Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Floating in the Dead Sea in Jordan


Floating in the Dead Sea was one of the experiences I looked forward to the most in Jordan.  It’s one of those unique travel experiences that can only be had in this tiny part of the Middle East.

The Dead Sea, named because no life can survive in it, is a big source of pride for Jordanians.  It seemed like every time fish was served in a restaurant, a Jordanian would point to it and joke, “From the Dead Sea.”  Soon, I was beating them to the punchline, and they laughed and laughed.

Because of the high salt content — caused by the Dead Sea being 430 meters below sea level, which causes it to evaporate faster than usual — you can’t snorkel or dive in the Dead Sea (plus, there’s no marine life to be seen), nor should you submerge your head underwater.

But you can float!

Floating in the Dead Sea could not be easier to do.  The high salt content allows you to float without any effort whatsoever.  I’ve even seen people read newspapers while floating in the Dead Sea!

You can float so many ways. Float on your back, float on your belly (but be prepared to do a hell of a back-bend to keep your head above water — and don’t get any of that salty, salty water in your mouth!!), even float while standing up. The Dead Sea will accommodate all kinds of floating.

After floating, it’s time for the best part: GETTING MUDDY!

The mineral-rich Dead Sea mud is world renowned for its healing properties.  Supposedly, it can cure hundreds of mysterious skin ailments.  Head to Sephora or any high-end beauty store and you’ll find dozens of skincare products with Dead Sea minerals.

I put it to the test.  I went out to the bucket of mud and slathered it on thick all over my body.

This is not offensive, I swear!

And I was actually putting it to the test.  I’ve had eczema all my life, and though it’s under control now, it flares up when I switch climates quickly (which, as you can imagine, happens frequently these days).  When I was in Jordan, it was flaring up underneath my chin.

The mud hurt my eczema-afflicted skin a bit, but I left it on for the recommended 20 minutes before heading back into the Dead Sea to wash it off.

I’m glad I did — because over the next few days, the eczema dried up and flicked right off, new soft skin underneath.

I need to get more of this mud!

The Dead Sea is a popular destination for luxury spa vacations, and I could see myself taking a week to fully relax here. Imagine how good you’d look after a week of Dead Sea mud wraps!

The only thing?  Be careful of the rocks.  I gashed open the bottom of my left foot on a salt-encrusted rock, though I didn’t realize how severe it was until the lifeguard pointed out that I was leaving a trail of blood behind me.  Thankfully, he patched me up and determined I didn’t need stitches.

Want to learn more about the Dead Sea?  I did a video about it — while covered in mud, of course!

Many thanks to the Jordan Tourism Board for hosting me in Jordan.  All opinions, as always, are my own.

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23 Responses to “Floating in the Dead Sea in Jordan”
  1. Abhijit says:

    It’s almost difficult to believe that one can float standing up in the dead sea!

  2. Alex says:

    I can’t wait to do this someday! I recently did a mud mineral bath in Vietnam and I loved it. Playing in the mud- as children you would get punished for it. As adults, we pay for it!

  3. Julie says:

    Kate, how did your skin react while you were in SEA? I am headed there (and India) for a year and am concerned about my very sensitive skin freaking out and leaving me looking like a splotchy monster! Did you find the water harsh?

    • Honestly, my skin looked great most of the time! As soon as I got to Vietnam, I was virtually acne-free for the rest of the trip. The water wasn’t harsh and I don’t ordinarily get blotchy, so nothing happened there. The worst part was the mosquitos in Sihanoukville.

  4. Amanda says:

    How warm was the water in November?

  5. Wow. You look great covered in mud! Ha!

    I camped several nights on the Israeli side. Two things that surprised me: one was the greasy feeling I had on my skin for hours after coming out. The second was the way the salt gathered on sticks and things hanging over the water. Bizarre. Of course…the standing up floating thing was weird too.

  6. That’s the most informative post I’ve read about the dead sea. Everyone just says you can float. I didn’t know about the mud or why it’s so salty! Cheers for that. I would love to visit one day. Hopefully soon.

  7. Sabina says:

    I loved floating in the Dead Sea on the Israel side. When I was lying on my back I dipped my hair into the water to get it wet, and I could barely, barely lift my head up! It felt like there were 25 pounds of rocks tied to my hair. It was sooo heavy! So of course I kept dipping it again and again in water so I could feel that bizarre sensation over and over. And I know just what you mean about those rocks at the bottom. I started to walk in with bare feet but immediately realized there was no way because the rocks are so sharp! So I wore my sandals in, which got completely ruined, and which I then ended up throwing away 🙁

  8. Kelli Anne says:

    Kate, really loving these posts! I know almost nothing about Jordan/the entire area you are traveling in, so I feel like I’m learning so much from your blog! It’s so great to hear what the travel experience is like from someone!!

  9. This looks like an amazing trip. My interest in Jordan has really gone up since I started reading travel blogs this year.

  10. Great post! I too loved the Dead Sea. The sensation of floating is amazing. Loved it.

  11. Mark says:

    Bad idea. Her eyes were probably melting away the next day. The first thing they tell you is that you shouldn’t submerge your face under water.

    A friend of mine got into the sea with hemorrhoids. He then proceeded to spentd4 days in agony as his butt burnt harder than he had ever experienced in his life

  12. The eyes thing is terrible. The butt thing is hilarious.

    I know I sound like a hard ass but….butt….but…if you get to the Dead Sea and you dont know about the salt in the sea and the effects it has on open wounds and eyes….sheeeesh.

  13. Heather says:

    I spent time on the Israeli/Palestinian side of the Dead Sea & absolutely loved it! It seems to be one of the highlights to everyones trip in the Middle East! Although those rocks sure are tricky!

  14. Nice post – It has made me want to go to Jordan even more now! I have never been to the dead sea but it is certainly on my to-do list!

    The mud looks like so much fun – would love a good spa treatment right now.

    Thanks for sharing.

  15. Doug Sea says:

    I didn’t know about the Dead Sea until I travelled to Israel. What a wonderful place. I recently created a site which shows you how to take Salt, Mud, and other minerals from the Dead Sea and turn it into high quality cosmetics and other skin care products.

  16. We loved the Dead Sea as well. I never thought that the mud could actually make the skin baby soft….
    saved some money and did not get a spa treatment done!! Damn…I regret it 🙁

  17. L says:

    I was in the Dead Sea about a month ago and unfortunately put my hair in. It has now really affected the condition, so wouldn’t recommend this!

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