The Dead Sea is one of the craziest experiences in Israel. You can literally float in the Dead Sea water because of the salt content. Yes, you can straight up float in the Dead Sea. It’s 1300 feet below sea level and is filled with natural minerals, like salt. This experience is said to be therapeutic, and the sea salts are sold all over the world for bath salts, face masks, and skin products. When visiting the sea yourself, you can take the mud and salt content from the bottom of the sea and rub it onto your skin and body for a day spa. Regular
A Dead Sea Trip: How to get there
The Dead Sea is only about 21 miles outside of the city of Jerusalem. This is a close half-day trip outside the city or a whole day relaxing at one of the many beaches along the Dead Sea. You can use the mineral packed water and mud to lather on yourself as a personal spa and layout appreciating the natural spa. You have several options to get there. The right choice will depend on your itinerary, budget, and timeline.
Rent a car-
Car rentals are the easiest way to get around and are fairly budget from the airport. If you are touring way up north as well, it probably makes more financial sense to rent a car for your trip. However, if you are just going south of Jerusalem, then small group tours are the way to go.
This is possible but kind of a sketchy option, and you are far out in the middle of nowhere with different varying bus times. Also, with Friday and Saturday, public transit stops for the Sabbath, so weekend travel using public transit is a no go for Jerusalem. There are about a dozen buses a day (numbers 444 and 486), run by Egged, that go from Jerusalem’s central bus station to the Dead Sea. If you catch the first bus of the day (usually at 7 am), it could be possible to also take a short hike at Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, visit Masada, and swim at Ein Bokek before catching the last evening bus back to Jerusalem. This could be risky trying to fit in and catch the bus on time.
This is normally the most convenient way to get out of the city besides renting your own car. The best budget tours outside the city run through Abraham’s Hostel. There is a Dead Sea tour with them for only $40!! This is the cheapest tour that you can find in the city. There are also packages with them you can do that include nearby attractions like Masada National Park and En Gedi Reserve. The package tours cost only $77 a person! These tours normally cost a lot more with other groups, usually $100’s dollars per person. I highly recommend
Dead Sea: Cost
Every beach stop along the coast of the Dead Sea is public and free to enter and enjoy! There are some parking fees, depending on your transportation situation and the individual beach. If you pay to take a group tour, your fee will be included into the transportation to get you there!
A Dead Sea Trip: When to Visit
November to May is the coolest time of the year which is best. November temperatures are in the 80s and rise to the early
Dead Sea Beaches
Kalia beach & Biankini beach (north)
These beaches are right next to each other in the north. They both have swimming pools, showers, bars, and restaurants. This is the more low-key local area that is away from the hotels and larger tourism of the most popular southern beaches. These are public beaches and are technically free to enter. If you are looking for a quieter, more local seashore experience, this is the choice for you.
Ein Bokek Beaches (south)
Ein Bokek Beaches are known as the most beautiful beaches on the Dead Sea with the largest and nicest section of sand and shore to relax. This beach also has the nicest hotels nearby with plenty of options to get food, drinks, go to the spa. You can access these even if you aren’t a guest. There is a newer promenade that connects them all. The beaches are public and free to use other than a parking fee (5 shekels per hour or 25 shekels per day). This is the hotels zone. If you are looking for spas, meals in nicer hotels, and an overall higher-end Dead Sea experience, then this is the spot. The hotels have their own mud spas and private sections of the Dead Sea as well. These beaches have showers, restrooms, and even lifeguards.
The cheapest way to stay and spend more time at the Dead Sea is to camp. There are plenty of luxury hotels along the Dead Sea with spas inside of them, but I have included the coolest outdoor and camping experiences for the more adventurous.
Khan Ein Gedi
This is a campground by En Gedi that has tents and shared bathrooms and showers. They have a bar and a huge shaded lounge area with seating. It’s a cool campground that is on a central part of the coast. The lounge of the campground is a bohemian desert vibe that is artistic and relaxed. This is by far one of the nicest campgrounds in the area.
Nahal Mishmar Campground
This campground is 8.5 km south of the Khan En Gedi campground area. It is also 10.5 km north of Masada National Park. It’s a bit more back in the desert brush off of the Dead Sea away from the shore. This is a more rugged dispersed camping area that has no facilities and for tent camping.
Campsite River Soar
This is another very dispersed rugged campsite with no facilities. The first campground listed farther up north is definitely the nicest facility available with bathrooms and an actual hangout area. If you want
Dead Sea Floating Tips
- All Jewelry will tarnish in the water, don’t wear it!
- The salt content will sting badly if you shave the day before
- There are lots of sharp rocks on the seashore, so bring good water sandals or shoes
- Do not splash or dunk your head under your eyes, it will sting very badly
Things to do Nearby
Masada National Park
This park is right outside the second campsite I wrote about above. There is a campground inside the national park that you can also stay at! This national park has ancient ruins, camping, a cable car with views of the Dead Sea and city. There are several nice nature trails through the ruins. More park information and tickets can be found here.
Masada National Park Entry Fee
Adult 28 shekels
Child 18 shekels
Adult Group (23 per person) shekels
Child group (13 each person) shekels
Cable Car Cost (2 ways)
Adult 48 shekels
Child 28 shekels
This is a beautiful nature reserve with trails, pools, natural waterfalls, and scenic viewpoints of the Dead Sea. There are caves, streams, and the park is the largest nature reserve in the country. There are maps, trails, and all kinds of helpful park information here.
Daylight saving time: Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 17:00 – 08:00On Fridays and holiday eves: 16:00 – 08:00
Winter time:Sunday – Thursday and Saturday: 16:00 – 08:00on Fridays
Holiday eves: 15:00 – 8:00on New Year’s Eve and on the eve of Pesach:13:00 – 08:00on Yom Kippur: 13:00 – 08:00
Adult 28 shekels
Child 14 shekels