When you visit Jordan there are a few things you may have heard of that drew you to visit Jordan, Petra, Wadi Rum, and of course the Dead Sea- the lowest place on Earth. I pictured a far-off remote destination when visiting the Dead Sea, less built up, and a much larger vast coastline of uninhabitable land. However, as the driver I hired drove from Amman to the Dead Sea I saw we were only about 45 minutes away from a city of 4 million.
I also just had the image of the salt formations, and mirage of floating around a large sea weightless, and not the huge resorts along the waterfront I was met with when I arrived.
*Disclaimer:This Post May Contain Sponsored Content And Or/ Affiliate Links. This Is A Way I Make An Income From My Blog. I Am A Participant In The Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. An Affiliate Advertising Program Designed To Provide A Means For Sites To Earn Advertising Fees By Advertising And Linking To Amazon.Com.
Where is the Dead Sea located?
But first, let me give you some background on where the Dead Sea is located. The Dead Sea is a salt lake that lies between Israel and Jordan, at the lowest point on Earth. It is famous for its high salinity, which makes it impossible for most living things to survive in its waters, and for its therapeutic properties, which have attracted visitors for centuries.
The Dead Sea is part of the Jordan Rift Valley, a geological feature that was formed by the movement of tectonic plates millions of years ago. The valley is constantly sinking, making the Dead Sea’s elevation drop by about one meter per year. The lake has no outlet, so it only loses water by evaporation, leaving behind a high concentration of minerals and salts. The Dead Sea’s salinity is about 34%, which is almost 10 times higher than that of the ocean.
Is the Dead Sea in Jordan safe? Is Jordan safe?
I arrived in Jordan on October 4, and on October 7, war broke out and events in bordering countries. I decided to stay because based on the areas I was traveling to, the locals were extremely welcoming, and nice, and I did not feel unsafe. To travel I traveled with tours to Petra, Wadi Rum, and other parts of the country.
However, to go to the Dead Sea in Jordan bordering the country at war I was constantly looking at the news, the US State Department website, as well as local news. Also, I booked a driver that would drive me from Amman to the Dead Sea and back again. Some people may rent a car since it is only a 45-minute drive from Amman, but since I was going only for one night and there specifically to see the Dead Sea a driver worked for me for my level of comfort rather than driving alone at the time.
Helpful Resources to visiting the Dead Sea
Here are some of the helpful resources I use to creating an epic trip!
Here are some resources for you to prepare for your Palermo Sicily Vacation
SIM cards / ESIM Cards Airalo
Learn the language with Babbel
Get A VPN to safely surf the internet: NordVPN
Travel Items on my Amazon Storefront
Why is the Dead Sea important to the region?
The high salinity of the Dead Sea has some amazing effects. First, it makes the water very dense, which means that anyone who enters it will float effortlessly on the surface. This is a unique and relaxing experience that many tourists enjoy. Second, it creates a harsh environment for most living organisms, which is why the lake is called the Dead Sea. However, some microorganisms and plants can adapt to extreme conditions and thrive in and around the lake. Third, it enriches the water and the mud with beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and bromine, which have been shown to have healing effects on various skin conditions, respiratory problems, arthritis, and more.
The Dead Sea has a long history and cultural
Health Benefits of the Dead Sea
Visiting the Dead Sea can have many benefits for your health and well-being which is why people have been coming here for over 2000 years for the benefits. Here are some of them:
– Floating on the water: The high density of the water makes you float effortlessly on the surface, which can reduce stress, improve blood circulation, and relieve muscle and joint pain. It can also be a fun and relaxing experience. It made me feel like a kid again floating around and flipping over from my back to my stomach was a fun experience.
– Applying the mud: The mud from the Dead Sea is rich in minerals and salts that can nourish and moisturize your skin, as well as treat various skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, acne, and more. You can apply the mud on your body and face and let it dry before rinsing it off with the water.
– Breathing the air: Want to breathe fresh air? It will be super beneficial to breathe in the air around the Dead Sea as it contains high levels of oxygen, balanced humidity, and low levels of allergens and pollutants. This can help you breathe easier for people with asthma (like me), allergies, and more.
5 Five Blowing Facts About The Dead Sea
Here are some Dead Sea facts that may surprise you.
- It is the lowest point on Earth. The surface of the lake is about 430 meters (1,410 feet) below sea level, and the bottom is another 800 meters (2,600 feet) deeper. That means the deepest part of the Dead Sea is more than 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) below sea level!
- The Dead Sea is incredibly salty, 10 times higher than the average ocean salinity. This means that nothing can live in the water, except for some bacteria and algae. Hence the name Dead Sea. It also means that you can easily float on the surface, without any effort.
- The Dead Sea has healing properties. The water and mud of the lake are rich in minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and bromine. These minerals have been used for centuries to treat various skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne.
- It is shrinking. Due to human activities, such as irrigation and mining, the water level of the lake has been dropping by about one meter (three feet) per year. This has caused environmental problems, such as sinkholes and erosion. There have been efforts to save the lake, such as the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal project, which aims to pump water from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea.
- The Dead Sea has a rich history. The lake has been a place of interest for many civilizations and religions. It was mentioned in the Bible, as the site of Sodom and Gomorrah, and where King David sought refuge. It was also a place of refuge for the Essenes, a Jewish sect that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls, which are among the oldest biblical manuscripts ever found. The scrolls were found by Bedouins and can be seen at The Jordan Museum in Amman.
Top tips for Swimming in the Dead Sea
- Don’t Shave before going here the smallest of cuts or scrapes will BURN because of the high salinity in the water.
- Float on your back if you want to avoid getting water in your hair or eyes. If you get water in your eyes it will burn and irritate them.
- I would go to a resort because they mixed the salt and mud for me to put on the mud mask.
Should you go to a Dead Sea Resort or Public Beach?
I did not go to a public beach as I wanted to make sure I had my things safe and locked up. I ended up enjoying a day pass at the Movenpick Dead Sea Resort. This allowed me to use the Zara day spa with adult-only pools, the locker room, the showers, and the private Dead Sea beach. What I loved about this as well was they had a golf cart that would pick up up to drive you around the property. You can pay at arrival for the day pass at the guard gate of Movenpick Dead Sea.
Also, if you go to a public beach you don’t have access to restaurants and at Movenpick, I was able to eat at Luigi to get my Italian food fix.
This was also a perfect option for me since I did not have a rental car. It was easy to call Uber from here to get to my stay at the Octagon Dead Sea.
Where to stay when you visit the Dead Sea in Jordan?
I was in search of a unique stay near the Dead Sea in Jordan and the top one I found was The Octagon. I’m so excited to share with you my experience of staying at the Octagon, a unique hotel located at the Dead Sea in Jordan. The Octagon is a stunning architectural marvel that offers panoramic views of the saltiest and lowest body of water on Earth. It’s also a wellness oasis overlooking the Dead Sea.
The bespoke pyramid was one of eight overlooking the Dead Sea. The king-size bed was super plus and faced the view of the Dead Sea. There also was a hot water maker, coffee, couch, and robes that guests could use.
The Best Part Of Staying At The Octagon Dead Sea
My favorite part was the hot tub right in front of my pyramid to enjoy as well as the perfect spot to watch the stars at night.
The staff here were warm and friendly as a solo traveler. It made me feel at home. Plus, not being surrounded by a huge resort allowed me to take in my surroundings and the landscape of the Dead Sea.
In the evening, I had a delicious dinner at the restaurant, which served local and international cuisine. The food was fresh, flavorful, and satisfying. In the morning I had a huge traditional Jordanian breakfast that was included with my stay.
The Octagon was more than just a hotel, it was a destination in itself. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to visit the Dead Sea and enjoy its beauty and benefits.
There is also the Dead Sea Museum on site, as well as a panoramic viewpoint that cannot be missed that, points out places across from you at The Dead Sea like Jerusalem, and Bethlehem.
The Dead Sea Museum and Dead Sea Panoramic Complex
Even if you are not staying at The Octagon, you can visit the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex and The Dead Sea Museum. The property itself is beautiful with a walking path that has beautiful flowers surrounding it as well as a restaurant.
Places to visit near the Dead Sea
There are quite a few things to do at the Dead Sea in Jordan in addition to swimming in the Dead Sea. While I did not have enough time to do them all, it is just another reason for me to go back and visit Jordan again. Below are some of the best things to do near the Dead Sea, whether it is on the way from Amman to the Dead Sea or on the way driving back from the Dead Sea through Madaba back to Amman.
Ma’in Hot Springs
About a 15-minute drive from The Octagon and the Dead Sea Panoramic Complex is the Ma’in Hot Springs. It is another beautiful natural wonder in Jordan close to the Dead Sea.
If you are looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating experience in Jordan, you should visit Ma’in Hot Springs.
Ma’in Hot Springs is a series of natural springs and waterfalls that are heated by volcanic activity and rich in minerals. You can enjoy the therapeutic benefits of the hot water, which ranges from 45°C to 60°C, and the stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
Ma’in Hot Springs is located about 74 km south of Amman and 264 meters below sea level, near the Dead Sea. You can reach it by car or by bus from Madaba or the Dead Sea resorts. The entrance fee is 15 JD for foreigners, which includes access to the public pools and showers.
Ma’in Hot Springs is a place where you can relax your body and mind while experiencing the natural beauty and culture of Jordan. It is a must-see attraction for anyone who loves nature, wellness, and adventure.
When you visit Jordan you should check out the nature reserves like Wadi Mujib. There are a total of 8 nature reserves that are run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature. Enjoy hiking through a canyon that will be one of the coolest hikes you do in Jordan with waterfalls and stunning rock formations.
One of the most popular trails is the Siq Trail, which is a self-guided hike that takes you upstream to a spectacular waterfall. You will need to wear a life jacket and use ropes and ladders to navigate the obstacles along the way. It is a fun and rewarding experience that you will not forget. Wadi Mujib is also home to the Mujib Biosphere Reserve, which protects a variety of rare plants and animals. You can admire the biodiversity and beauty of this area as you explore the canyon. If you want to extend your stay, you can also book a night at the Mujib Chalets, which offer cozy accommodations and stunning views of the Dead Sea.
Bethany Beyond The Jordan
If you are looking for a spiritual and historical destination, you might want to visit Bethany Beyond the Jordan, the place where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. This site, also known as Al-Maghtas in Arabic, is an archaeological World Heritage Site in Jordan, on the east bank of the Jordan River. You can explore the ruins of Roman and Byzantine churches, a monastery, and baptism pools that date back to the early centuries of Christianity. You can also see the hill where Elijah ascended to heaven in a chariot of fire.
If you are looking for a place to experience Jordan’s biblical history and admire some of the best mosaics in the country, you should visit Madaba and Mount Nebo. Madaba is known as the “Mosaic City” because of its many Byzantine-era churches and monasteries decorated with colorful and intricate mosaics. One of the most famous ones is the Madaba Map, a 6th-century mosaic map of the Holy Land that covers the floor of St. George’s Church.
Mount Nebo, a 15-minute drive from Madaba, is where Moses saw the Promised Land before he died, according to the Old Testament. You can enjoy a panoramic view of the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea from the top of this sacred mountain, and visit the Memorial Church of Moses, which houses some stunning mosaics from the 4th to 8th centuries. You can also see a sculpture of a serpent on a cross, symbolizing the bronze serpent created by Moses in the wilderness and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Madaba and Mount Nebo are easy to reach from Amman or the Dead Sea by car or taxi, and they offer a glimpse into Jordan’s rich religious and cultural heritage. They are worth a visit if you are interested in ancient art and history.
How to plan visiting the Dead Sea
How to get to the Dead Sea from Amman, Jordan?
There are a few ways you can get to the Dead Sea from Jordan. I used Bookaway to book my bus or shuttle from Amman to the Dead Sea.
How to get to the Dead Sea from Amman, Jordan
The distance from Amman to the Dead Sea is about 60 km, and there are several ways to get there by car, bus, taxi, or tour. Visiting the Dead Sea is way more accessible than I thought!
– By car: Driving is the most flexible and convenient option, as you can choose your route and stop at other attractions along the way, such as Madaba, Mount Nebo, or Bethany Beyond the Jordan. You can rent a car in Amman and follow Route 65 (Dead Sea Highway) to reach the Dead Sea in about an hour.
– By taxi: Taking a taxi is a good option if you want to avoid driving or taking a bus, but it can be expensive. You can negotiate with a taxi driver in Amman to take you to the Dead Sea and wait for you while you enjoy the beach. The price depends on your bargaining skills, but it can range from 40 JD to 80 JD for a round trip. Make sure to agree on the price and duration before you get in the taxi.
– By tour: Joining a tour is a hassle-free option if you want to have everything organized for you and learn more about the history and culture of Jordan. Many tours offer day trips or longer stays at the Dead Sea, with different itineraries and prices. Some tours include other sites like Jerash, Madaba, or Petra, while others focus on the Dead Sea experience only. I love to book through Viator or GetYourGuide. If you are looking for a day trip from Amman this Viator trip could work.
Best time to visit the Dead Sea
The best time to visit the Dead Sea depends on your preferences and what you want to do there. The Dead Sea has a hot and dry climate, with temperatures ranging from 20°C/68 Fahrenheit in winter to 40°C in summer 104 Fahrenheit. The water temperature is always warm, between 19°C / 66 Fahrenheit and 31°C/ 87 Fahrenheit.
– If you want to enjoy the sun and swim in the water, the best time to visit is from March to May or from September to November, when the weather is pleasant and not too hot or cold.
– If you want to avoid crowds and find lower prices, the best time to visit is from December to February, when it is the low season and there are fewer tourists. However, be prepared for colder weather and shorter daylight hours.
How to find the Salt and Mineral Formations along Jordan’s Dead Sea
These salt formations are the result of the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea water, which is mainly fed by the Jordan River. While I did not get to make it to the southern part of the Dead Sea near Wadi Mujib I saw photos and the formations look like coral reefs and all sorts of odd shapes.
If you want to see Wadi Mujib and the salt formations I recommend driving and renting a car.
One of the best places to see the salt formations is at these coordinates. Be careful where you step when visiting the Dead Sea, as the salt crystals can be very sharp and cut your feet. It is advisable to wear water shoes when walking or swimming in this area.
Visiting the Public Beaches on Jordan’s Dead Sea
The main public beach when you visit the Dead Sea in Jordan is Amman Beach. It costs about USD 30 to visit. The public beach has simple amenities such as showers and is one of the cheapest options for visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan.
Visiting the Dead Sea- How many days you should come for
To conclude my guide to visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan I can say it is by far worth staying one night after you enjoy the spa, and the beach, and see one or two of the sights in the area. I stayed for one night only and there are still things I would like to do that I mentioned above.
However, if you can only come for a day I recommend taking a day trip with GetYourGuide or going for the day with a day pass at the Movenpick Dead Sea. There is a reason people have been coming here for thousands of years and buying Dead Sea Mineral products around the world, it is because this place is one of a kind and super relaxing. Perfect after the wild ride of visiting Wadi Rum and hiking to Petra on the Jordan trail.