Floating at the lowest point on earth… and drinking at the lowest bar in the world… definitely bucket lists moments.
Taking a tour is never my usual style but when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time, I found it brilliant and I made a friend! 🥰 So this is part two of the tour … heading from part one in Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea!
It was striking how when we left the lush green mountains and drove further and further down into the desert, the temperature increased and the land became more baron 🏜 yet only an hour or so away.
And so we arrive at Kalia Beach. It’s the more commercial day trip equipped beach. (The other more beautiful is Ein Bokek where there are some spa resorts but it’s further south and hard to have done in a half a day trip). The first thing that struck me was how I felt I walked into a resort – cafe, shops and …. changing rooms! Be prepared- this is not a serene enjoyable experience. It’s a big communal room (there were cubicles for those that were more modest) but that’s not all you need to know when visiting.
Here are some top tips to not only survive but enjoy this once in a lifetime experience:
• Don’t shave for a day or so before you get to the Dead Sea – the minerals in the water will make every scratch sting.
• Do not wear jewellery in the sea – almost everything except 24-carat gold will instantly tarnish (though it can be cleaned).
• If you are wanting a bikini insta shot then don’t wear your favourite one as they can discolour. I wore a sencible swim suit. (If you are coming straight from your hotel then wear it under your clothes to make the changing room a quick experience)
• There are lockers with codes on so you can safely leave not just your clothes but your jewellery too. And they are free.
• Phones – now you can’t go all this way and lock it away with no evidence of your fabulous floating though many do. I did not. I planned ahead and brought a waterproof case for it. (Not for bringing in to the water but for it being safe on the beach)
• Shoes – I had planned to ignore the advise I read up on and walk down bare foot – it’s a 5 mins walk, on a pathway then the beach. I didn’t need to bring anything flip flops. Oh but I did! The walk is full of salt rocks and even getting into the water you may need them. Luckily there is an overpriced tourist shop to sell some!
• Towels – you can hire them from the same shop or buy or just bring your own (and a plastic bag for it to get back to your hotel in)
And so it’s time to enter…. towel, phone safety in view, new friend made to take pics and gently enter!
• The point is why a one piece for me was vital, is it’s ridiculously slippy. The floor of the sea is wet mud and the edge entering is littered with sharp salt rocks so there is no running in, no jumping in and definitely no elegant entrance 😂
• Once in do not splash or dunk your head – if water gets in your eyes, they will sting! This isn’t time for actually swimming in the sea. It’s all about floating and boy do you float! It’s quite quite incredible.
• There are also 28 minerals in the water so whilst this is amazing for your body it can also be a lot for your body – so they advise 30 minutes.
• As I mentioned the bottom of the sea bed is the famous black mud we all know from face masks. Note this is not the same! This is pure and magical and if you have sensitive skin test it! There are lots of pics of people covered head to toe in it which you are encouraged to do – literally scoop it off the floor of the sea, come out of the water and apply! (There is a trick where you can buy / bring a magnet and once it’s dry then the magnet will lift the mud off leaving all the amazing properties. I did not get this far. I put a little bit on my cheeks to start. Within a few minutes they were stinging… obviously can’t wash it off in the sea so headed for the outdoor showers. My new friend laughed as I now looked like a child had drawn on my face with a blusher stick! So am glad I didn’t do my whole face! I also found my legs nipped a little in the water. No idea why other than I have sensitive skin
• Weather – as we went in winter I was surprised at warm it was – we were told in the summer you can’t get burnt as it so low into the ground! After they recommend drinking lots of fresh water – the Dead Sea’s dry heat (up to 47°C) can quickly suck you dry of precious bodily fluids but as it was winter we went to the bar!
• The lowest bar in the world! I am all about rooftops and views but this place was a bucket list moment too! Two for the price of one! Dipping and drinking! And naturally when I saw a Dead Sea margarita on the menu, well I couldn’t not! (It was the saltiest margarita I’ve ever had!)
As once you have floated its time to either change first or sit in your towel and dry off
• It’s a bit of a cattle experience. Showers, changing rooms, lockers – doesn’t feel a luxury experience at all! BUT once done and made way to the beach then it’s worth it…. float away!