The Dead Sea is not actually a sea, but it attracts huge crowds of tourists! This reservoir, located on the border of Israel, Jordan and Palestine, is famous in the world for its salinity! I had to visit him during my trip to Israel and I will tell you that you must also when you are there!
The Dead Sea lies on the border of two, or actually three, countries. There they meet the borders of Israel, Jordan and Palestine not recognized by Israel, but recognized by the United Nations. You can choose different places to admire the charms of this water reservoir. The village of Ein Bokek convinced me. Nice coast, desert and relatively easy access by public transport from Tel Aviv won.
Transport from Tel Aviv
In Tel Aviv I was alone so renting a car would not be very profitable for me. The driving style of drivers in this country does not encourage you to try your skills at the road. The bus was my choice.
I used the 421 departing from the bus station located at the main train station. Buses on this line are more like coaches and depart from Tel Aviv, for example at 9.00. You can choose your return from Ein Bokek at 1.40 p.m. or 4 p.m. (There are also other ways to get there, but this one seems the easiest). The bus takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the journey covers approximately 170 kilometers one way.
It is good to know that to buy a bus ticket, which costs 41.5 shekels, you must have the Rav-Kav card loaded with the appropriate amount of money. In Tel Aviv, you can do it in a vending machine at the station or online, but there are no vending machines on the spot – you only need to go online, but for this you need internet, and roaming costs money (some open wifi network should be available, however).
The Dead Sea, despite its name, is actually a lake, and its salinity is 8 times higher than the salinity of the oceans. In the Bible it was called the Salt Sea and the Arabian Sea. It is about 50 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide. It is located in the tectonic Jordan Trench.
The water level in the Dead Sea has been falling for many years. Over the last 40 years, its area has decreased by about 30%. Fortunately, the governments of Israel and Jordan took the first steps to reverse the situation.
There is no life in the Dead Sea (except for some bacteria and fungi). The degree of salinity causes other organisms to die immediately. Even fish that end up in the reservoir along with the rivers’ water die immediately. On the other hand, the land environment around the sea and in the surrounding desert areas is richer.
The Dead Sea lies at an altitude of 430 meters below sea level, and is considered the lowest point in the world.
Ein Bokek – what is there?
The trip to the Dead Sea was not fully planned, but when I was there, I decided to visit this place as well. What is the Dead Sea famous for? For the fact that it is very salty and rich in minerals.
There are a large number of hotels waiting for you on site, quite nicely arranged beaches with sunbeds, and on some of them you will also find showers. Often, however, they are hotel beaches, so they are primarily intended for guests of these facilities. In addition to hotels, you will also find a dozen shops and Mc Donalds restaurants.
Facing the sea, you have the Judean Mountains behind your back. The blue sky, rocks and palm trees create a truly desert effect!
Remember to use only official beaches because otherwise access to the water can be dangerous. There may be faults under a thin layer of salt and sand.
Once you get there, you will see the salt everywhere, and the water has such a high concentration of salt that you cannot drown in it at all. Many tourists go to the Dead Sea just to “float” on the water or read a newspaper while lying several meters from the shore.
When walking on the beach, remember that the salt stones are hard and sharp, so you can hurt your feet quite easily. Remember also that you must take a shower after leaving the sea. As for the mud, which also has health properties, you can take it from the bottom and lubricate the whole body. Apparently, your skin will get a lot of valuable minerals thanks to this. Apparently, as many as 12 of the minerals do not occur naturally anywhere else in the world.
The salinity of the Dead Sea is 260 g of salt per liter of water, which places it at the forefront of the saltiest reservoirs in the world. After throwing a stone or a stick into the water, it will grow white crystals over time. This fact was used, for example, by Sigalit Landau – an Israeli artist who immersed a dress in water for two years, which was covered with salt crystals beautifully, creating a real work of art.
If you want a souvenir from the shelter, a found lump of salt or a pebble covered with it will be perfect.
Worth a visit?
Was it worth going to the Dead Sea? I think that despite the fact that the road took me almost 5.5 hours both ways, and I only spent two there, it was definitely worth it! The Dead Sea is very impressive. Beautiful colors – blue and turquoise water with yellow sand and blue skies make an amazing impression! The ubiquitous salt is also impressive! On site, you can take a walk, take a bath, do a little shopping, but remember that this is a tourist place, so the prices of these products will not always be attractive.
See for yourself why it is worth it!