dead sea jordan guide

Visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan

The Dead Sea, a unique natural wonder, attracts visitors from all over the world. Known for its high salinity and therapeutic properties, it’s an experience like no other! This landlocked salt lake is bordered by Jordan, the West Bank and Israel, so you can visit it from several countries. The Dead Sea was the first stop on our Jordan trip and we spent one night in a resort there. This guide covers how to get there, what to do, and essential tips for making the most of your visit.

How to Get to The Dead Sea

If you’re visiting the Dead Sea from Jordan, the nearest international airport is Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) in Amman. We flew in from Bergamo and got a taxi straight to our resort in the Dead Sea, approximately an hour drive. Alternatively, if you’re visiting from Israel, you can fly into Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv and drive several hours from there.

I can only comment on our experience of visiting from Jordan, but it was very straightforward getting there by taxi from the airport. We met people who took public transport and tour buses there, which appear to be available from most major cities within Jordan. If you’re travelling to multiple places in Jordan, consider ranting a car and driving to the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea is 420m below sea level and the lowest point on earth!

Things to Do at the Dead Sea

Float in the Dead Sea

One of the most iconic experiences is floating in the Dead Sea. Due to the high salt concentration, the water is incredibly buoyant, making it easy to float on the surface. Despite how easy it is to float, I was surprised at what a core work out it was! Not sure if it was just me, but my abs were on fire.

Like many resorts in the area, ours had a jetty you could walk down and enter the lake. If you’re visiting without a jetty, be sure to wear water shoes as the salt around the lake is very sharp. It feels like you’re walking on glass at points. We spent a while floating around and enjoying a break from the heat! Remember not to get the water in your eyes or mouth—it’s extremely salty!

floating on the dead sea

Enjoy the Mud!

The mineral-rich mud of the Dead Sea is famous for its therapeutic properties. After we enjoyed floating around the lake, we covered ourselves in the famous black mud. We had been advised to let it dry and then rinse it off in the sea. Supposedly it rejuvenates and detoxifies the skin.

Visit Health Resorts and Spas

There are numerous resorts and spas in the area, offering relaxing pools and spa treatments using the mineral-rich mud. If you’re looking for a relaxing experience in Jordan, I’d say this is the best place for it. From simple mud baths to more luxurious spa packages, there are all sorts to choose from. I went to Jordan on annual leave with two very good friends. We chose to stay at a resort here for the night to enjoy the many pools and facilities on offer as a recovery from long work hours and to kick off our more adventurous exploring of Jordan.

Explore Masada

If you’re staying in the Israel side, consider visiting the ancient fortress of Masada. Located on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada offers breathtaking views and a fascinating glimpse into Jewish history. You can reach the summit by hiking up the Snake Path or taking a cable car. We didn’t do this, given we were in Jordan, but this is on my Israel bucket-list for sure.

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve

Another place to consider if you’re visiting from Israel is the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. This beautiful oasis features lush vegetation, waterfalls, and wildlife and is famous for its hiking. There are a number of routes and tours available to enjoy the hikes here and the contrast between the arid desert and the vibrant life of the oasis is supposed to be stunning!

Tips for Visiting the Dead Sea

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Dead Sea is during the cooler months, from October to April. Summers can be extremely hot, with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F). We went in September and found it to be bearable, particularly as we were spending time in the lake and in the resort’s pools.

What to Bring

I luckily got some great tips from friends before I went, so here are my tips on what to bring to ensure a great time.

  • Water Shoes: The salt crystals can be sharp, so wear water shoes if you’re not going off a jetty. You can buy some cheap ones off amazon.
  • Sunscreen: The sun is intense, and the reflective surface of the water can increase exposure, so be sure to pack strong SPF.
  • Swimsuit: This isn’t a place to wear your latest, expensive swimsuit or bikini. Wear an old swimsuit as the salt and mud can be harsh on fabric.
  • Towel and Fresh Water: Rinse off the salty water and mud to avoid skin irritation. Resorts will typically have fresh water showers for you to enjoy once out of the lake.
  • Vaseline: If you have any small cuts, apply a layer of Vaseline to help prevent any salt water from entering. Be prepared for any cuts to sting!! Further to this, avoid shaving directly before your visit, as the saltwater can irritate any cuts or small abrasions from shaving.
  • Hydrate: Bring plenty of water for before and after the swimming. It’s hot! We were also advised not to stay in the water for longer than 20 minutes at a time to help prevent dehydration.
  • Bring appropriate clothing: You’ll likely be fine if you’re visiting the lakes from a resort. However, if you’re planning on stopping somewhere more random/remote, i’d recommend bringing clothes to help dress modestly for when not in the water.

FAQs

Where is The Dead Sea?

The Dead Sea is in the Middle East. This landlocked hypersaline lake can be found between Jordan, the West Bank and Israel.

Why is The Dead Sea Called the Dead Sea?

The hypersaline lake got its famous name due to the fact that no forms of live, be that animal or plant, can survive in the water’s conditions. Although the lake is inhospitable for most life, it does contain some microbial life. I found this article on the dead sea fascinating, if you’re looking for more detailed information.

Why Do You Float in The Dead Sea?

Otherwise known as the Salt Sea, the Dead Sea is believed to be about 10 times as salty as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This high concentration of salt makes the water more dense than your typically ocean, or body of water. A person can float on the Dead Sea because their body weight is lighter than the density of the saltwater lake, thus increasing their buoyancy and causing them to float.

How Many Tourists Visit the Dead Sea Every Year?

It’s estimated that 800,000 people visit the Dead Sea each year, across all bordering regions.

The trip was definitely is a unique and memorable experience. We thoroughly enjoyed floating effortlessly on the surface, trying a therapeutic mud bath and, chilling at the resort before a few weeks exploring Jordan. After an amazing experience at the Dead Sea, we took a taxi to Dana Biosphere Reserve for an unforgettable experience and probably one of the most incredible places of natural beauty i’ve ever seen.

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