The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea was the next stop on our holiday in Jordan. It’s about an hour’s drive from Amman to the Dead Sea, which is a large, very salty lake in the valley between Israel and Jordan. The lake is more than 400 metres below sea level, and its shores are the lowest land elevation in the world.
It’s called “dead” because the salty water is inhospitable to fish and other wildlife. It’s a very quiet and pristine lake, as there are no motor boats or other vehicles on the lake. One of the world’s first health resorts was on the Dead Sea.
Where we stayed at the Dead Sea
We stayed at the Kempinski Hotel, a 5-star hotel that has its own private beach.
The service at the Kempinski is second to none. There are 9 pools, 2 of which are infinity pools. It was an amazing feeling to swim in the infinity pools, with the views stretching across the sea. It is so nice to be relaxing at a pool and have an ice-cold washcloth handed to you to cool you down.
The food at the hotel is also excellent. We ate at the Lebanese restaurant one night and the second night at the restaurant beside the pool.
Jerusalem is only 35km away, just across the Dead Sea, and at night you can see the lights of Jerusalem twinkling on the far side of the water.
Swimming in the Dead Sea
Even if you are not staying at the Kempinski, it is possible to pay to access their private beach. It is well worth it as they have sun loungers, towels, water and even Crocs to wear as it can be quite rocky. Plus there’s a lifeguard on duty (yes, as easy as it is to float in the Dead Sea, accidents do happen, so it’s great to have that assurance).
It is hard to describe the sensation of swimming in the Dead Sea’s salt water. It’s the saltiest lake in the world — saltier than the oceans — and the salinity of the water is so high that you float effortlessly.
It is fun to see people’s reactions as they enter the water. The moment you enter the water, you feel lighter. Just a few metres in, it becomes impossible to stand — the salt water lifts you off the seafloor.
Just be careful not to get your face in the water, as salt in the eyes will burn like crazy. It’s also important not to stay in the water too long. There is a large clock displayed by the sea as you should not be in the water for more than 10 minutes.
When you come out of the water you can cover yourself with Dead Sea mud and let it dry. Because of all the minerals in the Dead Sea, the mud is great for your skin and has a moisturising effect. Think of what you’d pay for that mud at a spa!
Once the mud is dry you can wash it off in the sea and then the showers that are available. There’s even a full-length mirror in case you miss a bit! I have to say I did find my skin nice and smooth afterwards.