I have always wanted to visit the Dead Sea and float in its salty and mineral-rich water. I finally DID in 2014 and every year since them.
Have you ever seen those photos of people reading a newspaper while floating in the Dead Sea?
Well, the truth is you actually can’t spend an entire afternoon sitting in the water, reading the day away. It’s likely you’d dissolve if you did that.
Fortunately, you have me to help you have a great experience!
Floating in the Dead Sea is a highlight on any trip to Israel or Jordan
What makes it so unique?
While not classified as one of the wonders of the world, the Dead Sea is a place for the record books. The sea or lake sits nearly 430 meters (1,400 feet) below sea level, making it the lowest place on Earth. It’s also the deepest hypersaline lake in the world at 306 meters (1,004 feet) and one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water at about 35% salinity. For comparison, that’s about 9.6 times saltier than the ocean.
The Dead Sea has attracted visitors for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It also played host to one of the world’s first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. Believe it or not, the same salt and minerals are used to create cosmetics and skin care products as well.
Renowned for their therapeutic effects since antiquity, the area has become a significant center for health research and treatment. The waters of the sea contain up to eight times more minerals than most seawater!
Today, scientific evidence proves that the Dead Sea can help treat a host of common illnesses. Typical conditions range from joint pain and arthritis to skin and heart problems.
It almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?!
, not to mention an item frequently found on bucket lists the world over!
Where, what, and for how much?
You can visit the sea from Israel or Jordan, but in this Post, we’re focusing only on the locations in Israel. However, the general tips for floating apply to any location in the Dead Sea!
A day trip to the Dead Sea is only a short drive away from Jerusalem (39 km, 24 miles) or Tel Aviv (98 km, 61 miles), either by car or public bus. I reccomend a private day tour make easy and you can also see Massada.
The most accessible public beaches are Ein Gedi and Ein Bokek.
We recommend Ein Bokek, as sinkholes have recently appeared near Ein Gedi. In any case, both beaches are free to use and admission to the showers and public toilets is only a few shekels. Do make sure to have some coins ready because you will need that shower!
You also have the option of accessing the Sea from any of the hotels that line its shores . There, you’ll oftentimes get private access to the beach and more of a wellness spa experience.
I stayed at Herods Hotel Dead Sea.
BEFORE floating in the Dead Sea
- Bring shoes with you – While some people enjoy the feeling of salt crystals under their feet, for most it’s not such a nice time and might even hurt. The salt crystalizes into jagged formations that can cut the bottom of your feet. If you’re sensitive, wear water shoes even in the water.
- Watch out for cuts! – If you have any cuts on your body, even a tiny one, getting salt into it will bring clarity to the saying ’rubbing salt into one’s wounds’. Cover up any little cuts with a waterproof bandage.
- Do NOT shave for 1-2 days prior to your Dead Sea experience, unless a painful burning sensation is what you’re after.
- Ladies, if you’re on your period, proceed with caution. It might not feel pleasant to soak in the Dead Sea. Try it for yourself.
- Put sunscreen on. As it’s the lowest point on Earth, the danger of getting a sunburn is lower, but it’s still there – especially if you come during summer. Use at least some low SPF sunblock.