Are you planning a trip to Jordan and wondering if swimming in the Dead Sea is worth it? As a seasoned traveller who has experienced this bucket list adventure first-hand, I can confidently say that it’s an unforgettable experience that shouldn’t be missed. The feeling of effortlessly floating on the dense, salty waters is unlike anything else in the world.
But how does it work? And how can you make the most of your visit? In this post, I’ll answer all your questions and provide you with essential tips for planning your dream trip to the Dead Sea in Jordan. Get ready to check this incredible experience off your bucket list!
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- Why Is The Jordan Sea Called The Dead Sea?
- Why Is The Jordan Sea Called The Dead Sea?
- Getting To The Dead Sea In Jordan
- Swimming In The Dead Sea, Jordan
- Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea Day Pass
Dead Sea Jordan Travel Guide – FAQs
Where Is The Dead Sea Located?
Nestled in the heart of the Jordan Rift Valley, the Dead Sea is a natural wonder that spans the borders of Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. The sea is located approximately 55 km (34 miles) southeast of the vibrant Jordanian capital of Amman and just 15 km (9 miles) west of the historic city of Madaba.
What makes the Dead Sea truly remarkable is its location at the lowest point on Earth. Its surface sits more than 430 meters (1,410 feet) below sea level, creating a unique and awe-inspiring natural phenomenon.
But the Dead Sea isn’t just about its location. The surrounding landscapes are equally stunning, with towering mountains and rugged desert terrain providing the perfect backdrop for swimming in the Dead Sea.
When visiting the area, you can also hike, trek, and explore the natural wonders of the region.
Why Is The Jordan Sea Called The Dead Sea?
The Dead Sea, also known as the Salt Sea, is a saltwater lake located between Jordan and Israel. And as to why it’s called the Dead Sea, there are two explanations.
Scientific Explanation For The Dead Sea
According to modern society, the name actually refers to the high salt concentration of the water. In fact, the water in the Dead Sea is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world, with a salinity level of around 34%.
Religious Explanation For The Dead Sea
In addition to the scientific explanation behind the name “Dead Sea,” there are also religious beliefs that contribute to the name.
According to Islam, the Dead Sea is located on the site of the ancient city of Sodom, which was destroyed by God due to the sinful behaviour of its inhabitants. As a result, the water of the Dead Sea is believed to be cursed and not able to support life.
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In Christianity, the Dead Sea is also associated with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as with the tale of Lot’s wife. In the Bible, Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as they were being destroyed by God.
Some Christians believe that the high salt content of the Dead Sea is a result of Lot’s wife being transformed into salt.
Judaism also associates the Dead Sea with the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. According to the Talmud, the salt pillars that can be found along the shore of the Dead Sea are the remains of Lot’s wife.
In addition, some Jewish scholars believe that the term “Dead Sea” is a mistranslation of the Hebrew name for the sea, which actually means “Sea of Lot.”
Are There Fishes In The Dead Sea?
In short, no, there aren’t any fishes in the Dead Sea. Due to the extreme salinity of the water, the Dead Sea can’t support the same kinds of marine life that are found in its neighbouring seas. So you may want to skip on the snorkelling gear when visiting the Dead Sea.
However, the sea is not completely devoid of life. There are a few microorganisms and bacteria that have adapted to the high salinity and are able to survive in the water.
What Is Special About The Dead Sea In Jordan?
If it isn’t obvious yet, it’s the saltiness (and history) of the water that makes the Dead Sea a special place. The Dead Sea water is incredibly dense, and as a result, you’ll find everyone floating effortlessly on the surface. Not sure what I mean? Just take a look at Instagram.
The high salt concentration also means that the water and mud contain a unique mix of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and calcium. This has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for the skin and body, so of course the Dead Sea has become a popular wellness destination.
Can You Swim And Float In The Dead Sea In Jordan?
Technically, yes, you can swim in the Dead Sea. But in reality, no, the water is so dense you’ll find it impossible to get a good swim in here. Instead, you should consider just floating away when swimming in the Dead Sea.
However, it is important to note that the water can be incredibly irritating to sensitive skin and it is recommended to spend no more than 15 minutes in the water. Also, avoid getting the water in your mouth, as it tastes horrible and can even make you sick.
TIP: DO NOT stick your face in the water!
Finally, the most critical safety note, the water can get very deep very fast! Make sure you swim in an area that is actively manned by a lifeguard. For this reason alone, I highly suggest only swimming at a beach front hotel. But more on that below.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Dead Sea In Jordan?
The best time to visit and swim in the Dead Sea in Jordan is in either spring or autumn. Whilst summer may be the obvious choice, the temperature can easily get to 40°C (104°F) during the day, making it very uncomfortable to enjoy the outdoors. Especially for those who are not use to extreme heat.
On the other hand, during the winter months, the weather can sometimes drop below freezing. So December to February are also not the ideal time to visit the Dead Sea in Jordan.
Getting To The Dead Sea In Jordan
Depending on where you’re coming from, there are many ways to get to the Dead Sea. Whilst most people tend to visit the Dead Sea as a day trip from Amman or as a beach getaway at the end of their trip in Jordan, I’ll like to present a third option.
I highly recommend spending half a day at the Dead Sea en route from Amman to Petra and using Aqaba as your beach getaway destination at the end of your trip. Whichever option you choose, below are the best ways to get to the Dead Sea.
You may also be interested in Visiting Petra Jordan – All You Need To Know.
Amman To Dead Sea
Private Driver & Taxi
For those using Amman as their base, you’ll be glad to know that the Dead Sea is only a 45 minutes drive from Amman. I highly recommend hiring a private driver to take you to the Dead Sea for the day or you can even hire them to stay with you for the entirety of your holiday in Jordan.
If a private driver is out of the question, then I recommend getting a taxi. You can easily hail a taxi in Amman, but for convenience, I recommend asking your hotel to call you one.
Alternatively, you can also use public transport. The JETT bus company operates a daily bus service from Amman to the Dead Sea, with several departure times throughout the day. The journey takes around 1-1.5 hours, and tickets can be purchased from the JETT office or online in advance.
Private & Shared Tours
Want to take the stress out of it? Then I recommend booking a private tour or joining a shared one. Not only will they handle all the organization for the day, but you’ll also be able to visit a few other nearby attractions at the same time. If you only have 1 day in Amman and you want to visit the Dead Sea, I recommend this option.
Popular day tours from Amman:
- From Amman: Dead Sea and Madaba Tour with Hotel Pickup
- From Amman: 5-Hour Dead Sea Experience with Lunch & Return
- Private Half Day Tour to the Dead Sea from Amman
- From Amman: Dead Sea Day Tour
Wadi Rum To Dead Sea
Getting to the Dead Sea from Wadi Rum requires a bit of planning, as the two destinations are located at opposite ends of Jordan. However, like from Amman, there are a few options available to make the trip.
Private Driver & Taxi
As the drive is 4–5 hours, the best option to get to the Dead Sea from Wadi Rum is by hiring a private driver or a taxi. Chances are you’ll probably already have a driver with you, so adding the Dead Sea to your itinerary shouldn’t be an issue.
However, given the remoteness of Wadi Rum, it will be harder to get a taxi than in Amman. Therefore, I recommend arranging your taxi with your accommodation prior to your arrival, to prevent any delays to your plan.
If you want to use public transport, it’s doable, but you’ll be in for a journey. You’ll first have to take a taxi to Aqaba from Wadi Rum, which takes around 1 hour 30 minutes. From there you’ll have to take a JETT bus to Amman, which can take 6–8 hours. And once you’re in Amman, you’ll have to take another JETT bus to the Dead Sea, which takes around 1 hour.
TIP: For the best deal, book your bus ticket from Aqaba to the Dead Sea. This will include the transfer from Amman.
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Private & Shared Tours
Whilst there aren’t any popular tours departing from Wadi Rum to the Dead Sea, I highly recommend booking a multi-day tour from Amman that will take you to Petra, Wadi Rum and the Dead Sea.
Popular multi-day tours to Wadi Rum & Dead Sea:
- Amman: Petra, Wadi Rum, and Dead Sea 2-Day Tour
- From Amman: Petra, Wadi Rum and Dead Sea 3-Day Tour
- Amman: 3-Day Tour to Jerash, Petra, Wadi Rum, and Dead Sea
Popular Transfers In Jordan
Swimming In The Dead Sea, Jordan
When it comes to swimming in the Dead Sea, you have three options.
- You can join one of the tours above. They’ll organize your Dead Sea experience.
- Stay for one or more nights at a beach front hotel at the Dead Sea.
- Get a day pass to one of the beach front hotels at the Dead Sea.
Best Hotels To Stay In The Dead Sea Jordan
One of the most popular resorts in the area is the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar Dead Sea. It boasts stunning views of the sea and offers luxurious amenities such as a spa, multiple swimming pools, and private beach access.
Another top-rated option is the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea. It offers a range of room types, restaurants, and recreational activities, including a beach club, fitness centre, and a kid’s club.
For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Dead Sea Spa Hotel is a popular choice. The hotel offers basic but comfortable rooms and access to a private beach, as well as a range of spa treatments and therapeutic pools.
Other good options include the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa, which features a modern design and multiple dining options. And the Crowne Plaza Jordan Dead Sea Resort & Spa, which offers spacious rooms, a private beach, and an expansive outdoor pool.
Dead Sea Day Pass
A day pass is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a pass that gives you access to a hotel’s facilities without you having to stay overnight. This is a great option if you are short on time but still want to swim in the Dead Sea and have easy access to the beach, showers, restaurants and more.
Most if not all the hotels and resorts around the Dead Sea will offer a day pass. Each one of them will offer a different package at different rates, so be sure to contact your favourite hotel for a quote.
Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea Day Pass
Personally, I opted for the Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea day pass. I wanted easy access to the beach, but also first class facilities so that I could easily change/shower after my swim. And that’s exactly what I got here.
With the Movenpick Dead Sea Day Pass, you’ll get access to the:
- Private beach
- Swimming pools
- Changing rooms with showers
- On-site restaurants plus 15JD towards your meal
- Welcome drink
- Use of the fresh Dead Sea mud mask on the beach
We planned on staying at the Movenpick Dead Sea Resort & Spa for only a few hours, but we absolutely lost track of time here. The original plan was only a 20 minutes swim in the sea before heading to the pools.
And let me tell you, we ended up spending over an hour swimming in the Dead Sea that we just about got time to eat. We had a long drive to Petra by Night and we couldn’t afford to be late.
To make the most of your day, I really recommend allowing 4-6 hours here at the minimum. This will give you plenty of time to swim in the Dead Sea and pools, eat and shower at a leisurely pace.
And there we have it, everything that you need to know about swimming in the Dead Sea, Jordan. If I’ve missed anything, or you choose to visit the Dead Sea after reading this article, be sure to leave me a comment down below to let me know how your experience went.
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