The Dead Sea
Updated: Apr 30
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth at -432 meters and salt concentration of above 34%. It stretches for +100 km from Almog in the north to Neot Hakikar in the south, from the Ha'etekim Cliff in the west to Jordans' Moav mountains in the east. The Dead Sea is a one of a kind place, created spme 25M years ago, when the Arabian and European bearings detached from the African bearing and started heading north, creating among other things the Red Sea. The Great Rift Valley that stretches from Africa to Turkey was created in a slow process that is still happening today.
The Dead Sea offers many attractions, including a unique experience of floating on the water, healing by therapeutic mud, fresh water oasis and much more. Entrepreneurs began exploiting the natural resources in the early 1900's and remains of their homes can be seen in the old Bet Ha'arava village. But the Dead Sea is also a place of many historical events like Qumran, Masada and biblical Sodom. Its surrounding areas are filled with fresh water oasis, natural springs, ancient caves and salt mountains. There are several points of interest along the way:
The cliff overlooking the Ein Gedi oasis. Ein Gedi was a small village starting in the Chalcolithic period, some 5,000 years ago. In the bible it is mentioned as a village in the Judea tribe. The main produce of the Jews in Ein Gedi was the persimmon, from which they made the most luxurious perfume of ancient times. The story is that during the revolt against the Romans, the Jews of Ein Gedi did not take part in the fights and the Romans built a military base nearby to protect the flow of persimmon to Rome's elite.
Ein Gedi 3rd century AD synagogue with its amazingly preserved mosaic. The synagogue mentions the "persimmon secret" and Jews there had to swear to keep the secret intact.
Masada in the background, where King Herod built his magical palace and where Jewish rebels committed the famous suicide so they won't be captured and tortured by the Romans in 73 AD.
King Herods' private palace in Masada.
Ein Bokek, where the Dead Sea hotels are located.
The Einot Tsukim oasis with its fresh water and beautiful scenery.
The "Lido" is a deserted place in the north part of the Dead Sea with cool graffiti.
Qumran caves, home of the Dead Sea Scrollsand of the "Issim" who lived here during the 2nd temple era.
Mount Sodom. A biblical and magical place.
Ein Gedi oasis and its 6th century synagogue with beautiful mosaic and falls.
Crossing the sea level... down!
Other interesting places to visit: the relaxing salt pools at Neve Zohar and walking trail along the Zohar river. Catching a flood in the Judea desert when water falls down to the Dead Sea is an amazing experience. There are limited spots to eat and sleep well along the Dead Sea. Camping can be an option for adventure tourist. We visit the Dead Sea and Masada in all our tours.