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A float in the Dead Sea is that quintessential Israeli experience featured on every travel brochure. But the Dead Sea area offers more than the thrill of floating in extremely salty and mineral-rich water, there are also archaeological sites, health resorts and desert hikes. Most visitors begin their visit with a dip in the sea at Ein Gedi. The sting of the salt and minerals keeps the process brief. Ein Bokek is the place to go for a full-on spa treatment. The wellness resorts that pack the small town offer everything from massage sessions to Dead Sea salt scrubs. The mountains west of the Dead Sea are dotted with little springs and ...

A float in the Dead Sea is that quintessential Israeli experience featured on every travel brochure. But the Dead Sea area offers more than the thrill of floating in extremely salty and mineral-rich water, there are also archaeological sites, health resorts and desert hikes. Most visitors begin their visit with a dip in the sea at Ein Gedi. The sting of the salt and minerals keeps the process brief. Ein Bokek is the place to go for a full-on spa treatment. The wellness resorts that pack the small town offer everything from massage sessions to Dead Sea salt scrubs. The mountains west of the Dead Sea are dotted with little springs and waterfalls that create a veritable oasis in the desert. At Wadi David, the pools give life to an ecosystem thick with trees and reeds; it makes for some great hiking. North of Ein Gedi, Qumran National Park is where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in the 1940s. You can learn about the history of the scrolls and see the caves where they were hidden. A more spectacular archaeological complex can be found at Masada, the mountain-top fortress and sanctuary of King Herod. Take the cable car to the top for an unforgettable sunrise.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east, and Palestine and Israel to the west. Its surface and shores are 427 metres below sea level, Earth's lowest elevation on land.
  • Language: Hebrew; Arabic; English
  • Currency: Israeli Shekel
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    October to April