The Dead Sea should be a ‘must’ on anyone’s bucket list to Israel whether you are looking for a Holy Land experience or just visiting Israel to experience its history, culture and see if the country lives up to its hype.
Geographic location: The Dead Sea is located at the lowest point on earth, approximately 430 meters – 1410 feet below sea level. When you travel to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem you can expect to drive for apparently 45 minutes downhill until you reach the floor of the Jordan Valley. The Dead Sea is nestled south of Jericho and creates a natural border between Israel on its west bank and Jordan on its east bank. Though it’s referred to as a ‘sea’ it’s only about 12 miles wide and 40 miles in length.
Can you swim in its waters? Due to its high levels of salt which are almost 10 times higher than the ocean, it’s not a good idea to try and swim as the water can make contact with your eyes (could be dangerous-painful). Your best bet is to do what all visitors do which is to enjoy a unique floating experience as the salt in the water gives the water a thick consistency. Grab a paper or book so you can capture a photo and post it to Instagram just remember to #traditiontours
History: For centuries the Sea has been appreciated for its rich minerals which give it a very unique blue look contrasted by its white shoreline. People have been flocking to the Dead Sea for its health benefits and picturesque beauty dating back to King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba, and the Nabateans who extracted asphalt from the sea to sell to the Egyptians.
In the bible: The Dead Sea is referred to as the Salt Sea in the bible, Ezekiel prophesied the in the future the sea will flow with fresh water, and fishermen will cast their nets from its shores. Today due to the high level of salt its almost impossible for fish to survive in its waters, though some bacterial species have been discovered living in sinkholes within the last 10 years or so.
Bottom line: If its good enough for the Queen of Sheba then its good enough for you! Make sure to include a visit to this unique location.