Day Trip to the Dead Sea – From Jerusalem to the Lowest Place on Earth
I have been to Israel three times and twice to the Dead Sea. On my very first visit, I unfortunately didn’t make it there. But the second time, I wanted to go to the Dead Sea – no matter what. So I booked a tour at the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, where I stayed.
Just a quick heads up: The water of the Dead Sea contains so much salt that it would be deadly to swallow it. That’s why you shouldn’t turn on your stomach when floating. Splashing with the water is forbidden. So be careful during your visit.
#1 Day Trip to the Dead Sea: The Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea Tour
The Masada Sunrise, A Gedi & the Dead Sea Tour took me not only to the Dead Sea, but also to the ancient Masada Fortress and the desert oasis of Ein Gedi. Just click on the name of the tour to read my detailed blog post about this day tour.
This excursion is perfect if you love hiking and like to experience history and nature first hand.
The hike to the Masada fortress is not easy. It’s not very far but exhausting to climb up the rock. And then there is the sunrise putting you under time pressure. Because if you already get out of bed at 3:30 AM, you want to see the sunrise from the fortress. I barely made it and had my camera unpacked and ready about a minute before the first rays of the sun flooded the valley.
That was the first time I saw the Dead Sea. It was a moment of awe and I never regretted getting up early.
Also, the trip to the oasis was really beautiful. But I could hardly wait to finally reach the Dead Sea. I don’t know why the place triggers such an immense fascination in me. And it still does today.
When we finally arrived, everyone was tired. We had gotten up early, had walked up to the Masada fortress and had then marched through the oasis Ein Gedi. We were tired. The Dead Sea was a welcome relieve to our strained legs, but I didn’t feel I could give the place the attention I wanted to.
I was already planning to try again during my next stay.
#2 Half day trip to the Dead Sea: Dead Sea Chillout
Same hostel, same starting point, different tour.
So when I was in Jerusalem again this year, I made a second attempt. And to give the Dead Sea the necessary attention, this time I chose a tour with no distractions: it was called Dead Sea Chillout.
We drove directly to the Dead Sea. No fortress, no oasis, no hike.
You’d almost think it was a little boring. But no, it was actually really nice.
In these spas at the Dead Sea there are sunbeds with sunshades everywhere, so you can relax and enjoy the sun. However, most people prefer to apply the healing mud to their skin and let it dry for a while. It’s a strange feeling when it gets hard.
You can also walk around the site a bit, but unfortunately, you can’t really get out of the spa and go looking for cool photo spots. I would have loved to, but unfortunately, the group had to stay together. But I also admit that it was so hot that I didn’t even want to walk around.
At the end, there were tasty dates and tea and we could look around in the shop, where they sold things produced from dead sea salt.
#3 Self-organized day trip to the Dead Sea
If I travel to Israel again, I would like to just rent a car and go to the Dead Sea on my own. The advantage is that you can choose the spa you like and you can stop when you want to take pictures. I think it’s more than a pity that I couldn’t take a single really nice photo of the Dead Sea during my two visits. That’s why it’s now at the top of my Israel Bucket List.
So if you decide to go on your own, you can just rent a car and drive over from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Rental car prices start from 10 Euro per day and you don’t need an international driving license. Your normal national license is fine.
If you’re not you can also visit Masada Fortress or Ein Gedi Oasis at the time you like. I also saw photos of the Qumran National Park that were pretty awesome. I didn’t have a chance to go since I only went with tours so far.
What you should bring for a day trip to the Dead Sea:
- Your passport (you will be in the West Bank & it might be necessary to show it)
- Plenty of water
- Bathing suit and swim shoes
- Hiking cloths & shoes
There are also many hotels by the Dead Sea, so you can spend a whole weekend there if you have enough time. Then you’re sure to get the perfect photo!
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