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Lifting Your Spirits at the Lowest Place on Earth: All About Visiting the Dead Sea

It should be on everyone’s bucket list. The Dead Sea, or the “Sea of Salt,” is a unique environment that takes your breath away.

Its surface is 1,378 feet below sea level, and it is another 1,247 feet deep. It is more than eight times more salty than the ocean and contains some of the richest salt deposits in the world. As an encounter with nature at its most extreme, the Dead Sea takes some beating.


The great experience of the Dead Sea is to swim in its hypersaline waters, which give buoyancy that has to be felt to be believed. It’s important to keep your eyes out of the water, so you can’t swim normally, but instead you can relax on the water and read a book.

Remember that, although it is very unusual for people to drown because of the buoyant water, each year a number of people get into difficulties after swallowing water. There are plenty of developed beaches along the Dead Sea shore. Some offer sandy stretches, while most also have the famous black mud which is prized for skin treatment.

If you are after a good tan, the area has almost unbroken sunshine. The low altitude means that more of the ultraviolet is filtered by the atmosphere, but there is still a risk of sunburn, so use all the normal protection when visiting the Dead Sea. Sinkholes can cause beaches to be closed from time to time, so check out the latest information before you go.

Photo CC  by On The Go Tours


There is more to the Dead Sea than salty water. It also offers wonderful walking and some fascinating historical sites to visit.

The land around the Dead Sea is strikingly beautiful desert, interrupted by freshwater streams and oases. There are well-established trails like the Nahal Arugot track which can take you around the area.

Not far from the Sea are two of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The last stand of the Judean revolt against the Romans was at King Herod’s fortress of Masada, while the Qumran Caves concealed the Dead Sea Scrolls for two millennia. Both are accessible from spectacular walking trails.


The waters and muds of the Dead Sea have long been used for their health benefits. The salts dissolved in the water contain a number of essential minerals and ever since Roman times people have come here to soak up the elements. The Dunaliella algae, which are one of the few life forms to survive in the water, are also regarded by many as a source of healthy antioxidants.

An alternative to bathing is to make use of the mineral-rich mud which is found all around the Sea. The mud is exported around the world for its skincare benefits, but to soak in its natural environment must surely be the best way to use it.

Most hotels have spas where you can take full advantage of the healing and beauty-enhancing properties of the minerals.

Photo CC by Hrabina von Tup Tup


There’s nothing dead about the Dead Sea when it comes to having a good time. There are some excellent restaurants and bars along the shores, bringing some of the best of world cuisine to a variety of stunningly themed environments.

Thousands also flock to the musical venues around the Dead Sea. The annual -424 Rave in Masada is one of the world’s biggest, but there are also smaller events through the year, from classical concerts and operas to the four-day Tamar Festival featuring the full range of Israeli creativity.

If you want to get away from it all at night, join one of the night excursions out into the desert. Here you can get amazing views of the night sky, encounter local wildlife, and enjoy a traditional desert meal.


Israeli security is among the best in the world and tourist destinations are well protected, but the Middle East remains a volatile area, and wherever you travel you need to be alert to the possibility of disruption. Check government advice before you travel and observe any instructions from your travel company representatives or local security officials.

Photo CC by tsaiproject

A Unique Experience

Traveling to the Dead Sea is an unusual sort of vacation and you will also want to take in other aspects of a visit to Israel, but it combines many of the elements that people want on a foreign trip.

There are exotic locations, unusual experiences, and top quality accommodation and food—together they will make this an experience that you will never forget.


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  1. The dead sea looks amazing! Were you able to float like they say?

    • Yep, you really float! Happy travels!

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