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The Ultimate Guide to Swimming in the Dead Sea

May 22
The Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, is known for its unique saltiness and healing properties. Visitors worldwide travel to its shores to experience its therapeutic effects on the skin and body. One of the most popular activities at the Dead Sea is undoubtedly swimming. However, swimming in the Dead Sea is unlike any other experience. The high salt content makes it hard to swim, but the buoyancy it provides is truly unparalleled. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at why swimming in the Dead Sea is an unforgettable experience and what you need to know before you take the plunge.

Overview of Swimming in the Dead Sea

Are you planning a trip to the Middle East and wondering about swimming in the Dead Sea? Let me tell you; it's an experience you won't want to miss. The Dead Sea is a salt lake and one of the world's saltiest natural bodies of water. It's also the lowest point on Earth, 430.5 meters below sea level (1412 ft). While swimming in the Dead Sea, you'll effortlessly float due to its high salinity, and it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, there are important safety tips that you'll want to keep in mind. Firstly, ensure you find a designated swimming area; not all beaches are open. Second, swimming in the Dead Sea isn't possible, so don't expect to do any strokes or dunking in the water. The best thing to do is to float on your back without any effort. And while floating, make sure to keep your head above water and avoid splashing, as the high salt content can irritate your eyes. Also, don't drink the water. In terms of what to wear, bring an old bathing suit as the salt content can cause fading. Plan to swim for no more than 20 minutes, as staying longer can cause dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of clean water after your swim and rinse off the salt from your skin, which can be irritating. Additionally, you might want to wear water shoes as the salt rocks can be uncomfortable on your feet. Finally, don't forget to apply the famous Dead Sea mud on your body, which can be purchased from beach gift shops. The Dead Sea mud has various skin healing benefits. Ultimately, swimming in the Dead Sea is a unique experience, but remember these tips to stay safe and enjoy your experience to the fullest. [1][2]

Importance of Visiting the Dead Sea

If you're planning a trip to the Middle East, visiting the Dead Sea is a must! Located in the Jordan Rift Valley, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth and one of the most unique natural wonders in the world. You may be wondering why it is called the Dead Sea because of its extremely high salt and mineral content, making it impossible for plants and animals to survive. But don't let that deter you from dipping in its warm waters! The high salt content makes you incredibly buoyant and feel like no other.

Visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan is a great option and often less crowded than on the Israeli side. You can easily make a day trip from either Amman or Aqaba or spend a night or two at one of the many resorts on the lake's north shore. These resorts offer private beaches with showers to wash off the salt after your swim, and some also have pools for those who prefer a less salty swim. While swimming in the Dead Sea may be the main attraction, take advantage of the rich nutrients in the mud. Coating yourself in it and letting it dry in the sunshine is fun and messy and will leave your skin feeling amazing.

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your visit. Not shaving at least 48 hours before swimming is important, as cuts or nicked skin will be extremely painful due to the high salt content. Leave your jewellery and valuables at home, as the salt will cause tarnishing. You should also wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from saltwater and bring plenty of water as the high salt content can dehydrate you. Lastly, don't forget to relax and enjoy the incredible experience of floating effortlessly in the saltiest lake in the world.

Visiting the Dead Sea is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you don't want to miss. The unique properties of the lake and its surroundings make for an unforgettable trip that you'll be talking about for years to come. So what are you waiting for? Take a day trip from Amman or Aqaba or spend a night at one of the many resorts and experience the magic of the Dead Sea! [3][4]

Environmental Impacts on the Dead Sea

Swimming in the Dead Sea is undoubtedly an amazing experience, but it’s important to know about the environmental impacts on this unique body of water before you dive in. The Dead Sea is facing a looming environmental catastrophe due to its shrinking size. As the lake recedes, the freshwater aquifers along the perimeter are receding. This is causing the ground to collapse and sinkholes to appear all along the shoreline, putting hotels, buildings, and roads at risk. In the past 15 years, more than 1000 sinkholes have appeared, making the area even more dangerous.

The cause of this disaster is shortsighted water policies that have been sucking the Dead Sea dry for decades. The lake is further depleted by extracting minerals such as potash and bromide from salt deposits beneath its surface. As a result, the water is slowly dissolving those deposits until the earth above collapses without warning. The evaporation rate exceeds the inflow of fresh water from the Jordan River, putting the Dead Sea in a precarious condition.

Friends of the Earth Middle East, an organisation promoting environmental preservation, has been working to galvanize concern for the dying sea. They have been lobbying Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to nominate the Dead Sea as a United Nations World Heritage site. This would mandate the creation of an environmental protection plan and restrict the area's development.

It’s important to remember that although the Dead Sea poses a potential risk to swimmers like any other body of water, tourists who respect the sea, abide by safety regulations, and exercise basic caution usually have a wonderful time. The Dead Sea, however, is hypersaline and can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and other problems if you are immersed for too long. Experts recommend limiting your swim to 20 minutes or less. You should also wear water shoes when strolling along the shore or swimming to protect your feet from the shoreline rocks and salty crust.

The environmental impacts on the Dead Sea are serious and must be addressed if we want to preserve this unique natural wonder for future generations. While we enjoy all the benefits of the Dead Sea, we must also consider our environmental impact and take steps to minimize it. We should support the efforts of organizations like Friends of the Earth Middle East and urge governments to reform their water policies to ensure the survival of the Dead Sea. By doing so, we can continue to enjoy the magic of swimming in the Dead Sea while preserving this natural wonder for years to come. [5][6]

4. Best Beaches to Visit for the Dead Sea Experience

Swimming in the Dead Sea is an otherworldly experience you should not miss. Here are the best beaches to visit for a Dead Sea experience:

1. Kalia Beach: This northernmost beach is operated by Kibbutz Kalia and has excellent facilities, including a bar, restaurant, gift shop, pool, changing room facilities, and towel rental. The sea even has natural mud for visitors to immerse themselves in. Kalia is perfect for all ages and is just a 25-minute drive from Jerusalem.
Tip: Don’t miss the 360-degree view over the desert.

2. Biankini Beach: South of Kalia Beach is Biankini Beach, a Moroccan-style oasis and holiday resort. The beach has a traditional Moroccan restaurant and accommodation options. During Israeli holiday periods, Biankini can get busy, but in the off-peak times, it’s a fun and unique Dead Sea experience.
Tip: Best if you want a more unusually-themed experience at the Dead Sea.

3. Neve Midbar Beach: Located off the same access road as Biankini Beach, Neve Midbar Beach is the least commercialized of the three northernmost beaches at the Dead Sea. With a great beach area, lawned areas for barbecues, a bar, and a gift shop, it has great facilities and attracts a younger crowd than the other beaches.
Tip: Best if you want to sit and relax in a fun, laid-back atmosphere.

4. Ein Bokek: The Dead Sea beaches at Ein Bokek in the southern Dead Sea are lined with resort hotels, making them busy during the peak season. However, these beaches provide great access to the Dead Sea.
Tip: Want to combine the Dead Sea with other interesting sites in the region? Check out available tour options to make the most of your visit to the Dead Sea beaches of Israel.

While the Dead Sea is gradually disappearing, the experience of floating in its buoyant waters and covering yourself in its beneficial mud remains an unforgettable experience. Whether you choose a private resort or a free public beach, include a swim in the Dead Sea on your bucket list. [7][8]

Tips for Preparing for a Salty Swim

5 Tips for Preparing for a Salty Swim in the Dead Sea

Swimming in the Dead Sea is a unique experience known for its high salinity and buoyancy. If you're planning a trip to the Dead Sea for a salty swim, here are five tips to help you prepare for the adventure.

1. Protect your eyes: The high salt concentration can cause eye irritation, so avoiding putting your face underwater is important. Wear goggles or keep your head above the surface to avoid any discomfort.

2. Wear appropriate swimwear: Wear a swimsuit that you don't mind getting covered in mud, as it's a popular activity at the Dead Sea. Also, avoid wearing jewellery or any metal, as the salty water can tarnish or damage them.

3. Hydrate properly: The hot climate and salty water can dehydrate you quickly, so drinking plenty of water before and after your swim is essential. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated at the Dead Sea.

4. Apply sunscreen and moisturize: The sun can be intense in the Dead Sea region, so apply sunscreen before swimming. After your swim, rinse off the salt and apply moisturizer to your skin to prevent dryness.

5. Choose the right time to swim: The Dead Sea is busiest during the day when the heat is at its peak, so consider swimming early in the morning or later in the evening when it's cooler. Also, be aware of the weather forecast and avoid swimming during a storm or high winds.

Following these tips, you can fully enjoy your salty swim in the Dead Sea while staying safe and prepared. Don't forget to effortlessly take in the stunning surroundings and unique floating experience in the salty water. [9][10]