The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, and despite its name and positioning, there is actually a whole lot of things going on in the Dead Sea area.
The Dead Sea is popular as a getaway for a few days, especially when the weather is less plesant elsewhere in the country (it is really unbelievably hot – but a dry heat in the summer) and a popular destination with those who suffer from different types of skin complaints.
The first thing to know about the Dead Sea is that it is visibly receding and drying up due to a lack of water sources (the flow of the Jordan River has been mainly diverted) and the activities of the chemical factories. There is endless talk of different projects and solutions (also in the context of Mid-East peace as a joint venture with Jordan). Meanwhile you can spot signs on all the beaches showing where the shore used to be.
See Dead Sea Photos
Stop at the sign on the road down from Jerusalem and get your picture taken at the sea level sign. It is all downhill from here!
Stop at one of the parking spots – enjoy the desert view and bargain for a camel ride – the reason they call it the ship of the desert is to do with the angle that it takes when you get on and off. The camel driver at the petrol station at the bottom of the decline is very friendly.
As you reach the flat Jordan valley, after the drive down from Jerusalem, you step back in time to an ancient shopping mall. The road is lined with stalls selling local pottery – almost at the lowest point on earth with an exotic mall with a main inter-city mall running through! Also a good place for refreshments etc.
Ancient village that was inhabited by a radical sect around 2000 years ago. It is interesting because the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a cave nearby. See Qumran for details.
An extremely popular beach and a nature reserve. Is generally a real ethnic melting pot.
Swim in the Dead Sea
A unique bathing experience. See Floating in the Dead Sea
Dead Sea hotel area
There are several hotels at Ein Bokek (Ein Boqek) on the Dead Sea – many of them complete with spas. Access the beaches here and there is also a commercial center.
Ride & walk the Dead Sea
There are some great cycle rides and hikes in the Dead Sea area.
Dead Sea Promenade
Take a stroll along the Dead Sea shores – you can’t get a lower walk anywhere in the world.
The Spring of Gedi – a natural oasis in the desert. There are two amazing walks/hikes to the water sources and a good chance of seeing lots of wildlife. See Ein Gedi
A world heritage site and an incredible place and story of revolution, survival and honour. See Masada
If you happen to be around the Dead Sea in the middle of the lunar month, then go for a drive away from the hotels, enjoy the landscape (or is it truly moonscape??) – find a safe place to park – look at the stars from the lowest point on earth.