You cannot come to Jordan and not see the Dead Sea, the extraordinary mirror of blue water characterized by a high salt concentration that makes it impossible for any living form to develop.
Located in the Via Regia it is the lowest point in the world , 430 meters below sea level and if one side belongs to Jordan, the other is in Israel.
There are those who decide to spend several days in this place, dedicating themselves to relaxation and beauty treatments; but there are also those who visit it in the day, after having been to Petra, Wadi Rum or Amman.
Here is our Dead Sea guide : where it is, how to get there and what to see!

Where is it

It is a large lake , which is however considered a sea due to its high salt concentration and its size. It is located in the deepest depression on earth between Israel, Jordan and the Judean Desert in the central and deepest part of the Jordan Valley.
It consists of a large basin in the northern part and a small lagoon further south separated by the Lisan peninsula to the southwest.
About 90 km long and 17 km wide at the widest point, it occupies an area of ​​900 sq km.

How to get there from the Jordanian side
On the Jordanian side, it is about 56 km from Amman and 273 km from Aqaba and can also be reached by day tour. The road to reach it is very scenic whether you come from the north or the south.

  • By plane : the local airport and the Amman international airport are approximately 60 km away (1 hour away). From here you can rent a car or take a taxi (JOD 85-JOD 113 / € 108.00- € 144.00, and takes about 1h) – Compare flights
  • By bus : from Amman there are Alpha Daily Tours buses, which depart from “Muharajireen” station between 7:00 and 9:00, while the last bus back to the city is at 17:00 (in winter at 16: 00). From Aqaba there are no public buses but organized excursions.
  • By car : the best way is to rent a car from Amman or Aqaba which allows you to be autonomous and flexible (cost around JOD 35 / € 44.50). The travel time is approximately 1 hour.
  • By taxi : a return taxi from Amman costs approximately JOD 45 / € 57.00 (book online), while from Aqaba it is very expensive.
  • Recommended cards, tickets and tours: From Aqaba: Wadi Al Mujib and Dead Sea sightseeing tour Dead Sea: Day tour from Amman Amman Airport: Private transfer to / from the Dead Sea

Where to swim in the Dead Sea
Photo by Anna Pernice and Andrea Strazzeri. To say that you come to the Dead Sea for a swim is a bit excessive because for the salt concentration even doing two strokes is tiring!
More than anything else this place is perfect for relaxing , for spa treatments and for enjoying the sun.
On the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea there are several establishments, some public (where you can also meet several clubs) and others private, usually belonging to resorts or spas.

public beaches Public beaches allow access to the sea by paying a small entrance feeand are usually equipped with umbrellas, showers, swimming pools, restaurants and bars.
Here the locals swim in clothes but tourists can wear a bathing suit as long as it is one piece for women, not too low-cut or high-cut.

  • Amman Beach : located 2km south of the main road, managed by the municipality and equipped with a clean beach with umbrellas and an area with swimming pools, restaurant, bar and shop with products from the Dead Sea. Toilets, showers and changing rooms are in good condition and clean. Admission 20 JOD / € 25.47, towel hire 3 JOD / € 3.82, mud baths 3 JOD / € 3.82 – Get directions
  • Al Wadi Resort : At the beginning of the long resort road, this property is surrounded by beautiful scenery and offers numerous water games, two restaurants and a shop in addition to the beach. Admission 25 JOD / € 31.00 – Get directions
  • O Beach : splendid luxury beach, which slopes towards the sea in a series of terraced gardens and infinity pool, ideal for enjoying the Dead Sea with all the comforts. Admission 25 JOD / € 31.70, also includes mud; JOD 3 / € 3.81 for towels and JOD 15 / € 19.00 for buffet lunch. There are VIP areas at a cost of 30 JOD / € 38.00 (only for couples) with king size beds and those who want can have massages and spa treatments – Get directions

Beaches of hotels and resorts
Another solution to enjoy the place and pay the entrance to some hotels or resorts that accept external tourists by giving them the possibility to access the sea and use the various services offered.
The advantage here is that women can safely wear bikinis without being looked at.
Although the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea abound with hotels, there are not many that allow non-guests access.

  • Holiday Inn hotel : you can access the beach of this hotel even if you are not a customer. admission of 25 JOD / € 31.70 entitles you to use of the beach, swimming pools, changing rooms and includes towels and mud – Get directions
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel : beautiful hotel surrounded by greenery with access to the beach also for outsiders. Admission to 50JOD / € 63.00 during the week and 60JOD / € 76.00 at the weekend which includes beach, swimming pools, changing rooms, towels and a buffet lunch. With 15JOD / € 19.00 more you can access the SPA with a body massage included – Get directions
  • Zara Spa : a luxurious Spa in a beautiful setting that allows access to the private beach, swimming pools, saunas and gym. Admission costs 35 JOD / € 44.00, but those who want to indulge in daily treatments can purchase the 3-hour package with different proposals for 190 JOD / € 241.00 – Get directions

Beaches and free

access Access from non-equipped beaches is rather difficult due to the low level of the sea compared to the road.
Furthermore , Muslim culture does not appreciate bikini-clad tourists outside of private hotel beaches. Keep in mind that since there are no equipped places there are no toilets and showers and you must remember that after a bath in the Dead Sea it is essential to rinse well from the salt.
However, for those who really do not want paid structures, there are two points to reach completely free beaches , even if it is possible they are full of waste and plastic.

  • Wadi Mujib beach : reachable by car following the road to Wadi Mujib, you will find a sandy car park and from here you can walk along a rocky path to the shores of the Dead Sea. Continuing to the right you will come to a natural freshwater swimming pool – Get directions
  • Beach and source of Herod or Zadar : 10 km from Amman Beach there is an archaeological site from which you can then access both hot water pools (not very clean) and a beach (which is located right on the road). Follow the signs for Callirhoe.

Where to sleep on the Dead Sea: beach resorts or low cost solutions
Photo by John Romano D’Orazio. Along the shores of the lake, on the Jordan side, hotels, resorts and tourist facilities follow one another and in recent years the offer has increased considerably.

The accommodations are all quite luxurious , with restaurants and spas. To try to find advantageous rates, it is advisable to choose low season periods and midweek days.

  • Dead Sea Spa Hotel : with Spa, private beach and swimming pools. 1 night from 62 JOD / € 80.00. Fee for beach entrance only 40 JOD / € 51.00 including swimming pools, changing rooms, towels, gym, Turkish bath and sauna.
  • Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea : 1 night from 77 JOD / € 98.00. Fee for beach admission only 25 JOD / € 32.00 including swimming pools, changing rooms, towels, mud baths. Possible extras 10 JOD / € 13.00 for buffet or à la carte lunch
  • Movenpick Resort & Spa : 1 night from 94 JOD / € 120.00. Fee for beach entry only 35 JOD / € 44.00 including swimming pools, changing rooms, towels, saunas and Turkish bath
  • Kempinski Hotel Ishtar : 1 night from 141 JOD / € 180.00. There is no entry for non-guests.
  • Other low cost solutions : Hotels and b & b from € 50.00 per room – see the offers

When to go: climate, average temperatures and best time

The climate is desert with extremely hot but dry summers (May-September) and temperatures exceeding 40 ° and warm and sunny winters (October to April) with average temperatures of around 25 ° .
Showers are rare and never exceed 100 mm of rain per year.
Month Average temperatures (min / max) Precipitation (days / mm) January 14/20 ° 2 days / 4 mm
February 21 ° / 15 ° 1 day / 4 mm
March 24 ° / 16 ° 2 days / 3 mm
April 29 ° / 20 ° 1 day / 2 mm
May 33 ° / 23 ° 0 day / 0 mm
June 35 ° / 26 ° 0 day / 0 mm
July 36 ° / 27 ° 0 day / 0 mm
August 37 ° / 27 ° 0 day / 0 mm
September 36 ° / 26 ° 0 days / 0 mm
October 33 ° / 24 ° 1 day / 3 mm
November 26 ° / 20 ° 1 day / 2 mm
December 21 ° / 16 ° 2 days / 5 mm

  • Best time: all year round, but the best months are from March to May and October / November when the air is hot but the temperatures are not excessive and you can stay quietly in the sun without gasping. In addition, in these months even the sea water is pleasant with its 27 °.
  • Period to avoid : there are no months to avoid at all, however from June to September temperatures can reach 40 ° and it becomes impossible to enjoy this place. In December and January, however, although the climate is mild, there is a bit of a temperature range and the sea water temperature from November to March is around 21 °.

Tours, guided visits and online tickets

How to visit the Dead Sea and what to see nearby
Those who come to the Dead Sea usually intend to have an experience in this particular place, however the surroundings are also interesting and worth discovering. Whether you are passing through or spending your holidays here, we suggest you dedicate yourself to visiting these enchanting places between one swim and another :

  1. Belvedere : just above the Dead Sea there is a beautiful view point that will allow you to admire this wonder from above. Here you will also see many birds of prey flying in the wadis below you and you will notice the depression below sea level.
  2. Dead Sea Museum : if you want to know the geology, history and environment of this place you can’t miss this museum which is located right where the Belvedere is.
  3. Hammamat Ma’In : it is located just 14 km from the beaches, this source from where water flows between 45 ° and 60 ° along the hills forming waterfalls and rivulets. Here, you can experience the Roman baths in clean, indoor pools.
  4. Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve : it is about 84 km away, with an altitude between 400 m below sea level and 900 above sea level, in this reserve various animal species are protected including the ibex, the Syrian wolf and the Persian lynx.
  5. Lisan Peninsula : from Wadi Mujib going inland is this place where potassium hydroxide (raw material produced by Jordan) is obtained and where there are several ruins belonging to the Byzantine period.
  6. Lot’s cave : on the side of a hill there are several ruins of a Byzantine church with some mosaics, a cistern and the cave bearing the name of Lot (grandson of Abraham) who took refuge here with his daughters after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.
  7. Wadi Araba : the road that connects the Dead Sea to Aqaba in the last stretch is characterized by a desert landscape, with sand dunes along the roadway and the feeling of uninterrupted space.

Useful tips for visiting the Dead Sea
Bathing in the sea and the ocean and doing it in the Dead Sea are not the same thing. Before living this experience you need to know a few things, here are the most important !

  1. Best time: in the middle seasons the best time to enjoy the bath is around 10:00 in the morning. In summer, however, the late afternoon and sunset are ideal. Avoid going on weekends if possible.
  2. Do not shave before entering the water : we advise against it, and do not enter the water if you have injuries. The high salt concentration causes burning and inflammation.
  3. Spread the mud on the body : before or after diving, spread the mud produced with local algae. They have excellent properties for the skin.
  4. Don’t spend too much time in the water : a maximum of 20 minutes, but the ideal would be 10 minutes.
  5. Take a shower immediately afterwards : in this way you will eliminate the salt that causes burning and irritation to the skin.
  6. Pay attention to the face : the contact of water with eyes, nose, mouth can be very annoying and painful. Never put your face underwater!
  7. Tie your hair : or wear a cap because the salt can damage them considerably.
  8. Do not ingest sea water : you risk serious complications, even fatal if you ingest a lot of water. If this happens by mistake and you are on a public beach, contact the lifeguard and first aid staff immediately.
  9. Do not walk on salt : the deposits are fragile and can easily break causing you to fall.
  10. Wash your swimsuit well : if you don’t rinse your swimsuit well after a bath, you’ll have to throw it away because the salt will ruin it.
  11. Time of stay : the ideal would be to stay at least a full day to dedicate yourself to the numerous treatments offered. Alternatively, if you just want to live the experience of “floating” in the Dead Sea, 2/3 hours are enough, plus a little time to dedicate to relaxation.
  12. Enjoy a sunset : it is one of the most romantic experiences, from the Jordanian side you can see Jerusalem shining red in the distance!

Historical notes, curiosities and practical info: what to know in brief
The Dead Sea is one of the lowest places on earth and one of the hottest; the consequent evaporation causes a high salt concentration that reaches 31%, or 9 times more than in the oceans.

The presence of many minerals is what allows you to stay afloat effortlessly but not only because these oily minerals have therapeutic and healing properties (think that in Germany the health system covers the costs of treatments on the Dead Sea for those suffering from psoriasis).
Unfortunately it seems, however, according to the scholar Alon Tal, that the dead sea is destined to disappear due to the imbalance between the water introduced and evaporation .
Therefore, different solutions are being studied to try to save this place but for now none is really decisive.

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