Dead Sea Israel
Our Own Natural Wonder

Our own Dead Sea Israel was a candidate for a position on the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. We didn’t make the top seven, but were very near and got world recognition which is very important.

The Dead Sea is called in Hebrew Yam Hamelach or the Sea of Salt. It is located between Jordan and Israel, being the east coast in Jordanian territory and to the west Israel.

It is known also by the names of Sea of the Arava, Sea of Sdom, Sea of Lot. The crusaders called it the Devil’s Sea. All the names reflect the nature of this very salty lake.

Kalia Beach on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea

Location

It is located on the Syria African Rift and is the lowest point on Earth, more than  400 meters below sea level.

I remember when as a child we used to draw the maps of Israel, the Dead Sea was one long lake with a narrow area called the “tongue”.

Now this narrow area is dry and the Dead Sea Israel is divided into two well formed lakes the northern and southern parts. This is clearly seen on a Dead Sea Map.

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Getting the Mud Therapy on the Dead Sea Israel

Why is it called the Dead Sea?

The salinity of the lake is so high, actually one of the highest on the planet, that there is no possibility of marine life in its waters.

Its waters come from the Jordan River that ends on the northern corner of the sea and from little rain that falls during the year.

Also some springs and rivers flow into the sea. But no body of water flows “out” of the Dead Sea.

The high temperatures and the constant evaporation of the waters is what cause the concentration of salt and mineral in its waters.

Dead Sea Cosmetics

Since Biblical times it has been visited by many from the whole Mediterranean area.

Great people like King David, King Solomon, the Queen of Sheba and Cleopatra visited the Dead Sea or imported its minerals.

Products from the area have been used as cosmetics and herbal potions for centuries.

This is a tremendous industry that started here and today you may see the products in any store in America, Europe or Australia.

The curative qualities of these products are world known.

Daniel Hotel is one of the Best on the Dead Sea

Dead Sea Israel Hotels

The shores of the sea are covered by many Spa Resort Hotels serving the area. Tourist with skin diseases flock here from every corner of the world for treatment to their illnesses.

All Dead Sea hotels have spa facilities to cater to these clients.  Treatments have been helping patients for years and many tour operators dedicate themselves to organize this kind of tours.

Dead Sea Minerals

On the southwest side of the sea around 1500 employees of the Dead Sea Works harvest the important minerals from the waters. The number one in importance is Potash and it is mainly used in the production of fertilizers

Dead Sea Swimming

It is an experience by itself.  The moment you try to swim you notice that you are floating without any effort. The density of the salt and minerals in the waters makes it dense and thick providing a surface to float. One recommendation, beware of little cuts, it burns like hell. Go out and run to the nearest fresh water shower provided near the beaches.

Sun tanning in the Dead Sea

You’ll be surprised to find out that you may not need a sun tan lotion. Being over 400 meters below sea level the amount of atmosphere covering the area is 400 meters more that in a regular beach, therefore the ultra violet rays do not penetrate this extra layer and your skin is protected when you are sun tanning.

The Pool Area of the Meridien Hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea Israel

Dead Sea Attractions

Dead Sea Scrolls– In the ancient settlement of Qumran, the set of texts of extreme great importance were found. They are written in papyrus and parchment. The texts are mainly in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and are kept on the Shrine of the Book in the Israel Museum Jerusalem.

  • Qumran Caves – These are a series of caves on the northern side of the sea, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found by Bedouin shepherds

  • Ein Gedi – This is a real oasis in the desert. It is located on the northwestern side of the Dead Sea, near Qumran and Masada. It features caves and springs and a variety of flora and fauna. It is mentioned in the Bible and specifically in Shir Hashirim, the Son of Songs of King Solomon
  • Masada Israel - Located on the west side of the Dead Sea and the slopes of the Judaean Mountains, this is a fortress built on a plateau that served as a refuge to the Jews in the times of the Roman. Legend says that the few remaining in Masada committed suicide instead of surrendering to the Roman troops. Masada is today one of Israel’s main attractions visited by thousands of tourist on a daily basis. The view to the Dead Sea and the Jordanian Mountains is awe inspiring.

There are many reasons to visit the Dead Sea Israel. It is worth making a hotel reservation and staying a few days. It is just an hour and a half from Jerusalem as you go down from 800 meters above to 400 meters below sea level.


Images credits:

dead sea ein bokek by xta 11
dead sea kalia by darko repert
dead sea mud salt by xta 11
masada 1 by mark a. wilson

The hotels images are courtesy of the hotels

The rest are courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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