Floating/swimming in the Dead Sea is an incredible experience, and you don’t have to pay a lot of money staying at a spa resort to take a dip!
If you’re travelling overland through Jordan, take the Dead Sea Highway and stop off somewhere and take a crafty dip for free.*
*I’m not sure if you’re really allowed to just stop and take a swim in the Dead Sea, so perhaps take this advice with a pinch of salt!?
Tips for Swimming in the Dead Sea
1. Enjoy yourself… relax and float your cares away
The Dead Sea is about 8.5 times as salty as the ocean which means you can float… lie back and think of England! (maybe the wrong metaphor!?)
2. Wear sensible footware on the shore
The shore line and the bottom will often be made of hard, jagged crystalised salt which can be sharp and cut your feet. Wear trainers or flip flops and keep them on in the water.
3. Too much salt is bad for you!
The Dead Sea water is very acidic, so don’t swallow it and try not to get it in your eyes… you won’t enjoy it, trust me, I know!
4. Wash, wash and wash again
Wash yourself down after swimming to get the corrosive salt off as quickly as possible. If you are not at a spa use bottled water. If you go under the water, wash your eyes out with bottled water and gargle too – you may be left with a sore throat and red eyes, but you’ll survive.
5. Be careful…
You can drown – even in the Dead Sea…
Oh, and don’t take a dip near a Police check point!
Dead Sea Jordan 101
1) Although the Dead Sea area might be one of the safest places to sunbathe, as it’s known for therapeutic UVB solar radiation, don’t let that fool you into not wearing your sunscreen and re-applying every now and then.
We all know how those sun burns can get pretty nasty and could ruin the rest of your trip.
2) The Dead Sea’s world famous mineral black mud has a great soothing effect and is highly beneficial medically in treating skin conditions, but I would highly recommend you applying the mud first on a small area of your skin (your face not an option!) and leaving it for a while and check how your skin reacts to it before going ahead and slathering it all over, as people with sensitive skin might experience redness and itching.
The raw mud has high concentrate of minerals that might be too harsh for your skin, compared to the ones used in spas or sold commercially by manufacturers which tend to be less concentrated.
3) The Dead Sea’s soothing super salty water, some ten times saltier than sea water, is also rich in chloride salts of magnesium, sodium, potassium, bromine and several others.
So if you are thinking about jumping in head first, think again! As the smallest splash of water in your eye can leave you screaming like an opera queen. So I do recommend keeping your head above the water and wearing your sun glasses is a pretty good idea too.
4) The Dead Sea’s unusual buoyant water has attracted visitors since ancient times, so if you are opting to enjoy this exquisite natural spa and God made huge bath tub ala- Cleopatra and King Herod the great, I do suggest checking yourself first for any wounds or nits and cuts, because Oh-Boy does it hurt!
It’s not called “The salt lake” for nothing you know.
5) As you may know the Dead Sea is located at the lowest point on earth, over 400 meters below sea level. So while heading there I suggest grabbing a gum with you! Because the differences in pressure as you stroll down can get pretty uncomfortable especially for children or people with sinus or ear problems.
6) The Dead Sea isn’t called the Dead Sea for nothing; its high concentration of salt leaves almost no organic life to be able to survive in, although some form of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.
So what am getting to is go ahead and relax while you float around as no shark attack siren is about to go off like…EVER!