The Dead Sea is so named because it is so salty nothing can live in it. It is also so salty you should not take touch your phone with your wet fingers, salt is corrosive…oops! But limited exposure is good for the skin.
It is the lowest place on Earth according to the signs, over 400 m below sea level and getting lower every year since the water is diverted for other uses. This makes for a steep walk to get down to the water.
A funny thing happens when you go that low, it gets HOT! The area is a barren except for the resorts built along the waters edge. Each hotel is a spa centric oasis and you are not meant to leave once you enter. But there are a few things to do besides lounge at the spa.
One is to hike Wadi Mujib. This hike can be summed up by saying: a life vest is mandatory. There is a small river that once flowed into the Dead Sea but is now dammed and diverted right before the highway. But before the water is snatched away it cuts a stunning gorge through the sandstone. This year was a cold and wet winter, so the water level this spring was so high we had to swim some sections. We walked in the shadows with occasional shafts of sunlight slanting down. We surmounted waterfalls with the help of ropes and metal handholds and then we slide back down them on our return.
It is a tough walk in some sections but only about an hour and a half and well worth getting soaked for. Don’t bring anything you don’t want to lose. One man passed us with only one shoe, others have lost sunglasses and even prescription glasses when the water hit them too fast in the face. Hence why I have no photos from that excursion.
We explored six resorts at the Dead Sea and stayed at the Marriott. I think I know which one I prefer for next year because it has a big spa, a few pools, Sea access with golf cart service, plenty of restaurant options and perfect spots to watch the sunset. Oh, and good ice cream! But really you can’t go wrong with any of them. 😍😍