
We rented a car from Tel Aviv and drove directly towards the coasts of the Dead Sea and parked by Ein Bokek Beach.
The weather was slightly cooler than usual, but that didn’t stop us from making the most out of our time there. We decided to take a dip in the iconic saltwater lake and enjoyed floating in the water like nothing else. The bonus of coming in the off-season was that we were able to enjoy the beach without it being too crowded. It was amazing to just soak in the views in this peaceful atmosphere.
We wanted to make it a day trip, so we didn’t book any hotels or dinner reservations. Instead, we packed sandwiches and a lot of fruit to snack on throughout the day. We stayed until evening. Maybe my favorite part was seeing the sunset over the beautiful landscape and reflecting on the salty water.
We drove back to Tel Aviv, and all agreed we needed to do it again soon.
The Dead Sea is an amazing phenomenon located between Jordan and Israel. It is the lowest point in the world and has a very high salt content that makes it difficult to swim in but incredibly buoyant.
I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique, relaxing, awe-inspiring experience.
Have you visited the Dead Sea? Let me know in the comments.