Where is the Dead Sea


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The Dead Sea is on the Israeli Jordanian border in the Jordan Rift Valley in the Middle East. This iconic body of water runs from north to south 67km in length and between 6km and 18km in width at the widest point.  The sea’s main water source is the Jordan River but most of the water that runs into the sea is evaporated by the harsh hot weather in this region. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth at 400 meters below sea level, it lies in a deep basin where the atmosphere is dry and the surrounding land arid. The evaporation of the water is what causes the high concentration of the remaining minerals and salts. There is no outgoing flow of water at the south end of the Dead Sea.

To the east of the Dead Sea are the Kingdom of Jordan and the Mountains of Moab. To the north is the ancient city of Jericho and the West Bank and a little further north (about 24km and an hour’s drive) is Jerusalem. To the west are the Judean Hills, and 25km west is the city of Arad, a further 45km in a westerly direction will bring you to Beer Sheva. On the southwestern side is the 210 meter high rock salt Mount Sodom and to the south, if you keep driving through the Negev Desert, you will reach the Red Sea and the city of Eilat in Israel and Aqaba, Jordan. It is about a 2 hour drive from the Dead Sea to Eilat.

Places close to the Dead Sea

Mount Masada and its 1st century mountain top fortress are situated southwest of the Dead Sea on the edge of the Judean Desert.  On the shores of the sea you can find Ein Gedi where one of the most popular Dead Sea beaches is and Ein Bokek which has the highest concentration of hotels along the sea. Ein Gedi kibbutz and nature reserve is a desert oasis, close to the water where there are also natural springs, waterfalls, hiking trails and a small hotel. The Nahal David trail and the Nahal Arugot trail are popular walking trails within the Ein Gedi reserve. The Qumran caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered are also nearby. Another interesting site in the area is the Flour Cave, an underground tunnel system created in the limestone that has been eroded by water over the years. The Flour Cave is west of Mount Sodom.

Reaching the Dead Sea

To get to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem one would take the northern exit from the city through the French Hill neighborhood and head towards Maale Adumim along highway number 1. From Tel-Aviv the best route is through Arad and then from Arad follow the 30km twisting road through the mountains which will bring you to Ein Bokek. Tours regularly leave for the Dead Sea on this route which takes about 30 minutes before you see the first signs of the sea and in about an hour you reach Ein Gedi.

 

 

The prices for one day tours start at approximately $100USD and for a 2 day tour the price usually includes a stay in a tourist class hotel and doesn’t include spa treatments. 2 day tour prices start from approximately $260USD.

What to take with you on a Dead Sea tour

Most important is to take your bathing suit and a towel so that you can go into the water. Also remember to take water, sun glasses, sun screen and a hat as you will be in one of Israel’s hottest areas.