There’s a few bucket list items I’ve had on my mind for awhile, and floating in the Dead Sea was at the top of my list. Ever since seeing photos years ago, I’ve been hoping to visit this part of the world and experience the sensation of (literally!) floating with most of my body out of the water.
We planned our trip to Israel way more last minute than usual, basically deciding a week before that we wanted to escape Amsterdam to somewhere with warmer weather. If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed we’ve done a lot of cold-weather trips this year (Finland, Austria, and Switzerland amongst others), so it was definitely time for some sun!
Jacob has been to Israel in the past so he took the lead when it came to planning this portion of the trip. Though the Dead Sea is picturesque, the area surrounding it is a bit lacking. Lots of hotels laid their claim to sea-front real estate years ago and as a result its fairly built up. So, instead of opting for the water in front of our hotel we drove south to find some local beaches. We ended up at this Dead Sea beach for most of the afternoon and luckily had it mostly to ourselves.
I didn’t know what to expect when I went in the water the first time. I half-walked, half-paddled myself to a part where I could float. When I finally kicked off the ground I was laughing instantly — it’s such a crazy feeling! Jacob says it feels too oily for him, but it was more pleasant than I expected. Sort of like bathing in a mixture of olive oil and water…
You can buy Dead Sea mud at most stores and hotels, so that’s exactly what we did before finding a place to float. It was fun to try simultaneously floating and applying the mud. Be careful not to get your hair wet if it tangles easily – the water is very drying so I tied mine up.
If you’re planning to visit the Dead Sea, you’ll only need one night there since there’s not much else around. I highly recommend hiking Masada at sunrise (as seen in the photo below) if you spend the night — it was the highlight of our trip and well worth the 4am wake-up call! For more from our trip to Israel and what to do in this region, check out our Complete Israel Travel Guide.