The views are beautiful and there is a sense of calm and serenity when there. The Dead Sea (or Yam-Ha-Melah) as we say in Hebrew), is bordered by Jordan to the East and Israel to the West. Expect your ears to pop a little as you make the drive down because the Dead Sea is 430.5 meters below Sea Level. Woah.
It is one of the lowest places on earth.
Dead Sea Location
If you’re visiting the Dead Sea from Israel, you might be wondering where the Dead Sea is located. I’ve provided a very helpful map of Israel below for you to get your bearings.
Here is a helpful Dead Sea Map for you to get an overall feel for what you’re about to see.
This map is very helpful in understanding where you will be visiting. We went to Ein Bokek Beach which is surrounded by many hotels and restaurants. If you have a car, travel around the 90 to explore different lookouts and beaches.
Getting there is relatively easy, but expect a little road trip. If you’re coming from Jerusalem the ride is not long at all. However, if you’re traveling to the Dead Sea from Tel Aviv, expect a two-hour car ride.
The roads are a bit windy, but the views are beautiful and there are a few places to stop along the way for food, restrooms, breaks, etc.
Things to Note When Swimming
It’s more like floating. The only thing you can do is soak and float. You do not want to be splashing or swimming because this will leave you with salt in your eyes…and trust me, it stings.
There are a few things I feel obligated to mention before entering the water.
- Do not shave before you visit. Give yourself at least two days before.
- Remove all of your jewelry. As you’ll see in my video, I forgot to take off my jewelry and was frantically cleaning everything once I got out.
- Do not pee or let out any gas (if you know what I’m saying)…it, well, hurts! Be prepared for the holes in your body to sting a bit. But if they, do just remind yourself that you’re cleansing. 😉
Benefits of the Dead Sea
While the Dead Sea is truly beautiful and peaceful to look at, there are a few benefits of submerging your body into this salty water.
According to Harpers Bazaar (great article on the Dead Sea, btw) and my own research, of course, here are a few benefits of the Dead Sea.
- The Mud has anti-aging effects. There’s a reason there is a whole line of products dedicated to this magical water. I own a few products (down below) and love how they make my skin feel. Soak in the mud before stepping into the water and just watch how your skin transforms.
- The salty water helps reduce skin impurities. I was 100% on board with soaking my body in the water because it cleans up all of your skin impurities leaving you feeling silky smooth. Unfortunately, we didn’t go in this time (only our legs made it in) but I can confirm from the many other times I’ve visited that I leave glowing.
- Relieves allergies. Ok, this one might sound weird, but after a quick google search, I discovered that the high content of Magnesium found in salty water can help relieve different allergic reactions.
If you’re not planning on visiting anytime soon (or have visited and missed the effect the salty water and mud has on your skin) I highly recommend investing in these products. I use them and absolutely love how they make my skin feel. Plus, they smell really good.
Dead Sea Facts (these are good!)
- Due to the high salt content, you can easily float with ease.
- It is the lowest place on earth. Elevation is -430m.
- This body of water was given the name the Dead Sea due to its high salinity. No life can evolve here. However, studies show that there are bacteria and fungi that can survive here.
- From side to side, the Dead Sea stretches to 18km.
- It is actually a salt lake and not a sea.
- The Don Juan Pond in Antarctica is saltier than the Dead Sea. The Don Juan Pond has a 40% salinity and the Dead Sea has just over 34%.
- Often known as a center for healing. As mentioned above, mud and salt water from here have many benefits and people come from all over the world to experience the healing properties.
- Hebrew word for the Dead Sea is (Yam-Ha-Melah) which means the “sea of salt”
What happens when entering such a low elevation?
As you make the drive down the windy road, expect your ears to pop. If this bothers you, there are a few things you can do to ease the pain.
Try yawning or swallowing to ease the pressure. If this doesn’t help, apply a warm compress to the ears to soothe the pain from inflammation.
Another trick I learned when I was very young (I suffered from the worst ear pain) was to put a damp paper towel on the bottom of a disposable cup and hold it to your ear. I’m not so sure why this works, but it is so helpful if you have little ones that suffer from ear pain.
Don’t let the low sea elevation scare you from visiting.
The dead sea on the map looks like it will be the longest drive, but with some good tunes and yummy snacks, you will get there in no time at all.
It is 100% worth it once you arrive and the minute you step into the water and plop back to float, you will forget all about the descent.
There are plenty of options for your stay, but keep in mind that most hotels near the dead sea are located in Ein Bokek.
Isrotel Ganim Dead Sea Hotel, Milos Hotel, Herods Dead Sea Hotel, and Leonardo Club are a few nicer options for your stay.
For more information on hotels, Secret Tel Aviv is a really helpful site breaking down all of the Dead Sea Hotels and their prices. Plus, they have other great Israel recommendations that you must check out.
Before you go…
Be sure to check out Masada nearby for a beautiful sunrise hike. You might be waking up at 3 am, but it is 100% worth the early wake-up call. Plus, after the hike, you can go right back to floating in the water or relax at one of the local spas.
I hope you have the best time visiting.
If you’ve visited before, I’d love to hear how it was for you.
& the last thing before I go, if you’re interested in keeping up with my Israel journey you can always follow along on Instagram @sivangavish or TikTok @sivan_g
You might enjoy this post about what it’s like traveling right now.