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Dead Sea,Israel

  • The Dead Sea...

    The Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth (417 meters below sea level) is one of Israel's most unique destinations. In Hebrew its name is "the Salt Lake", due to its salinity, which prevents any chance of life in the lake (hence its English name). The medicinal qualities of the water and mud, as well as the clean, dry air and sunny skies, have turned the Dead Sea into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Israel. The Dead Sea area offers many attractions, such as historical sites (Masada, Qumran), spectacular hiking trails and relaxing spa centers that use the natural healing salts and minerals.

  • Story of...

    The Dead Sea straddles the border between Israel and Jordan, 110 km (70 mi) from Jerusalem. Its surface and shores are 427 metres (1,401 ft) below sea level, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. The Dead Sea's climate offers year-round sunny skies and dry air. The region has weakened ultraviolet radiation, and an atmosphere characterized by high oxygen content, due to the high barometric pressure. These are just some of the therapeutic attributes of this one-of-a-kind place.

    Five Great Reasons to Visit the Dead Sea:

     •Extreme buoyancy - Just go in the water, and you'll immediately realize that it's not your regular sea. Due to the high concentration of salt, you will find yourself floating effortlessly! Try reading the newspaper while floating in the water, it's a unique experience.

     •Sunbathing - The Dead Sea area is one of the best locations in the world for sunbathing, as the extra layers of atmosphere help block the sun's harmful rays and lets the beneficial properties through.

     •Rolling in the mud - The unique combination of saline waters, mineral-infused mud and crisp air is highly beneficial for those suffering from skin ailments, from respiratory problems, as well as those with joint problems (such as arthritis).

     •You don't have to suffer from any ailments to enjoy a relaxing vacation in one of the spa resorts, offering a multitude of health and beauty treatments.

     •Just 20 km (14 mi) away is one of Israel's most fascinating sites, Masada. The fortress was a palace built by King Herod the Great, in the middle of the Judean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Masada became a symbol of the demise of the ancient kingdom of Israel, and more specifically of the heroism of a small group of Jews who took a stand against the Roman Legions. Today, it is an archeological site of considerable importance, and you can visit the top of the mountain by taking a cable car, or by scaling the challenging Snake Path hike.

  • Attractions

    Metzoke Dragot is a beautiful desert village, at the edge of a high cliff with a stunning panoramic view of the Dead Sea. You can enjoy a variety of desert activities, including jeep tours, rappelling and hiking trails.

    The Qumran National Park is required step in your visit. This historical site is another fascinating archeological site, home to the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Qumran was the center of the Essene, an ascetic Jewish sect which inspired early Christianity. The site is remarkably well preserved and has a modern visitor center, designed like Qumran's ancient buildings. Watch a remarkable film which tells the story of the landscape and its inhabitants, claiming that John the Baptist may have lived here. Another highlight is the impressive view of the cave in which most of the Scrolls were found. Today, the scrolls are preserved at the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book in Jerusalem

    Ein Gedi Nature Reserve - One of Israel's most beloved parks is the definition of a desert oasis. Hikers on the Nahal David Trail will be happily surprised when a barren hike in the desert leads them to an oasis, filled with majestic waterfalls and luscious green vegetation. Hikers who enjoy a challenge can climb to the top to take in the truly magnificent views of the Dead Sea, Jordan and a Chalcolithic temple. This natural desert sanctuary is home to many plant and animal species, including the acacia tree and the ibex - and there are also rumors of a leopard population - but don’t count on a sighting! Nearby, you can visit Kibbutz Ein Gedi's splendid botanical garden.

  • Best Restaurants

    Most restaurants are part of the big hotel resorts.

    Sato Bistro
    , at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ein Bokek, is a kosher restaurant, Japanese and European fusion adapted to the Israeli palate.

     If you're looking for something off the beaten track, you can treat yourself to a delicious meal at Pnina Restaurant.
    The fish are bred locally in natural spring water and the richness of their flavor is unbelievable. The restaurant is located in a beautiful green oasis on the southern tip of the Dead Sea, in Ne'ot Hakikar for fish dishes.

    If you want to stay close to the beach, choose "On the Beach Restaurant" (near the Golden Tulip Hotel, in Ein Bokek. It is open 24/7 and serves grilled meat and fish, Italian dishes and desserts.

    And if you're looking for something different, check out Taj Mahal at the Leonardo Inn Hotel. The air-conditioned Bedouin tent is decorated in a Moroccan style, with seating on high mats. You will be greeted with Middle Eastern music, a rich and varied menu and the crowning glory – a belly dancer and drumming circle.
  • Best Shopping

    The AHAVA Visitor Center at Mitzpe Shalem is the ideal place to combine an interesting day trip with gift shopping. AHAVA cosmetic products are made from the Dead Sea's unique minerals. You can enjoy multilingual guided tours through the factory's production and packaging halls, and then do your own shopping in the factory shop, which offers these world-renowned products at attractive prices.

    Gottex is an iconic Israeli swimwear brand, world-renowned for its quality, fashionable and glamorous après wear. You can visit the Gottex outlet at the Ein Hatchelet Shopping Center in Ein Bokek.
  • Tips and trips

    • The sinkholes of the Dead Sea are a formidable natural phenomenon, a result of the continuing drop in the Dead Sea water level. Beware of them, and never get too close.
    • Just a few minutes from the Jerusalem-Dead Sea highway, St George's Monastery is a 6th century complex clinging precariously to sheer cliffs, in a spectacular biblical desert. A few Greek Orthodox monks still live here, and maintain their ancient customs. To reach the monastery, you'll have to 

    cross a pedestrian bridge spanning the Kelt River Gorge, and the approach itself is a truly beautiful sight.
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