The water in the Dead Sea is extremely salty, and has been estimated to be the second saltiest major body of water in the world. Its name is derived from the fact that the water is far too salinated for marine inhabitation.
The Dead Sea is naturally endorheic (no outlet streams) with the Jordan River being its only major source. The northern part of the Dead Sea receives scarcely 100 mm (4 inches) of rain a year; the southern section receives barely 50 mm (2 inches). Due to the man-made reduction of the Jordan River (the river waters are 70-90 % used for human purposes) and the high evaporation rate of the Dead Sea, the sea is shrinking. All the shallow waters of the southern end of the sea have been drained and are now salt flats.
Although the Dead Sea would never entirely disappear (because evaporation slows down as surface area decreases and saltiness increases), measures are currently being proposed to siphon water from the Red Sea through a series of tunnels or canals in order to replenish the rapidly shrinking waters and provide water and electrical solutions to the surrounding countries.
The hypersalinated water of the Dead Sea itself is its own attraction. There are several nearby attractions that are worth attention:
- Historic Mount Nebo provides a panorama of the Holy Land, and to the north, a more limited one of the Jordan River valley. The excavated remains of a church and a monument commemorating the biblical story of Moses and the bronze serpent stand atop the mountain. Mount Nebo is a short 15 minute drive from the Dead Sea. Visitors can plan to spend around an hour at the site at a cost of 2 JD per person.
- The nearby town of Madaba known as the ‘City of Mosaics’ is famous for its Byzantine and Umayyad mosaics, especially a large Byzantine-era mosaic map of Palestine and the Nile delta at St. George Church.
- TheBaptism Site (Bethany Beyond the Jordan) at the Jordan River, the location archaeologists are claiming is the baptism site of Jesus by John the Baptist, is a short 10 minute drive from the Dead Sea resort area. The cost to enter the Baptism Site is 7 JD per person (January 2010). Buses transport visitors down to the river basin, and guided tours include visits to a Jordan River overlook, the excavated remains of the Baptismal Site, John the Baptist Church, and down to the River bank. Visitors may dip a foot in the waters, but may not enter the waters as the Israeli side may. A baptismal robe is required, but none are for sale on the Jordanian side as the shop owners have left.
- TheDead Sea Panoramaic Complex/Dead Sea Museum is a new complex of regional museum about the Dead Sea, panorama lookout, restaurant and conference hall on a steep cliff high above the Dead Sea near Hammamet Ma’in it is accessible from both the Dead Sea and Madaba by car, however it is difficult to reach by public transport. The museum is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, and has some fascinating information about the geology, ecology (animal and plant), archaeology, history and industry of the Dead Sea and surrounding area.It has also information about the environmental problem concerning the Dead Sea, such as decreasing of the Dead Sea water level and sinkhole in the Dead Sea coast. As the name suggests it has a magnificent view of the Dead Sea and the hills beyond it. Watching the sunset from here is a wonderful experience.
- The Mujib Reserve of Wadi Mujib is the lowest nature reserve in the world, located in the mountainous landscape to the east of the Dead Sea, approximately 90km south of Amman. The 220 square kilometers reserve was created in 1987 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is regionally and internationally important, particularly for the bird life that the reserve supports. The Mujib valley is being developed for adventure tourism, and a number of facilities have been established including a Visitors’ Centre and a beach area on the Dead Sea. Experiencing Jordan’s Grand Canyon involves swimming, jumping, abseiling and floating. Its red walls are filled with running water that plunges through a 15 m waterfall.
- Hammamat Ma’in are a remarkable series of natural hot springs and waterfalls, some of which have been channeled into pools and baths. A spa resort is located in the vicinity of the waterfalls
- Lot’s cave is located on the site of the remains of an old Byzantine monastery and church (31:2:49.4N 35:30:6.0E) above the village of Al Safi. The cave is believed to the one Lot took refuge in with his two daughters when God according to the Bible destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Entrance is free (March 2012). The site is officially closed for development work but a local guide can escort you up the 300 steps to the cave itself. If you are a small group you may be allowed to look inside the cave. From the site you can look out over the irrigated fields which have developed as the Dead Sea has retreated in recent years.
On the Jordanian side, both Arabic and English are spoken.
- Due to the hypersalination of the water, one can float with ease in the Dead Sea; in fact, it’s nearly impossible to sink! A popular fad by visitors is to have their picture taken while reading a newspaper and floating on the surface of the water.
- The mud along the shore of the Dead Sea contains many minerals and is believe to have medicinal and therapeutic benefits. It is not uncommon for visitors to cover their bodies with the dark mud.
- There are many salt deposits and crystals scattered along the shoreline. Many visitors walk the beach in search of large pieces as souvenirs.
- The water of the Dead Sea has a greasy feel to it.
- Wear waterproof sandals. The salt is very jagged and can easily cut your feet.
- Beware! Several people drown every year in the Dead Sea because they do not obey the rule:Only float on your back. Accidents happen when someone tries to swim normally (stomach first) in the water – the legs will float better than usual and the head will be submerged. Note that this applies to weaker swimmers, and specifically to attempts to swim breaststroke. Breaststroke is also made difficult by the fact that the legs are raised too high in the water to provide normal forward motion when kicking. Moreover, the salt in the water stings cuts and causes great pain if it comes in contact with the eyes, adding to the panic if one’s head is under water. A strong swimmer can easily swim freestyle; if you plan to try this, goggles are essential and should be tightly fitted. Although safe for a strong swimmer, and an unusual sensation because of the buoyancy of the water, it is not an undertaking most people are likely to sustain for long. Even with the eyes protected by goggles, water will get into the nose and sting, and onto the lips and inevitably into the mouth. It tastes disgusting.
there is trips runs from egypt and specially from sharm el sheikh for example rates Short of actual drowning, inhalation of the water can cause specific, sometimes lifethreatening medical problems not seen with other bodies of water, because of the water’s very high electrolyte content so be sure of your swimming abilities and confidence in the water before deciding to swim on your front.
- Tip if in a resort: Wash the salt off in the beach showers before you use your towel. Otherwise the towel will get salty and leave salt on your skin when you use it after your shower (the salt can cause an itch).
- Zara Spa,Mövenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, Sweimeh, Dead Sea Road ( 55km south of Amman), ☎ + 962 5 356 11 11(fax: + 962 5 356 11 22). 8.30 am – 8.30 pm. There are several swimming pools, some of which feature different mineral concentrations, including a heated pool for winter. A wide private beach runs along the Dead Sea shore, and there are jacuzzis, tennis courts and a fitness centre. There are also four restaurants and several cafes and bars.
- Al Wadi Resort,☎ +962(5) 349 3333 (fax: +9626(5) 349 3344). Resort and Waterpark
- Amman Beach is a public resort with clean facilities, including changing rooms, fresh water showers (both at the beach and in the changing rooms), a pool and a restaurant. Restaurant is 14 JOD set fee for a buffet. Entrance is 20 JOD (November 2013). Lockers can be rented for another 1.5 JD, as well as towels (1.50 JD).
- O Beach Dead Sea . Tel + 962 5 3492000