The Dead Sea is a unique gift of nature, which helps people to recover and find long life, so therapeutic tours at the Dead Sea are in special demand among tourists from around the world. The healing body of water is located at the lowest point of the globe. Salt, beneficial minerals, oxygen and pure water have a beneficial effect on the human body and can cure many diseases. The water also contains mud, which is used in medicine to create creams and masks for skin care. Treatment with mud helps strengthen the immune system, relieve stress, relieve joint pain and warms the body completely. It is worth noting that the Dead Sea water has a high concentration of salt, which makes it almost impossible to drown, and the average year-round water temperature is at least 24 degrees Celsius. Such conditions allow you to come for recovery at any time of year.
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Video: Dead Sea and the surrounding area
The Dead Sea is actually not a sea at all, but a large inland lake that is fed by the waters of the Jordan River, which flows into its northern part. The Dead Sea is 67km long and 18km wide at its widest point; the border between Israel and Jordan divides it almost exactly in half.
The Dead Sea has about 30% salinity, 9 times more than any sea or ocean, and this salty water is unfit for any organisms (hence the name).
During its existence, the Dead Sea has had many names. The Jews called it the Steppe Sea, the Salty Sea, and the Eastern Sea. The Greeks called it the Asphalt Lake because they said that lumps of black bitumen were found in it. The Nabataeans sold the natural asphalt for large sums of money, mostly to the Egyptians, who used it to mummify the dead. The Crusaders called it the Dead Sea, and medieval Muslims called it variously: the Lake of Stench, the Lake of Sodom and Gomorrah, and the Upside Down Lake.
Dead Sea Salt
Holidays at the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea coast has a complex for vacationers, consisting of hotels, inns, health resorts, therapies and spas. Those who have been at least once at a resort at the Dead Sea, leave only the best reviews. It is no secret that the level of medicine in Israel at a very high level, so the quality of medical procedures will enjoy each visitor to the country. After recreation at the Dead Sea human body is cleansed, blood circulation and metabolism is stimulated, and the overall condition of the skin is improved. Mud, climatic features, clean air, useful minerals – these are the components of the sea, which make it a miraculous source of healing from many diseases. Despite the fact that the Dead Sea is not a beach resort, there are many vacationers.
Fun swimming on the surface of the Dead Sea is a must-see activity when visiting this region. The most popular (and therefore crowded) is the beach of Ein Gedi, attracting crowds of noisy young people with loud music and bonfires, who occupy campsites and restrooms (entrance to the beach is free) . Ein Bokek also has a great but crowded beach of the Hordus Hotel, which is easy to get to, and a nice sandy beach. If you come not in high season or on weekends, it’s much freer (and also free) . There are more beaches at the north end of the sea, including those of the hotels “Biankini” and “Siesta”, and opposite Kumran there is a very nice beach of the hotel “Mineral”.
Swimming – or rather, lying on the surface of the water – in the Dead Sea leaves an unforgettable impression, but it is more difficult than it seems at first glance. Swimming in water with such high density is almost impossible, but we will give you some tips. To get ahead, you will have to make funny movements, twisting and pushing off, spinning around your axis like some kind of water beetle moving on the surface of the water. Since the salt content of the water here is about 10 times higher than in the Mediterranean Sea, once it gets on the body, the water makes it slippery and oily. Fish brought here by the current of the Jordan River die in the first minutes after entering the Dead Sea – they are found thrown on the shore, dried up and hardened like stone. Be sure to make sure that the extremely salty water does not get into their eyes – it can be painful and dangerous. If this happens, immediately rinse your eyes with fresh water. When the salt gets on your skin, any small scratch can be felt immediately, so it’s best not to go in the water with serious cuts or wounds.
Nevertheless, these warnings should not scare you. It is an indescribable feeling – to swim like a cork on the surface of the healing waters surrounded by the harsh beauty of the Judean Desert, steeped in ancient and biblical history, at the lowest point of the land.
In Israel, every traveler can find a place to stay based on their financial capabilities and preferences. For fans of luxury suit suit refined apartments with the highest level of service, as well as beautiful sea views, Jacuzzi, a platform for sunbathing, spa, tennis court, gym, fountains and swimming pools in the complex. For those whose budget is limited, there are more modest, but cozy hotels with a standard list of services. It is difficult to name the average cost of a hotel room, because the choice depends on many factors.
It is noteworthy that the air over the Dead Sea has more oxygen than anywhere else. This contributes to the effect of being in a natural hyperbaric chamber.
The Dead Sea water has curative properties.
Worth noting is the usefulness of the thermal springs located along the Dead Sea’s shoreline. Bathing in such a spring will help activate the circulatory system and contribute to the fact that oxygen begins to saturate all organs and tissues of your body.
Many people come to the Dead Sea to treat a variety of skin diseases, nervous system, diseases related to the endocrine system, as well as many other diseases.
One of the most unusual features of the Dead Sea is that its water is oily to the touch. The fact is that its water is not just salty: it is a rich mixture of minerals in which it is impossible to drown and which has medicinal properties. For many centuries, even since the time of King Herod, who built a palace on the shores of the Dead Sea, people have come to this region, attracted by the healing properties of an unusual body of water. In recent years, numerous spas, clinics and luxury hotels have sprung up at the small resort of Ein Bokek, turning it into a flourishing tourist center. But for the treatment of many diseases, such as skin and respiratory, is useful not only the water of the Dead Sea. The absence of pollen, warm and dry climate, low radiation levels, high atmospheric pressure, and mineral-rich mud found on the coast all contribute to modern and extraordinarily successful therapies.
Dead Sea cosmetics are widely exported around the world
A consequence of this fashion has been the massive export of Dead Sea products for cosmetic applications. Creams and lotions that utilize the healing properties of Dead Sea minerals from companies such as Ahava are offered in shopping malls and pharmacies in hundreds of countries around the world.
But there is a price to pay for extracting the healing minerals, and that price is seen at the southern end of the Dead Sea, where the Dead Sea Salt Works evaporation pools have been set up. But the beauty industry is not to blame, since the company mines a variety of minerals, including potash, bromine, caustic soda and magnesium, for other industries.
Death of the Dead Sea.
The water level in the sea is now dropping by 1 meter each year. Since the 1950s it has dropped 250 meters, an alarming figure. There are several reasons for this, chief of which is the depletion of the freshwater resources of the rivers flowing into the Dead Sea. The Jordan River is now only a small stream at its confluence with the sea because it is blocked by dams built during various irrigation projects. The surface area of the sea in the 1950s was 1000 km², but now it has shrunk to 700 km². Another important factor is the extraction of potash and minerals on the shoals of the southern end of the sea, in which both Jordan and Israel evaporate water for their needs.
If the process continues at this rate, the sea will completely dry up in 50 years. Urgent action must be taken to prevent this. The Jordanian and Israeli authorities, interested in solving the problem, agreed in 2002 to build a 250 km long canal from the Red Sea (the Gulf of Aqaba) to the Dead Sea. The 400-meter difference in elevation would make it possible to build a hydroelectric power plant here, as well as desalination plants that would supply both states with precious fresh water. But the project has fallen victim to the political situation and hangs in limbo, as do the peace talks.
Preserving a unique natural site is a national task
A trip to the dead sea from the Jordanian side
Most tourists coming to Jordan consider it their duty to stop by the Dead Sea and perform the bathing ritual.
On the road from Amman you will first pass through the town of Nawr, where Sultan Abdul Hamid settled a large number of Circassians. As you leave Naur you will appreciate the “lunar” scenery you will pass by – the road will constantly go down to the lowest point on the surface of the earth – 408 meters below sea level.
The Dead Sea is only 50 km from Amman, so it is an easy half-day excursion. The drive itself is an hour and a half one way. There are signs all along the road, south of Amman to the airport and on to Naur.
Israel’s Dead Sea resorts: Ein Bokek, Ein Gedi, Neve Zohar and others – where to vacation
Resorts of the Dead Sea in Israel are not so numerous, but before the trip it is better to know the features of each, so that you can choose where to rest best. This article contains photos and a general description of the main resort of Ein Bokek on the Dead Sea and others.
Dead Sea resorts in Israel – the list and general environment
You need to understand that the resorts located on the Dead Sea are not cities and, sometimes, not even villages. In fact, in Israel, a resort on the Dead Sea as such is a hotel village Ein Bokek, with a stretch you can add the neighborhoods of Neve Zoar and Ein Gedi, and there are small hotels and guest houses in the area of kibbutzim Kalia and Metzok Dragot. And yet, I would like to single out the city of Arad, although it is 25 km from the Dead Sea, but it has its own advantages, which will be discussed below.
Dead Sea resorts on the map of Israel and Jordan:
I will now tell you about each of them in more detail.
Ein Bokek resort on the Dead Sea – the most important
A general description of the Ein Bokek resort
The Ein Bokek resort is located right on the shore of the southern Dead Sea basin in Israel. Includes:
- 12 hotels.
- 2 health clinics.
- 2 shopping malls.
- About 7 hotel beaches and 1 public beach.
- Cafes, restaurants.
Ein Bokek is, above all, a health resort of the Dead Sea. There are no public nightclubs and similar institutions.
In this photo you can see one third of Ein Bokek resort. And this photo is half of Ein Bokek
There are 2 multi-profile health clinics: the Dead Sea Clinic and the Paula Clinic. Their treatment specializes in cerebral palsy, skin, gynecological and urological ailments, respiratory and musculoskeletal diseases, stress and rejuvenation. Russian is spoken in both.
The Beaches of Ein Bokek
In Ein Bokek there are about seven private hotel beaches and one free public beach. In my opinion, this is the most well maintained and pleasant beaches of the Dead Sea. When we were in Israel (January 2016), the beaches of Ein Bokek resort on the Dead Sea were being renovated and refreshed with red sand.
There is a detailed article about the Dead Sea beaches with descriptions and prices.
There are three small shopping centers in the resort village of Ein Bokek: Petra Shopping Center, Sky Blue Shopping Center and Ein Bokek Shopping Center. They have stores for cosmetics, clothing, souvenirs, jewelry and grocery stores. In the minimarkets you can buy candy bars, cookies, chips, alcohol, etc. You should not count on anything more substantial. As for the prices in the grocery stores, the mini-market in the Petra Shopping Center were about 20% higher than, say, in Jerusalem, and the mini-market in Sky Blue Shopping Center – a little cheaper than in the shopping center Petra.
Petra Shopping Center Petra Shopping Center minimarket Shops in Petra Shopping Center Sky Blue Shopping Center
Cafes and Restaurants
At the resort you can visit McDonald’s, the Taj Mahal Oriental-style cafe-bar adjacent to the Leonardo Inn, the Quatro Bar and Cafe-Cafe, Aroma and others. You can also go to restaurants in hotels where you are not staying, such as the meat restaurant Ranch House in the hotel Isrotel Dead Sea.
- Taj Mahal. Appetizers (hummus, salads, vegetables) are NIS 20-45 ($5-12), meat dishes (entrecôtes, kebabs, ribs, kebabs, schnitzel) are NIS 35-95. ($9-$25), desserts – NIS 25-30 ($6-$8), hookah – NIS 35 ($9), drinks and beer – NIS 8-25 ($2-$6), vodka – NIS 25-50 ($6-$12), a bottle of vodka – NIS 300 ($78).
Hotels Ein Bokek
In Ein Bokek there are 12 large hotels of medium and above. Room rates can be viewed by clicking on the button.
Neve Zohar Resort (Kamei Zohar)
The Neve Zohar Resort is located 1-2 km north of the kibbutz of the same name in a place called Kamei Zohar. In fact, the resort is an extension of Ein Bokek, which is not far away – only 3 km north.
The Neve Zohar Resort area of the 3 hotels
There are only 3 hotels in the Neve Zohar resort (Kamei Zohar), one of which is all-inclusive. Beaches are available in the area around these hotels. Two of them belong to the hotels, one is owned by the spa and part-time cosmetics store Premier and one is public.
Hotels in the Neve Zoar resort.
One kilometer from the three hotels is Kibbutz Neve Zohar itself, a very small village on the shores of the Dead Sea.
Below is the entire village of Neve Zoar. The entrance to Neve Zoar.
At Neve Zoar there are several guest houses and rooms. There is no beach in the kibbutz itself (the closest is 1.5 km by the hotels), but some still manage to swim here as well.
You can swim in Neve Zoar only behind those hotels.
Reviews and prices for hotels and guesthouses in and around Neve Zoar can be viewed by selecting dates and clicking on the button below.
Ein Gedi Resort – an oasis near the Dead Sea
Israel’s Dead Sea resorts also include Kibbutz Ein Gedi, which is located near the reserve of the same name. The settlement has:
- Ein Gedi Kibbutz Hotel Spa in the kibbutz and HI Ein Gedi Hostel near the Ein Gedi Reserve.
- 1 public and 1 paid beach from the spa.
- Village infrastructure (dining, stores).
Kibbutz Ein Gedi is located in the oasis a little away from the Dead Sea coast, the beach is a few kilometers away. A shuttle service runs from Ein Gedi Spa to the beach during the day.
Kibbutz Kalia area
The northern shores of the Dead Sea are about 40km from Jerusalem. Nearby are the archaeological excavations of the ancient Qumran manuscripts. There are:
- 3 paid beaches: Kaili, Bianchini and Neve Midbar.
- Kalia Kibbutz Hotel in Kibbutz Kalia (6 km from the beach of the same name!), Biankini In Siesta guesthouse on Biankini beach, huts on Neve Midbar beach.
- The village infrastructure in the kibbutz.
- Bars and stores for cosmetics and souvenirs on the beaches.
The area is more suitable for day trips from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Kalia Beach, Biankini and Neve Midbar Biankini In Siesta
Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem and Metzouk Dragot
Kibbutz Mitzpe Shalem and Metzouk Dragot are located in the middle of the North Salt Lake Basin. They are far from being Dead Sea resorts, but you can find one in the area:
- Metzoke Dragot Hostel , which has both standard rooms and mattresses in a 10-seat tent for the thrifty traveler. It is best not to stay here without a car, as the hostel is accessed by a five-kilometer uphill climb.
- Paid beach Mineral with natural mud. Since 01.01.2015, temporarily closed for repairs due to ground failures. As of January 2016 is still not functioning.
- A factory of the famous Ahava Dead Sea cosmetics.
Suitable for a day stop when traveling along the Dead Sea, and not now.
Mineral Beach near Mitzpeh Shalem is closed.
Arad – the Cleanest City in the World
The city of Arad is also often referred to as the resort of the Dead Sea in Israel. It is located at an altitude of 600 meters above sea level. The distance from Arad to Neve Zohar – 25 km and to the resort of Ein Bokek – 30 km. By the way, most of the staff of these resorts live in Arad. Here are also health clinics, spas in some hotels, and rest can be more homely if you rent apartments or cottages.
Driving up to the town of Arad The well-kept town of Arad
- Many travel portals have information that in terms of environmental friendliness Arad has been recognized by UNESCO as the cleanest city in the world. This is especially important for people with allergies and respiratory diseases.
- The infrastructure of the residential city. Accordingly, the prices in stores and cafes are not inflated under the tourist. At least there is no lack of availability of these institutions.
- The choice among a large number of accommodations in different price ranges. This is not just hotels, but also guest houses, cottages and apartments, where you can arrange a family vacation at home.
- The air here is drier, asthmatics breathe easier.
- Rest and treatment in Arad (with trips to the Dead Sea) can be cheaper than in Ein Bokek. Especially the difference will be felt in the case of stays at the coastal resorts for more than a week.
- A decent part of the city’s population is Russian-speaking Israelis.
- One and a very big minus – the remoteness from the coast at 25 km. In fact, because of this it is difficult to call Arad a Dead Sea resort. This problem is solved in three ways: 1) renting a car; 2) arranging with the landlord for free or for a small fee on his transport; 3) public transportation, to the Dead Sea resorts go buses 384, 421 – 16 shek. ($4.2) to Neve Zoar, 21.5 shek. ($5.6) to Ein Bokek (the schedule look at the website carrier egged ).
Some people think that the road from the Dead Sea to Arad is very difficult and serpentine. It’s a nice, wide, winding road with beautiful views.
From the Dead Sea to Arad
Lodging in Arad can be found in several ways:
- Rent a hotel online. For those who do not know how to do it, I have prepared an article: How to book a hotel on your own.
- Renting an apartment or house from an individual through the airbnb site. To get a $15-35 discount on a reservation (the promotions change from time to time, soon they may be canceled altogether), you must first register at this invitation link . Then type “Arad” in the search box and choose your suggested vacation dates. The offers on this site can not fail to please. We ourselves have repeatedly rented apartments through airbinbi, including in Israel, and successfully saved money by taking advantage of discounts. Our experience is described in this article: Renting an apartment around the world with airbnb.
Where to vacation best in the Dead Sea – my conclusions
My opinion is that if you go to the Dead Sea for one day without an overnight stay, you can stay in any of the above resorts and hotels, depending on your location and the transport you use. For 2-3 days will suit kibbutz Ein Gedi, Neve Zoar and Ein Bokek. For treatment and rest for a period of more than three days, I would choose the resort of Ein Bokek or neighboring Hamai Zohar (1 km from Kibbutz Neve Zohar), with their hotels, working on an “all inclusive” or “half board”. If the accommodation on the beach is not crucial, then for a vacation and treatment for a long period I would definitely consider the city of Arad.
Be sure to read the article about the prices of recreation in Israel at the Dead Sea, in which I described in detail the possible costs of a trip.
Dead Sea Resorts on a Map of Israel and Jordan
I’ve prepared a map of Dead Sea Resorts in Israel and Jordan that also shows beaches, hotels, spas and clinics. If you click on an object, you will see the GPS coordinates of the point and a link to the site (if available).
Dead Sea resorts on the map:
Here I have tried to list all the Dead Sea resorts and not quite the Dead Sea resorts in Israel. I do not pretend to be objective, everyone has his own perceptions and intentions, but I am sure that this article will help you decide where to rest on the Dead Sea is best for you. If you want to share your experiences, leave your comments.
Marina and Konstantin Samorosenko
Other articles about vacation at the Dead Sea:
Thank you! Very interesting and informative. Written accessible. Now I am planning my father’s treatment at the Dead Sea for the fall. Your site has been very helpful!
Thank you, brief and thorough. First time we want to visit the dead sea. April 2018. Hard to decide on a hotel! Want half board. And comfort. We are not young. Advise!
Good afternoon! really all written enough and understandable. are going to Israel for the treatment of psoriasis, can someone have experience of such trips? on what budget to count? can be more profitable to rent a house and whether samomu buy products and cook as need a special diet. Maybe the hotels have it covered? If there are people with similar experiences, please share.
Hello! I live near the Dead Sea (not in Arad), but I have nothing to do with the tourist business. So, I can just advise, as a person who has lived here for many years. The Dead Sea is a very expensive resort. The most expensive in Israel. And hotels and restaurants and stores there are many times more expensive than outside of Ein Bokek. If your budget allows, of course, it is more convenient to live close to the sea. But, for example, in the evening, there’s nowhere to go out. And the heat outside is unbearable even at night. Whereas in Arad, 25 km away from the sea, you can breathe and walk in the evening. The evening in Arad is always cool (features of the southern Israeli climate). Of course, it’s just a small southern town, but there are big supermarkets and a shopping center and a lot of cafes. Everything is open late. Plus, half (at least) of the population Russian-speaking, so you will not be lost))). Israelis are friendly people. Also, in Arad, there are all the stores with cosmetics from the Dead Sea, but the prices are several times lower than at the sea. Marina wrote that there are a lot of guest houses, I did not know that. I only know that there is one hotel there. But I think if you google, you will find these guest houses. For sure, the prices are not comparable to hotel prices. And I think you can even find Russian-speaking hosts. My mother-in-law lives in Arad and she has psoriasis. She takes buses or shuttles to the M. Sea. It’s cheap and the trip takes half an hour. She doesn’t rent rooms, but if you decide to stay in Arad, I can give you her number. She’ll tell you how to get there. Except you’ll have to use public showers and rent sun loungers. It does have its advantages of staying in a hotel.) But if you’re coming for a long time, I totally agree with Marina, it’s much cheaper to stay in Arad. Good luck and good health!
Great article about the Dead Sea and the surrounding area. Concise, informative and objective. Sometimes you read such articles about Arad that it’s hard to imagine where they come from and whether it’s Arad I know. I myself am Israeli and I just came to see it for the sake of interest. Good luck and interesting travels!
Hello everyone, thank you for the very informative information about the Dead Sea and the city of Arad. Very much I want to come to Israel to live and work, can someone tell me whether it is possible to find a job there? Thank you for the response in advance.
We, Konstantin and Marina Samorosenko, from 2011, we travel and live in different countries (more about us).