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 how would it 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?
Wikipedia has it right.
Its surface and shores are 430.5 metres below sea level, Earth’s lowest elevation on land. It is 304 m deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With a salinity of 34.2% (in 2011), it is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water (9.6 times as salty as the ocean) – and has a density of 1.24 kg/litre, which makes swimming similar to floating.
This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which plants and animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea’s main, northern basin is 50 kilometres long and 15 kilometres wide at its widest point.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean Basin for thousands of years. It was one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great). People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets.
The Dead Sea is receding at an alarming rate; its surface area today is 605 km2,
Sound like magic to me, and I wanted to see it with my own
How to get to 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 one of these two countries and you will get to experience this miracle.
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 and the second time was the actual floating in the Dead Sea.
So I will share with you all the insights I have from visiting the Dead Sea from the Jordinian side.
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 (like I did) and go on a road trip, or just go and visit the Dead Sea. It’s the best option if you want to explore on your own.
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.
Another option would be by taxi. Jordan is a small country and you can basically go by taxi anywhere. Prices are pretty high, but it’s common practice.
Where is the best place to go floating in the Dead Sea?
The resorts and hotels on the Dead Sea are
From my online and on-field research, I can tell you that the beaches of the hotels aren’t spectacular. It’s 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!
The hotels offer 1-day passes, which include access to the beach and the Dead Sea, shower, towel, some include a lunch buffet. Prices start from 25 JD (35
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.
The hotels are in the North part, right where the 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.
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? (you will need to shower no matter what. You will be covered in sticky salt.)
If you want to get to one of those beautiful places, with white salty 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, hiking, 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.
My recommended 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.
I think the problem
There was something similar to a land terrace, where we could park the car. We took our stuff, towels, slippers, 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.
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, you better wear your sneakers until you get to the water. And watch your steps when you reach the salt. It’s very hard and you might get 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.
What should you bring with you?
I had all my stuff in the car. Literally, the trunk was like a stinky closet.
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.
Many flies will try to annoy you with any change 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, 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 to not get injured by 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.
Make sure to not shave, or cut yourself the same day you get to the Dead Sea. It’s really that salty!
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!
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.
I really enjoyed the magical, salty place I found. 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.
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