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Dead Sea

At 431m below sea level – the lowest point on earth – the Dead Sea is a body of intense blue water, polished smooth like oiled skin on a windless day in winter and ruffled into whitecaps by the summer winds.

Dead Sea salts and minerals have long been exploited for their skin-friendly properties. While swimming, the extreme salinity will help you discover cuts you never knew you had (don’t shave beforehand), and be prepared for a few minutes of agony if any water gets in your eyes. 'Swimming’ is actually a misnomer – the buoyancy makes it difficult to do much more than happily bob.

The northeast coast is lined with luxury resorts. Here you can enjoy a spa treatment, watch the sunset across the water and look across to the West Bank and the distant lights of Jerusalem.

The Dead Sea is also an easy day trip from Amman or Madaba.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Dead Sea.