Everything you need to know before floating in the Dead Sea
If you are organizing a trip to Jordan and you’re looking for a unique travel experience, then floating in the Dead Sea is definitely something you’ll want to include in your Jordan itinerary!
The Dead Sea is a truly unique place that is definitely worth a visit. Make sure to pack your swimsuit and enjoy a day (or more) of floating in this incredible body of water.
The idea of floating like an astronaut in the water is definitely intriguing, but what do you need to know before you get there? Let’s have a look!
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WHY IS FLOATING IN THE DEAD SEA EVEN POSSIBLE?
To start with a big reveal, the Dead Sea is actually not a sea, but a salty lake. It is located between Israel and Jordan, and can be reached from both countries. The water in the Dead Sea is around ten times more salty than Ocean water, with a salinity level of approximately 34%.
The Dead Sea is also the lowest point on earth, at around 400 meters below sea level.
The combination of high salt content and low elevation makes the Dead Sea a very hostile environment for most forms of life. In fact, it gets its name from the fact that no fish or other marine life can live in it.
The water is so salty because it evaporates much faster than it can be replenished.
The high salt content also means that the water has a very high density, which makes floating easy and relaxing. If you’ve never experienced floating in such salty water it’s definitely something you should try at least once in your life! It is a very curious experience but very relaxing once you adapt to it and realise it is basically impossible to sink!
FLOATING IN THE DEAD SEA: DO AND DON’TS
Don’t try to swim
The water is so dense that it would be really difficult to swim, as the water will push you back up to the surface. Attempting to swim may result in the very salty water splashing onto your face too.
It’s best to just relax and float on your back.
Don’t put your head underwater
The water in the Dead Sea is so salty that it can be really painful if it gets into your eyes. If you do accidentally get some water in your eyes, it is important to rinse it out immediately with clean water.
Don’t stay in for too long
Even though the water is really good for your skin, it is important not to stay in for too long. The high salt content can be really drying, so it’s best to only stay in for a max of 20 minutes.
Do take a shower after you come out of the water
It’s important to rinse off the saltwater with freshwater as soon as you get out.
If you don’t, your skin will feel really dry and uncomfortable.
Do cover any wounds
The high salt content of the water can be really painful if you have any cuts or open wounds. Make sure to cover any cuts with a waterproof bandage before you get into the water.
Floating in the Dead Sea with kids
If you’re travelling to Jordan with kids, and planning to bring them to the Dead Sea it’s important to be extra careful.
Make sure they don’t put their heads underwater and that they don’t stay in for too long. It is a good idea if they wear swimming goggles to prevent any accidents.
Remind them also to not splash around as the water can get into their eyes and other people’s eyes too.
We went with our twins, almost 6 years old, and a friend with her son who is10. My kids were absolutely unimpressed by the Dead Sea, as soon as they dipped their toes in they started screaming because it was too stingy.
We warned them a lot in advance, and maybe overamplified the precautions etc but they were happy enough to play on the beach at least. Our friend’s son on the other hand was really good and enjoyed the experience. Even though he had some abrasion on one knee, the floating was fun enough to make up for the discomfort!
Looking for more tips before heading to Jordan? Look at this Jordan travel tips and advice on how to save money, what’s the best itinerary, where to stay, or what to wear.
HOW TO HAVE THE BEST EXPERIENCE
Now that you know a few things to keep in mind when floating in the Dead Sea, let’s have a look at what you can do when you’re there.
We stayed at the beautiful Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa and while on the beach the lifeguard on duty explained to us the best way to enjoy the experience.
- first, you float for 10, max 20 minutes in the Dead Sea
- when you come out you cover yourself with the dead Sea mud
- you let the mud completely dry
- you go back to the Dead Sea to wash off the mud (much easier than under the shower)
- you take a shower with fresh water
After this, your skin will be super soft!
For guests at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa, there were mud stations on the higher portion of the beach that guests could utilize. There were also two masseurs that would have applied the mud for you if you desired during the day.
HOW FLOATING IN THE DEAD SEA CAN IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Floating in the Dead Sea has many health benefits. I’m certainly not a doctor, but I can share what I discovered in the time we were there.
The high salt content is great for your skin and can help to clear up many skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
The mud is also full of minerals that are good for your skin, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
Floating in the Dead Sea can also help to relieve stress and tension making it a great way to relax and unwind. If you have any muscle or joint pain, floating in the Dead Sea can also help to reduce inflammation and pain.
Finally, the Dead Sea is also known for its healing properties and has been used to treat conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism, and even chronic fatigue syndrome.
HOW TO GET FROM AMMAN TO THE DEAD SEA
There are 2 ways to include floating in the Dead Sea in your Jordan itinerary.
First: You can take it as a day trip from Amman. In this case, you can reach the Dead Sea by Public transport (complicated), join a tour, or drive yourself.
Second: you can stay overnight at one of the resorts or even use the Dead Sea as a base for your Jordan trip and organise day trips from there to the other attractions. Let’s have a look more in detail.
Amman to the Dead Sea day trip using public transport
You have two options if you want to use public transport:
- If you’re looking to visit the Dead Sea from Amman, there is a good option offered by Jett bus company. Jett is now running a daily return service from Amman to the Dead Sea for 15 Jod. The bus leaves at 8:30 from Jett Abdali Station or at 9 from Jett office 7th Circle. The return bus leaves Amman beach at 5:00. The journey takes roughly 90 min.
You can also book through them the entrance to the Ramada resort and a meal package.
- There is another slightly cheaper option but it is much more complicated. You have to take a bus from Muhajireen station to South Shuna and then wait for another bus to Swemeh. This bus usually departs when full. To reach the beach you will need a taxi. Between buses and taxis, you shouldn’t pay more than 8-9 Jod, but I’m not sure it is worth the hassle.
Amman to the Dead Sea day trip joining a tour
Joining a tour could be a great way to combine floating in the Dead Sea with a visit to Madaba and Mount Nebo or Bethany beyond Jordan.
It could also be worth considering a tour in case you don’t want to spend all day just on the beach, as with Jett buses you need to wait to 5 pm to get on the bus back to Amman.
ONE OF THE BEST TOURS TO VISIT THE DEAD SEA: Dead Sea Tour from Amman
If you don’t have a car, or you’re travelling alone, this tour is probably the best option for you.
It is a private tour and in 1 day you will be able to see several sites.
The driver will pick you up from your hotel in Amman and you will visit Madaba first, Mount Nebo, and then Baptism site.
After, you will spend some time by the Dead Sea beaches entering through one of the Resorts there. (Some entrances are priced separately)
The best part of this tour is that you can cancel up to 24 hours before the booking, just in case you need to change your plans!
Amman to the Dead Sea day trip with a taxi
A taxi from Amman to the Dead Sea one way will cost you around 25-30 Jod. The price is good especially if there are 2 or 3 of you. However, it could be difficult to find a taxi available to come back, if you don’t want to risk it then you should agree with the driver on the price for the round trip.
Amman to the Dead Sea driving yourself
I’m not suggesting to rent a car just to drive to the Dead Sea, but you could explore the possibility to rent a car for the entire Jordan itinerary, in this case, it will make sense to drive yourself.
With a car, you can decide to visit the Dead Sea as a day trip from Amman or to stop there for a day or two and use it as a base to visit some of the nearby attractions.
We rented a car for the entire duration of our trip and driving in Jordan was absolutely a breeze. I can’t recommend it more!
Stay overnight in one of the Dead Sea resorts
If you want to make the most of your time floating in the Dead Sea and enjoy the health benefits associated with it, I recommend staying overnight in one of the resorts.
This way you can spend a full day floating and relaxing in the water and mud without having to worry about getting back to Amman. The resorts in the Dead Sea area also offer a much more comprehensive and relaxing experience than the public beaches.
Renting a car is what we did and driving in Jordan was absolutely the most convenient solution to move around. We combined driving a car with a 2 night stay in a beautiful resort to recover from all the hiking we had done in the previous days, and from there we also made a day trip to visit Madaba, Mount Nebo, As-Salt, and Jerash.
Having a car you can decide to save money and just stop by one of the public beaches. However, the public beaches in Jordan are not a place I would recommend. The experience has been reported as unpleasant by many travelers, which is why we decided to stay at one of the resorts instead!
Planning to spend a day visiting Petra? Check out how to hike Petra from the back entrance, to save some energy and have a more pleasant day
PUBLIC BEACHES VS RESORT BEACHES
Let’s have a few words about the beaches in Jordan. The main difference between public beaches and resort beaches is the facilities and services that are available.
The public beaches tend to be much more basic, whereas the resort beaches usually have a wider range of facilities, such as showers, changing rooms, and restaurants.
Another difference is the atmosphere. The public beaches can be quite crowded and busy, whereas the resort beaches are usually much more relaxed.
Amman beach is where the Jett bus will bring you unless you buy the resort package. You have to pay 20 Jod to enter and extra Jod for a towel and mud. As I said I haven’t been there but it seems the facilities are not kept to the minimum standard of cleanliness especially changing room, shower, and toilets.
Jett is now offering the possibility, instead of being dropped off at Amman beach, to go to one of the resorts (it could change) to use their facilities and to have lunch there. It costs an extra 40Jod, but it could be a great option especially if you are tight on time and you can’t stay overnight.
THE BEST RESORTS TO STAY IN NEAR THE DEAD SEA
There are several resorts by the Dead Sea, all located close to each other. Below are the three best options.
Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea
The Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea is a luxurious resort with its own private beach and pools, offering an array of amenities for travelers.
Some popular features include the outdoor heated pool (perfect if you are there in Spring or Autumn) and amazing Spa treatments and massage therapies
You can also enjoy world-class dining at one of many restaurants where you might find traditional cuisine combined with modern flavors.
The kids club ensures you can have some time for floating in the Dead Sea or enjoying some relaxing time at the Spa while your children are entertained in a safe environment.
Hilton Dead Sea Resort and Spa
We stayed at this resort for 2 nights and it was wonderful!
The hotel is in a stunning position and we were also particularly lucky as we got a super upgrade to a majestic room with a living room, a dining area, and 2 bathrooms, one of which was bigger than our master bedroom at home! The “apartment” also had two balconies with a beautiful view of the Dead Sea.
The resort has a private beach area with loungers and parasols, as well as three different swimming pools. One pool is adult only, one is families only, and the other one is mixed.
There are also several restaurants, a bar, and a coffee shop on site.
If you are traveling with kids, I would definitely recommend this resort as it offers a lovely indoor kids club with a great range of facilities and activities for children. There is also a paddling pool and a little playground just beside it.
I would definitely go back there!
Ramada Resort Dead Sea
If you are looking to save some money then the Ramada Resort Dead Sea is your best option.
It has a contemporary design, one of the area’s largest sandy beaches, and two swimming pools. One of the pools is heated, so perfect if you visit during chillier months.
One of the pools will also offer a highlight for your kids as it has slides for endless fun.
The only downside is that to reach the beach you need to jump on the shuttle bus or walk for 10-15 minutes.
DAY TRIP FROM THE DEAD SEA
As I mentioned before, there are several places that you can go and visit as a day trip if you base yourself at one of the Dead Sea resorts.
Mount Nebo is a sacred site in Jordan believed to be where Moses saw the Holy Land and spent his final days before he died and was buried. Visitors can see stunning views of the Holy Land including Jerusalem, Jericho, and even the River Jordan.
The site itself is very interesting, with several ancient ruins and mosaics to explore, as well as a small museum.
From the Dead Sea resorts, it takes about 30 minutes by car to get to Mount Nebo.
Madaba is a lovely little city located southwest of Amman and is famous for its Byzantine mosaics. The most well-known mosaic is the Madaba Map, which dates back to the sixth century and shows a detailed map of the Holy Land.
There are several churches and mosaics to see in Madaba, as well as a small museum. There is also a mouthwatering restaurant that you shouldn’t miss if you are stopping here: Haret Jdoudna.
Madaba is about a 45-minute drive from the Dead Sea resorts.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is the site where John the Baptist is believed to have baptized Jesus Christ.
The site includes a church, an ancient baptismal river, and several ruins of old churches and monasteries.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is located about a 20-minute drive from the Dead Sea resorts.
Jerash is an ancient city located in Jordan and is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman archaeological sites in the world.
The site includes a theater, and an amphitheater, plus several temples and plazas. You can spend a full day in Jerash, but it is also really easy to combine with visiting As-Salt,
Jerash is about an hour and a half drive from the Dead Sea resorts.
As-Salt is a small town located near Amman, Jordan. It is known for its 19th-century architecture including the As-Salt Grand Mosque. Defined as a “place of tolerance and urban hospitality” by UNESCO as churches and mosques lay side by side respecting each other.
The town is also home to a number of restaurants and cafes.
As-Salt is about a 60 minute drive from the Dead Sea resorts.
Wadi Al Muijib
Wadi Al Muijib is a gorge located near the Dead Sea in Jordan. The hike through the gorge is a thrilling experience, with the walls towering overhead and the river rushing below. It’s a truly unique place and one that’s definitely worth visiting.
Wadi Al Muijib is located about a 30-minute drive from the Dead Sea resorts.
If you are looking for an amazing and unique travel experience, a visit to the Dead Sea is definitely something you should consider. With just a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your time there and create some incredible memories. I hope this article has helped give you some ideas on what to do and how to get the most out of your trip. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or need more information – I’m happy to help!
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