10 Fabulous Things To Do in Dead Sea, Jordan and Surroundings
A Guide on how to visit the Jordanian Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is probably one of the top highlights of every Jordan itinerary. Next to Petra and Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea is the third of Jordan’s major attractions which makes this country a compelling experience for every visitor. This post is about the best things to do in Dead Sea, Jordan.
Some may say that Jordan is still a bit off-radar. However, I can guarantee you that this will not be the status quo for a long time. Not only are low-cost airlines like Ryanair flying to Jordan, but on top, Jordan has plenty of historical attractions, great natural landscapes, and vibrant culture.
The Dead Sea is definitely a must of every trip to Jordan. Let’s start with a Dead Sea fun fact: it is the lowest place on earth that you can actually visit!
Coveted for its health benefits, the Dead Sea is a great day trip from Amman. In fact, the trip from Amman, Jordan to Dead Sea will take about 1 hour. However, I recommend staying at least 2 days in the Dead Sea area as a longer stay will enhance the relaxing effect of the spa treatments that you’ll enjoy here.
On top, there are plenty of (also more active) things to do in Dead Sea Jordan, in case you get ever tired being pampered.
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Useful Travel Information To Visit Jordan’s Dead Sea
Find the best Hotel Deals in Jordan with TripAdvisor Hotels
Best tours and activities in Jordan with GetYourGuide
Rent a car with the best discounts at DiscoverCarHire
The best discounted Outdoor Gear at REI.com – Outlet
✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I get mine at WorldNomads
⚘ Get a travel guide in order to prepare your trip. I recommend Lonely Planet Jordan Guide (get -10% off with code “PAULINA10”)
Best Dead Sea Hotels, Jordan – Where To Stay
Budget Hotels in the Dead Sea, Jordan:
Mid-Range Resorts in the Dead Sea, Jordan:
Luxury Resorts in the Dead Sea, Jordan:
My favorite Dead Sea Resort, Jordan
I stayed in the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa***** and had a lovely stay. It’s just the right mix between a laid-back feeling and luxury. Besides the staff going always the extra-mile, I loved the direct access to the beach and the heated pool. Book here your stay
The sunset from the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa ***** infinity pool is probably one of the most memorable ones I’ve experienced so far. The hotel comes with several dining options, but my favorite was “1312” with its delicious Lebanese cuisine and Bacchus, an Italian restaurant where we had enjoyable chats with the staff.
The welcoming atmosphere really made me feel at home and was one of the best Dead Sea hotels to fuel up before heading to Wadi Rum desert and Petra.
1. The History of the Dead Sea of Jordan.. and why it matters!
First things first: Why is the Dead Sea dead? Well, it is so salty that no animals like fish can live in it. However, that doesn’t mean that it is COMPLETELY dead. As a matter of fact, the Dead Sea boasts of countless microorganisms such as several bacteria and microscopic algae. And still, there are loads of minerals hosted within the salt.
Testimonials of the importance of the Dead Sea go back (literally) to biblical times. Many of the most important biblical scenes are linked to the Dead Sea and its unique natural setting. No wonder that many combine their holidays to Jordan Dead Sea with a visit to the biblical sites.
Indeed, the phenomenon of this extremely salty sea has been intriguing people for thousands of years. However, it is not only a natural attraction, but the Dead Sea is also vital for flora and fauna of the regions.
It is super important to understand the importance of the Dead Sea in order to preserve it for future generations. Indeed, the Dead Sea is actually dying.
With the weather getting warmer, thus accelerating evaporation, and with longer dry seasons and the sweet river inflows being limited, the size of the Dead Sea is decreasing every year by a whopping 10 cm.
If you walk along the shore, you’ll see the traces of the former sea levels. There are plans to create a channel between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea in order to fuel it up. However, I ignore when it will be implemented.
2. Enjoying wellness at Dead Sea resorts
Time to unwind. If you are looking for a luxury experience in Jordan, the Dead Sea is the place! Even though there are luxury options in Wadi Rum and Aqaba as well, opting for a luxury experience in the Deadsea, Jordan will come with several benefits.
First, it is important to consider that there are hardly any public beaches in the Dead Sea. The coast is rocky, thus the access to the shore is not easy. But even on the public beaches, you need to pay for entrance. Not many of them have a shower. However, I can guarantee you that you’ll be craving a shower after floating in the Dead Sea.
As soon as the salt dries, it starts to itch a lot. Thus, I recommend asking for a Dead Sea Jordan day pass to a resort’s beach.
Staying at one of the luxury properties is thus very convenient as you’ll enjoy your spa treatments at the beach. There are sun loungers, secured mud pools and safe access to the sea. I was super glad that my room was only a short walk away because there is nothing I hate more than having to drive after a spa experience.
During my visit, I stayed in the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa*****. Recently opened, I particularly liked the laid-back, but a sophisticated atmosphere of the resort. The lobby is spectacular and there are several pools with gorgeous views on the Dead Sea and the mountains.
Besides the spa treatments, the absolute highlight of Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa***** is its infinity pool which is an epic place to enjoy the sunsets of Dead Sea. I have no idea why the sunsets of the Dead Sea are SO dramatically colorful, but I can’t remember to have seen similar ones so far.
The hotel implemented several sustainability policies. All the straws are banned, only local and seasonal food is served and 70% of its employees are locals. I also want to give a big shoutout to the staff.
They truly make your stay exceptional and we loved to chat with the staff of the Lebanese restaurant “1312” and the Italian dinner (open to the public).
3. Enjoy Health Benefits of Dead Sea
Having a bath in the Dead Sea followed by getting covered by mud is not only a fun thing to do, but it also has many benefits for your health.
So, how much salt is in the Dead Sea?
In comparison to a regular sea that has 3% salt, the Dead Sea has over 30% salt concentration. The salt is a concentration of over 20 minerals including calcium, potassium, bromide, and magnesium. Many of them cannot be found in any other ocean.
Every mineral has at least one beneficial effect on your health and your skin.
Calcium relieves skin cells and cleans pores, bromide has a relaxing effect and has anti-inflammatory effects, iodine helps to regulate the metabolic energy, potassium is great for oxidation and sulfur is the best you can do if you have skin disorders such as eczema.
They also say that the minerals of the Dead Sea are great to help against heart diseases, rheumatism, and arthritis.
Read more here about the health benefits of the Dead Sea.
4. Floating in the Deadsea, Jordan
Floating in the Dead Sea is not only one of the funniest things to do when visiting the Dead Sea Jordan, but it comes also with several benefits for your health.
Whereas many think that the Dead Sea is a mandatory stop on any Jordan Itinerary (whether 10 days or less), just because of the legendary pictures of people reading newspapers in the water, there is so much more behind floating in the Dead Sea.
Indeed, it is claimed that a bath cleans the body from toxins and that it will give you a boost of energy. As you’ll be completely weightless and not standing upright, you’ll feel light like a feather. For me, it was one of the best things to do in Jordan.
When floating in the Dead Sea, a lot of blood will be moved to your abdomen area which will put some light pressure on your kidneys. This will urge you to evacuate your toxins.
I don’t recommend shaving before floating in the Dead Sea as the high Dead Sea salt concentration will enter your pores and itch a lot.
How long can you stay in the Dead Sea? Well, they say that you should not stay longer than 15 minutes in the Dead Sea.
Most hotels near Dead Sea Jordan have their own beach where you can go for a swim… or rather afloat.
5. Enjoy a Mud Bath in the Dead Sea
A mud bath is the next step of your Dead Sea spa treatment. It means that you’ll get all covered up in mud and have to wait for at least 15 minutes.
Usually, there is a mud pool close to the hotel’s beach from where you can take the mud and put it on your skin. I really found it a very relaxing experience … just laying down and waiting for the mud to dry.
However, during these 15 minutes, a lot is going on on your skin! Not only are skin impurities being reduced, but the mud will also soothe back pain and give relief for arthritis. Also, acne can be treated with Dead Sea mud of Jordan.
6. Rinse it off the Dead Sea Salt
After resting for 15 minutes, all covered up in Dead Sea mud, it is about time to rinse it off!
You can either go the gentle way and just have a bath in the Dead Sea or you can ask for a rinsing peeling after the bath. Indeed, the peeling is part of many spa sessions offered at many hotels near the Dead Sea.
I just went for the bath and already then, my skin was like SUPER soft! I cannot remember when I had such a soft, baby skin. After the treatment, I was extremely relaxed, even a bit tired and I had the siesta of my life in a glorious bed of Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa*****.
7. Wander Along The Best Dead Sea Beach, Jordan
The Dead Sea shore is one of the prettiest things I have seen in my entire life! The entire shore is bright white, the shallow water is turquoise and all this in front of the towering ocker-colored rocks of Wadi Mujib.
From the shores of the Dead Sea Jordan side, you’ll have a spectacular view on the Israeli/Palestinian side and its gorgeous mountains.
If you drive further south, you’ll spot the Salinas which are also an intriguing attraction of the Dead Sea, Jordan. Sadly, when walking along the Dead Sea shore, you’ll spot the fine lines that indicate the former levels of the Dead Sea.
From here, it is only a stone’s throw to Wadi Mujib which is considered one of the best hikes in Jordan. During our visit, it was closed due to the floods. Book here your guided Wadi Mujib hike.
8. Enjoy Epic Sunsets
I don’t know what it is that makes the sunsets at Dead Sea Jordan so colorful and bright. Is there any influence of the salty sea on the sky or any other causality that I don’t know about?
Whatever may be the reason for the incredibly saturated colors of the sunsets at the Dead Sea, I will remember them forever as being some of the prettiest I have seen so far!
The sun sets relatively early, so I recommend grabbing a drink and get a comfortable lounger in order to enjoy this spectacle made by Mother Nature from the first row.
Is there any better place than an infinity pool like at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa***** to immerse yourself in the mystical atmosphere of the sun setting behind the “Promised Land”?
9. Indulge in Jordanian Food
A Dead Sea vacation would not be complete without indulging in delicious Jordanian food. For me, food is an essential part of every trip and if I am enjoying a few wellness days, tasty food prepared with natural ingredients is a must.
There are several ways to enjoy traditional Jordanian food near the Dead Sea, Jordan. The easiest way is to try the local products at your hotel. Almost every hotel has a restaurant with traditional Jordanian dishes.
Also at the breakfast buffet, I recommend giving the local food a try.
This is one of many reasons why I loved staying at the Hilton Dead Sea Resort & Spa*****. The breakfast buffet was filled with the following typical Jordanian food:
- Labneh: a strained yogurt combined with some herbs that are used as a spread on bread
- Moutabel: a dip made of yogurt, tahini, and roasted eggplant
- Hummus: you’ll eat a lot of hummus in Jordan and every hummus tastes different. It consists of chickpeas, olive oil, lemon juice, and tahini
- Manakish: dough topped with olive oil, thyme herbs mix, eggs, and halloumi cheese
- Kanafeh: a super sweet dessert consisting of melted cheese, syrup, semolina and often topped with pistachios
If you are not staying in a Dead Sea spa resort, you will still be able to enjoy some tasty Jordanian food. You should know that many restaurants in the resorts take reservations from people that are not staying in the hotel.
Without any doubt, the best place to enjoy Jordanian food at the Dead Sea in a unique setting is the Dead Sea Panorama restaurant. With jaw-dropping views, you’ll indulge in hummus and labneh until your stomach will hurt.
10. Stock up on Dead Sea Products Jordan
Dead Sea Products are a must when visiting the Dead Sea of Jordan. You did a Dead Sea spa treatment and you can’t get enough of it? Well, there are loads of possibilities to buy Dead Sea products and take them back home.
Whereas the products are sold all over Jordan, I highly recommend reading the ingredients list, as many contain a lot of perfume.
Where to get Dead Sea Mud, Jordan?
I compared a few brands and the following make the most convincing impression of being genuine and the best dead sea products:
Day Tours from Dead Sea, Jordan – What to do in the Surroundings
If you are like me and you really can’t hold still for a long time, I highly recommend going on a day trip from Dead Sea, Jordan. There are plenty of things to do in its surroundings and whether you’re into history or active traveling, the area of Dead Sea Jordan has got it!
1. Madaba and Mount Nebo
While I haven’t been to Madaba (we only stayed 10 days in Jordan and had to limit ourselves), I heard that the town is a great place to visit for those who love culture and history. The town is known for its collection of Byzantine mosaics. The most famous one is in St. George’s church but there are a few more in other parts of Madaba. Madaba also holds one of Jordan’s largest Christian communities. The market of Madaba is yet another highlight that you should include in your travel plans. Book here your trip to Madaba and Mount Nebo
When visiting Dead Sea Jordan, you should definitely pass along Mount Nebo. It can be visited when driving from Amman to Dead Sea. It’s said that Moses saw the promised land for the first time from Mount Nebo.
Whereas the views were limited during our visit due to the opaque clouds, on a sunny day, the view from Mount Nebo must be out of this world. Book here your day trip from Amman, Jordan – Dead Sea.
The most popular sights of Mount Nebo are the Memorial Viewpoint (2 JOD) and the Moses Memorial Church (2 JOD) which hosts some of the best mosaics in Jordan.
Moses is supposed to be buried in the area which holds several other religious sites such as Moses spring and the church of SS Lot & Procopius.
I highly recommend taking the downhill road from Mount Nebo to the Dead Sea. It’s one of the most scenic routes and offers spectacular views on the Dead Sea. Book here your trip to Madaba and Mount Nebo
2. Bethany Beyond the Jordan
I was very astonished to learn how many (Catholic) religious sites are located on Jordanian ground. One of the most important ones is probably Bethany-Beyond-the-Jordan at a 20 minutes drive from the Dead Sea resort area.
It is said, and this is supported by archaeologists, that it is here where John the Baptist used to preach and where Jesus was baptized. It’s also supposed to be the place where the first apostles met.
If you want to visit, make sure to bring your passport, as the site is very close to the sensitive border of Palestine and Israel. Tours start every 30 minutes.
Among the sites that you’ll visit, is the spring of John the Baptist, the site of Jesus’ baptism, the Jordan River and Tell Elias, where Elijah should have ascended to heaven.
Bethany Beyond the Jordan is thus the perfect day tour from the Dead Sea, Jordan
3. Wadi Mujib
Unfortunately, during our visit, Wadi Mujib was closed due to floods and rising water.
The wet trail is the most popular one, but there are also several ones where you can keep dry. Wadi Mujib is open for hikers from April to October.
4. Dead Sea Panoramic Complex
The Dead Sea Panoramic Restaurant is only a 30 minutes drive away from the main resort area of the Dead Sea. After many serpentines, you’ll have made your way to one of the most spectacular views on the Dead Sea and the Judaea Mountains.
When we visited, the fee was 7 JOD (subject to change) and includes the entrance to the Dead Sea Panorama Restaurant which is a great dining location.
The complex hosts the Dead Sea Museum which gives you a great insight into geology and history of the Dead Sea.
The fee seemed a bit high to us, especially because we were short in time. Instead, we drove off the road, parked the car in the desert and walked by foot to the cliff’s edge.
The views were the same and we met a Bedouin community with a few Syrian refugees who invited us for tea.
Karak is the perfect day tour from the Dead Sea when you are a history buff. Located at almost a 1 h drive (which is super scenic though!) Karak is famous for its imposing fortress. It used to be a stronghold from the crusaders and it’s said that it was the place of a legendary battle between Crusaders and the Islamic armies of Saladin.
The visit of the fortress is free with the Jordan Pass.
From the fortress, you’ll enjoy the best views of the valley and the town. Also, the town itself is quite worth a visit as it allows you to enjoy everyday life in a medium-sized Jordanian town. I found it a great place to do some shopping.
I hope this post inspired you to visit the Dead Sea in Jordan. Have you been? Are you planning to go? I am looking forward to hearing from you in the comment form.
Travel Tips to Visit Jordan’s Dead Sea
How to get to the Dead Sea:
Located at 1 hour from Amman, you can easily visit Dead Sea Jordan in one day. If you travel from Amman, take the detour via Mount Nebo. They say that’s where Moses saw the Promised Land for the first time. The views are truly gorgeous and there are several religious sites such as Moses’ spring that can be visited.
Jordan is small so I really recommend renting a car in order to make the most out of your journey. Discover here the best prices for car rental in Jordan.
Read more: The perfect 10-Day Itinerary to Jordan
How to go from Amman, Jordan to Dead Sea:
55 km, 1-hour drive
Tours: You can visit the Dead Sea with a day tour from Amman. Book here your day tour from Amman to the Dead Sea.
How to go from Dead to Petra:
197 km, 3 hours drive
Tours: You can visit the Dead Sea with a day tour from Petra. Book here your day tour from Petra to the Dead Sea.
Aqaba to Dead Sea Distance:
273 km, 3 hours drive
Tours: You can visit the Dead Sea with a day tour from Aqaba. Book here your day tour from Aqaba to the Dead Sea.
When to visit the Dead Sea:
The best time to visit Dead Sea Jordan is around February and November because it gets really hot from May to October and quite cold around December and January. Weekends are usually quite busy, especially on public beaches.
It is important to know that there are hardly any budget options for Dead Sea Jordan tourism. Thus if you want to splurge, this is the place to do so! However, in this post, I will also provide some tips for those of you who are traveling with a tighter budget ( +/- 80 €/night).
What’s the best Dead Sea Beach, Jordan?
Please notice that there are hardly any public beaches in the Dead Sea. The coast is rocky, thus the access to the shore is not easy. Even on the public beaches, you need to pay for entrance. Not many of them have a shower. However, I can guarantee you that you’ll be craving a shower after floating in the Dead Sea. As soon as the salt dries, it starts to itch a lot.
Thus, I recommend asking for a Dead Sea Jordan day pass to a resort’s beach
Tips for budget travelers:
Calculate 20 JOD to enter the public “Amman beach”. Most beaches are private though. A Day Pass, Dead Sea Jordan can be requested at resorts to enjoy their private beaches.
“Oh Beach” Dead Sea (15 JOD) is a private beach with infinity pools where you can enjoy the treatments in comfort without staying at a luxury resort.
Safety Tips for your Dead Sea Visit in Jordan:
- Comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals are essential when traveling to warm countries like Jordan.
- Remember your Sunscreen! The sun is strong and you can get some serious sunburn if not careful. I always take with me my eco-friendly sunscreen by Thinksport.
- Don’t shave before your Dead Sea dip. The itchiness will drive you crazy. Do it a few days before in order to give your pores time to heal.
Make sure you always carry cool water with you! It’s warm and salt so it’s vital to stay well-hydrated. Check out my favorite vacuum-insulated water bottle in my store.
Dead Sea, Jordan on Google Maps
Before You Go: Top Tips for your Trip
- You’ll snap a ton of photos and I love to take my GoPro in order to shoot even in extreme situations.
- Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and hiking sandals when traveling to warm countries.
- Sunscreen is key! I always take with me my eco-friendly sunscreen by Thinksport.
- I always carry a light rain jacket, just in case.
- Travel insurance is essential! If you haven’t already obtained travel insurance for your trip, travel protected against all odds with World Nomads.
To make the most of your Jordan trip, I recommend Lonely Planet Jordan