I hope I haven’t spoiled you too much with pictures from my road trip around Israel. One of our last stops a few days before leaving Israel was, of course, to experience the Dead Sea and floating in the lowest points on earth. Also known as the Salt Sea, you cannot visit the Holy Land and not visit the Dead Sea in Israel. That it in itself would almost be sinful to miss out on the adventure. Who would pass on an opportunity to experience the healing powers of the Dead Sea mud and get benefits of the Dead Sea.
The Dead Sea serves as a backdrop for many events in biblical times. A place of refuge for King David who hid from King Saul, the prophet Ezekiel had visions here and this was also a health resort for Herod the Great. The story of Masada also happened only a stone’s throw from here and overlooks the Dead Sea and a striking site set in Israel’s the Judean Desert combining history, geology and archaeology. We had hired a car while exploring Israel but there are plenty of Dead Sea tours that combine Masada, Dead Sea, and Ein Gedi.
Floating On Dead Sea Beaches
One of the saltiest lakes in the world rivaling that of Lake Assal in Djibouti. Apparently the lowest point on earth, evident by the ear-popping you will experience when as you descend down 423 meters below sea level while driving towards the Dead Sea.
Almost all the beaches at the Dead Sea have an entry fee so prepare for that, but all will take cards if you happen to have blown it all on souvenirs, also note that there will be soldiers around the beaches or you may run into a few checkpoints on the way to the Dead Sea which may or may not come as a surprise. After driving around the country for over a week we were just going to chill out and let the benefits of dead sea mud get to work while floating in the Dead Sea. Letting all melt all the tensions away and let the healing powers of the minerals work their magic.
The Best Time To Visit The Dead Sea In Israel
The best time to visit the Dead Sea would ideally be between November and April when the weather is a lot cooler. Although any time is great I wouldn’t recommend visiting in the hot seasons (June – September) as the weather can be unbearably hot. The day we visited it was very hazy and hotter than most British summers at their peak and yet this wasn’t even peaking hot season yet in Israel.
With little breeze to cool you down the first thought was to escape into the sea, which was rather delightful warm temperate but made difficult to wander into due to the slippery mud underneath the surface. With 30 percent Salinity it’s about 7-8 times saltier than the oceans and even with the warning signs all over the place informing people not to splash each other, I still managed to spot grown men behaving like kids and splashing each other. The joke was on them because I spotted a few of them stifling girlish moans because they were obviously in a lot of pain after getting water in their eyes.
Some were even trying to swim, which is near impossible without getting your face wet or just automatically floating. That was my entertainment for the day until I got back to the business of wrapping myself in mud and looking quite pleased with myself, I also took the obligatory Dead Sea floating shot. This is the stuff that dreams are made of. Where on earth can adults get away with rolling around in the mud without anyone looking at you as if you are few nuts short of a fruitcake?!
Dead Sea floating! Here, that’s where! Your skin will thank you for it too. After rolling around in it and letting it dry it was time wash it off and to get away from the heat to continue the last few legs of our road trip…
Dead Sea Essentials – What To Pack For The Dead Sea
- Swimsuit and trunks
- Towel – Dependning on which beach you use they may be provided for a fee.
- Water Shoes – It can be slipper so having water shoes with a bit of texture at the bottom gives you a bit of grip.
- Suncream – Not much use when you are slapping on Dead Sea Mud but you need it for before and after as the Dead Sea has sun pretty much 330 days a year.
Choosing The Right Dead Sea Beach
There are quiet a few Dead Sea beaches to choose from and many with varying facilities from those with a restaurant and gift shops to those having a bar and music on site. From those that are free to those that charge. The most popular of beaches on the Dead Sea are below:
- Zohar Hot Springs Beach. South of Ein Bokek you’ll find Zohar Hot Springs Beach. It’s free of charge and offers a wide shore, showers and has a lifeguard on duty, reclining chairs, toilets, a tent area and a refreshment stand.
- Kalia Beach – Kalia Beach beach is operated by Kibbutz Kalia, a established in the 1970s. Comes with beautiful views of the sea and the desert, and has several facilities for tourists, including a restaurant, a bar and a gift shop. It is very family friendly, tourist friendly and safe.
- Neve Midbar Beach – Neve Midbar beach belongs to the Megilot Regional Council and is very laid back. It offers a spacious stretch of sand, green lawns, barbecue area, a gift shop and a bar. It usually attracts a younger crowd.
- Biankini Beach – Biankini Beach is located right next to Neve Midbar Beach. It is part of a Moroccan style resort, which also includes a Moroccan restaurant and bar, complete with Moroccan music, belly dancers, karaoke nights and live shows. It is very popular among Israelis. During holidays and weekends it tends to get quite crowded.
- Ein Gedi Public Beach – Ein Gedi Beach is located next to Kibbutz Ein Gedi, in the central part of the Dead Sea. Entrance to the beach is free and it offers basic facilities such as toilets and showers, as well as a picnic area. It is more rocky than sandy so walking on the beach requires some kind of footwear. The beach also has a large area designated for tents, for those who like to camp out.
At the Ein Gedi Beach you can also find the Ein Gedi Spa Resort, which offers six sulphur pools, a natural mud area, spa and beauty treatments, a restaurant, a café and a swimwear store. Unfortunately, due to sinkholes, Ein Gedi Beach is now closed.
- Ein Bokek – Ein Bokek Beach is the one that lines the Dead Sea hotels area. It is mostly free of charge. This is where you’ll find glitzy resorts and pampering spa treatments as well as fancy hospitality and high-quality restaurants. The beach itself offers beach chairs, picnic spots, a restaurant, a refreshment stand and a beauty products store.
- For additional tips on costs for the Dead Sea as well as costs for a trip to Israel when planning a longer exploration of the country.
Dead Sea Hotels In Israel | Where To Stay Near The Dead Sea
There are many hotels when it comes to finding something close to the Dead Sea. If you are visiting the Dead Sea from the Jordan sea then you will need to check out Dead Sea hotels in Sowayma. If you are heading for the to the Dead Sea to experience floating in the lowest point on earth then you need to check out Ein Bokek, Ein Gedi, and Neve Zoha for a list of hotels in Israel’s Dead Sea.
More on Israel:
- 10 Reasons You Need To Visit Tel Aviv
- Tel Aviv Museums You Need To Visit
- Things To Do In Jerusalem In A Weekend
- Jerusalem’s Instagrammable Streets
So have you been Dead Sea floating yet?
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We are going to Israel in November and plan on going to the Dead Sea. I hear the mud makes your skin feel very soft. Did it take you a while to wash it off? Thanks for sharing.
It doesnt take long to wash off all at. There are showers right on the beaches and more on site within the changing rooms. Yep! It leaves your skin feeling all kinds of delicious! 😀
Hi visiting from Sunday Traveler. Who's blue finger nails were that. The Dead Sea looks…dead. We are planning on sailing to Israel in the next year two years. We have an Isreali friend who scuba dives for the Navy Seals. He told us how difficult it is to learn to scuba dive in the Dead Sea. Will visit and roll in the mud …
Awesome. Israel is definitely a beautiful place to go sailing but diving in the Dead Sea? I don't think that is even possible all that salt would probably eat away for your equipment let alone you getting any decent buoyancy. Also, no fish or specie can survive in the Dead Sea so there is basically nothing to see on your dive. Its quiet difficult to swim it it as you automatically float so please do let me know if you manage to do it 🙂
P.S Those are my nails covered in mud – it felt good too ;~)
Hahahahahahahaaaaaaa that mud photo up front made me giggle! What a hoot. Looks like a great holiday. Big thanks for linking up with us to #SundayTraveler again Bee.
We went to Jordan and to Israel and didn't do the Dead Sea from either one….shame on us. It looks like fun.
Oh dear, I guess thats a good enough reason to go for another visit.
Kat Tanita (With Love From Kat)
This sounds like an amazing experience!! Hope you have a great trip back home!
I've been planning to visit Israel for quite a while, I should include the dead sea in my itinerary when and if I get to visit.
Yes you should Rachel
I went to the Dead Sea many years ago. As a non swimmer it was lovely to be able to float on the water but – a word of caution here – I drifted out quite a long way and couldn't get back to the shore without assistance!
Oh my goodness that must have been scary! I hope you haven't been traumatised from the experience.
I'd love to see the Dead Sea! In fact, I'd like to visit the lowest spot on each continent. It's much more doable (and cheaper) than hitting the highest points. Looks like you guys had a blast there, thanks for sharing, Bee!
It was fun! Yeah, funny how going to the lowest point is cheaper than going to the highest point. Weird way of the world we live in.
I'd love to go float in the dead sea! Sounds like a relaxing day. How did your skin come out of it?
It was lovely. My skin felt smooth like a baby's bottom 🙂
I have! Isn't it amazing?! I can imagine centuries ago people being baffled by it and thinking it really was a miracle. I compared swimming in the dead sea to trying to push a rubber ducky under the water! Very salty water …
Yeah, its that weird sensation isnt it? The mud definitely didnt help.
The first photo made me laugh! That's awesome. What a fun experience this looks to be! I want to float in the dead sea, too!
I've wanted to float on the Dead Sea ever since we were taught about in school so many years back!! So cool that you go to live the textbook dream 🙂 And btw, I LOVE the hand shots!!!
haha thanks! Yeap I have been wanting to do that for such a long time too.
How cool – I'd love to visit the dead sea! I bet watching people try to swim is so funny!
This seems like a lot of fun! I want to have my face covered just like on your photo. I'm surprised though that you need to pay a fee (locals too?). It must feel special to float around in the Dead Sea.
Yeah it was weird for me too but I guess maybe in a way they can keep the place secure that way if they are cordoned off as there was army security about. Yes, you definitely have to post a shot of your face with mud when you manage a visit to the dead sea.
City Sea Country
Really like your first picture in your post. 😀 Floating in the Dead Sea must be a weird feeling. When I think about the Dead Sea I always have a picture in mind of someone floating while reading a newspaper (don´t remember where I´ve seen it…).
What excellent photos, we did a similar thing the other day in Germany, my skin felt so good afterwards!
Really?! Details please. I didnt know Germany had a similar place.
This looks so cool! I;ve never been to the Dead Sea, but would definitely love to visit someday 🙂
Reading your post, I noticed how weird it is that most people dislike mud, except at some special places like the Dead Sea or the Blue Lagoon where they go all crazy for it and cover their faces with it 🙂
That is weird isnt it? We will happily play around with it in places like this but no where else. Funny…
Thanks so much for linking up with us this week for #WeekendWanderlust!
I can imagine that relaxing by and in the Dead Sea would be a really cool experience. I always find it interesting how certain people act despite the warning signs but clearly this is a spot where everyone just pretty much does their own thing, but then again they probably regret doing so afterwards especially when the water is so concentrated here with the salt!
Would definitely love to visit this part of the world and experience this for ourselves. You could almost say a once in a lifetime experience but I am sure there are folks that frequent this all the time!
I think a few of them did immediately regret there behaviour, painfully so. Yeah but is so relaxing. A must of you are in Israel in future.
This looks fantastic! When I make it to Petra I definitely want to take a dip in the Dead Sea and don a mud mask, too! What a fun #SundayTraveler – Heather, Life of a Traveling Navy Wife
Tammy and Chris on the move
It must be such a weird feeling floating in the ocean. Would love to try it one day.
I'm really hoping that by the time I get out there in a few months, all of that fighting will have stopped. The probabilities are small, but it still makes you uneasy. I swam in the Dead Sea once before on Birthright, but now I'm set to go again, hopefully we'll find Israel and the region in a happier place.
It has been my dream to visit Israel for a long time and because of you inspiring post I am now all booked for my first visit to Israel in February. I am not going to miss out on the Dead sea. Thank you for your inspiring blog. Keep up the great work.
That makes me so glad to read this. All the best with your visit.