Dead Sea Beach, floating on the lowest place on Earth
It is not a sea nor is it completely dead, but it is a place with natural and historical charm. It allows you to float without any effort, take advantage of the minerals and leave any worry there. Find the best Dead Sea Beach for your trip!
When you have never visited a place like this, it becomes impossible to imagine its high salinity, its ease of floating and the maximum relaxation that can be achieved. That happened to me!
The Dead Sea is a super salty lake, which is more than 400 meters below sea level and is approximately 80 kilometers long and 16 kilometers wide. I came to this huge lake from Jerusalem, Israel, although it can also be reached from Jordan and the West Bank.
It is called “Dead” because for fish or other aquatic animals it is impossible to survive, due of its high salinity, which is estimated, is up to seven times higher than the rest of the oceans. However, it is not completely dead, because there live some algae and microorganisms.
Can you swim in the dead sea?
It was March, spring was just beginning to arrive, so the sun was hiding from time to time, to make a fresh breeze more noticeable. The water was cold but not frozen, so the first thing I did was to get inside to discover the sensation I had waited for months.
The water is oily, calm and allows to float very easily, precisely because of its high salt content. I put my hand to the bottom and extracted small balls of salt … I was already aware that I could not get water in my eyes, but it happened. The burning is worse than how they described it to me.
And the landscape? much better than what they described to me. The Dead Sea exceeded my expectations. While floating, I could see tall hotel towers and spectacular brown mountains, typical of arid zones, because the Judean Desert is very close.
When I left the lake, the wind tried to dry me, which gave way to a whitish tone all over my body: a clear sign of extreme salinity. On the Ein Bokek beach, there are outdoor showers. I recommend you take soap to try to remove all the salt to prevent the skin irritation.
If you like to meditate and if you are thinking about giving minerals to your body, this is the perfect place. Experts attribute to the waters of the Dead Sea chemical properties such as bromine, bromide, magnesium, sodium, calcium, potassium and sulfur, among many others, with benefits ranging from rejuvenation to increased production of antioxidants.
Dead Sea Beach
➡️ Ein Bokek Beach
Ein Bokek is a free beach that is 115 kilometers (71.5 miles) from Jerusalem, where you can find many facilities such as bathrooms, showers, restaurants, and shops. In the place, they offer chairs to rent for prices of approximately $3.
➡️ Kalia Beach
Kalia Beach is a private beach that is located further north of the Dead Sea, about 45 minutes from Jerusalem. Admission is $16 and includes chairs, umbrellas, showers, changing rooms and parking. Also, there is a restaurant and souvenir shop. The facilities are older, but they are acceptable.
➡️ Mineral beach and Ein Gedi beach
Take into consideration that Ein Gedi Beach and Mineral Beach have been closed for several years without the possibility of reopening, due to the appearance of sinkholes (natural drains).
What to do in the dead sea?
In addition to bathing as long as you want, you can take your time to apply mud to yourself. People buy small bags of mud in the surroundings and apply it all over the body, in front of the lake. For a more natural experience, at Kalia Beach, you can find mud on the beach.
If you like to buy gifts or souvenirs, do not leave the place without first going to the markets next to the Dead Sea. They have all type of products: soothing and moisturizing creams for feet, hands and body, hair treatments, face masks based on mud, and elements for tubs or jacuzzi, among many others. Walk and compare, the stores offer diversity in quality and prices that start at $3 dollars.
Masada is an archaeological site that has remains of palaces and fortifications, which was the home of Herod after the Roman conquest of Judea (in another post I tell you the experience).
Entrance fee is $8 and opens from 8 am to 4 – 5 pm (depending if it is winter or summer season).
➡️ Qumran Caves
Another activity is to travel in a 4×4 the Judean Desert, or take a tour to the Qumran Caves or caves of the manuscripts, a place that has a high natural, religious and historical importance, for being where they found at least 200 manuscripts with an antiquity of 2000 years. It is estimated that these could be the oldest manuscripts of the Bible.
➡️ Ein Gedi Natural Reserve
Ein Gedi is one of Israel’s best hiking spots, with spectacular landscapes, and botanical gardens. Entrance fee is $8 and opens from 8 am to 4 – 5 pm (depending if it is winter or summer season).
If you have more time, you can go to Eilat which is a port city in southern Israel, on the shores of the Red Sea, near Jordan. It is characterized by its beaches with calm waters, ideal for diving and snorkeling. It is four hours from Jerusalem and about 2.5 hours from Ein Bokek.
Jerusalem to the Dead Sea
In Jerusalem, we rent a car and with the help of a GPS, we reached the Dead Sea after traveling approximately 45 kilometers. Renting a car for a day is priced at around $ 30 and is a good idea if you want to have the freedom to go around the area without time constraints.
I loved the landscape, I observed improvised Bedouin camps along the Judean desert; I also saw shepherds with their sheep: impossible not to remember images from the time of Jesus!
A scene not pleasant for me, for what it means, are the walls that are observed in different parts along the way, which mark a border between Israelis and Palestinians. Still, it was interesting to know what the news has been showing for years.
Once in the Dead Sea, it is possible to park in the spaces that are in front of shopping centers, next to the lake, but do not forget to buy a parking ticket in the machines that are around, because the authorities that regulate the transit could make you a ticket. If they make a ticket, like us, they can pay it at the postal service or at the airport.
➡️ Bus to the Dead Sea
If you want to take a bus, the company Egged has the route 486 that travels from the central bus station of Jerusalem (platform 5) directly to the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada. It costs approximately $ 19 round trip, just remember that there are no buses on Shabbat (from Friday afternoon until Saturday night).
➡️ Dead Sea tours
There are tours that depart from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem daily, with prices starting at $ 50. You can check at your hotel, there are usually several options and schedules.
Restaurants in Ein Bokek
We rented some chairs on Ein Bokek beach, for approximately $3 each, and set up a Picnic. It was a very pleasant experience, many people do this in the place. We recommend you bring something to eat since the trip is long and there are few options on the way to stop.
In Ein Bokek Beach we found Aroma Café, which has several options for light meals. If you want a full lunch or dinner, in the same area you can visit Taj Mahal, which offers Mediterranean food.
Dead Sea hotels, Israel
I visited in a single day Masada and the Dead Sea, and in the afternoon I returned to Jerusalem. However, if you have plans to make a more leisurely visit, you can evaluate these hotels options.
Crowne Plaza Dead Sea has access to the beach from the hotel pools and costs about $120 a night. You can also stay at Daniel Dead Sea Hotel for around $150, this is characterized by excellent service and delicious food.