The Dead Sea isn’t apart of the official 7 world wonders, but it is definitely a world wonder.
If you didn’t know, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth, and is also the 4th saltiest place on Earth!
Today I am going to share with all the must-know information about the Dead Sea, and how to plan a Tel Aviv to Dead Sea trip. It can always be done in a day trip, but there’s a lot to be seen along the way. I recommend a 3-days weekend travel itinerary to Israel’s Dead Sea!
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A Little Background on the Dead Sea
First of all, a little background about the Dead Sea:
The Dead Sea (ים המלח=Sea of Salt) is a salt lake bordered by Jordan the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west.
Its main tributary is the Jordan River.
The Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth! Its surface and shores are 1,412 ft (430.5 meters) below sea level.
Also, it is 997 ft (304 meters) deep, and is also the deepest hypersaline lake in the world!
If you didn’t know, the Dead Sea is one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water – it is 9.6 times as salty as the ocean!
What makes you float instead of swimming in the Dead Sea is that it has a density of 1.24 kg. It’s that salty water that makes you float!
Why is it Called the Dead Sea?
Because the Dead Sea is so salty, it is impossible for animals to live there and for plants to survive there!
Each year the Dead Sea attracts so many visitors from all around the world!
And I’ll tell you this – the Dead Sea is a gem – it was one of the world’s first health resorts and it has been the supplier of a huge variety of products for thousands of years!
Fun Facts About the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea isn’t really a sea, it is actually a lake
It is located at the lowest point on Earth!
The Dead Sea has incredible healing powers
It’s one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water!
The Dead Sea mud is amazing for your skin!
There is no life inside the Dead Sea
The lowest road on Earth is Highway 90, which runs along the Israeli and West Bank shores of the Dead Sea!
Sunbathing at the Dead Sea has less of a sunburn risk than other destinations.
Whilst the Dead Sea is one of Israel’s most popular tourist destinations, it’s disappearing at an alarming rate. Its surface level is dropping by more than one meter every year and it’s only half the length it was just a century ago.
It is possible to drown in the Dead Sea
After some information and facts about the Dead Sea, this is how you spend a weekend in Israel’s Dead Sea!
How to get There: Tel Aviv to Dead Sea Transportation Options
How to get to the Dead Sea?
Honestly, in Israel, the Dead Sea is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. So it isn’t the easiest to get there, but it is possible and definitely worth it!
By Car – if you decided to rent a car while visiting Israel, driving to the Dead Sea is the best, easiest and also most beautiful way (because you can stop at beautiful viewpoints in the desert and enjoy your way to the Dead Sea).
By Train – I’ll start off by saying that you travel Tel Aviv to Dead Sea with a direct train because there are no train stations near the Dead Sea.
So how do you get there by train?
You can take a train to the most southern city in Israel that has a train – Dimona, and from there take a bus (the best one is line 384) to the Dead Sea!
By Bus – You can take a direct bus to the Tel-Aviv to Dead Sea attractions. There is a direct bus line from the Arluzeruv central bus station in Tel-Aviv. No matter where you are in Israel, you can get to this central bus station using any train, and take the bus to the Dead Sea.
Because the ride is long, I highly recommend going on a night drive and sleeping all the way, waking up in the morning at the lowest point on Earth
Things to do in Dead Sea Trips
Stay at a Luxury Dead Sea Resort
One of my favorite things about the Dead Sea is that it has the most beautiful, spoiling, but totally affordable hotels!
When you search online for hotels in the Dead Sea, write in the search section Ein Bokek – this is the hotels’ area in the Dead Sea.
Go Hiking at Ein Gedi Oasis
This is one of the most magical places in all of Israel’s desert.
Ein Gedi has everything in it – rich history, the beautiful dessert, unique caves, beautiful waterfalls, many animals, and amazing swimming holes.
What is perfect about Ein Gedi Oasis is that it has streams flowing all year round, and is perfect for visiting at any time! (except during massive rainy days at the winter).
Ein Gedi Oasis entrance fees are 28 NIS or about 8 USD.
Masada Sunrise Hike
This hike is highly recommended whether you like hikes and even if you don’t. You just can not skip a visit to this beautiful place!
Masada is one of the best places to see the sunrise in the Dead Sea. If you are visiting Israel during the summer, I will recommend starting your hike during sunrise anyways, because it gets extremely hot during the day.
My personal favorite hiking trail is the Snake Path Trail:
It is the main trail and the most popular way to get to the top. The trail takes about an hour or so to get to the top.
A few tips for hiking the Snake Path trail:
Arrive early – besides the fact it gets super hot during the day, and you won’t want to hike there at the hottest hours of the day, if you will come early you can avoid the lines and get there first!
Bring cash for the entrance fee – unlike most places in Israel, Masada does not accept credit cards. They do have a lot of spare change, so you will be okay, but no credit cards.
Hike Masada at a clear day – if you are flexible with your trip, try to do this hike on a clear day. The view from the top is breathtaking, and after all the hike, you will definitely want to see the view clearly. So avoid the disappointment and hike on a clear day!
The Snake Path trail entrance fee: 31 NIS
Visit and Float in the Dead Sea
This is the reason you did the Tel Aviv to Dead Sea trip! Get inside this world wonder, float around, rub some mud on your body, take pictures and have a good time!
BONUS: Where to find the iconic tree in the Dead Sea?
You probably seen the Dead Sea’s iconic tree located on a salt island in the middle of the Dead Sea all over social media in the past year or so, well – how do you get there?
This tree is definitely a mystery among visitors, and this salt island is THE Instagram pics hot spot!
How to get to the famous tree island?
The answer to this question is super simple – at the hotels’ area (called Ein Bokek, visit the Herods Hotel beach, the island is located in front of it, but there is some swimming to do, so keep that in mind.
When is the best time to visit the famous tree?
To be honest, when I went there last July, it was only on it’s beginning, and this summer it became super popular among Israeli and international travelers.
When I visited the island it was completely empty! But when I visited the Dead Sea last October, I saw that the island became so popular and was almost always crowded and full of people!
So I did a little research, and these are the best hours to visit the Dead Sea’s famous tree island:
If you are visiting during the day, keep in mind that you’ll have to share this beautiful island and your pictures with lots of people.
Also, after the tricky way of getting to the island, no one wants to leave the island quickly.
If you come during the weekend, it will be the most crowded because Israeli travelers will most likely be there as well.
The best time during weekdays to visit the island is in the late afternoon (5:30-6:00 pm) or early in the morning (7:30-9:00 am).
As a local, I’ll tell you that this island is one of the top Instagram-able places in Israel.
Beyond the beautiful pictures you can take here, it’s also such a fun experience, a peaceful place (when it isn’t crowded) and definitely feels like an adventure!
This article was written by Maya from travel-by-maya.com.
Maya is a full-time travel blogger that travels around the world and shares her adventures with the internet.
On her blog, you can find travel tips & hacks, travel recommendations and full travel guides to multiple destinations around the world!
How to Plan Your Own Trip to Israel
If you’ve got a trip to Israel on your bucket list, here are steps you can take to put all of Maya’s great tips into action.
Book a Flight
If you’re flying into Israel, you’ll want to land in Tel Aviv at Ben Gurion Airport. Search for flights using SkyScanner to find the best deals on airfare.
Search for Hotels
Agoda is the best hotel aggregator for finding deals on your lodging. You’ll want to spend at least a few days in Tel Aviv on the front or back end of your Tel Aviv to Dead Sea trip. I also highly suggest exploring Jerusalem, Bethlehem and other sites in Israel and The West Bank.
Book Tours or Do it Yourself
Maya is a local and gives excellent advice for how to do a Tel Aviv to Dead Sea trip on your own. If you’d prefer a private tour, a guided tour and the possibility of booking a one day adventure yourself, browse options from GetYourGuide. When I visited Tel Aviv, I did a fantastic tour of Jerusalem, Bethlehem and The Dead Sea through Tourist Israel and booked via GetYourGuide.
I love using them because they offer free cancelation up to 24 hours before your tour begins. You can also book securely online via credit card and have immediate confirmation. Best of all, their tours are all vetted and guaranteed by GetYourGuide. This means that even though you’re booking local tour companies, you have the backing and guarantee of a large organization and their customer service to help in a bind or (God forbid) a dispute.
You haven’t finished your trip planning until you book travel insurance. It doesn’t cost too much and it’s worth it for the peace of mind alone. It’s so easy to buy travel insurance before you travel. We always use World Nomads because they make it so simple and their customer service is next-level good. Use this widget to get a free quote and book it when you’re ready to make a move on this trip!