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Israel The Dead Sea

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Vacation and Healing in the Desert


To reach the highest place on Earth one must be a skilled and experienced climber.

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Dead Sea



To reach the highest place on Earth one must be a skilled and experienced climber. To reach the lowest place on Earth all one has to do is come to Israel, where the Dead Sea - one of the most exciting natural sites in the world - lies 417 meters below sea level.

The Dead Sea is a body of water at the centre of a deep geological fault line extending from Syria to Africa. It is 45 kilometres long and 14 kilometres wide at its widest point. It is also the saltiest body of water on Earth, and its concentration of salt is as high as 340 grams per litre - ten times that of the water of the Mediterranean. People bathing in the Dead Sea can float effortlessly on the water and enjoy the warm sun and desert wind, but no organisms live in its waters, which is why it is called the Dead Sea.

The lack of life is, however, very healthy. The rich mineral content of the water, healthful bromide fumes, high concentration of oxygen in the air, special medicinal mud, hot springs, and naturally filtered sunlight have all made the Dead Sea a centre for health and healing. Tourists and visitors come from all over the world to rest, seek healing, enjoy the hotels and spas, and marvel at the beautiful desert landscape.

There is a lot to see in the area including sculpted salt formations that line the shores of the sea, remains of ancient settlements on the hillsides, and springs emerging from the feet of the desert cliffs. Visitors to the area can see unique desert animals such as gazelles, jerboas, and desert lizards, as well as desert plants and flowers.

A thriving tourist industry has sprung up around the shore of the Dead Sea that offers challenges to visitors wishing to hike, ride on donkeys or camels, rappel down cliffs, take jeep excursions or bicycle hikes. Visitors can also visit enchanting natural oases such as Ein Gedi, Nakhal Arugot, and Nakhal David. Nearby historical sites include Metsada (Massada) and the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered.

www.deadsea.co.il

Things to See & Do

Qumran - The Dead Sea Scrolls
Ancient caves and settlement on the northern shores of the Dead Sea where the oldest biblical documents ever found trace the history and daily lives of the mystical Essenes, a Jewish sect that fled Jerusalem 2000 years ago. Open seven days a week from 8am. Closing hours: October to March - 4pm, April to September - 5pm. Closes one hour earlier on Fridays and eve of Jewish holidays .

Masada - Mountaintop Fortress
A mountaintop fortress which King Herod transformed in 35 BC into a 3 tiered winter home. Easily accessible via a quick cable car ride or by hiking up the serpentine path. Located only 18 km north of the Ein Bokek hotel area. Open seven days a week.
First cable car - 8am. October to March - 4pm, April to September - 5pm.

Masada Sound and Light Show
Recounts the dramatic history of Masada with special pyrotechnic effects. Spectators sit in a natural amphitheatrer on the west side of the mountain, reachable only via Arad , 20 km away. April to October - Tuesday and Thursday (excluding holiday eves). Running time: 40 minutes (Tel: 972-8-9959333)


Ein Gedi Oasis and Kibbutz
A real oasis with lush vegetation, nestled between two streams, amidst the arid landscape. Today, fresh spring water from Ein Gedi is bottled here.

Ein Gedi Nature Reserve
Situated near the Kibbutz, visitors have access to the adjacent nature reserve for viewing bird sanctuaries and wildlife of the desert, including the Nubian ibex. Hikers have the choice of following two riverbeds and can follow trails past waterfalls, springs, caves, canyons and an early Bronze Age temple.

Beaches


The Dead Sea air contains such a high concentration of oxygen, that you’ll notice the difference in your breathing whether you’re relaxing or engaging in sport activities.

Relax at Ein Bokek Public beach (Tel: 972-8-6594433), or Ein Geidi Public beach (Tel: 972-8-6594433), alternatively, Hamai Zohar Public Beach offers separate bathing for men and women (Tel: 972-8-6594433). The signature element of the Dead Sea - black mud, has both cosmetic and therapeutic benefits known to cleanse and stimulate the skin. Relive muscle and emotional tension; improve blood circulation and ease rheumatic pain at Ein Geidi Spa beach (Tel: 972-8-6594413). Visit Mineral Beach, which also includes a fresh water beach and public pool (Tel: 972-2-9944888).

Transport


From The Northern Dead Sea to..
Ein bokek, Southern Dead Sea - 68 km
Masada - 50 km
Arad - 98 km
Ein Gedi - 37 km
Jerusalem - 39 km
Ben-Gurion Int. Airport, near tel Aviv – 83 km
Tel Aviv - 98 km
Ovda Int. Airport, Near Eilat - 211 km
Eilat - 288 km

From The Southern Dead Sea to..
Masada - 18 km
Arad - 30 km
Ein Gedi - 31 km
Qumran, Northern Dead Sea - 68 km
Jerusalem - 107 km
Ben-Gurion Int. Airport, near tel Aviv - 151km
Tel Aviv - 170 km
Ovda Int. Airport, Near Eilat - 143 km
Eilat - 220 km


 

 Sites & Attractions

 
Qumran, overlooking the Dead Sea, is where the Dead Sea Scrolls, among which are the ol...
The oasis of Ein Gedi on the shore of the Dead Sea combines a wild, natural setting, hi...
The magnificent antiquities of the lofty desert fortress of Massada, overlooking the De...
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth (417 meters below sea level) and the saltiest...
In the landscape of the serene desert frontier, at the foot of Mount Amasa, and on the...
Light and Sound Show at the foot of Massada (Metsada) National Park, presenting the way...
 

 Accommodations

 
The hotel offers regular rooms and suites, a large spa with three outdoor pools, tannin...
Basic rooms for two or three people and seven larger suites. The hotel's spa has a cove...
The Arad hostel is located in the city of Arad in the heart of the Negev desert.
The Ein Gedi Hostel offers views of the Dead Sea and the magnificent cliffs of the Jude...
Attractions