Gordon Tours Israel Blog

A Wonder Like No Other: Israel’s Dead Sea

Icon January 14, 2020
Icon By Shai Navon
Icon 0 comments

Located at the lowest point on Earth – a full 1,412 feet below sea level, and surrounded by an otherworldly desert, the Dead Sea is truly one of the world’s greatest wonders.

Though the name may initially be intimidating, the Dead Sea is actually just called that because of the high salinity of its water; It’s so salty that fish and other water creatures find it uninhabitable – hence, a “dead” sea, devoid of marine life.  In Hebrew, the Dead Sea is referred to as “Yam HaMelach,” or “Sea of Salt.”

When you visit the Dead Sea, you will absolutely notice how salty it is as you take a dip – the sea has such high salinity that bathers float in the water! This is because the high salt content makes people more buoyant.

Most guides to the area focus on what a unique geographical marvel it is, but its natural beauty of the Dead Sea and the surrounding area should not be overlooked. The sea changes colors due to fluctuating salt conditions and different weather, making for striking panoramic views on any day.

As for the Christian tourist, it’s hard to overstate the religious and archaeological significance of the Dead Sea. The famed Dead Sea Scrolls, containing texts from an ascetic Jewish cult that existed at the time of Jesus’s birth, were discovered in caves near the site in the mid-twentieth century.  Even more exciting, just north of the Dead Sea is the site of the baptism – the shore of the Jordan River where Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in the flowing water.

No visit to the area is complete without a trip to Masada. Located a mere 10-minute drive from the northern part of the Dead Sea, Masada is an ancient Roman-style fortress built by Herod the Great in 30 BCE. Climbing Masada is exciting for at any time, but heading to the top of the ancient fortress at sunrise is especially popular with tourists of any age.

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In a world obsessed with skincare, it’s not surprising that the Dead Sea receives so much international attention. Bathing in the Dead Sea or using its mud offer amazing benefits for your skin.  The high salt, vitamin, and mineral content removes impurities from the skin, nourishes it, leaving you with a healthy, noticable glow. 

Some governments in the world actually fund tourism for psoriatic patients (and other people with skin conditions) to travel to the Dead Sea annually, due to its therapeutic benefits.  Research is ongoing, as the mineral content in the water, mud, and soil in the area is wholly unique and salutary. Additionally, the desert climate and frequent sun exposure in the Dead Sea’s region is healthy for many patients suffering from skin conditions.

This mineral-rich mud has also led to a thriving industry of therapeutic and cosmetic products to emerge from the Dead Sea.  No visitor to the Dead Sea should miss out on the opportunity to get spa treatments or mud masks for a truly special skincare experience. Many hotels in the area offer just that – the Dead Sea is now home to some of the greatest resorts in Israel, featuring highly desirable amenities in one of the most geographically unique places in the world.

The desert environment, surrounding mountains, healing mud, and gorgeous sea come together to create an exceptionally relaxing and rejuvenating tourism experience that those who are lucky enough to experience never forget!

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