Floating in the Dead Sea in Jordan

Floating in the Dead Sea in Jordan: My Top Tips

What’s it like to be floating in the Dead Sea, in Jordan? Here’s everything you need to know about this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I remember finding out about the Dead Sea when I was only a child. They would say it was the saltiest sea, and one could just float in it.

Sometimes I would try to imagine what it would be like to be floating in the Dead Sea. After years of thinking about this, I’ve been there, and I have floated in the Dead Sea. It’s magical indeed!

Why is it so amazing to be floating in the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is one of the few places on Earth that makes you feel as if you have no weight and makes you feel like you are in a gravity-zero environment.

Here is the science behind the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea, with a surface and shores measuring 430.5 metres below sea level, boasts Earth’s lowest elevation on land. At 304 metres deep, it is recognized as the world’s deepest hypersaline lake. With a salinity level of 34.2% in 2011, it ranks as one of the saltiest bodies of water globally, approximately 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. Its density, at 1.24 kg per litre, creates a floating sensation when swimming.

However, due to its high salinity, the Dead Sea serves as a hostile environment where plants and animals cannot thrive, leading to its name. The northern basin, the lake’s primary area, spans 50 kilometres in length and 15 kilometres at its widest point.

For thousands of years, the Dead Sea has attracted visitors from the Mediterranean Basin, initially serving as one of the world’s first health resorts, notably for Herod the Great. Moreover, people utilize the Dead Sea’s salt and minerals to produce cosmetics and herbal sachets.

Sound like magic to me, and I wanted to see it with my own eyes. Do you know that the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest point on Earth, is shrinking every day?

Yes, that is true. Unfortunately, the Dead Sea is dwindling rapidly, with its surface area now standing at 605 km2, a significant decline from its previous size of 1,050 square km in 1930.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
A beach of salt. Looks like sand, but it’s not.

What to expect when visiting the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is a lake, boarded by Israel and Palestine to the West and Jordan to the East. So, you need to visit Jordan or Israel to get to experience the lowest point on Earth. But no matter which country you’ll visit, you will get to experience this miracle.

I was here when I did a road trip in Jordan in November 2018.

Part of my 7-day road trip to Jordan included a drive along the coast of the Dead Sea. The first trip was to scout the location. All these pictures you see on the internet are not from places easily accessible. In fact, most people are disappointed when they arrive in Jordan at one of the Dead Sea resorts and find themselves swimming in mud instead of swimming in the Dead Sea’s beautiful natural white salt.

That’s why I was scouting for a location to get to live the Dead Sea floating experience as you see in my pictures, not as a mud-covered tourist. And after marking this particular spot, I continued my road trip to Petra and Aqaba before returning to the Dead Sea to actually float in the Dead Sea.

So I will share with you all the insights I have from visiting the Dead Sea from the Jordanian side.

How to get to the Dead Sea in Jordan?

You can get to the Dead Sea in Jordan by car, bus, day tour or taxi. It really depends on your budget.

The best way to get there is by car. Most people arrive in Jordan by plane in Amman. From there, you can rent a car and go on a road trip. Or you can just go and visit the Dead Sea. It’s the best option if you want to explore on your own.

I rented a car from the airport in Amman, and I recommend you do the same. I used RentalCars to find the best option. They frequently run out of cars because everyone books a car there.

Some buses are available as well, but I don’t know where they drop you off. Also, the more comfortable people just hire a driver with a car and go anywhere they want.

During my Jordan road trip, I met a couple from Norway who were sightseeing the entire country by taxi. At that moment, this thought blew my mind. But as I now think about it, I was a true budget traveller back then. Also, this fact alone speaks about the affordability of travelling in Jordan. Sure, it’s not the cheapest country to travel to, but it offers great value for the money you pay.

That’s why the third option I’ll recommend for visiting Jordan is by taxi. Jordan is a small country, and you can basically go by taxi anywhere. Prices are pretty high, but it’s common practice.

Day trips from Amman to Dead Sea

One of the most convenient ways to visit the Dead Sea in Jordan is by booking a day tour. You can choose a regular day trip to the Dead Sea that picks you up from your hotel and drives you all the way to the Dead Sea to spend a day at the beach. This tour takes about 8 hours.

There are other tours that offer to pick you up from either Amma or Madaba, the nearby city, give you a tour of the ancient city of Madaba and then take you to float in the Dead Sea. This tour takes about 10 hours, but it also offers a bit a sightseeing too. Here is one example.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan

Where is the best place to go floating in the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea resorts and hotels are only one hour drive away from Amman. You will find there multiple international hotels, all with their share of the Dead Sea beachline.

From my online and on-field research, I can tell you that the hotels on the Dead Sea Jordan side aren’t spectacular. The Dead Sea resorts have beaches that have a grey type of sand, the water looks dirty, and there are some people you maybe don’t want getting in your picture. Also, a weird black mud tradition takes place. I find it yucky! They say it’s good for your health. I say, don’t believe everything you hear!

To enjoy the beach at one of these Dead Sea resorts in Jordan, you have to buy the 1-day pass, which includes access to the beach and the Dead Sea, shower, towel, and some include a lunch buffet (at an extra price). Prices for a one-day pass at one of the Dead Sea hotels in Jordan are around 25 JD (35 USD), but it depends on the hotel.

Some of the most popular Dead Sea resorts are:

However, if you’re more adventurous and aren’t afraid to get dirty, I recommend driving along the Dead Sea, as it’s a beautiful landscape. The highway goes along the Sea to the very end. You can find some nice spots where you can stop and admire the beauty.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
As pretty as it looks, it’s torture to walk barefoot on this surface.

Can you swim in the Dead Sea in Jordan if you don’t go to a hotel?

The hotels are in the North part, right where the drive by the Dead Sea begins.

As you drive further South, nature will enchant you. I liked it more as I drove South. There is a red, rocky canyon on the left and a beautiful wide sea on the right.

The sunset is absolutely stunning. No wonder there are special spots just for that. Of course, they will charge you money. So, just drive until you don’t see anybody. Such places still exist by the Dead Sea. Or at least they did in 2018.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan

As for the best place, it’s up to you. How comfortable are you? Do you want to just park the car and have a shower and lunch included?

Do know that you will need to shower after floating in the Dead Sea, no matter what. You will be covered in sticky salt.

That’s why I highly recommend bringing a couple of bottles of fresh water in the car and washing them before you drive back to your hotel.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
The Dead Sea is receding at an alarming pace, and all that is left is salt.

If you want to get to one of those beautiful places with a salty white beach and blue water, keep on reading.

After driving for a while and saying “wow” on a regular basis, you will find yourself close to Wadi Mujib, an adventure centre, where you can go canoeing and hiking.

At Wadi Mujib, you get to explore the famous Siq trail and get amazing views of the Dead Sea. The entrance ticket is included in the Jordan Pass, and they close at 4 pm. I missed it because I got there too late. But next time I’ll go there for sure.

Best place for floating in the Dead Sea

As I said, the first drive along the Dead Sea was to scout for good locations. After checking Instagram for cool pictures and asking about places, I got some answers but couldn’t find exactly what I was recommended. In any case, good sights start from Wadi Mujib.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan

I think the problem are the landslides.

There are many parts of the coast were affected by landslides, and that could be the reason why nobody knew the best point for parking and walking to the Dead Sea.

I found a spot 14,8 km South of Wadi Mujib. Click here to see the location. I saved it on Google Maps. (LATER EDIT: I do now know if this place still exists or if it’s still free.)

There was something similar to a land terrace where we could park the car.

We took our stuff, towels, slippers, and swimsuit and started walking towards the sea. It was more like a hike in slippers, though slippery sand, rocks and massive salt stretches. I don’t recommend this if you are not used to hiking, don’t like getting dirty, or you’re lazy.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan

The hike was back a bit North, but it took about 20 minutes.

Please be careful if you try this. The sand didn’t look too steady. Also, it’s better to wear your sneakers until you get to the water.

What should you bring with you to the Dead Sea?

Dead Sea resort hotels will offer you all you need when you buy the day pass. You just need to bring your swimsuit and slippers. But if you decide to float in the Dead Sea in the wild, away from any hotels, then you will need to bring fresh water to wash off the sticky salt.

As I was doing the latter version of the Dead Sea experience, I had all my stuff in the car. Literally, the trunk was like a stinky closet. However, I did not have much fresh water, and I had to share it with my boyfriend. You live, and you learn. That’s why I’m writing this blog about floating in the Dead Sea, giving you all the tips you need before going, because I wish I knew all of this.

Remember that you will get sticky from the water. There is a small spring flowing into the Dead Sea and it smelt like sulphur or something like that.

Bring towels and clean water to rinse off some of the salt. There is no chance to get all of it off until you get into a shower. Imagine I had to drive like that all the way back to Amman. Aham.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
Reaching the water was an adventure. Watch your step.

Can you walk on the Dead Sea salts?

As pleasant as the walk looks in my photos from the Dead Sea, I have some more confessions to make. Many flies will try to annoy you at any chance they get. Some of them travelled with us all the way to Amman.

Whatever clothes you bring, they will get dirty and smelly. November was pretty warm, so I recommend a cap and sunscreen. Don’t bring things you don’t need. The water will make you so sticky you won’t want to touch anything.

Of course, most importantly, bring shoes not to get injured on the salty beach. And slippers/rubber sandals. Even underwater, the salt was sharp, and it was extremely difficult to walk. After all, floating in the Dead Sea is the thing we were after anyway.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
Wear sandals or slippers, even in the water.

Watch your steps when you reach the salt. The soil is very hard, and the salt has formed sharp edges in which you might get yourself hurt. That would be an awful thing to do since you are just about to float in the Dead Sea, the saltiest lake on the surface of the Earth.

It goes without saying that you should not have any open wounds when floating in the Dead Sea. Because if you do, it will sting like your skin is about to catch fire. Do not do this to yourself. Also, do not share the same day you want to go floating in the Dead Sea.

I scratched my finger, trying to get a piece of salt from the ground. It wasn’t that bad as I put my finger in the water. But I strongly advise against it. Admire the salt after you are done floating in the Dead Sea!

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
Here’s my boyfriend floating in the Dead Sea! After all the ordeal to get to this spot, he actually enjoyed the experience.

How much did I enjoy floating in the Dead Sea?

I loved it! It was one of the highlights of my Jordan road trip, and I would go back anytime. Actually, I am pretty sure I will try my best to go back and spend more than a few hours there.

 floating in the Dead Sea Jordan
Translating my thoughts: “Auch! Auch! AUUUUUUCHHHH!”

I really enjoyed the magical, salty place I found. And I am so happy I didn’t settle with the grey beach of the hotels. I will do the same the next time I will go there.

Floating is a magical and liberating feeling. The water was calm. There was nothing to be afraid of, and it gave me a good and healthy feeling. Also, don’t try any funny business; you don’t want water in your eyes.


Why is the Dead Sea called the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is called the Dead Sea because its water is super salty, making it hard for anything to live in it. This means no fish or sea plants can survive, and the water feels “dead.”

Does anything live in the Dead Sea?

No, not much lives in the Dead Sea due to its extreme saltiness. Some specialized types of bacteria and microbial fungi can survive in the water, but other forms of plant and animal life cannot.

How deep is the Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is very deep, with a maximum depth of around 304 meters (997 feet).

What are the Dead Sea bath benefits?

Bathing in the Dead Sea can have several benefits due to the high salt and mineral content of its water. Dead Sea bath benefits may include improving skin health, relieving symptoms of conditions like psoriasis and eczema, reducing inflammation and pain, and promoting relaxation.

The minerals found in the Dead Sea, such as magnesium and potassium, may also help improve blood circulation and boost the immune system. Additionally, the mud from the Dead Sea is believed to have therapeutic properties and can be used to treat skin conditions and improve overall skin health.

Can you swim in the Dead Sea?

Yes, you can swim in the Dead Sea, but due to its high salt concentration, it is more accurate to say that you can “float” in the water. The water’s high density makes it nearly impossible to sink, so you will naturally float on the surface. However, it is essential to be cautious and avoid getting the water in your eyes, nose, or mouth, as it can cause discomfort and irritation. Additionally, it is advisable to rinse off thoroughly after swimming in the Dead Sea to avoid any residue buildup on your skin.

Iulia Vasile

Iulia is a travel expert, blogger, engineer, freelance copywriter, and a curiosity-driven personality. She sees travel as the ultimate tool for self-improvement and personal growth, and that's the main topic of her blog, Juliasomething.com.

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