Dead Sea hotels
Dead Sea Delights
The Dead Sea gives the term ‘going overboard on the seasoning’ a whole new meaning. At 400 metres (1,300 feet) below sea level, this is one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth. It is also an undisputed natural wonder – a place to cure physical ailments, and the setting for all those naff photos of floating pasty tourists reading the newspaper.
After the compulsory bob in the water, visit Mujib Nature Reserve and explore Kerak and Madaba Mountain. There are also hiking tracks in and around Ein Gedi National Park that are worth checking out. Alternatively, you can settle in for a mud bath at one of the popular spas, or plaster yourself in the pungent waterfront mud for a mineral-rich free one.
Dead Sea's Top 10
10. Attraktzia This amusement park features water slides, wave pools and natural mineral mud-bathing areas.
5. Qumran Caves Where the famed Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Explore all 11 caves, if you’re up for it.
9. Ein Gedi Spa Access to the Dead Sea on a private beach, plus the chance to experience some genuine natural treatments.
4. Mineral Beach One of the top places to float, Mineral Beach also boasts a mud bath, hot springs and a freshwater pool.
8. The Masada Museum A smaller museum with an innovative design. Get an audio guide and don’t sneak any snaps.
3. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve Explore 6,000 acres of natural landscape. Well, part of it anyway.
7. Herod’s Northern Palace The highlight of Masada, this site is all that remains of infamous King Herod’s three-tiered palace.
2. Dead Sea Cover up your cuts and don’t attempt the breaststroke for the optimum Dead Sea experience.
6. Nachal David Stream If it’s not the middle of summer, it’s well worth the short hike to get here.
1. Masada This mountaintop fortress has had a tough life, but its presence is truly magnificent.
Dead Sea History
- Masada Museum – Educates on the time of Herod, the Roman Siege and the rise and fall of the Jewish rebels in the Dead Sea area.
- Dead Sea Scrolls – Important artifact of Jewish history, found at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
- Trappist Abbey of Latrun – Church ran by the Trappist Order since the 19th century.
- Baptism Site – Archaeologists in the area claim that John the Baptist baptized Jesus on this spot.
- Lot's Cave – Thought to be the cave Lot and his daughters hid in during the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Dead Sea Art & Culture
- Herod's Western Place – Ancient ruins of the beautiful palace; lots of steps to climb but worth the pain.
- Herod's Northern Palace – Pictured in most guidebooks, this is an architectural wonder; all three levels are accessible.
- Town of Madaba – Called the 'City of Mosaics' for the Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics displayed in town buildings.
- Masada Museum – Major addition to the Masada National Park that exhibits work excavated from Yigael Yadin.
- Dead Sea Panorama Complex – Glance at the wide expansion of the Dead Sea.
Dead Sea Shopping
- Jordan River Project – Quality local crafts that are handmade, and purchases support women-run businesses.
- Dead Sea Diamond Centre – Peruse the diamonds and jewellery sold.
- Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem – Creates Avava skincare and hair care products that use Dead Sea minerals.
- Sweifieh Avenue Mall - Packed with indoor and outdoor shops, boutiques and restaurants in the Dead Sea area.
- Abdoun Mall – Small place with great local handmade, clothing and dishes to eat.
Dead Sea Gay & Lesbian
- Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade – Loud music, lively parade and wet and wild fun in June in the Dead Sea area.
- Zara Spa – Pools feature several mineral concentrations and a private beach that runs the shore of the Dead Sea with a wonderful fitness centre.
- Fame – Jazzy, quiet restaurant that is perfect for a romantic date or an ending to a great vacation.
- 101 – Cool, exclusive underground pub in Jabel Amman.
- Books@Cafe – Friendly, local gay hangout that feels like a restaurant, café and lounge.
Dead Sea Outdoor
- Eli Gedi Nature Reserve – Plenty of activities such as hiking trails, swimming in the waterfalls or learning about the wildlife.
- Masada Sound and Light Show – Pyrotechnic lights tell the story of Masada, open Tuesday and Thursday from April to October.
- Dead Sea Ultra Marathon – Run downhill from Amman to the Dead Sea while raising money for The Society for the Care of Neurological Patients.
- Kalia Beaches – Float or read the Sunday Times while covered in mud on this quiet beach.
- Amman Beach – Clean, landscaped grounds that local Jordanian families frequent.
Dead Sea Sport
- Spend a couple of days camping on the Ein-Gedi coast.
- Put on a lifejacket and hike the Wadi Mujib with an expert guide.
- Walk the wet Siq Trail that leads to a lovely waterfall.
- Ride a camel through the desert and understand Bedouin society.
- Get an aerial view of the Dead Sea Region on a skydiving tour.
Dead Sea Events
The Dead Sea Ultra Marathon is the city’s most famous (and gruelling) event, running in April each year to raise money for the Society for Care of Neurological Patients.
July brings Jerusalem (a 40-minute drive away) to life with the Jerusalem Film Festival.Local and international films are featured.
Proud Parade marches its way through neighbouring Jerusalem in July in celebration of the LGBT community in the area.
The Nataraj Festival parties into the bigger cities in November for three days of dance, music, parties and meditation.
When To Go
- The Dead Sea offers sunny skies and a dry climate year round. There is hardly any rain and an average temperature of 32 to 39°C (90-104ºF) in summer.
- Winter temperatures fall to 20-23°C (68-73ºF), but the water stays nice and warm!
- In winter and spring the chance of floods increase, so pay attention to the weather and look out for flood warnings.
- If you’re staying centrally you’ll find it easy to walk to most beaches and places of interest. Walking is really the only way to fully explore the mountains and national parks.
- If you want to travel farther up the coast, you’ll need to either organise a bus or hire a car. You’ll easily do so from your hotel.
- Taxis are readily available and a convenient way to get around.
Saline and curative, the Dead Sea provides Jordan and Israel with a phenomenal tourist attraction. A safe haven for King David, the salt lake has been a refuge as far back as Biblical times. Every year the mystique of the Dead Sea lures millions of visitors to ancient towns, archaeological sites and health spa resorts. From Jericho to Eid Gedi National Park, the Caves at Qumran and the spectacular scenery visible from Route 90, the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley offer a host of brilliant attractions to discover.
While the severe salinity of the lake thwarts macroscopic aquatic life, the mountains that envelop the Dead Sea teem with mammals and birds. National parks on both sides of the Dead Sea house significant jackal, fox, ibex and leopard populations. As such, there is much more to the salt lake and immediate terrain than meets the eye. Popular annual events in the area include the Dead Sea Jewish Rock and Soul Festival and Jordan Festival.
Attractions & Activities
- Ein Gedi National Park
- Dead Sea Museum
- Caves at Qumran
- Jordan Valley
- Dead Sea Jewish Rock and Soul Festival
- Jordan Festival
- En Boqeq
- Mujib Reserve
Restaurants & Nightlife
- Last Chance
- Ein Hazeva
- At Home at Haya
- Sato Bistro
- On The Beach
- Masada Hostel
- Spa Club Hotel
- Lot Spa Hotel on the Dead Sea
- Hod Hamidbar Resort and Spa
The Dead Sea has an arid climate, with warm to hot temperatures throughout the year.
- Winter (December to February) 7-18°C
- Spring (March to May) 9-27°C
- Summer (June to September) 18-29°C
- Fall (October to November) 12-28°C
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