“I can’t float.” That’s the first thing dave said when entered the Dead Sea in Jordan. It’s a fact and I am envious of Dave because he can always lay back in a pool, relax and enjoy floating on the top of the water with very little effort. Unless I constantly tread water, wave my hands or kick my feet, I cannot float. The minute I stop moving, I sink.
So it was very exciting when we went to the Dead Sea in Jordan. This is a place where anyone can float and I was determined to put this rumour to the test.
About the Dead Sea
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The Dead Sea isn’t exactly a massive expanse.
It is only 67km long and 18 km wide at it’s widest point. However it is deep. At 77 m ( or 1,237 ft) deep, the Dead Sea is the deepest ultra salty lake in the world.
At 423 meters below sea level, the banks of the Dead Sea of Jordan are indeed the lowest point on earth. It is the lowest body of water in the world and it has the lowest elevation on the earth’s surface. Cool eh?
The Dead Sea has a salt level of a whopping 33%.
To give you an idea of the saline levels of the Dead Sea, the ocean has a salt concentration of only 3.8%. The Dead See is nearly three times the salt of the ocean at 33% saline.
And that my friends is exactly why we humans have such an easy time floating in the Dead Sea.
Where is the Dead Sea Jordan
The Dead Sea is only 60km or 37 miles from Amman Jordan. It is an easy drive along the Dead Sea Highway (officially known as Route 65.
You can book many day tours from Amman or you can rent a car or hire a driver to take you to the Dead Sea.
Check out these Dead Sea Tours from Amman
We book tours with Get Your Guide, they have easy cancellation and last minute bookings to make things reliable and easy.
It was pretty cool being at the Dead Sea. Not only is it an awesome break in your Jordan Adventure to spend a day or two by the sea, but it is also a major historical destination.
In the past, the Dead Sea was a refuge for King David, a health resort for Herod the Great, and it was used in the mummification process for the ancient Egyptians. This sea has definitely seen its share of history.
We recommend staying overnight to truly experience everything the Dead Sea has to offer. Our stay at the Holiday Inn let us enjoy a beautiful private beach located directly on the Dead Sea. We could then enjoy the infinity pools and lounge chairs by the pool once we finished our floating in the salty waters.
Our location was at a very narrow point of the sea at only 7km wide giving us a clear view of Israel across the sea.
At night the lights of Jericho in Israel flickered from a country so close to us and yet so far away for many Jordanians.
Our Experience at the Dead Sea
We love being full blown tourists and instead of heading for the water, we made a detour for the mud. You can’t visit the Dead Sea without slathering your entire body with the black goo. It just wouldn’t be right!
The medicinal mud from the shores of the Dead Sea have a healing power that people swear by and after you have washed yourself off, your skin will feel just like a baby’s bottom.
People actually come to the Dead Sea for a month at a time to take advantage of its healing benefits.
We didn’t care too much about the medicinal muds, we just wanted to look good for the photograph!
You Really do Float in the Dead Sea
Once we were thoroughly “muddied up,” we took our waterproof camera with us into the water to float in the buoyant waves.
It was warm and didn’t feel too different from any other body of water I had walked into, but I was a little worried about what the salt concentration would do to the camera. Would the salt of the Dead Sea Ruin my camera? You will be happy to know it didn’t.
How to Swim in the Dead Sea
The minute I laid back into the water, I could not believe the feeling.
I actually felt like I had water wings on my legs and shoulders allowing me to float with ease in the thick waters of the Dead Sea.
Dave could still float higher and easier than me, but I didn’t care, I was floating!
You do need to be careful when swimming in the Dead Sea. In truth, it’s nearly impossible to swim because you are so buoyant. Instead, just relax and float.
And don’t put your head underwater. That salt will sting your eyes.
Floating in the Dead Sea
Dave kicked himself for not bringing a newspaper down so that we could grab that ultra cheesy tourist shot of us reading the newspaper in the water.
But no matter, we still managed to be quite cheesy when it came to grabbing snapshots.
We played around in the good old Dead Sea for quite a while until it began to sting my skin.
Dave lasted 15 minutes longer than me. I enjoyed a shower on the beach and a lounge under a sun umbrella while he took advantage of every minute in the water.
This could be the only time in our lives that we could experience such a phenomenon and he was taking advantage of every second.
Strong Salt Water of the Dead Sea Stings
The salt of the Dead Sea is strong and you must be careful not to submerge your face into the water.
It will sting your eyes something fierce. If you have a cut of any kind, you will definitely feel it and will not last very long in this second-most densely salted body of water in the world.
Holiday Inn Resort on the Dead Sea
After our fun and frolicking, we hit the pool of the hotel for a little bit of pampering.
The Holiday Inn Resort located directly on the Jordan side of Dead Sea. I know what your thinking, Holiday Inn Resort?
We laid back on the lounge chairs of the “adult-only pool” of the Holiday Inn and took in the views of the infinity pools, the muli-level pool, the wading pool, and our pool.
This Holiday Inn definitely has it’s fair share of pools. We even found a quiet kiddy pool near our hotel room complete with canopy to shade the little tykes from the harmful UV rays of the sun.
This isn’t your typical Holiday Inn, it is more upscale than the ones we normally frequent during our road trips to Florida and hey, we were here for the Dead Sea, not the hotel.
If you like all the Western amenities that come with a Holiday Inn, this is a good choice. But it doesn’t really have the feel of the Middle East. Sometimes that can be a good thing though, when traveling, it’s nice to feel a bit of Western comforts.
We ended our night having dinner at the Movenpick Hotel. Their friendly PR contact came out to greet us, took us on a tour of the hotel and treated us to a delicious meal of anything we would like.
We stayed all day at the Holiday Inn and didn’t hear a peep from them. One dinner at the Movenpick and we felt like we could stay the week and never tire of the atmosphere.
They had fabulous entertainment going on right in front of our table and we would have loved to have joined the crowd in trying a Sheesha while watching the Belly Dancer perform. This place was beautiful and exactly what we would have wanted. It felt like a little piece of the Middle East, smack dab in the middle of the Middle East.